Strychnou,
StavroulaVera
Research Articles
Greek Educators’ Views on Migrant Students: SocialDemographic Differences
StavroulaVera Strychnou*^{a}
[a] Department of Psychology, SouthWest University “Neofit Rilski”, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.
Abstract
This research was conducted to explore and compare Greek educators’ views on migrant students, as well as to establish some socialdemographic differences in Greek teachers’ views. The research was crosssectional, and the research instrument was a questionnaire. The sampling technique used in the present research was the nonprobability sampling, and even the purposive sampling was used. All the participants were educators, and the sample consisted of 150 participants. In Greek literature, there is a limited number of studies on teachers' views on migrant students and their integration in the general school. Based on this research, it was found that most of the studied teachers had positive views on migrant students. The most negative views on migrant students were expressed overtly by the female Greek teachers, who were 4160 years old (M = 52.7, SD= 2.35), had postgraduate studies, were in good economic situation, married, and lived in villages. In contrast, the most positive views on migrant students were expressed overtly by the male Greek teachers, who were 1840 years old, hold Ph.D., were in bad economic situation, single, and lived in cities. Given these results, it is necessary to educate teachers, as well as to carry out more research on the individual difficulties faced by teachers and students, as school is the miniature of the society and therefore school integration extends to social inclusion.
Keywords: Greek educators, Greek schools, Migrant students, Teachers
Table of Contents
Psychological Thought, 2020, Vol. 13(1), 1236, https://doi.org/10.37708/psyct.v13i1.367
Received: 20190402. Accepted: 20191017. Published (VoR): 20200430.
Handling Editor: Natasha Angelova, SouthWest University "Neofit Rilski", Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
*Corresponding author at: SouthWest University “Neofit Rilski”, 66, Ivan Mihailov Street, 2700 Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, Email: verastrychnou@gmail.com
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Common Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
The Greek school of the 21st century has been shaped in a multicultural and multilingual environment (Baltatzis & Davelos, 2014), as a result of the migratory flows that Greece and Europe have received in recent decades (Chatzisotiriou & Xenofontos, 2014). In this perspective, the intercultural model of education is a new educational approach to a multicultural society, which is constantly changing and where people's identities are under constant negotiation.
Theoretical Part
In the intercultural model of education, the aim is to reform the school, by adopting those educational practices that will facilitate the communication between all the people who participate in the educational procedure and ensure educational equality (Georgogiannis, 2009). The intercultural model of education can be applied within the classroom through both the curriculum and the pedagogical application (Guo & Jamal, 2007). This model of education promotes the formation of more equitable and pluralist educational environments (Nieto & Bode, 2008).
The issue of multilingualism or bilingualism is an important dimension of intercultural education. In particular, when referring to bilingual / multilingual students, one usually means those who may be migrant children or members of minority or ethnic groups and use other languages in their communication with their family or members of their community, except for the language of the school and the wider society where they live (Tsokalidou, 2004). Multilingualism is an important dimension of multicultural society and raises a question of pedagogical equality (Chatzisotiriou & Xenofontos, 2014), i.e. creating equal educational opportunities for the entire student population.
Educators have a multidimensional role as mediators in the students’ transition towards the knowledge society. Because teachers themselves are carriers of their own cultural identities within the social context in which they have socialized and worked (Kohli, 2014), this involves both the risk of costructuring and continuing nonfair educational environments, and the reproduction of their own cultural values (Brant, 2013). As the linguistic, national, economic and sociopolitical heterogeneity increases, teachers are asked to teach their students both their own dominant culture and the culture of their peers / classmates coming from different countries of origin (Palaiologou & Evangelou, 2003). Thus, while the intercultural training of teachers (Georgogiannis, 2009) and their intercultural competence (Balabanidou & Pozoukidis, 2010) is a key factor in the implementation of the principles of intercultural pedagogy, Greek teachers express low intercultural preparedness in education, which leads them to adopt stereotypical views on intercultural pedagogy and counseling in the school context (Angelopoulou & Manesis, 2017a).
In Greece, some surveys show that the teachers have positive views on migrant students (Angelakos et al., 2008). They do not seem to be characterized as xenophobic or intolerant, neither as interested in intercultural education (Damanakis, 2005). They accept the difference and contribute fruitfully to the students’ peaceful coexistence (Athanasiou, 2001), accept the value of each culture, recognize the right of everyone to maintain their national identity and declare that they would teach migrant children (EmkePoulopoulou, 2007). They respect the culture, education and mother tongue of children (Gotovos, 2002). They positively address the existence of culturally diverse pupils in the classroom (Kasimati, 2006).
However, they consider work within a multicultural class difficult (Nikolaou, 2000). In their view, children from different cultural backgrounds have difficulties in adapting themselves and therefore often abstain from activities (Pagouni & Karountzou, 2007). Sometimes they have problems of learning and behavior (Tsiakalos, 2000; Tsokalidou, 2012). Teachers consider that the adaptation of pupils from different cultural backgrounds to school have a crucial role both in the language and in the family environment (Papachristos, 2005). In other studies, teachers consider migration to be a threat to Greek homogeneity and identity in the educational system (Milesi, 2006). In addition, according to Gotovos & Markou (2003), Greek educators appear reluctant to accept the different and the new knowledge of the "other". They focus on the deficiencies of the students, as well as on their difficulty in learning the Greek language. Finally, another study concludes that cultural specificity is ultimately perceived as a deviation from what is considered normal in the school class (Damanakis, 2005). In almost all surveys, there is a lack of teacher education in terms of cultural diversity within the classroom, and emphasis is placed on the need and the desire for training on issues of multiculturalism (Angelakos et al., 2008).
