Teaching in Multicultural Societies: the theories and practice of teachers in Greek Community Schools

Pantazi, Efstathia. 2006. Teaching in Multicultural Societies: the theories and practice of teachers in Greek Community Schools. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The study focuses on teachers funded by the Greek state to come to the UK and work in Greek Community Schools. It explores their theories and practices as they develop through the experience of working with minority groups, and as they shift in position from Greece to the UK The study is rooted in the assumption that teachers are professionals who reflect on their experiences (often critically) and, as they have to 'translate' policy into workable practice, are in a unique position to contribute to educational research and the policy process. The research 'gives voice' to the teachers, potentially contributing to the policy agenda both in Greece (in the context of its recent attempts to make education more multicultural through an 'Interculturalist' education policy), and in the Community Schools in the UK The research focuses on three sets of questions: those connected with language; questions relating to issues of culture and identity; and questions related to teachers' reflective practice. The processes and conditions which support reflection and critique are explored, for example the role of 'critical incidents' in destabilising preconceptions and assumptions. The study explores and attempts to connect discourses on multiculturalism with discourses on the role of the teacher, through positioning the teacher at the centre of the discourse. The findings indicate that as the teachers become more reflective, their theories become at once more grounded and more critical. Thus a shift takes place towards discourses supporting additive forms of bilingualism, supporting strong critical forms of multiculturalism - and opposing powerful assimilationist discourses. At the same time the 'model' of the teacher revealed in their discourse shifts: from 'deliverer' to active contributor, capable of contributing to the policy process. In sum, the teachers' knowledge of different models of managing multicultural reality represents unique value as feedback to both the Community Schools and the mainstream in Greece.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):



education, Greek community schools, UK, teachers, multiculturalism, reflective practice



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Date Deposited:

10 Jul 2020 10:55

Last Modified:

12 Sep 2022 14:11



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