FreedomTalks – civic and awareness learning in schools.

One of the most crucial responsibilities for educators is nurturing young minds capable of critical and independent thinking. These attributes become particularly significant as young people grow older and become engaged in community and social issues.

Critical thinking is a universally applicable skill that serves in academics, work, and personal life. It extends beyond improving communication and decision-making; it acts as a safeguard against becoming overwhelmed by the vast sea of information, especially in today’s age of readily available information technology. Critical thinking plays a pivotal role in evaluating the reliability of this information.

The development of independent thinking occurs when individuals must justify their opinions and reason through their decisions in discussions. This process fosters active listening and the ability to challenge viewpoints with which one disagrees. While these skills can be honed throughout life, the foundational learning occurs during school years.

For students, these skills are paramount as they transition from being passive observers to active participants in addressing social and community issues. Research indicates that students with strong critical thinking abilities perform better academically, demonstrate greater creativity, and make decisions that benefit not only themselves but also their communities.

In light of these considerations, the Lithuanian Free Market Institute has initiated the FreedomTalks project. The project aims to foster community engagement and involve school students in tackling pressing social, economic, and ethnic challenges.

About the project:

  • Our goal is to engage and involve young people in discussions centered on relevant topics such as creativity, citizenship, morality, opportunity, and freedom.
  • The FreedomTalks format is tailored to teach young individuals how to analyze problems and seek solutions through debate.
  • Participants in FreedomTalks will gain access to carefully selected materials on these topics. Students will have the opportunity to use the internationally acclaimed textbook “Economics in 31 Hours” and integrated, phenomenon-based materials from the educational platform “Citizen in 31 Hours.” Teachers will receive complimentary access to the textbook and Teacher’s Books from the learning platform, which are replete with additional information, activities, and tips to support student learning.
  • We will provide training for participants on how to utilize the debate methodology specifically developed for this project.
  • We will share best practices from various debating clubs.
  • All necessary information to participate in the FreedomTalks project will be made available.
  • Throughout the project, we will organize consultations for both teachers and students.

You can find the guidelines for FreedomTalks at this link.

For a review of the methodological guidelines for FreedomTalks (by D. Dumčius), please visit this link.

Preparation materials for students on the debate topic “Can globalization narrow the gap between the rich and poor?” can be found at this link.

To access practical preparation exercises for the Public Speaking and Debating team, follow this link.