TeachUP monthly interview series: Rasa Nedzinskaitė
What are, in your view, the main challenges teachers have to face in their new roles?
The rapidly changing modern world imposes new challenges for the education system, schools, and especially for teachers. Today, teachers', through their skills, are expected to inspire, to enhance the teaching/learning environments and culture and to improve learners' academic achievements. Teachers are also expected to solve problems, to possess communicative skills, critical thinking, a holistic attitude, to obtain profound knowledge of the educational system, etc. Technology is part of teachers' daily work, this constituting a challenge for them, as well as for teacher training institutions.
How can TeachUP help to overcome these challenges?
In TeachUP, student and professional teachers would have the possibility to develop essential competencies needed in the 21st century: collaborative teaching, formative assessment, personalised learning and creativity through a series of online courses. Furthermore, teachers and student teachers will have the chance to exchange with other teachers, further enhancing their experience during the online courses.
Could you tell us a few words about your work, and how your organisation's experience contributes to TeachUP?
I am doctor in educational sciences and work as a lecturer at the Department of Education and Philosophy at the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences. My PhD thesis focused on initial teacher education and training in Lithuania. The Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences (LEU) is the biggest teacher education and training institution in Lithuania since 1935. My university is a specialised institution, which educates future teachers and offers courses for professional teachers. I think that the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences has a clear link with the TeachUP project, because the university's main goal is to educate highly qualified professionals in their chosen fields and professional teachers who are able to successfully operate in the fast-changing society, are knowledgeable about the abilities and skills obtained and professionally active in the national educational institutions as well as in different contexts concerning international co-operation.
And, finally, three words that best describe you?
It is hard to describe myself, but maybe three adjectives like responsible, enthusiastic, and energetic - could best characterise me.