The First Montessori School in Albania - 2008

Go to the 2009 update with new pictures here: ALBANIA 2009

Map of Eastern Europe including Albania

Flag of Albania

The country of Albania, or "Shqipƫria" appears in red on the map the left, and above is the flag (flag info). For more information see these links: Albania (USA Department of State) and this popular source: Lonely Planet Albania.

In February, 2008, Susan Stephenson gave the first public lectures on Montessori Education in Tirana, Albania. Participants included: Ms. Liri Berisha (the wife of the prime-minister of Albania), Mr. Maqo Lakrori and his wife (former Education Minister and parliament member), Mr. Bashkim FIno and his wife Diana (former prime minister of Albania), Mr. Islam Llauka and his wife (the new ambassador of Albania to Kosova), Mr. Bashkim Sala (member of Education Qualification Board Committee), Ms. Pasionare Rino (well-known neuro-pediatrician). Ms.Mire la Sulo (journalist of Psycology magazine), parents, businesspeople, journalists civil servants, educators etc. After the presentation Mirlinda Celmeta, an attorney educated in law in Beijing and London, and the head of the new school and translator for the presentation, was invited attend the meetings of the Education Qualification Committee that is working towards drafting the standard qualification examination or testing for all stages of education and to be a member of the National Education Qualification Board.

Many lovely posters with translations of Dr. Montessori's words were prepared for the event and in a PowerPoint presentation Susan shared the history of Montessori education (The Association Montessori Internationale, begun by Dr. Montessori to protect the quality of teacher training and schools), an overview of Montessori 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12 programs, and pictures of classes at all three levels from the Austin Montessori school in Texas. There was a lovely reception after the talk and people stayed much longer than usual carrying out very interesting conversations. Susan is seen below with members of the Celmeta family who are introducing Montessori to their country, Mirlinda is on the far right. The two of them were also interviewed on national television, a program that was shown not only in Albania but around the world.

Susan will return in August, 2009 to help with the next stage of the school's development.

Montessori Quote at meeting in Albania

Translation coming soon: I Just tried on Google translate, Quite fun, but soon I shill get the correct translation from an Albanian friend. This is what google did: We need to support The more wish Child ACTIVITY BUT FOR THAT TO EDUKOJME To be independent.

First Montessori public lecture in Albania

Albanian market of traditional products Classroom "Albania" shelf
Montessori education in every country is build around pride of the children's culture. This is a traditional market in the ancient town or Kruja. Children who came to see the school before it opened could explore the "Albania Shelf" in the classroom.
Tirana, old and new together
Tirana city center

From the school window is a reminder of the rapidly changing face of Albania: a farmer on a tractor in the middle of his orchard surrounded by new construction, and a variety of architecture and color seen nowhere else.

This is the center of the capital, Tirana. Lovely old building reflecting the mixed history of the country, a statue of the national hero Skanderbeg, famous for his struggle against the Ottoman Empire, and everywhere signs of new Albania.

Montessori School of Albania Susan playing the piano for school guests

The house that has been adapted for the first Montessori school in Albania.
Here is a link to the school website: Montessori School

Susan playing the piano for children visiting the school before it opened.

Check back in late September for more information an pictures after Susan returns.

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