Mathematics teacher, lecturer, consultant, and teacher trainer.
In the teaching profession, I feel good because I do something good for others."
Mateja Peršolja, born Koglot and hailing from Vrtojba, completed her elementary education in Šempeter pri Gorici. She continued her schooling at the Nova Gorica Grammar School, specializing in the natural sciences. In 2001, she earned a degree in Mathematics and Physics Education from the Faculty of Education at the University of Ljubljana.
Mateja's journey in leadership and teaching began during her high school years when she led clubs, excursions, and camps at the Mountaineering Society Nova Gorica. In 1994, she became a guide for the Mountaineering Association of Slovenia. Over the next two decades, she led the youth section of the Mountaineering Society Nova Gorica, served on the regional committee of youth sections in the Posočje region, and was a member of the executive board of the Youth Commission at the Mountaineering Association of Slovenia. In her work with the commission, she particularly focused on youth competitions, mentors within the Mountaineering Association of Slovenia, and programs for young people. She is a co-author of the programs Ciciban planinec and Mladi planinec, along with the diaries for both programs, which have a circulation of more than a hundred thousand copies.
She taught at four different primary schools, with her longest tenure at OŠ Preserje pri Radomljah. Dissatisfaction with relationships, learning, and the effectiveness of education drove her towards innovation. Drawing from her experiences in the mountains, she realized that learning could take place differently, without the compulsion of external control, punishments, rewards, or grading. She began developing a new approach to learning and teaching at OŠ Venclja Perka within the framework of the innovative project "Paths to Higher-Quality/Longer-Lasting Teaching/Knowledge" (under the auspices of the Institute of Education), which she continued at OŠ Preserje pri Radomljah. She connected self-regulated learning with the insights of Choice Theory (W. Glasser) and obtained a certificate from the Glasser Institute.
Her journey continued with the applied development project "Development of Knowledge Assessment Didactics" (Institute of Education). She developed a teaching and knowledge progress monitoring model, which she successfully disseminated for over ten years in the context of seminars on Knowledge Formative Assessment (Institute of Education). As more and more schools invited her to lead seminars for teachers and later school development groups and sought her guidance, she founded her own company, published a handbook, and gradually embarked on an independent path. In 2015 and 2016, she led the Erasmus+ project "Internationality as an Opportunity for School Development for Life."
Today, she is a researcher of learning and life, an author of articles, a lecturer, a consultant, a coach, and still a passionate learner and teacher.
Experience and References:
- Mathematics teacher at OŠ Preserje pri Radomljah (2005 - 2023)
- Presentation on "Pupils Voice in School Transition" at the World Education Summit 2023.
- Author of the handbook "Formative Assessment in Practice" (Manual: Formative Assessment in Practice)
- Presentation on "Formative Assessment and Choice Theory Lead to Better Relationships and Knowledge" at the World Education Summit 2021
- Co-author of the TALIS study: " Lagging Use of ICT for Teaching in Slovenian Primary and Secondary Schools," Pedagogical Institute 2020
- Lecture at the YETDKA Conference (Erasmus+: Finland, Germany, Estonia, Slovenia, November 2020)
- Organizer of the Seminar "Knowledge Formative Assessment in Practice" (2019, 2022, 2023)
- Member of the development group at the Educational Research Institute for Knowledge Formative Assessment and external advisor (until 2018)
- Workshop leader within the framework of the Formative Assessment Seminar at the Institute of Education (2007 – 2016)
- Co-organizer and lecturer at the seminar "Education for Tomorrow" and "Assessment and Evaluation for Effective Learning" (Eekhout Academy, Belgium) (2016, 2018)
- Coordinator of the Erasmus+ Key Action 1 project "Internationality as an Opportunity for School Development for Life" (2015/16) (Scotland, Sweden, Finland)
- Participation in the Scottish Learning Festival (Glasgow, 2015) and a visit to Education Scotland
- Participation in the seminar "Finnish Lessons for European Schools in Quality Management," Finland (2016)
- Organizer and leader of Knowledge Markets at OŠ Preserje pri Radomljah
- Presentation at the International Conference "Assessment for Learning in the 21st Century" (Ohrid 2011)
- Participation in the Final Conference: "Supporting Teachers for Effective Assessment for Learning" (2014)
- Participation in the CIDREE Conference: "Effective Assessment for Learning" (2012)
- Participation in the Breaking Tradition 2012 Conference (Murray High School, William Glasser Institute)
- Workshop on Formative Assessment in the light of Choice Theory at the Glasser Quality School Conference in Slovenia (2011)
- Presentation at the Youth Leader Training Seminar titled "Programs for Young" (2011)
- Co-author of the revamp of the "Ciciban planinec" and "Mladi planinec" programs (2011)
- Author of the article (Age adjusted programme of mountain climbing)
Awards and Qualifications:
- Professional Learning Community+ Educator certificate
- Finalist in the "I am a Teacher, I am a Teacher" competition 2020
- Training with Dr. John Hattie (Visible Learning, 2019), Shirley Clarke (2018), Dylan Wiliam (2014)
- Participation in the Embedded Formative Assessment course with D. Wiliam (London, 2015)
- Landmark Forum, Advanced Course, Communication Programs (2022, 2023)
- Choice Theory (W. Glasser) certificate
- Guide for the Mountaineering Association of Slovenia (1994)
- Meritorious Emblem of the Youth Commission of the Mountaineering Association of Slovenia (1996)
- Silver Honorary Emblem of the Mountaineering Society Nova Gorica (1999)
- Silver Honorary Emblem of the Mountaineering Association of Slovenia (2018)
My publications in newspapers and magazines:
- "On the (Un)Decision for Permissive Parenting" (Časnik, August 3, 2023) - Among the most read articles of the month.
