Vilnius

NAOS team with the headmaster of Vilnius Lithuanian House

-Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and second largest city in the Baltics. Much like Tartu, the city has not traditionally had ample experience with diverse groups of migrants, with the exception of people from Russia and the former Soviet States. However, a prominent culture towards innovational novelty and science-focused mindset over the last decade have fostered impressive educational development.

-The NAOS visiting partners were Cyprus, Estonia, and the Netherlands, with main focus placed on the themes of language and pedagogy. The first school we went to was Vilnius Lithuanian House, a unique school meant for students of Lithuanian descent whose parents used to/still live abroad. Although the majority of the students fit that category, the school still hosts students from 34 different countries! One of the primary purposes for the creation of this school was the repatriation of Lithuanians, aiming on high quality education for returning children to avoid lagging behind in language acquisition through a one year intensive course of familiarizing and mastering the language. The school is also frequently involved through participation in seminars and European projects, and includes a specific department for in-service training, responsible for inviting specialists for lectures, organizing peer review sessions, class observations and additional seminars. The second day we got to visit Vilnius Santara High school, a similarly proficient school in emphasizing teachers’ professional development and attendance of seminars. Teachers here will often present workshops after having attended a seminar, transferring knowledge to peers as well as consolidating their own. The school feels that the inexperience in dealing with incoming immigrant populations will gradually be balanced through their own participation in numerous European projects and the exchange of evidence-based methodologies.

The Study Visit report can be downloaded here: STUDY VISIT IN LITHUANIA