Name of the original practice to be transferred
Mind Development of Critical Thinking for Successfull Future Career
Specific context where the practice has already been implemented/ applied
This programme is outcome of successful projects MIND 1 & MIND 2, implemented in by the partnership of 6 education institutions, representing 5 EU countries.
Youth carer & advising centre (further – YCAC) together with Modern Didactics centre (further-MDC) from Lithuania were the lead partners of those two projects. YCAC had long and rich experience in career counselling, MDC – in development of critical thinking development programs at formal and non-formal education level.
The projects aimed to introduce new concept towards career development by suggesting new methodology as general approach towards career education. This new approach was based on critical analysis of country based and overall EU situation about career education and young people readiness to model their personal careers. It was found, that young generation experienced personal and social insecurity, uncertainty and those problems created barrier for personal and professional career. Young people needed self-esteem and guidance to be prepared to meet challenges of the changing world and information, not to get lost, if they have not succeed in one or another thing, be available to choose different ways and know how to do it. The project team developed integrated and specialized career education programmes for formal and non-formal education, in-service programme for children/young people teachers, counsellors and career advisers and recommendations of programme implementation.
Conditions of the original practice
Conditions of that time, when programmes were developed were different, but not so much different from now. The difference was that partnership had very different experience – personal, institutional and in-country. Lithuania, Check republic, Malta were approaching EU, Finland and Greece were already EU member states. Career development concept differed not so much from country to country – it was quite old fashioned approach towards career development and education. Critical methodological approach was very new too many partners, and very needed.
Programmes and their materials are still under demand and are used by career counsellors at schools, university teachers that have career guidance course, youth workers at youth centres in partner countries.
Structures of the original practice
Integrated programme for secondary schools (since pre-school till gymnasium level) is used for teaching career through different subjects. Specialised programme is used for 15-29 age students and young people, who learn career education as separate optional subject (in case of formal education) or life/social skills (in case of non-formal education).
In-service/professional development programme is used for training of educators, youth workers and career counsellors by their owners – YCAC and MDC in Lithuania.
Suggestions on how these will transfer to the new context
In spite of a long time, that passed since the projects implementation, their results and products are still relevant today. We live in a period of political and economic transformations that have direct impact on career education and guidance almost on all people in all countries. Employers make ever-higher demands on their prospective employees: greater flexibility, enhanced availability, and the ability to cope with change. Problem solving and critical thinking skills are on the top of the list of necessary skills in a near future (World Economic Forum, 2016).
In general, developments in societies are such that at various times in life everyone has to face major career changes. All this makes it necessary to develop critical thinking skills and new approach to career starting from quite young age. Critical thinking skills are very desired, valued, but not easily acquired and mastered.
Educators and counsellors of young people need good programmes and instructions how to integrate career education into the national curriculum/ subject or work programmes; how to guide young people in ever changing and unpredictable circumstances.
The programmes are of a very universal character, as critical thinking methodological approach has no national character. It is cross national, cross cultural, cross sectorial and applicable for any age. The same is with career guidance. It is needed in all times for all people; in spite of their background and age (especially relevant now for our aging societies and requirement’s to stay in labour market for a longer time).
Programmes are applicable for any formal and non-formal education, and for young people since 14 till 29 years old. Also for their educators, youth workers and career counsellors. Programmes can be adapted for other age groups as well.
Programmes materials are grouped according age levels, describing knowledge, skills. The major topics are: meaning of career; concept of critical thinking; interrelation between career and critical thinking; critical thinking for self-understanding; critical thinking for understanding others & outside world; critical thinking and changing realities of the world of work; visible and non-visible professions/jobs/occupations; critical thinking for search and interpretation of information; critical analysis and evaluation of information; critical judgment and reflection.
Programmes give ideas about planning and preparation stage of programmes implentation; ideas about how to deliver them as well as the encouragement of reflective practice – mainly through a process of self-evaluation. Programmes also include necessary information and knowledge one needs– it helps to identify some competencies, knowledge as well as skills and attitudes one needs to implement the programme successfully.