- K"What Was Our School Year Like?" (Časnik, July 17, 2023)
- "Connected in Growth and Support for a Common Goal" (Delo, June 23, 2023)
- "To Love Means Also Saying 'No' (Časnik, June 9, 2023)
- "The Rise of Intolerance and Violence Among Young People Has Only One Message" (Časnik, April 29, 2023)
- "Learning for Knowledge, Not for Grades" (Delo, Guest Feather, March 10, 2023)
- "When Will We Face Post-Covid Syndrome in Our Schools?" (Časnik, January 15, 2023)
- "Learning Skills and the Role of Parents" (Časnik, January 15, 2023)
- "My Journey of Learning and Teaching with Teachers" (Časnik, October 25, 2022)
- "Learning for Knowledge, Not for Grades" (Delo, Guest Feather, March 10, 2023)
- "Fear of Grading or How We Create Images of Others" (Časnik, December 17, 2022)
- "Standard or Excellence. Choose." (Delo, Guest Feather, September 6, 2022)
- "Open Letter to the Authors of the Foundations for the Renewal of Curricula in Elementary and Secondary Schools" (Časnik, September 5, 2022)
- "About School and the System in a Society that Supports the Average Person" (Časnik, August 16, 2022)
- "Slovenian School on the Path to Excellence" (Delo, Guest Feather, June 28, 2022)
- "Technology Cannot Replace a Teacher" (Delo, Guest Feather, April 7, 2021)
- "The Journey Is More Important Than the Destination" (Delo, Guest Feather, November 24, 2020)
- "When a Grade Doesn't Measure All Knowledge" (Dnevnikov Objektiv, February 15, 2020)
- "Pillars That Should Be a Solid Foundation Are Peaks to Be Trimmed" (Delo, Guest Feather, December 20, 2018)
- Response to "Dictatorship of the Fives," Mladina (May 11, 2018)
- "Numerical Grades Are Not a Suitable Form of Feedback (Research Analysis)" Education and Training, November 2017 (Volume 48, No. 4/5).
- "Rituals of Control and Hair-splitting", (Delo, Guest Feather, 2017)
- "Education of Irresponsibility"(Delo, Guest Feather, 2016) - Among the five most read articles in 2016.
- "Online Notebook of Experienced Formative Teachers" (pages 68 – 86).
- "Formative Assessment in Slovenian Schools. Collection of papers, International conference Assessment for Learning in 21 century, Ohrid, Macedonia, 2011.
- "Self-regulation of Learning in Mathematics" (Education and Training, 2007).
- "Paths to High-Quality Teaching/Knowledge." Mathematics in School. Volume 13, No. 3-4, December 2007.
- "Formative Knowledge Assessment in Mathematics." Didactics of Knowledge Assessment, Collection. Institute of Education 2008.
- "Leading a Group in Action Research and Development Projects." Didactics of Knowledge Assessment, Collection. Institute of Education 2009.
- "Fear of Grading, What Is That?" Introduction of Formative Assessment and Changing Teaching. (KUPM Conference, 2012)
- "Peršolja, Dr. Burdenski: Formative monitoring of students´ progress based of choice theory. International journal of choice theory and reality therapy, vol. XXX, no. 1, fall 2010.
- "Formative Assessment of Student Progress from the Perspective of Choice Theory." In: Glasser's Quality School in Slovenia, Collection of Professional Meetings 2011, Institute for Reality Therapy, pp. 147-158.
- "Conclusion of the Developmental Applied Project or Why We Should Continue It." Didactics of Knowledge Assessment. Collection. 2009.
Other mentions about me:
- About formative assessment on the show "Good Morning," RTV SLO, October 2021
- World Education Summit , March 2021
- "With Each Generation, You Learn Something New," Modre novice, March 2021
- Radio interview: "Open for Meetings," RTV SLO
- "I Believe in Students,". Slamnik (p. 12) and Domžalec.si, January 2021.
- "Teaching Can Also Be Different," Gorenjski glas, January 2021.
- Nominee for the Global Teacher Prize, January 2021
- K"When Students Participate in Grading," Delo.
- "They Started with Chalk. Today, They Teach via Video Conference." Objektiv, April 11, 2020.
- "On the Path to Grading That Doesn't Hurt." Dnevnik, November 9, 2019
- "The Teacher Praised Me." "And How Much Did You Get?" "Nothing.", Objektiv, November 23, 2019
- "I am a Teacher! I am a Teacher!", Delo, September 2019