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Pirmasis demokratinis darželis Lietuvoje
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

CONTEXT Our lives are driven by democratic values hence education ought to be democratic and contemporary as well. According to principles of democratic education the child is able to influence and form the direction of his education. As a result of this the child is taught to be active in various fields of life and be responsible for his actions. Since every child is unique, democratic education suggests to offer education in most acceptable way. There is plenty of information on the Internet about democratic education. In order to implement democratic education properly, visiting schools with deep roots of democratic education and learning from their good experience is a great advantage. Since democratic education was absent for preschools in Lithuania, it was decided to gain experience by job shadowing in the United Kingdom, the leaders of democratic education. AIMS To get valuable knowledge by job shadowing in well experienced democratic education schools in the UK. Acquire new competencies and renew educational programme of kindergarten „Aukštyn kojom“. Implement the renewed educational programme and become the first real democratic education kindergarten in Lithuania. Share valuable experience with other educational institutions in the country. PARTICIPANTS Nine employees of „Aukštyn kojom“ (six teachers and three members of administration) participated in job shadowing. All participants were well experienced in applying possitive education, also implementing the „Programme to foster and cultivate creativity“. They have participated in various international programmes before. The education in „Aukštyn kojom” is perceived in creative and innovative way. The project partners were the UK democratic education school “Sands School” and democratic education kindergarten “Park School”. ACTIVITIES Two mobilities were implemented during this project by job shadowing in two different democratic education schools in the UK. The participants of mobilities learned implementation of democratic education principles and methods. As a result of long interaction with the UK school teachers all participants discussed possible difficulties of democratic education implementation. Valuable experience was gained in particular aspects of democratic school management. The participants evaluated each days results. All participants had a chance to participate in cultural activities. At the end of the mobility the final evaluation of mobility was organised. All participants received Europass documents. When participants returned to Lithuania workshop session was organised to sum up all results of the mobilties and renew educational programme of „Aukštyn kojom“. The dissemination of the mobilities results was launched in the community of kindergarten „Aukštyn kojom“. IMPACT All nine participants of the project gained valuable knowledge and learned principles of democratic education. They also learned methods and challenges of it‘s implementation and institution management. Upon return the important information and experience was shared with all „Aukstyn Kojom“ employees. The educational programme of kindergarten was renewed according to democratic education principles. The results of the project were shared with the parents of „Aukstyn Kojom“ pupils. Accomplished changes in the institution and recommendations how to implement democratic education at home were given to parents. All valuable experience and information about democratic education was shared with other preschools using the only specialised Internet portal designed for preschools as well as „Aukštyn kojom“ facebook page. A long-term partnership with internet portal was established in order to educate society about democratic education. The results and changes in the institution were presented on the international level as well. The pedagogy students from Belgium have visited „Aukštyn kojom“ to get to know the exclusive educational programme of the kindergarten. LONG TERM BENEFITS This project was the first step of democratic education implementation at the preschool education level in Lithuania. Kindergarten „Aukštyn kojom“ became the ambassador of democratic education in the country which constantly shares it‘s experience with other educational institutions. The mobility activities were meaningful motivational tools for teachers to improve their skills and knowledge as well as members of administration to develop international partnerships and share valuable experience.
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