Lithuanian and portuguese teaching systems and basic teaching methods
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Lithuanian and portuguese teaching systems and basic teaching methods

Lithuanian and Portuguese Teaching Systems and Basic teaching Methods


Historically, education has been both parent and child. Children are very special people. They are different from the adults who control and describe the world, as we know it. Perhaps it is because children are necessary for the survival of our species. Children have the fundamental right to life, the same as to the education.

The national education system as a universal and public institution first emerged in post – revolutionary Europe as and instrument of state formation. It provided a powerful vehicle for the construction and integration of the new nation state and became one of its chief institutional supports. Since then few nations have embarked on independent statehood without recourse to its ideological potential; even the older states at least in periods of war and crisis, have continued to view education as a valuable source of national cohesion and a key tool for economic development. However, the role of the national education system has changed, particularly in the older advanced nation states, and governments can not manage education in the old ways. The original function of education systems was to cultivate social integration and cohesion, forging new notions of national citizenship and identity.

Our work is to compare the education system in Portugal and Lithuania and discus about the main teaching methods at school witch are similar in all the Europe, but used in different ways.

Firstly we presented the countries we are analysing: Lithuania and Portugal; because it is important to know the economy level, the demographic position and the local aria. After words we are presenting the system of education of both countries: primary school, basic school, secondary school, higher education and university. And the biggest part of our work takes the presentation of teaching methods in Lithuania witch are similar to European teaching methods.

Before presentation of teaching methods we are introducing the main teaching principles and the most famous pedagogues who were interested in process of teaching, problems of teaching methods; education reform in Lithuania, democratic and humanistic principles; effective aiming of teaching methods and etc.


Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Lithuania

conventional short form: Lithuania

local long form: Lietuvos Respublika

local short form: Lietuva

Government type : parliamentary democracy

Capital: Vilnius

Country location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and Russia

Area: total area: 65,300 km2

land area: 65,300 km2

comparative area: slightly larger than West Virginia

Population : 3,601,138 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure : 0-14 years: 18.2% (male 333,966; female 319,992)

15-64 years: 68% (male 1,184,969; female 1,265,711)

65 years and over: 13.8% (male 167,789; female 328,711) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.25% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 10.22 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 12.87 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)


Country name:

conventional long form: Portuguese Republic

conventional short form: Portugal

local long form: Republica Portuguesa

local short form: Portugal

Government type: parliamentary democracy

Capital: Lisbon

Country location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain


total: 92,391 sq km

land: 91,951 sq km

water: 440 sq km

note: includes Azores and Madeira Islands

Coastline : 1,793 km

Population : 10,084,245 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure : 0-14 years: 16.9% (male 875,485; female 827,670)

15-64 years: 67.3% (male 3,324,215; female 3,463,301)

65 years and over: 15.8% (male 644,761; female 948,813) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.18% (2010.21 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Birth rate : 10.29 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 10.21 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Education system in Lithuania

Education population and language of instruction

In the beginning of 2000, the number of people aged 29 or under was 1 542 284 (41.7 % of the population). The number of children of compulsory school age was 511 984. The official language of instruction is Lithuanian.

Pre-primary education

Pre-school education is considered to be the first level of the school system. It caters for children from 18 months to 6 or 7 years of age. These schools (lopselis, lopselis-darzelis, darzelis-mokykla) fall under the authority of local governments. The fees parents have to pay are established by the founder.

Compulsory full-time education:


Pradine mokyla (primary)- 6/7-9/10 years of age;

Pagrindine mokyla (general lower secondary)-9/10-16/17 years of age;

Gimnazija (general lower secondary)- 14/15-16/17 years of age;

Profesine mokykla (vocational lower secondary)- 14-16/17 years of age;

Jaunimo mokykla (general lower secondary)- 11/12-22 years of age;

Internatine mokykla (general lower secondary)- 9/10-16/17 years of age

According to law, children can start compulsory education at the age of 6. It ends when they reach the

age of 16.

Admissions criteria

Public-sector primary and lower secondary schools are free. Parents can enrol their children in the school of their choice.

Length of the school


The school year of forms 1 to 5 (primary education and the start of lower secondary education) comprises a minimum of 170 days of teaching, whereas the school year in the remainder of lower secondary education comprises a minimum of 195 days of teaching. The subjects (22 lessons lasting 35 minutes at the start of primary school, and 27 lessons lasting 45 minutes at the start of lower secondary school) are spread over five days a week in primary education and the start of lower secondary education, and over five, six or five-and-six days (mixed version) a week (subject to the school council’s decision) in the remainder of lower secondary education. The minimum annual number of hours of teaching is 436.3 for primary education and 688.5 for lower secondary education.

Class size/student grouping

The law defines the maximum number of pupils per class as 24 in primary education and 30 in lower secondary education. Classes are mixed and made up of pupils of the same age. In primary schools, classes are taught by one single teacher (if available, a specialist teacher may teach any one of the subjects, most often religion, foreign languages, physical education, art or music). At lower secondary level, each subject is taught by a specialist teacher.

