Why should Lithuanian students study in International programmes of education, and how are these programmes different from the usual national programme of educating? Education specialists say that studying in Internationally accepted international educational programmes does not only provide the students with a wider choice of
International higher-education schools they can matriculate in (f.e. Makes acceptance into prestige Universities easier), but also offers different education methods which is based on being able to use the learned information in real-life situations.
An International programme starts as early as 6th grade
Last year the first Klaipėda Lyceum International Baccalaureate DP senior class graduated, who studied in the programme from the 11th-12th grade. Now, for the second year in a row, students have the opportunity to study in a different International Baccalaureate programme – IB MYP (IB Middle Years Programme) for students 6th-10th grade study. According to the experts, society has a misconstrued opinion about investing in children’s education – they believe that students should prepare only when the school-leaving examinations get closer – in the 11th-12th grades. According to the principal of Klaipėda Lyceum, Dr. Regina Kontautienė, the biggest focus on the education of students should be payed during the matriculation of younger students who study in lower grades – that is how a firm foundation of knowledge is built.
The new The new 5 year-long IB MYP programme for 6-10th grades consists of 8 academic subject groups: Language and Literature, Foreign Languages, Social Sciences (History, Geography, etc.), Nature and Applied sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc.) Mathematics, The Arts, Technologies and PE.
This International educational programme is already used by 1358 schools in 108 of the world’s countries.
Klaipėda Lyceum is the only institution of education that uses this programme in Western Lithuania as broadly as they do.
More attention towards critical thinking and self-managed learning
According to the IB MYP programme coordinator, Aušra Kažukauskienė the national and International Baccalaureate educational programmes are different in their education philosophy, methods and the grading system of student achievement, as well as some of the requirements for realising the programme.
According to the teacher, International Baccalaureate programme gives great attention towards the knowledge gained being useful and practical in the students’ real life and would facilitate the development of their independence, creativity, critical thinking and other personal qualities.
“The goal of the IB programme is to encourage the independence of students, their curiosity, their involvement in the learning process, while also encouraging the development of self-management learning skills.
The same requirements are quite minimal in the national programme.
In the IB MYP programme student are taught not only the subject matter of the different academic subjects, but are also taught how to apply said knowledge in a field of science or in their daily lives.
For example, students in the IB MYP programme do a lot of group and individual scientific and social projects, and public presentations, goals of which are to teach information literacy skills, public speaking skills, social interaction, critical thinking and other personal competencies” – says the educational expert.
Graded for the practical and scientific application of their knowledge
According to A. Kažukauskienė, IB International Baccalaureate programme’s grading system allows the teachers to more clearly observe the results, competencies and personal psychological and social development of the child.
“The students studying in the IB programme are graded separately not only on their test results, but also for the scientific and practical application of the knowledge they have gained, their reflection during their learning processes. The students will also be graded for their various Service as Action activities, where they must use the knowledge they
have gained during their studies.
This provides a wider array of possibilities for the parents, teacher and the students themselves to more clearly observe their strengths and their weaknesses, and encourages them to develo pin a more well-rounded way.” – says A. Kažukauskienė.
As the educational expert has stated – students who study in the IB MYP programme from the first year are encouraged to be taught in an interdisciplinary manner and are taught in a bilingual environment (using Lithuanian and English). As the students move up through the grades, the students are introduced to more difficult English language terms and begin expanding their vocabulary and constantly prepare for studying in th-Th grades in the IB DP programme, where all subjects are taught in English.
“A lot of attention is dedicated to interdisciplinary learning that helps the students develop a holistic view on the understanding of all subjects, to evaluate their contexts, etc., f.e. Students are taught how to apply their mathematics knowledge in geography, art and other subject classes.” – says A. Kažukauskienė.
As students leave to live abroad the learning does not stop
According to Ramunė Petrauskienė, the Klaipėda Lyceum vice principal of education, matriculating in the IB MYP Programme gives the students an opportunity to continue in their studies even throughout the span of them having left to live in another country for an extended amount of time.
“This programme is standardised with the same criteria throughout all the programmes all over the world. Thus, if a student needs to move and, for those reasons, no longer has the opportunity to continue their studies, they can, instead, continue their studies, no matter what the national programme requirements are for students in that country: – said R. Petrauskienė.
According to the education specialist, the IB programme is exceptionally well-received in the best school in Lithuania and in schools abroad, thus, a diploma from this programme opens many future perspectives for students matriculating in it.
“When applying to schools of higher education, these days, one realises that it is not enough to have high exam scores. These institutions are in search of interesting and well-rounded personalities. The IB programme encourages student self-expression, curiosity and critical personality development. Because of this, diplomas of students who have graduated from this programme are viewed as more substantial by many of the world renowned institutions of higher education like Oxford and Cambridge universities – we have alumni studying there.: – says R. Petrauskienė.
International expert evaluation
Delegated experts fro the IB organisation were responsible for evaluating the possibility of the IB MYP programme accreditation in Klaipėda Lyceum this year. They were from the Netherlands and Greece.
During the process of accreditation the experts deemed Klaipėda Lyceum work highly effective in implementing IB programmes. As the expert statements state, Klaipėda Lyceum matches all the requirements that exist for the IB programme, and, in other categories, even surpass other foreign schools that have had the programmes implemented for a longer time.
The effective IB Programme realisation can be seen in the average exam results of the first IB DP alumni class, which were higher than all the other averages of other IB schools in the world.
Students’ knowledge of English was highly regarded
According to the head of the Klaipėda Lyceum, Dr. Regina Kontautienė, this kind of evaluation provided by the International experts is a catalist for further improvement in the area of International education.
“It is wonderful to hear such high praise for our programme from these International experts. Our IB MYP teacher’s methods of grading students’ achievements were held in exceptionally high regard. The experts were also greatly impressed by the work and the involvement in school projects of Lyceum psychologists and the students’ parents. This
shows that we are going down the right path and encourages us to continue improving our Lyceum community” – says the principal of Klaipėda Lyceum.
The International experts of the IB Programme were very impressed by the students’ competencies in the English Language and even recommended that students continue their MYP studies, in the 9th-10th grades, in the language and literature subject group.
Klaipėda Lyceum teachers have been preparing for the IB MYP programme implementation since the school year 2021/2022, starting with two sixth classes and one seventh MYP class. At this point in time, students from 6th-8th grades study in the IB MYP classes. Next year, the IB MYP Programme in Klaipėda Lyceum will be implemented in the 9th-10th secondary-school grades.
The admissions for new students applying to Klaipėda Lyceum will take place from February 1st.