Winter - Spring 2008 - 2009
Christos Govaris & Stavroula Kaldi
How has Education been affected? Are primary school students open to otherness while at school? What is their attitude towards those of different ethnical and race origin in their everyday life?
The purpose of this research is to record the answers primary school students give to some of these questions.
Mainly the variables of ethnic origin, grade and sex are examined in relation to students’ openness to children of different ethnical or race origin.
The results of this research will be useful, to get a fair idea of how things are among contemporary primary students in Greece as far as diversity acceptance is concerned both inside as well as outside school premises.
In this essay we examine the intercourse between educational policy and discource about intercultural education. We present the basic educational rules that form greek policy towards cultural diversity and we examine the relation of this policy with commensurate scientific deductions. In order to read into this relation diachronically as well as contemporaneously we quantify the elements of greek society.
Since the 1980s, there was a shift of emphasis from the intrinsic to the extrinsic qualities. ‘Faculty productivity’, according to which the central question was how to get more labour from faculty so as to reduce institutional costs, came to the fore. Accountability and quality assurance were considered as necessary for legitimacy, for justifying public funding (and in some cases, student tuition) and guaranteeing the product. The state began concentrating on the output of higher education, which was expected to respond to the needs of the ‘market’. It was within this context that greater ‘autonomy’ was given to higher education institutions to meet certain pre-specified ‘objectives’ in order to be ‘assessed’. Such an approach was related to the ‘state supervision model’. The emphasis on ‘accountability’ had various meanings: external, internal, legal and financial, and academic. Accountability was expected to raise the quality of performance of the universities by forcing them to examine their own operations critically and by subjecting them to critical review from outside. However, to a great extent, accountability was used as a regulatory device, through the kinds of criteria (expected to be met) and reports (on past actions) it required from the universities. Such an influence could vary from a broad steering, leaving to the institutions a measure of autonomy over the implementation of policy, to the direct commands of an external regulatory agency.
Higher education was, thus, becoming a component of the regulatory state. In many European higher education systems, state administration of universities was giving way to more ‘remote steering at a distance’. Within this context, universities became accountable for the ‘quality’ of their activities and the state intervened through two basic models of evaluation systems, namely, accreditation systems or direct measurement systems. In many continental countries, accountability was discharged chiefly through financial and (increasingly) academic audits, rather than through direct assessments of the work of the institutions linked to funding. Accreditation and quality assurance (both internal and external), through European co-operation in the setting of mutually shared criteria and methodologies, were two issues interlinked in the Bologna Process. European governments sought to place peer-review and self-evaluation at the centre of their policies. But to incite self-regulating systems to come into existence, governments had to abandon the rigid detailed higher education laws, which were gradually replaced by framework laws. European higher education institutions placed emphasis on management. ‘New managerialism’ could take either a soft or a hard concept. Nevertheless, in general, it referred to the desirability of a variety of organizational changes, as well as to ‘academic capitalism’, a situation in which academics were expected to expend their human capital stocks increasingly in competitive situations. The emerging ‘entrepreneurial university’ was to actively begin innovating in how to go about its business.
Although since the beginning of the 1990s there were efforts (through Law 2083/92) towards the establishment of the evaluation of the Greek universities, the shift of emphasis from the intrinsic to the extrinsic values took place in higher education developments in Greece mainly in the mid-2000s, through two major and complementary laws, namely Law 3374/2005 and Law 3549/2007. Within the framework of Law 3374/2005, following the state supervision model, the Greek state places emphasis on ‘faculty productivity’ and on the output of universities, expected to meet certain pre-specified ‘objectives’. Greek universities are to be assessed in meeting certain ‘criteria’, which refer to the quality of teaching, of research, of curricula and of the rest of the services of the University. However, these criteria are quantified as they are expressed through indicators. Also, in accordance with the Bologna Process, in which the issues of quality assurance and accreditation are interlinked, a “system of transfer and accumulation of credits” and the “Diploma Supplement” are introduced. The emphasis on ‘quality’ is associated with the special interest of the Greek state in higher education evaluation procedures. Evaluation is both internal and external. External evaluation is to be exercised by a committee of independent experts: the “Committee for the External Evaluation”. Although peer-review and self-evaluation are part of the process of internal evaluation, the latter is actually subjugated to the external evaluation. The dominance of the ‘state supervision model’ is, thus, expressed through the formation of an external regulatory agency, the “Authority for the Quality Assurance of Higher Education”, while at the same time, in every institution of higher education, a “Quality Assurance Unit” is constituted.
‘Accountability’, ‘new managerialism’ and ‘entrepreneurialism’ are addressed in the framework of Law 3549/2007, in accordance with the idea of a state that supervises and exerts control from a distance. In the framework of its strategic planning for the fulfillment of its mission and aims, every Greek university must form a “four-year academic-developmental programme”, after having formed an “Internal Regulation” and taken state funding into consideration. Financial issues are central to the formation of the “four-year academic-developmental programmes”, which are assessed after the results of the processes of evaluation are taken into consideration by the Minister of Education. On the approval of the four-year academic-developmental programme, the Minister of Education and the University sign a “contractual agreement” for the fulfillment of the aims of the programme. If a university does not submit such a programme, a considerable part of state funding is withdrawn. To serve the special interest of the Greek government in the economic efficiency of higher education institutions, the “Secretary of the Institution” co-ordinates and administers the work of the financial and administrative services of the university. Accountability becomes, thus, a regulatory device, albeit through the emphasis on legitimacy and transparency. The management authorities of the Greek universities are expected to submit a complete record of the academic, financial and managerial work of the universities to be published in society. In the name of ‘social accountability’, the Minister of Education brings a yearly report on the situation in higher education to Parliament. The extent to which ‘academic capitalism’ will be generalised in Greece is an issue to be examined in the future.
