D. Kalesnikiene

Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences (LITHUANIA)
As globalization process raises public concern, the possible or inevitable consequences of such process to the nation and country are being widely discussed. The education of civic national culture while taking into account cultural, social, economic changes in Lithuania and the world could be strategically kept one of the most important areas of general education when relating the questions of preservation of national identity with the need of cognition of cultural similarities and differences of ethnic minorities living in Lithuania. It is necessary to decide where to focus attention while developing young generation and what are the priorities of the youngest pupils’ development. Lithuania’s Progress Strategy “Lithuania 2030” is inviting “…to consolidate the Lithuanian studies as the basis for humanistic education, encompassing training of generic cultural competencies, development of a creative individual, and public education”. In addition to that, Lithuanian National Education Strategy for 2013-2022 is also providing “…to ensure the development of Lithuanian identity and culture”. The importance of such education as early as in primary grades is unquestionable, because the goal of primary education is “to enable a child to acquire moral and social maturity primers, basics of culture, elementary literacy and help him to prepare for the studies according to the general education program (The Programs of Primary and General Education, 2008, p. 15). It is important to notice that the General Programs do not indicate the themes, which pupils, teachers or schools should choose in the educational process. This raises a question whether a specific content of primary education, which is significant to the development of Lithuanian philology in primary grades of national minority schools, is chosen. Do primary school teachers understand the meaning and importance of such choice? Do they have such goals? What means are used to reach them? What are the problems and difficulties that teachers are facing when seeking to properly choose the curriculum, which would include the development of Lithuanian philology? Do existing textbooks and other teaching and learning materials cover the content, which would help to reach the goals of the development of Lithuanian philology in primary education?

The presentation and the article will analyze the responses of primary school teachers and the data of semi-structured interviews with education experts, which will help to identify the problems of Lithuanian philology in primary grades. The aim of the research is to find out the problems of Lithuanian philology education in primary grades.

The tasks of the research are as follows:
1) to present the survey results of primary school teachers working in minority schools;
2) to provide the opinions of education experts which were determined in the interviews;
3) to determine what most important common problems of education of Lithuanian philology were identified by both groups of respondents.

The following research methods were used in the study: analysis of literature and documents; primary school teachers’ survey; interview with education experts; statistical methods.