Community Building Education and Greek Diasporic Networks

Dr. Eugenia Arvanitis
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Globalisation has proven a prevailing and flexible system with great impact on social, economic and political values and principles. In addition, globalisation was a destabilizing factor for ethnicity due to the greater global connectedness and de-territorialisation (ethnicities are not tied to any specific territory of polity) of the symbolic links between individual and their imagined communities. The continuous immigration flows show that normative expectations for assimilation were interrupted by experiences of people who maintained multicultural, multilingual and diasporic attachments to places outside the national shore. At the same time global market crises and the loss of public social and economic security have been said to lead to a more sophisticated version of the old assimilationism (the fear about racial differentiation-the racial ‘others’) and nationalisms.

Finally, globalisation has had a profound impact on education and in particular ethnic schooling by forcing educational agencies to reposition themselves. Rethinking the role of part-time school networks is, thus, an urgent task. The new complexities of the knowledge economy demand new thinking and contemporary skills and attributes as well as the capacity to deal with cultural diversity. Education needs to develop global learners open to autonomous, assisted and collaborative learning enhancing at the same time their global/diasporic consciousness and sense of identity. The globalisation of education provides opportunities for building transnational and diasporic collectivities thought collaborative action learning projects among global students. This paper will focus on the so-called cultural globalisation and the dynamics of diasporic educational networks as change forces.

Keywords: Cultural Globalisation, Greek Diasporic Educational Networks
Stream: Education and Social Welfare
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Community Building Education and Greek Diasporic Networks

Dr. Eugenia Arvanitis

Research Associate,, Globalism Institute, School  of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, RMIT University
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Eugenia Arvanitis was born on the Ionian island of Lefkada in Greece. She graduated from the Department of Elementary School Education at the University of Ioannina, Greece in 1992. In 2001 Eugenia became the first international doctoral exchange student to complete a Doctoral Thesis in Education at RMIT (Faculty of Education, Language and Community Services) from the University of Ioannina, Greece. As part of her studies she has been involved in research on Greek ethnic schools in Australia. Her research interests include multicultural educational policy and practice; ethnic community development and identity; community building education, and teachers’ training. She has attended and presented papers at several conferences in Australia and overseas.
Between 2001 and 2004 Eugenia co-ordinated and taught the Greek Language and Cultural Studies Program at the School of International and Community Studies, and was employed as the Manager of the Australian-Greek Resource and Learning Center at RMIT University, Melbourne. In November 2004 Eugenia was offered the position of Honorary Associate Researcher at the Globalism Institute at RMIT University, Melbourne. As part of her role Eugenia works with Professor Mary Kalantzis in developing a Learning Competency/Accreditation Framework for the Greek Ministry of Education. She finally engages in personnel training for the Greek Adult Educational System and publication activities.

Ref: I06P0412