Montessori Triangle Project

Azerbaijan, Poland, United States, 2014-2015

Partners: … (Azerbaijan), MTO (Poland), SPLOT (Poland), … (USA)

The Montessori Triangle will connect teachers in three different regions and stages of “development” in implementing Montessori programs. Connections and collaborations like this are at the heart of “engaging citizens and communities.” Additionally, the skills and dispositions that Montessori methods promote are the foundation for effective engagement and citizenship.

Background: There is an MTO related Montessori pre-school in Nowy Sacz. Visitors on MTO projects are frequently brought to observe the school and its operation. One of these visitors from Azerbaijan was so taken by the program that she returned to her home in Ganja (a provincial town distant from Baku) where she began to prepare creating a similar school. She was trained that summer in Moscow and opened the school in the fall. It is growing and now employs additional teachers. Another Montessori school that she visited while in Poland is in Krakow. This school is a model pre-school and is soon opening a Montessori elementary school.

This project brought the Azeri teachers to Nowy Sacz and Krakow for professional collaboration and networking. Polish teachers from Nowy Sacz and Krakow visited successful Montessori programs in Boulder, Colorado and, if interested, Boulder teachers would visit and consult with the Azeri teachers in Azerbaijan or possibly in Poland. The project also provided funds for the purchase of classroom materials for Nowy Sacz, Krakow and Ganja, Azerbaijan.

Calendar of activities:

Project planning (November 20, 2013 – December 31, 2013)– commitment of schools in Azerbaijan and Poland; choice of participants, purchase of Montessori materials for Nowy Sacz school so as to benefit from free shipping. Purchase of plane tickets for Azeri participants to Poland.

Study Visit to Poland (March 2-8, 2014) – Sabina Hasanova and Mehriban Guliyeva were hosted for 3 days in Krakow and 3 days in Nowy Sacz. During this time they experienced and shared the Montessori experience with their Polish colleagues. Before the visit they submited Letter of Intent with their personal goals and upon their return they will submit a written assessment of what they learned and to what extent the goals were met.

Study Visit to Boulder, CO (May 11-17, 2014) – two-four teachers from the Montessori school in Nowy Sacz and one from the Montessori school in Krakow visited preschool and elementary Montessori schools in Boulder. Before the visit they submited Letter of Intent with their personal goals and upon their return they will submit a written assessment of what they learned and to what extent the goals were met.

Study Visit to Poland (tentatively March 2015) – two-four teachers from Montessori schools in Boulder will travel to Nowy Sacz and Krakow to complete the “triangle” of exchange. Poland was chosen rather than Azerbaijan due to visa and related travel restrictions and the presence of more Montessori programs in SE Poland. Before the visit they will submit Letter of Intent with their personal goals and upon their return they will submit a written assessment of what they learned and to what extent the goals were met.

Montessori materials were chosen and purchased throughout the course of the project. Materials were mostly ordered from www.montessorioutlet.com based out of California and sent to Boulder or Boston for further transport as luggage to the final destinations.