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Greece:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

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Overview Greece

Contents

Greece:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Greece:Historical Development

Greece:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Greece:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Greece:Political and Economic Situation

Greece:Organisation and Governance

Greece:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Greece:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Greece:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Greece:Organisation of Private Education

Greece:National Qualifications Framework

Greece:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Greece:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Greece:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Greece:Funding in Education

Greece:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Greece:Higher Education Funding

Greece:Adult Education and Training Funding

Greece:Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:Primary Education

Greece:Organisation of Primary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Greece:Assessment in Primary Education

Greece:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Greece:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Higher Education

Greece:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Greece:First Cycle Programmes

Greece:Bachelor

Greece:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Greece:Second Cycle Programmes

Greece:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Greece:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Greece:Adult Education and Training

Greece:Distribution of Responsibilities

Greece:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Greece:Main Providers

Greece:Main Types of Provision

Greece:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Greece:Teachers and Education Staff

Greece:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece: Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Greece:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Management and Other Education Staff

Greece:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Greece:Management Staff for Higher Education

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Quality Assurance

Greece:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Greece:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Educational Support and Guidance

Greece:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Greece:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Greece:Mobility and Internationalisation

Greece:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Mobility in Higher Education

Greece:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Greece:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Greece:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:National Reforms in School Education

Greece:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Greece:National Reforms in Higher Education

Greece:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Greece:European Perspective

Greece:Legislation

Greece:Institutions

Greece:Glossary

Educational officials of the country, whatever level of education they are appointed at, Primary or Secondary Education, are graduates of Higher Education of a University or the Technological sector, holding at least a first cycle degree.  The same applies to teachers of Foreign Languages, Music, Arts and Physical Education, who attend and graduate from, as regards initial training, university departments providing education related to the subjects they teach.

In public child and infant centres of Pre-primary Education, which is not included in the formal educational system, teachers are graduates of Pedagogical Departments of Pre-primary Education of Universities and Departments of Early Childhood Education of Technological Educational Institutes (TEIs).  In order to be employed as an assistant teacher, as a minimum condition, a teacher must possess a Vocational Upper Secondary Education Leave Certificate or a graduate degree/diploma/certificate of Post-secondary non tertiary Education (IEK), or a certificate of an Apprenticeship School of the Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED) with relevant expertise.

The structures provided for Special Education are staffed by Primary and Secondary school teachers who, as appropriate:

• have a degree in Special Education - EAE, or

• have a graduate qualification or PhD in Special Education or School Psychology,

• have attended an annual seminar of four hundred (400) hours by 2010,

• are themselves disabled by over 67% (a special list is drawn up).

Apart from the above categories, graduates of Special Education Primary Schools who are attending the four-year education programme in the Department of Special Education at the University of Thessaly or in the Department of Educational and Social Studies at the University of Macedonia, with a specialisation on individuals with disabilities, can also work as substitute teachers.

Institutions, Level and Models of Training

The prospective teachers of Early Childhood and Primary Education are graduates of Pedagogical Departments of Pre-primary and Primary Education respectively, operating at universities across the country.  Pre-primary teachers' education is provided in the Pedagogical Departments of Early Childhood Education (Nursery Education) operating at the Universities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Ioannina, Thrace, Crete, Aegean, Thessaly and Western Macedonia.  Primary teachers' education is provided in the Pedagogical Departments of Primary Education established at the Universities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Ioannina, Thrace, Crete, Aegean, Thessaly and Western Macedonia and in the Department of Special Education of the University of Thessaly for Special Education teachers in Pre-primary and Primary Education.

The education provided to prospective Pre-primary and Primary Education teachers, which includes, among others, teaching-oriented courses, teaching in the classroom, as well as the study of various teaching methods, is integrated in the model of concurrent attendance, which is attendance comprising pedagogical training in addition to theoretical education (concurrent model).

Regarding the teaching staff in both compulsory and non-compulsory Secondary Education, prospective teachers receive their initial training at University Departments of the country, providing studies relevant to the subjects included in Secondary Education curricula.  The majority of these departments belong to the so-called Teacher Education Faculties.  Therefore, by the term Teacher Education Faculties, we mean university departments whose graduates are assigned to Secondary Education (some specialisations may sometimes be assigned to Primary Education as well) as permanent staff or on request as substitute teachers, without requiring additional degrees or pedagogical proficiency certificates.  This is because parallel to their studies at the corresponding university departments, they also receive pedagogical training (concurrent model).  The same applies to prospective teachers in Primary Education.  Teacher Education Faculties include the university departments where teachers are trained in the following sectors: PE01 Theology, PE02 Greek Language and Literature, PE03 Mathematics, PE04 Physics, Foreign Languages (PE06 English, PE05 French, PE07 German, PE034 Italian and PE040 Spanish), PE08 Arts, PE11 Physical Education, PE15 Home Economics, PE16 Music, PE32 Theatre Studies, PE33 Philosophy and History of Science, PE19  IT at University, as well as the Higher School of Pedagogical & Technical Education (ASETEM) and the School of Pedagogical and Technological Education (ASPETE).  According to Law 4186/2013, the latter consists of the Pedagogical Department and the Departments of Electrical Engineering Educators and Electronic Engineering Educators, Mechanical Engineering Educators and Civil Engineering Educators.

