ERG SES D 12, Schools and Education
During the 19th century in Greece, Model Schools for Boys were founded and operated as National Schools. In the 1920s the experimental schools of the University of Athens and Thessaloniki were founded as well. After several years, in 1936, more than a hundred secondary schools were established as Model Schools (Selective Schools). All historical Model Schools operated according to this new institution. Some new schools were added until 1972. The selection of students in these schools was by examinations in academics. The 1985 is the year of conversion of all Model Schools into Experimental with different orientation. The acceptance of students was taking place by lottery, not by examination. The year of 2011 is the one of transformation of these schools into Model-Experimental Schools (MES), ie an attempt to reconcile the characteristics of various types of schools founded, developed and transformed during the last two centuries in the country.
The law of 2011 establishing the MES has been based on four pillars:
a. educational excellence and creativity,
b. experimentation, innovation, educational research and the dissemination of good practices in the rest of the system,
c. systematic evaluation of teachers, students, functions and structures and
d. the innovations in the management of schools.
In the spirit of this law, a network of schools of all levels is invited to play this “role-model” for the entire educational system of the country. The old examination system was returned for the selection of students, modeled on the old Model Schools.
The creation of Model Schools, Experimental Schools, Schools of "excellence" etc. have come in most EU countries. The existence of social inequalities in several countries (Duru-Bellat, Van Zanten, 2009), the development of structures of "excellence", giving relatively unsatisfactory results (Duru-Bellat, Van Zanten, 2002) and the greater socialization through these structures has been identified and recorded (Van Zanten, 2014) in France since many years. However, this effort is disputed as capable to serve policy against inequality (Allouch and Van Zanten, 2008). In England after 1960, progressive changes for innovation and experimentation become in a violent and unplanned manner (Hagreaves, 2000). Over time, however, schools supported in selecting students (Grammar Schools), were questioned and most of them were closed or converted into Comprehensive Schools (McCulloch and Crook, 2013).
We have found while traditionally Model and Experimental Schools in Greece, had been separated structures, however, with the recent legislation a paradox was attempted: how to combine the two into one structure. In the ranking given in these schools in 2011, based on criteria adapted to current perceptions of education, the MES occupied positions rather not in proportion to the traditional way of development of schools in Greece. And this seems problematic. Schools that were founded in the 19th century with the longest tradition and history did not take the leading positions of the evaluation list. However, they have the highest percentage of demand in relation to the positions they offer. We probably have a formed social collective imaginary (Castoriadis, 1999) in the educational community, which acts independently of the legal framework of these schools.
This research in a first level of macro-analysis tries to highlight subtle aspects of the special status of these schools. Their differentiation compared to other schools, experimentation, innovation, the "excellence" and the demand and expectations of the parents of these schools are issues to be investigated.
At a second level of micro-analysis the research expects to reveal the existence of a different educational social collective imaginary through social meanings and the meanings attached by subjects to what relates to the educational process and the common values espoused by them (Angus, 1986).
Allouch A. & van Zanten A. (2008) ‘Formateurs ou “grands frères” ? Les tuteurs des programmes d’ouverture sociale des Grandes Écoles et des classes préparatoires’. Éducation et sociétés, n° 21, p. 49–65. Angus, L. B. (1986) Research Traditions, Ideology and Critical Ethnography, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 7:1, 61-77 Castoriadis, C. (1999) L'institution imaginaire de la société. Paris: Seuil Duru-Bellat M.and ,van Zanten A. dir. (2009) Sociologie du système éducatif Les inégalités scolaires, Paris, PUF, coll. Licence socio. Duru-Bellat M.and ,van Zanten A.(2002) Sociologie de l ‘école , Paris, Armand Colin Fairclough, N., and R. Wodak. (1997) Critical discourse analysis. In Discourse as social interaction, ed. T. van Dijk, 258–84. London: Sage. Gerin‐Lajoie, D. (1987) Beyond Traditional Ethnography, The Review of Education, 13:3-4, 223-226 Hargreaves, A. (2000) Four ages of professionalism and professional learning. Teachers and Teaching: History and Practice, 6 (2), 152-182. McCulloch, G. and Crook, D., eds. (2013) The Routledge International Encyclopedia of Education (pp.279-280) London: Routledge Souto-Manning, M. (2014) Critical narrative analysis: the interplay of critical discourse and narrative analyses, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education Van Zanten, A. (2014) The sociology of elite education (hal-sciencepo.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00982726 submitted on 22 May 2014) Wolcott, H. (1975) Criteria for an ethnographic approach to research in schools, Comparative Education Review, Vol.26, No.l, 1-15
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