Learning to Change

The Experience of Transforming Education in South East Europe
out of print
$24.95 / €21.95 / £18.95
Publication date: 
230 pages

A collection of first-person narratives by specialists in the field of education in South East Europe. The contributors are recognized leaders in civil society, government, academia and schools. Their works chronicle the profound effect armed conflict, political transition, and the increasing openness the region has experienced on education. It is a significant achievement as it is the work of individuals who are involved in the field and have a first hand perspective on issues of education in the region.
The essays shed light on the reality of the educational reforms: they are far from beeing linear progressive processes, on the contrary, they are very often paradoxical and even controversial. 
Terrice Bassler has accumulated vast experience as overseer of education programs throughout South-East Europe for the Open Society Institute and Soros Foundations Network. 

Map of South East Europe


About the Authors


Patterns, Paradoxes, and Puzzles
of Education Change in South East Europe

The Stories

Simin Han
Medina Korda, Bosnia and Herzegovina

To Change or Not to Change
Alexandru Crisan, Romania

Debate Was the Question Mark, School Was the Full Stop
Tomislav Reškovac, Croatia

Out of the Tunnel: Romani School Desegregation
Petya Kabakchieva, Bulgaria

Hard Waking Up
Božena Jelušić, Montenegro

Everybody’s School
Bardhyl Musai, Albania

From Čoček to Brahms and Back
Refika Mustafić, Serbia

Halim a Thousand Times: "Make a School like a Home"
Lindita Tahiri and Dukagjin Pupovci, Kosova

No Need to Hurry Up?
Petya Kabakchieva, Bulgaria

Rites of Passage: Reforming the Matura Exam
Ivan Lorenčič, Slovenia

Shadows of the War: A Teacher in Serbia
Vigor Majić, Serbia

Closer to the Ground
Terrice Bassler

The South East Europe Context

Country Context Data

Chronologies and Milestones of Education Reform: 1990–2004

For Further Reference

"Learning to Change: The Experience of Transforming Education in South Eastern Europe, is a gem of the field, rare in its qualitative readings of the personal lives and stories of people personally engaged in ‘‘on the ground’’ school reform efforts in the tumultuous 1990s from Albania, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia. When so many books on topics of education and development are abstract treatises, this collection is a read that is almost literary-autobiographical in quality. In the words of its editor and contributors, this does not mean those typical studies do not have value – they do. ‘‘We created this volume of many voices about education change to complement official reports and scholarly research’’. While the ‘‘stacks’’ of such documentation are necessarily written ‘‘with a certain detachment’’, they also thereby tend not to, intentionally or not, ‘‘uncover the hardest truths about the school situation and its... more
"The collection covers reform programs in nine education systems – each summarized in helpful annexes of statistical data and detailed chronologies... All the stories in this book reveal that there are many individuals working for change with energy, passion and commitment. Where these reformers are lucky enough to find an enlightened government which gives them space to work, and where they are supported, perhaps by a non-governmental organization or a generous benefactor, they can make an important contribution to improving the lives of young people."