Most Pedagogical Departments and Teacher Education Faculties devote sufficient time to practical training in addition to theoretical education through teaching in real class conditions, or through participation in relevant laboratory exercises.  However, the curriculum that applies to Departments/Schools is defined at the Higher Education Institute level, while curriculum modules may be compulsory or optional, in each case resulting in a different proportion of time invested in the theoretical and practical training of prospective teachers of Primary or Secondary Education.

Graduates of University or Technological Sector schools that do not belong to the Department of Pre-primary Education and Primary Education (Primary Education) or to Teacher Education Faculties (Secondary Education), after completion of their studies, in most cases, also acquire a Certificate of Educational Attainment or an additional degree in education sciences, in order to claim a permanent appointment or to be hired as substitute teachers.  The Certificate of Educational Attainment may also be acquired through the School of Pedagogical and Technological Education (ASPETE), the attendance at which follows the award of at least a first cycle degree of any discipline.  Therefore, in this case, the initial training of prospective teachers of Secondary Vocational Education follows the principle of sequential studies (consecutive model), since the required pedagogical training follows the training in each subject.

Initial Education for Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary school teachers who attend Teacher Education Faculties lasts four years.  Initial education is extended by a year for Music teachers, graduates from Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) Music Studies Departments, Arts teachers, mainly painting, who hold a diploma of the School of Fine Arts (ASFA).  An extra year also applies to graduates of ASPETE programmes, the attendance of which includes half a semester for the completion of a thesis and an apprenticeship in their specialisation field.  However, initial education for prospective educators who are graduates of academic departments that do not fall into the category of Teacher Education Faculties may be extended for more than six years, since a Certificate of Educational Attainment is required for their permanent appointment or their placement as substitutes in school education.  For the acquisition of the Certificate of Educational Attainment, an attendance of at least two semesters is required.

Admission Requirements

All graduates of General Upper Secondary Schools (GEL) and Vocational Upper Secondary Schools (EPAL) - the latter under certain conditions, are eligible for admission to Higher Education Universities and Technological Sectors, including Pedagogical Schools and Teacher Education Faculties.  The Schools and Departments of Higher Education are re-classified in scientific fields (GEL) or sectors (EPAL) with similar cognate subjects.  Candidates are admitted to Higher Education Schools and Department on the basis of their performance at the Pan-Hellenic exams, which are centrally organised and are common for all candidates.  The main admission criterion is the sum of credits which results from the final grades awarded to the candidate in the subjects tested at national level.  Following disclosure of the final score, candidates electronically submit an "Application - Computerised Bulletin", where they indicate, in order of priority, their preferences of University Departments in which they wish to be admitted.  In the "Application - Computerised Bulletin", each candidate may indicate a preference for as many schools or Departments he wishes, among those included in one or, maximum, two scientific fields.  The number of students admitted to each university department is subject to the principle of "numerus clausus" and is specified each year by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.  Therefore, the admission of prospective teachers in Higher Education Departments or Schools is a combination of: a) the score achieved; b) the order of preference in which they indicated the schools or departments; and c) the number of places available in each department.

For admission to certain Schools and Departments whose subject requires specialised knowledge or skills, there are:

  • Special entrance examinations in one or more Special Subjects, e.g. for Architecture Departments, Music Studies, Translation and Interpretation, English, French etc. Schools.
  • Preliminary health, sports or psychological aptitude tests, e.g. for Military Academies and Police Academy Schools.
  • Sports tests for Departments of Physical Education and Sports.

Candidates also have access to the courses of University Ecclesiastical Academies, according to the conditions and terms of admission to Tertiary Education, provided they are Orthodox Christians, while, especially as regards Seminary Curricula, only male candidates are admitted.

Also, in excess of the fixed number of students to be admitted to each Department or School of Higher Education, a small number of candidates belonging to the following specific categories are admitted:

  • Children of Greeks living abroad, graduates of Greek Upper Secondary Schools.
  • Children of Greek employees positioned abroad, graduates of Greek Upper Secondary Schools.
  • Greek graduates of foreign Upper Secondary Schools or equivalent schools operating abroad.
  • Graduates of Upper Secondary Education or equivalent schools of Member-States of the European Union, of non-Greek origin.
  • Foreigners.
  • Expatriates and foreign scholars.
  • Greek citizens of the Muslim minority of Thrace.
  • Students distinguished in the Balkan or International Olympiad of Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics or Chemistry or Biology, or in the European Union Contest for Young Scientists.
  • Patients with serious diseases.
  • Athletes with distinction.

