School History in Lithuania: A Territory (Not Yet) Discovered by Historians?
Keywords:school history, academic history, history teacher, academic historian, history didactics
Abstract. During the period of state independence, there was a clear trend for Lithuanian historians to be poorly involved into the field of history didactics. We presume that such a situation is predetermined, among other factors, by certain approaches, experiences, and working habits of academic historians. The article, by building on subject literature analysis and qualitative study of twelve Lithuanian academic historians, has the purpose to determine the connection of academic historians with school history and teachers of history as well as the focus (or its absence) of their historical research on school history. It is evident from the study that Lithuanian academic historians undertake some effort to share the knowledge of their discipline and related skills with teachers of history as regards the improvement of the content of the history education, but they face certain barriers. These barriers are the lack of interest by teachers of history in aspects of the past that are beyond the scope of curriculum and exams as well as the deficit of competences, personal qualities, and free time needed for the dissemination of academic historians’ research. Furthermore, the partnership suffers from unfavourable procedures of the evaluation of researchers and their studies: research dissemination work is not part of the evaluation scoring system and the fact that researchers are required to publish in English in prestigious foreign venues makes the research not entirely appropriate for schools. The article presents recommendation guidelines for sustaining mutual cooperation.
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