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Title: An investigation on in-service and pre-service primary school teachers' perceptions and awareness about multicultural education in Cyprus.
Author: Papanikolaou, Georgia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 2625
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2011
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Cypriot society has always been multicultural. During the past few years, however, recent socio-political developments have led to an increasingly cultural, ethnic, linguistic, religious and diverse society that created significant challenges for the education system. This thesis seeks to investigate and understand the perceptions and awareness of both in-service and pre-service primary school teachers regarding multicultural education in the Greek Cypriot context. The study therefore, focuses on two dimensions: (a) it examines the understanding of, and behaviours towards multicultural education of in-service primary teachers in a multicultural school setting in Cyprus; and (b) it seeks to understand what are the perceptions and awareness of pre-service primary teachers of a particular university. The study draws on literature in the field of multiculturalism, culture, critical pedagogy and aspects of Bourdieu's conceptual framework and links its current understanding to that of the teachers involved, explaining how and why they think, respond and react the way they do. This thesis suggests that a critical approach to multicultural education may allow schools and teacher education to address diversity meaningfully in these ever-changing times. Methodologically, the thesis follows a critical ethnographic enterprise and data were generated by semi-structured interviews and observations. Two groups of primary school teachers participated in the research: (a) a sample of twelve, in-service primary teachers and (b) a sample of twelve, pre-service primary teachers. The main conclusions drawn from the study revealed that, in-service teachers' professional role was subjected to curriculum demands and institutional structure. Key findings indicated: a lack of definition, as in-service teachers had different conceptualisations for multicultural education; students' characteristics and teachers' expectations as significant aspects regarding the quality of implementation of multicultural education; insufficient educational policy regarding multicultural education; and language and racial stereotyping were issues that were clearly prevalent at the time of this study. Pre-service primary teachers appeared to hold positive perceptions on multicultural education and provided a critical definition on it. The three key findings include: pre-service teachers' awareness of potential multicultural issues; insufficient education programme of teacher education; failure of teacher education to open the gates to diversity teacher faculty and diverse student candidates. Recommendations are made and specific areas are identified in the thesis as needing further investigation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available