Curricular control and content

In primary schools, all subjects are compulsory (as defined in the Minister’s Order) and are the same for all pupils (except for morals education – parents may choose whether their children receive religious instruction relevant to a given denomination, or lessons in ethics). From 2000/2001, with the implementation of strengthened subject provision, offered are: early foreign language teaching, purposive artistic education, and depended/extended teaching of some other subjects. Provision of

other subjects is offered at the general level. Teachers are free to use the teaching methods and textbooks of their choice from a list approved by the Ministry of Education and Science. In lower secondary schools, compulsory subjects (17) are studied by all pupils, but may be allocated a variable number of lessons. Instruction is normally offered at one, general level. At the decision of each school, students can be offered a more intensive programme on foreign languages, fine arts,

music and physical education.

Assessment, progression and qualifications

Pupils are continuously assessed by their teachers, and the results of the assessment are always communicated to the parents. Pupils in difficulty can be made to repeat a year. At the end of primary school, pupils automatically move on to the next level without a final examination. After transition to the six-year basic school, a final examination is being organized in each establishment at the end of the 10th year (the final year of compulsory education from 1999/2000). The examinations set by the Ministry of Education and Science are compulsory for all pupils. The leaving certificate awarded at the end of compulsory education grants pupils access to upper secondary education.

Upper secondary and post-secondary education

Types of education:

Gimnazija (general upper secondary)- 16/17-18/19 years;

Vidurine mokyla (general upper secondary)- 16/17-18/19 years;

Profesine mokyla (vocational upper secondary)- 16/17-19/20 years;

Profesine mokyla (vocational post-secondary) – 18/19-20/21 years;

Aukstesnioji mokykla (vocational post-secondary)- 18/19-21,5/22,5 years;

Admissions criteria

The leaving certificate awarded at the end of compulsory education is required by general and vocational upper secondary schools. Pupils can apply for admission to the school of their choice. Admission to post-secondary vocational schools (Profesine mokykla) and colleges (Aukstesnioji mokykla) is based on the upper secondary leaving certificate.

Curricular control and content

The curricula of the gimnazija and vidurine mokykla are defined at national level. In general education schools, the compulsory subjects are the same for all pupils. With the introduction in 2000/2001 disciplinary streams at upper secondary level, the number of hours of teaching per subject depends on the stream and level of instruction (which is chosen by the pupil and may be basic

B- bendrasis (general),

I- isplestinis (extended),

T- tikslinis (target)).

The vocational schools and colleges set their own curricula based on directives drawn up by the Ministry of Education and Science. The number of hours per compulsory general subject in a four-year vocational school course depends on the number of hours laid down in the curriculum for general education schools. Teachers are free to choose their teaching methods and textbooks (from a list approved by the Ministry in the case of general education subjects).

Assessment, progression and qualifications

The arrangements for the assessment of pupils are similar to those in compulsory education. At the end of upper secondary general education, the final examination set by the Ministry of Education and Science is compulsory for all pupils. The certificate awarded for passing this examination (maturity certificate- Brandos atestatas) grants the pupil access to post-secondary vocational and higher education. Vocational school courses end in a final examination (theoretical and practical) which varies in content according to the curriculum. Students can be awarded the vocational qualifying

Certificate (Kvalifikacijos pazymejimas ) or the skilled
diploma ( Kvalifikuoto darbuotojo diplomas). At the end of vocational college, students are awarded the

State Diploma of College Graduation (Valstybinis aukstesniojo mokslo baigimo diplomas ). The vocational qualifying certificate, the skilled worker’s diploma and the diploma of college graduation each grant the student access to an occupation.

Higher Education

Types of institutions

Higher education comprises university-level courses offered by universities, and academies. They are provided at three academic levels (basic, specialized and doctoral).

The sector of non-university higher education was established in 2000 following the passing of the Law on Higher Education. The first non-university higher education institutions with the name of Kolegija (4 public and 3 non-state) were established on the basis of the former Aukstesniosios mokyklos (vocational colleges).


The upper secondary leaving certificate (bendrojo lavinimo mokyklos brandos atestatas) is required by all higher education establishments. At non-university level education admission is based on selection on the basis of the results of upper secondary school leaving examinations. Kolegijos may lay down specific institutional admission requirements. With a view to ascertaining a student’s special abilities, higher education establishments may organise not more than two entrance examinations or tests.


Non-university level courses of each subject are completed by an examination or a student’s individual work (project) or a credit test with the assessment pass/fail. Each course programme is concluded by leaving examinations and/or defending of a final work (project). During the final assessment, a student is to demonstrate that he/she has acquired the knowledge, skills and abilities defined/set by the course programme. At the end of university courses, students are awarded the bachelor (Bakalauro laipsnis) or the professional qualifying diploma (as a teacher, engineer, artist, etc.). Graduates can go on to follow specialized higher education courses, or courses leading to a Master’s degree (Magistro laipsnis) lasting one and a half to two years. Students who have a Master’s degree can do a doctorate.


Education population and language of instruction

In 1998, the number of young people until 30 years of age accounted for 37,4 % of the population (3 729 770) and 1 140 394 pupils were of compulsory school age. The language of instruction is Portuguese.


