Teachers’ Views on Diversity in Primary Education in Cyprus

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Abstract

Over the last years, an increased number of students with diverse migratory backgrounds have enrolled in primary public schools in Cyprus. The school unit is considered to be the main environment where opportunities of interaction and social enrichment are, or should be, provided to all parties involved. At the same time, school personnel play a very crucial role in addressing diversity issues. Thus, the present research study, through the use of a questionnaire, observes the views and attitudes of primary school teachers regarding the interaction, communication, and commitment in schools where many culturally diverse students have enrolled over the past years. The results show that even though teachers in their majority understand the importance of culture and language learning in an effective teaching, learning, and communication process in schools, there is a significant percentage of teachers who do not seem to embrace such an understanding. Thus, a systematized effort of promoting the understanding of diversity should be underway on the part of state and education officials in Cyprus.