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Incorporating education for sustainable development (ESD) into the curriculum is one of the main priorities of education policy in Latvia and internationally. Implementation of ESD relies greatly on individual teachers’ beliefs, enthusiasm, theoretical knowledge and practical expertise. It is widely recognized that teachers’ beliefs influence their decisions about the curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. While teachers’ beliefs and general pedagogical knowledge receive considerable attention in teacher education research worldwide, novice teachers’ beliefs and knowledge regarding sustainability and ESD are not widely discussed despite the widespread assumption that teacher’s preparedness and intention to teach ESD tend to be motivated by the beliefs and knowledge a teacher holds. Some education researchers argue that novice teachers tend to have limited understanding of sustainability and ESD. The aim of the research described in this article was to reveal the range of ways in which a sample of 32 volunteer novice teachers in Latvia perceive, understand and experience ESD, as well as how ESD relates to their professional practice. A phenomenographic approach is applied in this study. Data collection methods include semi-structured interviews, written questionnaires, and focus group discussions. The study revealed a range of ways in which novice teachers conceptualize sustainability and ESD. The insights from this research might serve to inform teaching and learning practices in the undergraduate and postgraduate teaching courses and to prepare teachers more adequately to implement ESD.

teacher education ◽
sustainable development ◽
education research ◽
focus group ◽
data collection ◽
novice teachers ◽
education for sustainable development ◽
learning practices ◽
teachers beliefs ◽
collection methods

2020 ◽
Vol 44 ◽
pp. 99-113
Agnė Brandišauskienė
Aušra Daugirdienė
Jūratė Česnavičienė
Ramutė Bruzgelevičienė

Lithuanian schools face the challenge of low learning achievement. International and national studies show that the results of Lithuanian school students are not tantamount. There are significant differences among different groups: between boys and girls, between students from different social–economic–cultural backgrounds, different types of localities (cities, towns or rural areas), as well as learners of different languages (Lithuanian, Russian, Polish) (Lithuania. National and Regional Education 2019. Student Achievement Gap). It is clear that the spectrum of factors influencing achievement is wide-ranging, from decisions made by students themselves, the teachers, or the schools, to the ones made in the wider settings or (context) or by municipalities. They all demand scientific discussion, but in this article we focus on the organisation of the teaching/learning process in the neurodidactic context.The work is based on theoretical insights, the core of which is neuroactivation in the learning process as one of the fundamental elements of good teaching and successful learning. In striving for quick, yet not always successful, learning achievement, we do not engage students in an in-depth learning process. Therefore, we fail to arouse interest in the subject taught; the students’ acquired knowledge is not preserved for long and is not used when necessary. By focusing on the teaching/learning process, we can lay the foundations for positive change at the neural level.Searching for the causes of low learning achievement and ways to overcome them, it is important to refer to the findings of contemporary studies concerning the connections between teaching and learning processes with the neuro-structure of children’s brains. A reciprocal connection was identified when learning changes the architecture (structure) of the brain, which in turn affects learning and attaches particular importance to the teacher’s work. It is its nature that can influence how the neuro-structure of the student’s brain changes at the cellular level. Therefore, it is important to consider aspects related to the student’s brain activity in the teaching process, namely excitation, awareness, memory and information transfer. In this respect, it makes sense to continue the research and to conceptually discuss the educational dimension and teaching/learning strategies when working with low achievers.

learning process ◽
learning achievement ◽
factors influencing ◽
brain changes ◽
the subject ◽
national studies ◽
depth learning ◽
made in ◽
the brain ◽
teaching learning

 The object of this study is the learning to learn competence. The purposes of this research are as follows: (1) to highlight the challenges of the actualization of learning to learn competence in science education; (2) to investigate the learning to learn competence of 16–17-year-old students of N gymnasium; (3) to provide conclusions on the learning to learn competence of students and the most relevant aspects of developing this competence in chemistry lessons. The results of a quantitative study (attended by 172 students) confirms the hypothesis that the learning to learn competence closely correlates with learning outcomes. Successful learners are more confident and are more likely to experience satisfaction and a sense of victory; on the other hand, permanent failure can cause poor self-esteem, indifference, avoidance, and aggression. Students with the best grades also have a stronger will and self-discipline to achieve their goals. They also develop this discipline more often than the learners whose learning grades are lower. The results of the survey indicate that all students have a lack of knowledge about different learning methods and the ability to choose the most appropriate ones for specific cases. One of the effective tools that may help a learner successfully comprehend at first sight a rather complicated science – chemistry – is the development of competence-based learning. For this reason, in the paper, together with the challenges of achieving the learning to learn competence, presented by the participants of the study, the possible ways of solving them are described too.

