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TITLE OF DOCUMENT:

Tackling violence in schools: A report from Greece

NAME OF AUTHOR(S):

Anastasia Houndoumadi, Lena Pateraki and Maria Doanidou

NAME OF PUBLISHER:

Book: Violence in Schools: The response in Europe, Author: Peter K.Smith, Publisher: Routledge, UK

LANGUAGE OF DOCUMENT:

English

LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW:

English

KEYWORDS:

Xenophobia, vandalism, regional policies

DOCUMENT TYPOLOGY:

Report

TARGET GROUP OF PUBLICATION:

Teachers, Researchers.

SIZE OF THE PUBLICATION:

1 - 20 pages

DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS:

Greece is a country with many geographical and demographic special characteristics. The increase of immigration has affected the school population, and xenophobia is a very common phenomenon with various impacts (parents think of the presence of non-Greek students as negative and threatening event and teachers believe they should attend special schools). The school system is centrally regulated and leaves no place for initiatives.
The research findings in the field of school violence indicate a sex difference (more boys as bullies), the impact of age (young people experience more violence), the significance of teachers’ relationships and that of the school environment (e.g. many schools housed in the same building). Bullying seems to be mostly a phenomenon of urban areas, while violence against school property (vandalism) is more indicated rather than physical one between persons, because it’s more easily observed. A remarkable finding is that Greek students perceive the educational system as harsh and very demanding (they usually attend tutoring schools to cope with). There are too many examinations, but no creative activities, causing authoritarian practices which harm the relationship between teachers and students.
Regarding the practices applied, there are some isolated actions in some schools, but there is a lack of national policies. Where such practices took place there were remarkable changes in the school’s climate and perception concerning the issue of bullying (reduction of vandalism, improvement in students’ communication skills, increased awareness among teachers about the problems the students face, knowledge among teachers regarding different ways of handling students’ violence).
As a conclusion, there is only an initial realization of the problem. Intervention programs should be generalized with systematic internal and external evaluation. It is also important to disseminate accumulated knowledge to all interested parties. Finally, teachers should be provided with extensive supportive resources, and measures should me taken to help minority students through developing the respect for heterogeneity.

REVIEWER’S COMMENTS ON THE DOCUMENT:

This document provides a comprehensive review of the greek situation of school violence. As a chapter among others that refer to different countries, it provides great demographic information about Greece, which is very important, because it demonstrates some special characteristics of the country. It also describes the school system, and reveals the relationship it has with the occurrence of bullying.
This text also provides a research review, stating some statistics from the previous studies (at both primary and secondary schools).
Though it demonstrates the lack of generalized intervention programs in Greece, it describes some isolated methods of intervention being used to address violence in schools and evaluates the effectiveness of these different strategies.
Finally, this document contains some interesting proposals of intervention and measures needed to be taken.

NAME OF THE REVIEWING ORGANISATION:

ASPETE

I Am Not Scared Project
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