Teacher education in Albania : past, present, future

Lita, Zana (2004). Teacher education in Albania : past, present, future. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f9ea


In this thesis I describe and analyze the development of teacher education in Albania from the 1830s, known as the Rilindja Kombëtare Shqiptare* (National Awakening) period, all the way to the present This focus is highlighted against the general background of Albanian politics and education as a whole. I investigate the historical, social and political factors influencing the development of teacher education, its structure, changes in the teacher education curriculum to respond to the changing political contexts, as well as changes of the status of teachers in different periods.

I show that education, status and supply of teachers is a very useful litmus paper issue which reflects almost every tension and problem besetting the Albanian state over the past century or more such as its economic poverty, its cultural and political marginality, its problems of geographical, religious and linguistic division, its uncertain borders and exposure to foreign exploitation. My ambition and determination is to place Albania within a powerful west European tradition.

The thesis is divided into three sections; The first section examines the literature relating to developments in teacher education in other countries as well as the underpinning issues. I introduce six guiding concepts developed from the literature with regard to:

Firstly, the development of teacher education in Albania influenced by the changing nature of the political and social control and influence, secondly, the importance of social, economic and political factors in forming societal perceptions of teacher status, thirdly, the evolution of teacher education, fourthly, the emergence of pre-communist ideas once the political control and influence loosened, fifthly, the influence of global developments on the content of teacher education, sixthly, the involvement of a wider number of interest groups in debates around the nature and quality of teacher education.

The second section describes the development of teacher education in Albania from the period of the Rilindja Kombëtare Shqiptare (1830) to the present. I examine these developments as they relate to the historical and political developments at a given period. Reference is made with regard to important individuals who exercised their influence on developments on teacher education. I also point to the breaks and ruptures that take place due to the political and historical factors. This section also considers the increasing public expectations of teacher education.

In the third section I return to the six original guiding concepts and discuss the key findings in relation to the importance of historical, political social and economic factors that have influenced the development of teacher education in Albania; the stages of these developments and their nature; the social perceptions of teacher education and teacher status; the development of teacher education in Albania versus global developments and public expectations about the quality and nature of teacher education. Finally I provide conclusions drawn from the analysis.

The thesis makes an important contribution to knowledge in providing:
a) A public written account, which constitutes the only coherent and solidly based work in English on Albanian teacher education on a national and international scale.
b) Analysis of teacher education as a political process more sharply evident in Albania than in most countries because of the sudden and radical character of successive political changes and the exposure of the system to external forces.
Within that analysis there is clear evidence that changes in teacher education were a local variant of changes compared to other Central and Eastern European countries in the decades after 1945. However, the thesis makes it evident that strong European tradition remained alive during decades and has become influential even today.

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