Early childhood teachers’ perceptions of intercultural education in state schools of Thessaloniki and surrounding areas

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Abstract

This paper is going to argue that while early childhood teachers seem to have positive perceptions about intercultural education, the in-question students seem to be compelled to adopt different cultural habits. Data were gathered through a questionnaire distributed in 9 areas of Thessaloniki, completed by 161 teachers. The results showed that most teachers feel that they have enough knowledge about the curriculum regarding intercultural education, perform activities regarding interculturalism and diversity; they believe that students from different cultures feel welcomed and equally treated and participate in all class activities. Teachers suggest that students from different cultures build good relationships with all their peers and there is positive communication between students from different cultures as well as between their parents and teachers. However, the suggestion of most of the sample that students are compelled to adopt Greek cultural habits constrains this positive picture. It is possible that teachers feel that they are achieving positive results regarding intercultural education. It may be possible to recommend that the approaches that teachers report as part of their current practice should continue or that teachers’ own recommendations should be explored further to determine what sort of approach to intercultural education is being adopted.

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