Subject areas of studies are crucial for both the length of the transition period from higher education to stable employment and the quality of jobs to which graduates have access during this period and settle once they have found stable and, more or less, satisfactory employment. Subject areas are associated with contrasting labour market outcomes of their graduates because of two reasons. First, the number of entrants in higher education each year, the length of studies and their links with the labour market differ by subject area. Second, each subject area prepares its students preferably for certain occupations, in demand mainly by certain sectors of economic activity. The firms of these sectors determine labour demand i.e. the quantity and quality of new jobs and the career prospects of the graduates in the subject area.
In this paper we examine the extent to which the social origin of students has an indirect effect on the speed and quality of their labour market integration by entailing inequality of access to the different subject areas. To do so we use micro-data coming from a nation-wide survey on the transition from higher education to work, realized in 2005 on a sample of 13,615 graduates from all Greek universities and belonging to the 1998-2000 cohorts. We first proceed to cluster analysis of subject areas according to the unemployment rate of graduates and quality features of the jobs they hold 5-7 years after graduation. We then use cluster analysis to group subject areas according to the education level and family income of the parents of their graduates. Finally we compare the two groupings, consider the degree of their overlapping and draw conclusions on the extent to which inequalities of access to subject areas due to social origin are associated with unequal opportunities of graduates to find good jobs.
From the empirical analysis it has been found that inequality of access to the different fields of study according to the family background explain to a great extent but not fully the unequal opportunities of university graduates to find good jobs and get integrated into the Greek labour market in a satisfactory way. As expected, other factors mentioned in literature, such sex, talent, preference etc. may also explain choice/ access of subject area of studies. Another finding of our analysis that is worth mentioning is that the higher educational attainment of the father has apparently a stronger positive association with the successful transition of graduates from university to work than parental income.
This paper attempts to set out the research framework of public political and unionist rhetoric on the right to education and equal educational opportunities, taking into account the political circumstances that have been formulated in Greece after its accession into the E.U. and the inevitable opening of Greek society to the European political theories and ideological movements.
Heidi Krzywacki-Vainio, Jari Lavonen
The diversity in the diachronic treatment of Philosophy as a subject is remarkable, as appeared by its place in the curricula of each of the above mentioned countries. Specifically, in the German educational system Philosophy was firstly taught in 1826 as an optional (elective) and in 1837 as an obligatory (requirement) course, but was suppressed in 1892 as it was “exceeded” by the conquests of science. It reappeared in 1925, however, with short-lived presence and came back after many ¨adventures¨ in 1972. Today, students have the option of choosing among Philosophy, Ethics and Religion in the last two high school years for two hours weekly.
The place of Philosophy in Great Britain’s educational system was even more unfavourable. During the 19th century and up to the middle of the 20th century Philosophy courses had not been taught at all. For first time in 1951 two examining committees included a subject of Philosophy in A-level examinations. However, the latter inclined more to the direction Religion and the majority of schools avoided to teach it. Since 1988, when the National Curriculum was established, Philosophy has not been included in the small number of required courses. Nevertheless, since 2000 a committee organises exams with the subject of Philosophy in central place, which resulted to the remarkable increase of the number of students who participate in these exams.
In Italy, since 1861 the subject of Philosophy has been included in the secondary education curricula. Currently, Philosophy is taught in the three of the five directions of study of the last three high school years, making its presence satisfactory.
In France, since 1808 the subject of Philosophy occupied an important place, which was strengthened over the years. France is the only country in which Philosophy is taught in all three directions of high school as an obligatory (required) course for the acquisition of Baccalaureate.
There is a considerable variation in the way that certain philosophical issues are presented to students in each of the above mentioned countries, thus reflecting different educational approaches to philosophical education. For example, Germany and England uses the field model, France the thematic-conceptual model and Italy the historical model. On the contrary, convergence among those countries is realised in: a) the preference of teaching the subject in the last classes of secondary education (due to its intense difficulty), b) the limited determination of the syllabus, c) the teacher’s ability to choose the textbook (or textbooks) and d) in the absence of state-prescribed directives for didactic approaches imposed by the Ministry of Education.
Christos Doukas, Ariadne Anastasopoulou, Charicleia Chala
Present study aims to investigate teaching’s portfolio operation in various evaluation forms, which lead to either promotion procedures either to professional development and skills enforcement. Stages of teaching portfolio’s implementation are described, from planning through portfolio’s assessment and finally advantages and difficulties are presented critically. One main finding that is emerging from researching review, although that there is no such a background in Greece yet, is that portfolio is a valuable self evaluation tool, which can serve teachers in realizing the teaching philosophy of their practices and in advancing their skills and self-awareness.
This paper attempted to answer all these questions in the negative through presenting the philosophy, the goals, the methodology and the results of the research programme «When Robinson Crusoe met Harry Potter …» organised by the University of Athens (Department of Primary Education), and implemented successfully in 37 classes across 25 primary schools of the Attica region, with the participation of 849 students and 44 teachers during the school year 2005-2006.
The programme “When Robinson Crusoe met Harry Potter” was based on the principles of Empirical – Communicative Teaching and the Reader-Response Theories and its basic educational targets were
a) the promotion of reading,
b) the acquaintance of the children with the basic methodologies and tools of empirical research
c) the improvement and cultivation of a range of skills critical both for school and extracurricular life.
The programme was designed to satisfy not only a wide range of educational and learning objectives, but also the psychological and social needs
a) of the twelve-year old children going through the transition period between childhood and adolescence,
b) and those of the teachers who very often suffocate in the narrow boundaries of government educational directives and are eager to explore new ways to lead their students to knowledge via a more active, more pleasant, more creative and more democratic process.