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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Citizenship Education in Greek Primary Schools: A Difficult Road to a Distant Place

Maria Nikolakaki.

Citizenship consists of legal, cultural, social and political elements, and provides citizens with defined rights and obligations, a sense of identity and social bonds.

Greece as a democratic state has been confronted with major changes in its economic, political and social order that are undermining the assumptions of the model of a mono-cultural nation state. These assumptions tended to hide that diverse social groups are part of the Greek population. The gradual acknowledgement of social diversity together with the migration flow Greece has been experiencing in recent years has tended to create a situation where xenophobia is a reaction.

This research will focus on the way in which Greek primary school education is preparing the Greek citizen for the 21st century. Especially our interest will be:
- To explore the concept of citizenship that is being constructed by the Greek primary school through an investigation of the curriculum.
- To investigate the intentions at central level through an analysis of Acts, laws, curriculum, textbooks.
- To investigate the cognitive, the normative and the behavioural dimensions of democratic values presented through the Greek primary school.
- To find out in what way Greek primary school pupils are constructed as citizens to develop their participation in Greek society, in Europe, in the world.

It concludes that citizenship education in Greek primary schools has little impact on the creation of the citizenship needed in modern Greece.


Maria Nikolakaki  (Greece)
Lecturer in Pedagogy -Teaching Theory
Department of Special Education
University of Thessaly

Dr. Maria Nikolakaki is a Lecturer in Pedagogy-Teaching Theory in the Department of Special Education, Universityof Thessaly. Her main academic interests are in the field of critical pedagogy and the relation of society, education and knowledge with focus on mathematics education and citizenship education of primary schools.

  • Citizenship Education
  • Greece
  • Primary schools
  • Curriculum

(30 min Conference Paper, English)