science education ◽
learning outcomes ◽
quantitative study ◽
self esteem ◽
the other ◽
learning to learn ◽
learning methods ◽
other hand ◽
lack of knowledge

2020 ◽
Vol 44 ◽
pp. 45-61
Asta Dilytė
Daiva Skučienė
Eugenijus Dunajevas

The traditional model of general education organization, which focuses only on the provision of human capital as a guarantor of welfare, cannot effectively achieve this goal without removing other barriers to the child’s development (OECD 2016). The acquisition of human capital also significantly depends on a person’s social and cultural capital. In addition to its traditional functions, a school can also provide social and cultural capital by providing a space for the interaction of various social networks, promotion of new ideas and cultural diversity, and the involvement of social partners in school activities (Healy 2001). An all-day school is one of the tools to provide children with social and cultural capital. Despite the existing disparities between a pupil’s achievement and the low level of their social and cultural capital (Shleider 2018), all-day schools are not widespread.According to John Elster (2000), the actions of an organization are determined firstly by opportunities and then by interests. Opportunities are determined by economic, institutional, and psychological constraints. The aim of this study is to analyze the institutional limitations of establishing an all-day school. Elinor Ostrom (2009) argues that the whole set of institutions that determine the situation of action (in our case, the establishment or non-establishment of an all-day school) can be divided into 7 groups: boundaries, positions, choices, aggregation, information, potential outcomes, and payoff institutions. The institutional limitations of all-day school establishment were analyzed in the study using a qualitative content analysis of documents on the principle of axial coding, distinguishing subcategories and categories. The results of the study showed that institutional constraints do not limit access to an all-day school, but there is a high concentration of power, lack of accountability for service quality, and parental costs that may limit access to services for children from lower-income families with the greatest social and economic disadvantages.

social networks ◽
human capital ◽
content analysis ◽
service quality ◽
cultural capital ◽
cultural diversity ◽
day school ◽
social and cultural capital ◽
social partners ◽
limit access

This paper reports on a health literacy study that explored adolescents’ conceptualizations of health information appraisal as a social practice in Latvia. The study was guided by phenomenography, a qualitative research approach used to describe people’s conceptions of a particular phenomenon. A purposive, maximum variation sampling was used, and 24 adolescents were recruited to take part in the study, ranging from 13 to 16 year-olds. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken for data collection. A phenomenographic method for data analysis was performed using the guidelines proved by Sandberg. The data analysis presented seven categories of description and an outcome space representing the adolescents’ qualitatively different conceptions of health information appraisal. The implications for health education in school are discussed.

qualitative research ◽
data analysis ◽
health literacy ◽
health education ◽
data collection ◽
health information ◽
adolescent health ◽
research approach ◽
critical component ◽
phenomenographic method

 History teaching has been raising many didactic issues recently. First, the concept of the very discipline of history has been undergoing changes; the aim of school education is being shifted from memorizing pre-defined content toward developing historical literacy based on critical thinking and the development of historical research skills. Second, admitting the impact of the sociocultural context on pupil achievement, the attitude toward children’s receptive skills and their development has been gaining new perspectives. This is of high importance in primary education, where a heroic story is often still dominant. At present, the discourse of primary education curriculum change emphasizes the attractive communication of scientific knowledge and the demand for active research to broaden children’s deep understanding. However, the development of historical literacy in primary classes still remains to be complicated, since, on the one hand, it requires new landmarks – what and how to teach, and on the other hand, research in this field has been very limited.In Lithuania, there is an intention to re-new the curricula in all the fields. Therefore, it becomes relevant to analyze what skills to understand historical time should be developed in primary classes. This scientific problem is solved by carrying out a qualitative analysis of the content of the primary education curriculum. Based on the chosen model of understanding historical time (De Groot-Reuvekamp, Ros, Van Boxtel, Oort 2015), this article analyzes the extent to which the curriculum requirements of history teaching correspond to the goals and comprehension levels of the model (A – Emergent; B – Initial; C – Continued) and what should be improved when updating the curriculum. The last stage of research contains the research data supplemented with data gathered by a survey of the primary teachers and prospective primary teachers, who are in the final year of their Childhood Pedagogy university studies. The respondents defined, in written form, their expectations regarding the skills of historic time perception, which should be developed so that primary school students would understand what historic time is.The research results reveal that the present curriculum requirements for the primary school pupils are low. They lead toward the stage of acquiring understanding (A – Emergent) rather than Initial (B) or Continued (C) stages. Descriptions of program knowledge, understanding, and procedural skills do not reflect growth-oriented expectations and research-based learning outcomes. The analysis of results have shown that their expectations do not correspond to the conclusions made by the latest academic research about the primary age student learning achievement possibilities. The study revealed that teachers’ and students’ express higher expectations for student achievement than the program. Therefore, while revisiting the curriculum, it is important to pay more attention to the development of historical research and higher thinking skills, which would be a significant step toward gaining a deeper understanding of historic time.

