Critical thinking development: training programme for Belarus educators


Project duration: 2000-2002

Project supported by:
Open Society Institute-New York

Project partner:
 The Belarusian Parents’ and Teachers’ League "Step by Step"

Project aims
  • To spread ideas of innovative education based on critical thinking development in Belarus schools.
  • To create conditions for the program continuation after the end of the project.
Project objectives
  • To implement the programme "Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking" (RWCT) in Belarus. 
  • To train the first generation of RWCT programme teachers and lecturers. 
Project participants
68 teachers of secondary schools, lyceums and gymnasiums from various regions of Belarus participated in the project.

Project activities
The project in Belarus started according two Open Society Institute-New York programs - Sept by Step and RWCT - agreement on close cooperation and continuation of innovative education at the secondary school level.

In 2001 35 teachers from 5 secondary schools, 2 teachers from high schools and 2 Step by Step office administrators were taught as first generation of RWCT project teachers. They had four seminars on critical thinking strategies and one seminar on adult education. Lecturers had observed lessons in the first generation teachers classrooms during this period. All of the project participants got first level certificate – RWCT Courses Participation certificate. There were two study visits organized: one – for the different school teachers team, another one - for Step by Step office and Ministry of Education administration.

During 2002 first generation teachers have taught second generation. There were four teams selected from the big region of Belarus: two teams from the cities (mostly Step by Step schools) and two teams from the villages. Lecturers observed these workshops and consulted teachers. At the same time lecturers continued lessons observations of the first generation teachers and with some exceptions – second generation. The aim of observations was to prepare teachers for the certification procedures and to encourage those, who already could apply to the second level – RWCT Teachers Certificate.

Daiva PENKAUSKIENE, director of Modern Didactics Center
Valdone INDRASIENE, professor of Vilnius Pedagogical University 

Project results
  • Strong first and second generation RWCT teachers in the regions were prepared.
  • Informal in-service teacher training centres in the regions established.
  • Natural Step by Step programme continuation by RWCT programme in the secondary school level started. All this can lead to major changes in Belarus education and society in general if this good start will be supported by national Step by Step office, Ministry of Education and schools administration.

Project lecturers and coordinators in Minsk

More about RWCT Programme 



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