14 SES 10 A, Parental Involvement. Commonalities and Differences across Europe (Part 1)
Symposium to be continued in 14 SES 11 A
This paper reports on family-school relationships and family school involvement in Cyprus (for the purpose of this paper, any reference to formal education in Cyprus applies to the Greek-Cypriot educational system). The author reviews the limited Cyprus studies on the issue and suggests that family-school relationships and family school involvement in Cyprus currently appear marginalized in the agendas of policy and practice and highlights the lack of any recent relevant legislative action. By presenting the limited research in the field, which is mainly conducted within elementary education, the author claims that any relationship between parents and teachers stops at elementary types of school involvement. The author then focuses on the formal relevant establishments in the educational system which largely determine current school-family links (e.g. the institution of Parents and Guardians Association, the weekly visiting period) as well informal aspects of these relationships (e.g. informal teacher–parent contacts and communication, parents’ visits to the school to attend events and social activities, volunteering in non-educational activities, etc.), and reflects on the necessity to strengthen the existing policy framework and to mobilize relevant structural educational reforms. He claims that the the absence of the issue in the rhetoric of the ongoing educational reforms in Cyprus, despite the alleged centrality of democratic discourse in official policy, points to the necessity to strengthen the relevant existing framework of policy and practice and to mobilize relevant structural educational reforms. This absence is indicative of the envisaged educational policy as well as the low priority attributed to issues of equity and inclusion in the specific educational system, with particular reference to families designated as socially deprived or marginalised and/or ethnic minority families.
Phtiaka, H. (1998). “It’s their job, not ours!”: Home–school relations in Cyprus. Mediterranean Jour-nal of Educational Studies, 3(2), 19–51. Symeou, L. (2009). Mind the Gap! Greek-Cypriot Parents and their Children’s Homework. In R. De-slandes (Ed.) International perspectives on student outcomes and homework: Family-school-community partnerships (Ch. 6, pp. 76-94). London: Taylor & Francis. Symeou, L., Karagiorgi, Y., Roussounidou, E., & Kaloyirou, C. (2009). Roma and their education in Cyprus: reflections on INSETRom teacher training for Roma inclusion. Intercultural Education, 20(6), 511-521. Theodorou, E. & Symeou, L. (2013). Experiencing the same but differently: Indigenous minority and immigrant children's experiences in Cyprus. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 34(3), 354-372.
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