Lidia Stoyanova (1901-1988)

Lidia Stoyanova (1901–1988) was born in the town of Lovetch in the family of the professor in surgery Paraskev Stoyanov and the midwife Nina Leyn. Lidia Stoyanova was one of the pioneers of the education of mentally retarded children in the 1920es in Bulgaria and published a lot of articles about her experience in the 1930-es and aftermaths. She graduated Sofia Univeristy in 1923 in pedagogy and philosophy. In 1924, she specialised in Paris and Brussels. In Brussels she studied the methods of the Belgian educator Ovide Decroly and was trained to apply his global reading method. Later, she implemented Decroly’s method in her practice in Bulgaria based on children centres of interest and educative games. She specialized in Rome in 1930 by Maria Montessori’s where she got familiar with child-centred educational approach method based on the scientific observations of children. She implemented first the Montesorri method teaching to children with disabilities in Sofia where she had to overcome a lot of difficulties of this pioneer work. In 1937 she took part in the initiative a school for mentally retired children to be opened in Sofia. In 1949 she became a director of such a school and parallel to that she took part in research of children with disabilities. She had also a special interest in the training of children with different communication disorders and disabilities and offered the first course on stuttering treatment for adults who stutter in 1953 and began to offer training for logopaedists outside of the university system.
During the 1945–1968 period, Lidia Stoyanova became one of the first pedagogues involved in stuttering and aphasia treatment in Bulgaria. Her achievements and merit for organisation and enlargement of the logopaedic service for different age groups of clients with communication disorders are indisputable. Stoyanova was involved later as a speech-language pathologist.
Lidia Stoyanova left her memoirs ‘My path in the pedagogy towrd the children hearts’ which remained unpublished.

Sourse: Dobrinka Georgieva, Zhivko Zhekov, The History of Logopaedics in Bulgaria: Challenges from a Global European Union Perspective, Logoperia Silesiana, 8, 1/2019.
Milka Terziyska. LIDIA STOYANOVA AND THE METHOD OF MARIA MONTESORI IN BULGARIA, Bulgarian Journal of Education, 2, 2017.