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Lithuania - Adult education: museum educational programmes and textbook

ReferNet Lithuania

Lithuanian museums work to prepare educational programmes, many of which are for nursery-school children, infants and pupils. However, the idea of lifelong learning is spreading. Educational programmes must include different groups of visitors: families, national minorities, disabled and elderly people.

This sphere of educational work of Lithuanian museums lacks attention - specialised educational programmes for adults are being organised only by some museums. This may be due to the fact that preparation of programmes for adults requires andragogic competence and an understanding of how to communicate effectively with this kind of audience.

In many museums (especially municipal), these programmes are created by people who lack the necessary skills. Various specialists (historians, archeologists, ethnographers, philologists, etc.) in museums acquire museologists’ qualifications in the process of work and improve their professional skills in the Lithuanian Cultural Training Center. But possibilities to acquire competence of working with adults are still limited. There are no textbooks of museum education in Lithuania.

The Lithuanian Association of Adult Education (LAAE) has completed a three-year project “Museum educational programmes for adults”. Thus the Association has contributed to the improvement of andragogic competences of museum workers. Within this project, in cooperation with the Lithuanian Association of Museums, a training programme has been prepared and four regional training seminars have been organised with 73 participants from municipal museums. The participants to the seminars expressed their wish to see the training material developed published as a textbook accessible to all Lithuanian museums.

Vytautas Magnus University has invited LAAE to participate in the EU Lifelong Learning Program Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation project “REVIVE - Reviewing and Reviving Existing VET Curriculum”. The existing programme developed by an earlier project has been adapted to distant learning, using the Moodle platform. The programme was piloted by employees of Lithuanian museums who drew a positive impression from it.

A group of authors consisting of three museologists and three andragogs has prepared and published a textbook for museologists Museum Educational Programmes for Adults. The main idea of the book is to use principles of adult education for the preparation of museum educational programmes. The preparation of the book was based on the peculiarities of adult learning: experiential learning, cognitive and affective goals of learning, internal motivation of learning and peculiarities of multiple intelligence. In addition to theoretical texts, tasks for independent work, practical advice, examples of the good experience are presented.

According to Professor Margarita Tereseviciene, of Vytautas Magnus University, “[the book] is interesting, because I have never had a chance to read such works in which andragogics matches the insights of professional museologists, which encourages to change forms and methods of museum education, to direct them at active, not passive, learning and to stimulate the curiosity of visitors”.

News Details

04/02/2011
ReferNet Lithuania