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At the National Culture Forum 2021 Lithuanian and international experts discussed the future challenges facing education, global future trends and how the cultural and creative industries (CCI) can contribute helping to address them. Following the Forum, the National Association of Creative and Cultural Industries (the Association), together with its team of experts, developed proposals and methodologies for improving the educational system, which were presented to the Lithuanian Government and other institutions responsible for the synergy between culture and education.

Aims to ensure coherent cooperation between culture, education and CCI

The Association aims to contribute to the transformation of educational processes by updating the content of education and moving towards a more future-oriented competency-based teaching and learning. Živilė Diavara, Chair of Association’s Board, argues that in order to change the educational process, current and future teachers in schools need to work in a hands-on way, introducing proven, inclusive and modern methods and tools that encourage student activity, which is the field of the creative industries.

“The exchange of competences between creative and cultural professionals and teachers could make a significant contribution to changing educational practices in schools. Creativity is one of the key competences for the future. In this way, we would educate not only more creative, but also more critical and problem-solving Lithuanian citizens. Therefore, to achieve the best results, it is important to use proven and research-based methodologies, which we have developed responsibly with our team of experts. It is also very important to pay attention to the training of creative and cultural industries professionals who meet the needs of the modern market. Our aim is to ensure a targeted and coherent interaction between culture, education and CCIs and to promote the exchange and strengthening of competences between the public and non-state sectors”, says Ž. Diavara.

The proposals have become even more relevant in today’s context

In the context of both, the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for proposals based on sustainable interaction between culture and education has become even more urgent. Milda Laužikaitė, head of the association “Kūrybinės jungtys”, argues that in the current and similar states of uncertainty we are experiencing, the need to develop a critical thinker who is able to stay on top of the plethora of information and to make rational decisions becomes particularly evident.

M. Laužikatė states that “in the context of today’s events, the need for students’ critical thinking, creativity and social skills is particularly pronounced, and we aim to highlight the educational practices and methodologies that contribute to the development of a person who thinks independently, who trusts himself and others, and who actively creates his environment. “

“Topics such as freedom, democracy, the skills needed for 21st century citizens, such as the ability to navigate in a highly complex information environment, require focused, long-term and integrated educational practices based on research, solution-finding, and practical action in real-life situations, ” says M. Laužikaitė, on the significance of the proposal submitted to the Government.

A critical thinking citizen is what is needed now

The main areas where the Association is initiating changes are training of teachers, the already launched “Millennium Schools” programme, which focuses on the priority of Cultural Education, cultural education coordinators, the “Culture Passport” programme, the use of research-based methods to innovate school educational processes, content, tools and spaces, the availability of legal Lithuanian cultural materials in schools and libraries, and the training of CCI specialists. The Association has presented to the Government a logical scheme for changing “educational practices” and design-based thinking methods for innovating educational processes, tools and spaces, with the aim of moving towards creative solutions in a coherent and reasoned way.

“The potential for change is huge and it needs to happen now. The standard approach no longer works in the 20th century, so methodologies such as design-based thinking teach us how to orient ourselves to a particular issue and to have a broader context of seeing the situation, which is something we all need at the moment,” believes Jonas Liugaila, design strategist at the branding and service design agency CRITICAL and member of the board of the Lithuanian Design Association.

The Association, as a strategic cultural organisation funded by the Lithuanian Council of Culture, understands that some of the proposals should be discussed more widely, and therefore seeks to jointly find solutions and is ready to elaborate on the measures presented and to contribute with its competences to the implementation of these activities. The members of the Association’s Board propose to use the format of regular working meetings to discuss the above proposals in more detail, involving all interested parties.

Photo by Vygaudas Juozaitis.