Students’ Subjectivities vs. Dominant Discourses in Greek L1 Curriculum

By Eleni Katsarou and Vassilis Tsafos.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The basic aim of this paper is to specify in what extent the current L1 curricula of compulsory education in Greece incorporate students’ subjectivities (their lived experiences, views, beliefs, their interpretation of the world) fostering agency or opt for the reproduction of the socially dominant discourses (national culture and language).
Adopting the theoretical framework of multiliteracies (The New London Group 1996, Cope & Kalantzis 2000) that proposes a pedagogy that opts for processes providing students with access to knowledge without them having to erase or abandon their different subjectivities, we define curriculum’s properties that promote a dialogue of dominant ways of knowing and other marginal discourses and form a curriculum culturally open yet socially purposeful (Cope & Kalantzis 1993).
After conducting qualitative content analysis (Mayring 2000; 2003) of the current L1 curricula, we reached interesting conclusions: while in lower grades (pre-school education and primary school) the curriculum seems to allow students to express both personal experiences and their views (although this orientation is somehow undermined by the same curriculum) promoting variety and diversity - up to a certain extent, in secondary education, where the framework becomes more restrictive due to specific reasons that are analysed, pluralistic practices have no place not even as intentions and the dominant discourses have to be learned and reproduced. Of course, by reproducing socially acceptable patterns, the student effectively reproduces world views reflected and social relationships embodied therein (Luke 1996).

Keywords: Students’ Subjectivities, Dominant Discourses, Multiliteracies, Pedagogy of Pluralism

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp.35-46. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.270MB).

Dr. Eleni Katsarou

Lecturer, University of Crete, Rethymnon, Greece

Eleni Katsarou is a Lecturer of Curriculum Theories and Teaching Methods in the Department of Philosophy and Social Studies, University of Crete, Greece. Her research and writing focus on curriculum studies, teaching theory and pre-service and in-service teacher education. Through a productive interplay between theory and practice and between research and teaching, she tries to approach topics that concern her areas of interest. Teaching mother language (modern greek language) in the framework of literacy is a topic that concerns her much, as she has written educational materials for language teaching many times. She has also written a book and several articles on educational action research and its use in teaching, curriculum development and teachers’ professional development.

Dr. Vassilis Tsafos

Lecturer, Faculty of Early Childhood Education, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Tsafos Vassilis, Ph.D., is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Early Childhood Education, University of Athens, Greece. He has worked as a Deputy Councillor of the Pedagogical Institute of Greece. His research and writing is particularly informed by teaching theory, cultural studies and curriculum studies. His current areas of research interest include topics about curriculum, methods of teaching, educational research methods as well as pre-service and in-service teacher education. He has written books and articles that try to define the main dimensions in the teaching process and ways of educational research, especially action research.


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