Ignatian Pedagogy

VOCATIONAL TRAINING IN LITHUANIA

The education program of Karalius Mindaugas Vocational Training Center (hereafter the Center) is oriented to the state educational strategy 2013-2022, which takes into consideration the aim to be a modern, energetic, embracing differences and having strong sense of national identity country that is promoted in Lithuania’s progress strategy “Lithuania 2030”. The mission of education in the strategy is to help to educate innovative, independent, creative, willing and able to assume life long learning people, whose creates not only their future but also both the future of their country and the whole world with responsibility and solidarity. Taking into consideration the main aim of the strategy, the education in the Center is understood as an integral part of overall personal education. Longtime experience of the Center shows that the purpose of learning is not only gaining, changing or improving desirable vocational qualification, in other words, not only preparing a young person for a qualitative work, but also educating both professional and human value attitudes, which allow the student to become an honest, responsible, independent and willing to improve person. This kind of person is a creative and mature as a citizen who is thus able to adapt to constant changes and wishes to live while responding to God’s call and to the needs of society. That is to say, our belief is that the aim of vocational training is not only teaching a certain profession, but also to educate a student for a proper, free, meaningful and happy life.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF IGNATIAN PEDAGOGICAL PARADIGM IN VOCATIONAL TRAINING

The Center turned a distinctive and unique vocational training way, it chose Catholic educational worldview i.e. Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm. Its essence is the method based on cyclic recurrence, which consists of experience, reflection (thoughtful reconsideration), action, evaluation and self-evaluation stages. Consecutive usage of paradigm in the whole content of training allows ensuring qualitative training of students, orients to the deepening of understanding that professionalism is the responsibility for the work done:

  • The holistic approach to teaching and studying is formed.
  • The ability to name and reflect the experience, to base one’s future decisions on it is trained.
  • The ability to create interpersonal relationships which are based on trust and respect is trained, which allows the student to experience that a person can blossom and grow only in his relationship with God and other people.
  • The ability to critically look into social, cultural and political context of the country is trained, while from many value systems the values which guarantee optimal individual improvement of the person and the growth and development of society are chosen.

THE STRUCTURE OF TRAINING

In the Center training process has been planned and implemented while presenting vocational training content in cycles called modules. The module is the part of vocational training programme that combines some subjects that are related thematically. Modular programme structure consists of common modules which are the same in all vocational training programmes and modules which are characteristic to separate vocational programmes. Common modules: Introduction to profession; Collecting and Presentation of Data; Introduction to Labour Market (see Picture 1). Primary vocational training students, who are striving to gain qualification, must master all modules. Each module is ended with evaluation. Common modules are finished with differential credit test, vocational modules – with intermediate qualifying module exam.

The process of modular vocational training, as a continuous cycle, is illustrated by the training programme’s structural table (see Table 1). A unique training programme is realized by the principle of trinity:

  • The first part of programme content (50 percent) - ACQUISITION OF EXPERIENCE – is designed to acquire knowledge and capacities, to fulfill teaching programme requirements and to render the core of teaching content by traditional training methods.
  • The second part of content (about 30 percent) - ACTION/ REFLECTION – is designed to strengthen the capacities through action (voluntary work, arts, communication, etc.).
  • The third part of training programme (about 20 percent) – EVALUATION/ SELF-EVALUATION – is directed to put into practice the knowledge and capacities of students, which is realized by carrying out community projects.

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