Vaida Kirkliauskaitė

Vaida Kirkliauskaitė

Geography Teacher

Vaida completed her master’s degree in geology at Vilnius University, and is currently writing a dissertation on the Varėna iron ore deposit and rare earth element mineralization. She has been teaching geology at Vilnius University for ten years, and also gives qualification raising lectures to geography teachers and educational lectures to students of various schools and the public. She participates in science policy and improving the education process, therefore she believes it is extremely important to feel the pulse at different levels: as a teacher, mentor, lecturer – this way we can build stronger bridges between general education and higher education.

Curiosity has provided opportunities to study at different universities around the world from Lund University in Sweden to the University of Manitoba in Canada or universities in China and many others, with whose scientists she still conducts geological research to this day. International experience has sparked an interest in teaching and learning methods. In Vaida’s opinion, a good scientist does not necessarily make a good lecturer, therefore it is necessary to improve one’s pedagogical competencies and learn to speak about science in a simple yet intelligent way.

She adheres to the principle that a student/pupil-oriented teaching process (the pedagogical paradigm shift that occurred in the 21st century), together with active teaching methods, brings excellent results. “However, I do not seek to overwhelm students, pupils and other teachers with innovations. It is important to respond flexibly, involve students/pupils in creating the teaching process and find a balance between traditions and innovations, learning styles and learning opportunities at a given moment.”