This book is a detailed illustration of the broader socio-historical and educational milieu of the Greek ethnic schools in Australia in the late 1990s. It presents ethnic schools efforts to maintain and develop the Greek language and culturalMoreThis book is a detailed illustration of the broader socio-historical and educational milieu of the Greek ethnic schools in Australia in the late 1990s. It presents ethnic schools efforts to maintain and develop the Greek language and cultural heritage as well as to support Greek-Australian identity amongst second and third generation Greek-Australians.
The detailed school profiles (case studies) presented in this book constitute part of a Ph.D. thesis (Arvanitis 2000) and provide a pedagogical framework of practice in dealing with diverse learning environments and diverse learner populations.The need to refocus on the profile of ethnic schools has become apparent due to the profound impact of globalisation on education and, in particular, on ethnic schooling, which has forced educational agencies to reposition themselves.
The new complexities of knowledge economy demand new thinking and contemporary skills and attributes as well as the capacity to deal with cultural diversity. Greek part-time ethnic schools, a remarkable marker of ethnicity in themselves, have played a pivotal role in the transmission and promotion of Greek culture and language. They have, at the same time, enhanced learners global/diasporic consciousness and sense of identity by urging them to reflect on bicultural learning communities of meaning, memory and belonging. Finally, they have recognised the diversity of voices, narratives and aspirations both within their own cultural group as well as that of their host community and Greece thus engaging in a powerful context of triangular relationships.Overall Greek ethnic schools have promoted multicultural community building by strengthening different senses of belonging and consciousness in the context of Australian multicultural society.
They act as dynamic learning organisations and agents of socio-cultural change, thus helping us reflect upon the complexities of contemporary societies and offering new conceptual frameworks to interpret culture and identity.