Pre-primary education

Pre-primary education is optional from the ages of 3 to 5, and is provided in both state-run and private nursery schools. State-run nursery provision is free of charge; fees are payable for private nursery schools.

Compulsory full-time education


Ensino básico (basic education):

Escolas básicas

First stage: 6- 9 years of age

Second stage:10-11 years of age

Third stage: 12-15 years of age

Education is compulsory from 6-15 years of age.

Admissions criteria

Children aged six by 15 September must be enrolled in their first school year in that calendar year. In addition, children who reach the age of 6 between 16 September and 31 December may be authorized to attend the first stage of education, provided a request is submitted by their parents or guardians to the school nearest to their residence (or place of work) during the annual enrolment period. State-run schools are free of charge.

Length of the school day/week/year

The school year comprises 180 days, usually between mid-September and the end of June. Schools open five days a week and there are 25 hours in the first stage and between 30 and 32 in the 3.º ciclo do ensino básico. In accordance with the curricular revision of 2001, for the second stage of ciclo do ensino básico the weekly number of taught hours will be 17 lasting approximately 90 minutes. Some schools operate a two-shift system. A lesson lasts approximately 50 minutes in the 3.º ciclo do ensino básico. The annual number of taught hours per year is 788 for children aged 6 and between 875 and 904 for those aged 10 or over.

Class size/student grouping

The class size set at primary level is 25. The class size for the second and third stages varies between 25 and a maximum of 28. Students are generally grouped by age. Students in the first stage are taught by the same teacher for all subjects. Thereafter, they are taught by separate teachers for each subject/area curricular.

Curricular control and content

The Ministry of Education determines the curriculum; schools can adapt its organization to local circumstances. Teaching methods are outlined in the Ministry of Education guidelines and defined at school level by a subject delegate, of whom there is one for each curricular area. The Ministry of Education is involved in the publication of compulsory course materials; other textbooks are produced commercially. Core subjects in the first stage include studies relating to the environment, Portuguese,

mathematics, and personal and social development or religious education. In the second stage, there are multidisciplinary areas which include languages and social studies, science, mathematics, artistic and technological education, physical education, personal and social development, an open curricular area determined by the school and extra-curricular activities. Core
the third stage include Portuguese, a foreign language, religious education, language and social studies, personal and social development, science, history, geography, mathematics and physical education, as well as one of the following options, namely a second foreign language, musical education or technological education.

Assessment, progression and qualifications

Assessment is regulated nationally and uses formative and summative methods. Formative assessment is based on data collected by the teacher and is used to assess student needs and inform parents. In the first stage, summative assessment should not be carried out before the second year of schooling. Thereafter testing is carried out at the end of each term and stage. At the end of the third stage (last year of compulsory schooling), students must pass a test whose subjects comprise all third-stage curricular subjects (provas escritas globais). These tests are the responsibility of each school. Progression during the first stage and from the first to second stages is determined by teachers. In accordance with the curricular revision of 2001, the assessment of the 2° stage of ciclo do ensino básicois not determined by the minimum and specific number of disciplines, but by the exclusive competition of the class council. The class council determines whether the student obtains the essential competencies. During and between the second and third stages, progression is determined by student performance and decided by the class council they seat exams if they wish; poor performance in more than three subjects (particularly if two of these are Portuguese and mathematics) may result in pupils repeating the year. At the end of the third stage, all those who have demonstrated satisfactory attendance and passed the examinations are awarded a basic education certificate (Diploma de Ensino Básico); those who have attended but failed the final assessment receive a certificate confirming that they have completed compulsory education.

Upper secondary and post-secondary education

Types of education

Ensino secundário (general upper secondary education)

Escolas profissionais (vocational schools)- 15-17 years of age

Education at this level can take the form of general education (ensino secundário/cursos gerais), technological courses (cursos tecnológicos) and vocational studies in vocational schools (escolas profissionais),or art courses.

Admissions criteria

To enter ensino secundário, students must have successfully completed the nine years of

compulsory education. Students wishing to enter vocational schools (escolas profissionais)should have completed compulsory education or obtained an equivalent qualification. The number of pupils per class depends on the size of the classroom and varies between 20 and 26. All students must be 15 years of age or over. State-run secondary schools are free.

Curricular control and content

The national curriculum core subjects in general and technological education are Portuguese, a foreign language, introduction to philosophy, physical education, personal and social education or religious education. Courses are organized into four branches of study, namely scientific and natural, arts, economic and social, and humanities. Within each of these groups, separate courses are designed for both general and technological students. The modular curricula for vocational school courses that last three years, correspond to a minimum of 2900 to a maximum of 3600 hours of teaching. The main subject are socio-cultural, scientific, technical, practical training, arts, and technology.

Assessment, progression and qualifications

Formative assessment is carried out by teachers and is essentially descriptive and qualitative. Summative assessment is the responsibility of both teachers and the Ministry of Education to ensure national homogeneity at the end of school testing procedures. General written tests are taken at the end of each year of secondary education (10th, 11th and 12th). Results from these tests are used by the class council to determine progress. National final examinations are taken at the end of the three years of general education and successful students receive a diploma de estudos secundários; students completing the technological courses also receive a vocational

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