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The Humanities Conference 2003

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Community Building Education in a Globalising Context: The Paradigm of Greek Ethnic Schools in Australia

Eugenia Arvanitis.

The present paper examines the educational and social role of Greek part-time ethnic schools in Australia, which have been constructed as the key community strategy with regard to the transmission and promotion of the Greek culture and language over the last century, especially in the post-WW II period.

However, ethnic schools in a globalising and diasporic context constitute complex educational organisations where Australian social, ethnic community and the transnational community dimensions intersect in a ‘triadic relationship’ (Sheffer 1986; Safran 1991). In this context the social and educational role of ethnic schools may be not only to promote a basic awareness of the Greek ethnic identity, but also to inculcate a trans-cultural– diasporic consciousness along with the adoption of modern pedagogical approaches in order to face current needs and future challenges.


Eugenia Arvanitis  (Australia)
Manager/Lecturer in Greek Language and Cultural Studies
Australian-Greek resource and Learning Centre Faculty of Education, Language
RMIT University

Dr Eugenia Arvaniti was born on the Ionian island of Lefkada in Greece. She colpleted her BA at the University of Ioannina, Greece and her Ph.D. at RMIT university, Melbourne. She is currently co-ordinating the Australian-Greek Resource and Learning Center at RMIT University, Melbourne.

  • Ethnic Schooling
  • Globalisation
  • Community Building Education
  • Greek Ethnic Identity
  • Internationalisation of Curriculum

(30 min Conference Paper, English)