In addition to the above categories, graduates of other departments or schools can be admitted to Departments or Schools of Higher Education, following special admission exams and up to a certain percentage.  These students, depending on the scientific relevance of the two degrees, may be exempted from attendance and assessment in a number of compulsory courses in the host department.  Specifically, the percentage of admissions of graduates of Universities, Technological Institutes or equivalent thereto, ASPETE Greece or abroad (recognised by DOATAP), as well as holders of degrees of Schools of two-year or more than two-year cycles, under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs and other Ministries, is set at 12% of the number of students admitted each academic year in each University Department, TEI or ASPETE.  The selection of candidates for admission is made exclusively by qualifying examinations on three subjects.  The candidates may be exempted from examination courses or exercises of the host Department's curriculum taught fully or adequately in the Department or School of origin, by decision of the Assembly of the University or TEI or ASPETE.  These qualifying examinations are regulated by Laws 3404/2005, 3467/2006 and 3794/2009 and Ministerial Decision no. F2/121871/Β3/03-11-2005 as amended and in force by Decision no. F2/63260/Β3/15-06-2007.

Curriculum, Level of Specialisation and Learning Outcomes

The curricula of all Higher Education Institutions, including those attended by prospective teachers of Primary (Pre-primary teachers and Primary school teachers) and Secondary Education (as well as educators of public children and infant centres), is compiled by the Universities themselves.  [For teachers assistants in public children and infant centres, the curriculum is determined as appropriate either at central level by the legislation (e.g. EPAL curriculum) or by the provider, and certified by a central body (e.g. Vocational Training curricula certified by the National Organisation for the Certification of Outcomes and Vocational Guidance, EOPPEP)].  The curriculum includes compulsory courses, optional courses and compulsory optional courses.  Each semester corresponds to a specific number of courses in such a way as to ensure their chronological sequence and the interdependence of the subjects.  Law 4009/2011 provides that each curriculum also contains learning outcomes and qualifications acquired throughout the whole programme, as well as the credits, and the level of qualifications in correspondence with those of the National Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning and the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area for each individual course or educational activity or practice included in it.

Law 4009/2011 also provides that the curriculum content be drawn up by a special committee, which consists of at least five teachers of the relevant subject area, and is appointed by the Dean (Universities) or the Director (TEI), or in case of a cooperation between different schools within the same University, by their Deans.  The curriculum content is approved by the Dean (Universities) or the President (TEI), after a proposal by the Dean (Universities) or the Director (TEI) and with the Senate (Universities) or of the Assembly (TEI) consent.

The curricula of the Pedagogical Departments and those of Teacher Education Faculties include, apart from lessons related to each teaching subject, pedagogical courses and/or psychology courses.  The latter provide prospective teachers with the necessary tools for their scientific and professional career, so that they can contribute to the improvement of quality, they can meet the increasing educational students' needs, as far as pedagogical issues are concerned, but also in general life, to enable them to address and solve various educational problems.  These skills are acquired by graduates of Schools that do not fall under the category of Teacher Education Faculties in the School of Pedagogical and Technological Education (ASPETE), which is part of the Technological Sector of Higher Education and aims, among other things, at the provision of educational training, the promotion of applied research in educational technology and pedagogy, as well as at providing training, education or specialisation.

The teaching and general education of prospective teachers is performed using a combination of methods, such as theoretical teaching, tutorials, practical and written assignments,workshops and any other way selected by the course professor.

There are also sample teachings which enable students to attend courses in actual classroom conditions.  With regard to skills and knowledge related to the administration of the school unit, training is not provided for in the first cycle of Educational curricula and Teacher Education Faculties, but it is primarily a subject of second-cycle graduate programmes or of training programmes aimed at teachers already serving as education officials.

Special subjects’ teachers, most of whom receive initial training in Teacher Education Faculties, like teachers of Foreign Languages, Physical Education, Arts, Music and Information Technology are entitled to serve as permanent or substitute teachers in Primary and Secondary Education, where the subject they teach is included in the curricula of the respective level.

The Departments of Primary and Pre-primary Education award a single degree.  Therefore, any differences in the curriculum between Higher Education Institutions are informal, in the sense that they do not lead to a specific degree, since the principle of specialisation has not been formally established for Pre-primary and Primary Education teachers.