primary school ◽
time perception ◽
primary education ◽
primary teachers ◽
historical research ◽
historical time ◽
education curriculum ◽
history teaching ◽
historic time ◽
historical literacy

2020 ◽
Vol 44 ◽
pp. 18-33
Rimantas Želvys
Rita Dukynaitė
Jogaila Vaitekaitis
Audronė Jakaitienė

This article deals with the problem of the multiplicity of educational goals and their reduction into measurable indicators. The paper debates whether an increasingly predominant student performance-centered approach, which is mainly limited to PISA findings, is a manifestation of a changing global educational paradigm; what concept of educational purposes prevails in today’s world; wh

education policy ◽
international education ◽
student performance ◽
performance indicators ◽
educational goals ◽
international education policy ◽
educational paradigm

This paper does not go into detail concerning the current debate around the idea of “powerful knowledge”, however, a brief account of the history and context of the sub-discipline as it has developed in England, is presented. For that purpose, some references to the important works of Basil Bernstein are explicated. It was he after all, following the critical reception of his early work on linguistic codes, who first argued that knowledge, or as it is sometimes expressed “the stuff” and not just “the who” of education, was crucial to any serious debate. Some hot points in the debate between Bernstein and Michael Young are presented. The suggestion is given that differently from Bernstein ideas to take into account „pedagogical code“ in the knowledge reproduction we have to begin with the distinction between memorisation of knowledge which is close to the idea of consumption, and developing a relationship to knowledge which has more affinity with becoming a member of a community.

critical reception ◽
sociology of education ◽
current debate ◽
basil bernstein ◽
powerful knowledge

Team-based learning is a student-orientated active learning strategy created by Lary Michaelsen in 1979. Team-based learning is widely used not only in the United States of America, but all around the world: in Asian, European, and Middle Eastern universities and colleges. It is extremely popular in biomedicine as well as in social sciences. It is, unfortunately, rare in Lithuanian higher education. There is a large network of team-based learning strategy consultants in Singapore, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, and North America.Research aim: to introduce the team-based learning strategy.Research questions: what is team-based learning strategy? What are the main reasons of the prevalence of team-based learning strategies? How is the team-based learning strategy adopted to the learning subject?Research object: Team-based learning strategy.Research method: literature analysis.The popularity of team-based learning is determined by its effectiveness: it motivates students, ensures their involvement, develops critical thinking, problem-solving, interpersonal leadership, and conflict management and similar skills. Team-based learning ensures the satisfaction of students with the learning process.There are four essential elements of the team-based learning strategy: teams must be properly formed and managed; students must be motivated to attend class and must come prepared; students must learn to use course concepts to solve problems; students must be truly accountable in case the lecturer decides to implement team based learning into their subject.

higher education ◽
united states ◽
problem solving ◽
active learning ◽
the netherlands ◽
learning strategies ◽
learning strategy ◽
universities and colleges ◽
team based learning ◽
the world

The article compares a concurrent route and a consecutive route of teachers’ training and critically evaluates their institutionalization. The analysis of the practices of institutionalization (study processes, certification of the studies, higher education institutions, study grants, and the classification of the study programmes and sciences) reveals that the contemporary political power supports the concurrent route of teacher training.

higher education ◽
teacher training ◽
political power ◽
higher education institutions ◽
teachers training