Since 1993, a special co-operation with the Montessori Centre of the University of Belgorod (Russian Federation) has developed. Belgorod is an aspiring town of about 400,000 inhabitants approximately 700km south of Moscow. The Ministry of Education gave the Montessori Centre of the University of Belgorod headed by Prof. Nadeshda Tarassenko, PhD, a leading function for the task of developing Montessori Education and putting it into practice in the Russian education system. Until 1999, this co-operation was connected with a project of North Rhine-Westphalia for further vocational training for teachers, a project that was led by the senior government official Hubert Göbbels, PhD. Every six months, there were professional discussions and conferences in Münster and Belgorod.
In 1995, the first international congress on Montessori Education was prepared and carried out at the University of Belgorod with the contribution of the German co-operating partners. In 1996/1997 a staff member of the Montessori Centre in Belgorod holding a DAAD-scholarship, Andrej Dorofeev, studied at the Montessori Centre of the University of Münster. In the summer semester of 1999, Prof. Tarassenko, PhD, has been on a study visit at the Montessori Centre in Münster for two months. In October 1999, a second international Montessori Congress war organised in Belgorod that was again prepared and carried out by the co-operating partners of both universities and the project group of North Rhine-Westphalia. In April 2000, this co-operation with the Montessori Centre of the University of Belgorod was confirmed by the conclusion of an official co-operating contract that has been renewed in 2005 for another 5 years. This co-operation is supported by Prof. Kostikowa, PhD, responsible expert at the Ministry of Education in Moscow, and the rectorate of the University of Belgorod.
In the autumn of 2001, a one-week academic seminar on Montessori Education was organised at the University of Belgorod; in this context, it was evaluated how Montessori Education had been put into practice in the Children’s Houses and schools of Belgorod so far. As representatives of the Montessori Centre in Münster, Prof. Ludwig, PhD and Christian Fischer, PhD participated in this seminar by giving lectures and contributing to the discussions; they also visited Montessori facilities in Belgorod in order to evaluate the practice, which had been developed on an astonishingly large scale and according to high standards. From 2001 to 2002, Mr Andrei Dorofeev, who had previously passed his state examination for teaching, spent a year at the Montessori Centre in Münster holding a DAAD-scholarship in order to do further research for his dissertation on Montessori Education. He successfully finished his dissertation on „Die Umsetzung pädagogischer Ideen der Pädagogik Maria Montessoris in vorschulischen und schulischen Einrichtungen des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen“ (The Implementation of Montessori’s Educational Ideas in Preschools and Schools in North Rhine-Westphalia) in 2003.
In the autumn of 2002 a week-long academic seminar took place at the University of Münster with three representatives from the Montessori Centre of the University of Belgorod.
In the spring of 2004 Prof. Ludwig, PhD, Reinhard Fischer, PhD, and Esther Grindel, PhD, participated in a week-long academic Montessori seminar at the University of Belgorod.
In May 2005 Prof. Nadeshda Tarassenko, PhD, spent ten days on a study visit at the Montessori Centre in Münster and together with Andrej Dorofeev, PhD, contributed to the conference of the Montessori Centre in October 2005. At the same time, these stays had served the joint preparation of the third Montessori Congress at the University of Belgorod held in May 2006 under the patronage of Montessori Europe.
Holtstiege, Hildegard/Ludwig, Harald: Montessori-Pädagogik in Russland macht Fortschritte, in: Montessori 34 (1996), H.2, p.61-64
Tarassenko, Nadeshda/ Dorofeev, Andrej: Grußwort des Montessori-Zentrums der Universität Belgorod (Russische Föderation), in: Ludwig, Harald/ Fischer, Christian/ Fischer, Reinhard (eds.): Montessori-Pädagogik in Deutschland, Reihe: Impulse der Reformpädagogik, ed. by H. Ludwig, Bd.7, Münster: LIT-Verlag 2002, p.26-27
Tarassenko, Nadeshda/ Emeljanova, Galina: Zur Zusammenarbeit des Montessori-Zentrums der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster (BRD) und der Staatlichen Universität Belgorod (Russland), in: Fischer, Reinhard/ Heitkämper, Peter (eds.): Montessori-Pädagogik: aktuelle und internationale Entwicklungen – Festschrift für Prof. Dr. Harald Ludwig, Reihe: Impulse der Reformpädagogik, ed. by H. Ludwig, Bd.10, Münster: LIT-Verlag 2005, p.252-255.
Dorofeev, Andrej: Die Umsetzung pädagogischer Ideen Maria Montessoris in vorschulischen und schulischen Einrichtungen des Landes NRW – Blick eines Außenseiters, in: Fischer, Reinhard/ Heitkämper, Peter (eds.): Montessori-Pädagogik: aktuelle und internationale Entwicklungen – Festschrift für Prof. Dr. Harald Ludwig, Reihe: Impulse der Reformpädagogik, ed. by H. Ludwig, Bd.10, Münster: LIT Verlag 2005, p.437-458
Frau Prof. Dr. Nadeshda Tarassenko, Montessori-Zentrum der Universität Belgorod, Studentscheskaja Str. 12, 308007 Belgorod, Russische Föderation, Fax: 007-0722-341692; e-mail: Tarassenko@bsu.edu.ru
Dr. Andrej Dorofeev, ul Krassina 59/10, 308001 Belgorod, Russische Föderation, e-mail: Dorofeev@bsu.edu.ru