Regarding Secondary Education, teachers are classified into sectors depending on their field of specialisation.  The courses assigned to them have a direct correlation with their qualifications and the qualifications acquired during their initial training.  However, in order to fill their schedule and to serve the needs of the school, they may be assigned the teaching of extra lessons.  Ministerial Decisions 182667/D2/12.11.2015,182692/D2/12.11.2015 and 151899/D2/29.09.2015 define the correlation of fields of teachers and subjects per class in Secondary Education (Lower and Upper Secondary Schools and Vocational Upper Secondary Schools).  For example, PE01 Teachers (Theologians) can undertake the teaching of History in Lower Secondary schools (second (B) assignment).  The same subject can be taught as second (B) assignment by PE05 teachers (French Literature).  It should be noted that the teaching of History is primarily the responsibility of sector PE02 (Greek Literature).

Teacher Educators

During the initial training of prospective teachers, the teaching at all universities, and therefore also at Pedagogical Departments, Teacher Education Faculties and the School of Pedagogical and Technological Education is performed by the Teaching and Scientific Personnel (DEP) of the corresponding University Department or members of the Teaching Personnel of the TEI.  The minimum requirements for the election of DEP are a doctoral degree, i.e. successful attendance of a third cycle programme, and the relevance of the subject of the position either to the subject of the PhD thesis or to the research or scientific work of the candidate.  Additional conditions and qualifications for a post of Teaching and Scientific Personnel, including teaching capacity, are determined by the Statute of each Institution, depending on the teacher' s rank, the subject of the position, as well as the teaching and research needs of each Faculty or University Department.

To guide and support the newly appointed teacher, Law 3848/2010 provided for the appointment of a mentor.  The mentor is appointed by the relevant school advisor in collaboration with the headteacher of the school unit.  As for qualifications, the above-mentioned law states that the mentor must have a rich educational and teaching experience and serve as a teacher in the same school unit or school group.  This provision, however, has not been implemented yet.

Qualifications, Evaluation and Certificates

According to Law 4009/2011, irrespective of the Higher Education Institution where teachers receive their initial training and its duration, each academic year is divided into two semesters, each of which includes thirteen full teaching weeks.  Students enrol at the School at the beginning of each semester and state which courses they have chosen to attend.  If a student registers for two consecutive semesters, he is automatically expelled from the School.  At the end of each semester, examinations are carried out for the courses taught in the respective semester.  Students are assessed in each course by the relevant faculty members, who can arrange, at their discretion, written and/or oral examinations, or rely on the evaluation of written assignments that have been submitted by the students or laboratory exercises carried out throughout the semester.

Students complete their studies and are awarded the first cycle title, once they have successfully passed the examinations in the courses provided by the curriculum and have accumulated the required number of credits.  The method of calculating the level of qualification is determined by the Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.

The first cycle degree issued by the Department of Pre-primary Education for Pre-primary Education, the Department of Primary Education for Primary Education and the Teacher Education Faculties, allows holders the opportunity to participate in the competition of the Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection (ASEP), as well as to be included in the list of substitute teachers to be hired as temporary substitutes and/or permanent officers appointed as teachers in Primary and Secondary Education school units.  First cycle degree holders, graduates of University Departments that are not included in Pedagogical or Teacher Education Faculties, are granted this right after obtaining a certified teacher training degree from the Higher School of Pedagogical & Technological Education (ΑSPEΤΕ).

Accordingly, in order to be recruited as teachers in public child and infant centres, graduation from first cycle studies at a University or TEI is a prerequisite.  The studies of educators are governed by the same provisions of Law 4009/2011, as described above.  For assistant educators, no further specialisation is required other than that received during their studies in either Higher Vocational Secondary Education or Post-secondary non-tertiary Education.

Alternative Training Pathways

As for the initial training of Pre-primary and Primary Education teachers, which leads to their appointment to a position at the respective level of education, it may also be certified by the following titles:

  • Nursery School / Educational Academies Degree respectively, accompanied by an assimilation degree of Presidential Decree 130/1990.
  • Degree from a foreign university for Pre-primary teachers/ Primary teachers, confirmation of equivalence and correspondence with the respective degrees of domestic diplomas and a lower or upper secondary education leave certificate or an equivalent school certificate from a Greek school or a certificate of Greek language proficiency.
  • Degrees from countries outside the EU and an additional certificate of successful attendance of a Special Re-training Programme from a Greek University Department.  Foreign teachers from countries outside the EU are also required to obtain Greek citizenship.

As for the initial training of Secondary Education teachers, which leads to appointment to a position at the respective level of education, it may also be certified by titles issued by the Hellenic Open University (EAP), but only for certain fields, like that of Physics and Economics. Students are admitted in EAP without exams, so long as they hold an Upper Secondary Education Leave Certificate or an equivalent certificate of Secondary Education, issued either in Greece or abroad.  The selection of students is made by a public electronic ballot, after candidates have submitted their application for the programme they wish to attend.  The Hellenic Open University offers an alternative training pathway with distance learning and training at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.