The Phenomenon of Xenophobia in School Environments

By: Aikaterini Maria Karava   Aikaterini Aitinidi   Eugenia Arvanitis  

As undergraduate students in the DESECE, University of Patras and in the course of the lecture Intercultural Training of Teachers, we studied the refugee phenomenon. Through this study, we focused on xenophobia towards refugees and we decided to conduct a study case. The main objective is to reveal the causes of the incident that took place on the 19th of October 2018, at the primary school in Skoytari, Serres. That day 105 children didn't attend school, as a protest indication for the ten refugee children, that registered at school. This case study is intended to answer three main research questions: What are the causes of this xenophobic phenomenon? Does this xenophobic behavior stem from feelings of fear of parents or children themselves? What kind of fears does someone have about a refugee child? The outcome of this study case is a result of joint research (quantitative and qualitative research), based on semi-structured interviews and closed type of questionnaires. Τhe theoretical background used to support and interpret the results of our research is the “theory of the integrated threat”, which concerns the fear of the host country, that another ethnic group will prevail. Through this research work we have realized the timeliness of the subject and our duty as future teachers: not only to know in depth such phenomena, but also to combat xenophobia in the educational environments. For this reason, at the end we are putting forward proposals for classroom activities.

Education and Learning in a World of Difference
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Aikaterini Maria Karava

Undergraduate Student, ESECE, University of Patras, Greece

Aikaterini Aitinidi

Eugenia Arvanitis

Assistant Professor of Interculturality & Diversity in Education, University of Patras, Greece