Teachers’ personal theories of teaching: managing cultural diversity in mainstream public primary schools in Greece

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  • Vassiliki Papadopoulou University of Western Macedonia
  • Kyriaki Theodosiadou University of Western Macedonia
  • Nektaria Palaiologou Hellenic Open University (HOU)




personal theory, cultural diversity, intercultural education, Greece


The phenomenon of migration has transformed the Greek school into a multiethnic environment, reshaping the issues raised about good practices and the role the teacher plays in the smooth integration of diverse cultures, not only in the school but also in the wider Greek society. This paper examines how cultural diversity is managed in Greek primary schools by focusing on the content of teachers’ personal theories, which guide their actions, although those actions to a large extent show lack of consciousness. The study investigated the personal theories of five female primary school teachers in the Regional Unit of Pella in Central Macedonia, Greece, using qualitative research methods, through a variety of tools, such as teaching observation, in-depth interviews, and text analysis. These teachers, although teaching in mainstream schools, have students from other ethnic backgrounds in their classes.  The findings show that teachers’ personal theories on which they base how they manage cultural diversity are largely still determined by an assimilative approach.


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How to Cite

Papadopoulou, V., Theodosiadou, K., & Palaiologou, N. (2020). Teachers’ personal theories of teaching: managing cultural diversity in mainstream public primary schools in Greece. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 7(2), 195–211. https://doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/375



Original Manuscript
Received 2020-06-11
Accepted 2020-07-20
Published 2020-07-22