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The Emotional Readiness of Greek Cypriot Teachers for Peaceful Co-existence

Authors

  • Michalinos Zembylas,

    Corresponding author
    1. Open University of Cyprus, Cyprus
      Michalinos Zembylas, Open University of Cyprus, Digeni Akrita 13-15, Nicosia 1055, Cyprus, m.zembylas@ouc.ac.cy
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  • Panayiota Kendeou,

    Corresponding author
    1. Neapolis University, Cyprus
      Panayiota Kendeou, Neapolis University, 2 Danais Avenue 8042 Pafos, Cyprus, p.kendeou@nup.ac.cy
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  • Athina Michaelidou

    Corresponding author
    1. Pedagogical Institute of Cyprus, Cyprus
      Athina Michaelidou, Pedagogical Institute of Cyprus, Makedonias Avenue 40, 2238 Latsia, Cyprus, athmich@cyearn.pi.ac.cy
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Michalinos Zembylas, Open University of Cyprus, Digeni Akrita 13-15, Nicosia 1055, Cyprus, m.zembylas@ouc.ac.cy

Panayiota Kendeou, Neapolis University, 2 Danais Avenue 8042 Pafos, Cyprus, p.kendeou@nup.ac.cy

Athina Michaelidou, Pedagogical Institute of Cyprus, Makedonias Avenue 40, 2238 Latsia, Cyprus, athmich@cyearn.pi.ac.cy

Abstract

In this article, we: (1) offer a conceptualisation of what it means for Greek Cypriot teachers to be ‘reconciled’ with the ‘other side’ (i.e. Turkish Cypriots) in Cyprus; (2) examine Greek Cypriot teachers' emotional responses to the new educational objective of cultivating peaceful coexistence in schools; and (3) investigate how Greek Cypriot teachers' perceptions of reconciliation and emotional responses to the new educational objective of cultivating peaceful coexistence are entangled, and what implications these entanglements may have for educational reform efforts. This investigation is based on data collected in a national survey of Greek Cypriot primary and secondary teachers. The study is important not only for the Greek Cypriot educational system, but also for educational reform efforts in other conflict-ridden areas in Europe because it addresses a fundamental issue in relation to reconciliation: Can teachers, who may still carry traumatic experiences from a conflict and thus be (potentially) emotionally unready to engage in reconciliation, be convinced to put the past behind and promote peaceful coexistence in schools? The findings highlight the teachers' multiple ambivalences, yet they also identify openings for promoting reconciliation and peaceful coexistence in schools. The implications are discussed in terms of educational policymaking, curriculum development, and teacher training.

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