More generally, existing Greek surveys (Baltatzis & Davelos, 2014; Damanakis, 2005; Milesi, 2006; Pagouni, & Karountzou, 2007; Papavasiliou, 2015; Tsokalidou, 2012; Vasiliadis, 2012) on teachers' views towards immigrant pupils have failed to give a homogeneous result on whether perceptions are positive or negative. Several studies show that perceptions are predominantly positive (Angelakos et al., 2008; Athanasiou, 2001; Gotovos, 2002; Kasimati, 2006), but another portion of the studies have been found to be negative (Angelopoulou & Manesis, 2017a; Dragona et al., 2001; Gkaintartzi et al., 2015). According to Angelopoulou & Manesis’s recent survey (2017a), teachers found obstacles such as the past linguistic and cultural experiences of their pupils, as well as parental behavior as obstacles to the implementation of intercultural pedagogy. This finding is in line with recent research evidence suggesting teachers' negative perception of the use of nonGreek languages by pupils and the negative impact that they think they have in the learning process (Gkaintartzi et al., 2015), as well as that many teachers do not recognize the linguistic and cultural background of these pupils (Dragona et al., 2001). These findings are in line with modern pedagogical perception, according to which languages can be seen as a source of social wealth, which should also be the goal of education (Skourtou, 2002). In any case, however, it is positive that teachers recognize the importance of knowledge of the mother tongue, as well as of the cultural burden it implies on the culture of these pupils in shaping the educational program. In addition, on how to address the educational needs of bilingual students within the classroom, teachers seem to use mainly extracurricular practices such as providing practical instructions to parents and empowering the parents of these pupils, not primarily related to the teaching process (Gkaintartzi et al., 2015). They use less intercultural pedagogical practices, such as lesser exercises and diversified teaching. Overall, the research results show that teachers do not highly recognize their own responsibility for meeting the needs of migrant pupils, as evidenced by various studies in Greece on the stereotyped perception of teachers about intercultural pedagogy (Gkaintartzi & Tsokalidou, 2011) and their inability to perceive the advisory dimension of their role in this context despite the linguistic (Angelopoulou & Manesis, 2017a), since they still perceive intercultural pedagogy and its role more as integration and less as a consultative process (Angelopoulou & Manesis, 2017b). In addition, the factors such as gender, age, education, readiness to address intercultural pedagogy issues, further education and / or intercultural training and teachers’ service years seem to significantly influence their perception of what constitutes an obstacle to teaching of immigrant pupils, as well as the pedagogical strategies they adopt to meet the educational needs of these pupils (Angelopoulou & Manesis, 2017a).
At the same time, according to the survey by Nikolaou (2005), 62% of teachers believe that children of immigrants should not be enrolled in any school, 30% are negatively affected by the presence of foreign students in Greek schools, and one in five considers the parents' concerns about the presence of foreign pupils in school to be valid. Similar findings have also emerged from Tsokalidou (2012), who found that 51% of teachers considered migrant children to be enrolled in separate schools. Also, according to Papavasiliou (2015), teachers believe that learning the Greek language helps children to integrate more smoothly into both the school and the social environment and this can be easily achieved through the reception classes aimed at the learning of the Greek language to immigrant pupils. Also, as far as intercultural schools are concerned, teachers believe that they are not more effective in learning than common schools (Deli, 2018).
Finally, according to the study by Vasiliadis (2012), the presence of children from different cultural environments is a problem as teachers have found that they see it as a brake on the progress of the class. Although the same teachers, by a large majority, adopt and believe in the adoption of a crosscultural perspective by all, however, they seem to preempt above all the need to accept from the "other" the values of Greek society and the "natural" acceptance of inclusion promotes as values and knowledge to succeed in their lives (Boutsiouki, 2018, p.143). This adaptation requires a change in the way of "behavior" and sometimes the elimination of other prerequisites of intercultural education (equality, etc.) so that students acquire the knowledge that will allow them to experience "success" (Gotovos et al., 2019, p.51).
It can be seen, therefore, that Greek teachers’ views vary, from the overtly racist, to the total condemnation of xenophobia and racism. There is therefore a need to explore teachers’ views on migrant students. However, based on the above findings and literature review, two hypotheses were formulated:
Greek teachers would have more positive than negative views on migrant students.
The sociodemographic characteristics would be important factors determining teacher’s views.
The aim of the research was to explore and compare Greek educators’ views on migrant students, as well as to establish some socialdemographic differences in Greek teachers’ views.
Method
General Background
The type of the research that was conducted was the quantitative. The research was crosssectional as each participant was studied only once. Also, the research instrument was the questionnaire. As far as the scope of the research is concerned, this research investigated sociodemographic differences and the views of Greek educators as far as concerned migrant students.
As regards the conduct of the research, between February and March 2018, the participants were informed in detail concerning their voluntary participation in the study and its purpose, so their informed consent was given. As first, the participants were orally informed about the purpose and objectives of the survey, as well as their anonymity. In March 2018, the questionnaires were constructed. The questionnaires were distributed between March and May 2018, and during MarchMay 2018, the questionnaires were completed by the participants.
Participants
The sampling technique used in the present research was the nonprobability sampling, purposive sampling. In this research, all the participants were Greek educators. The research sample consisted of 150 participants, as this sample is considered satisfactory to answer the research questions that have been asked (Dafermos, 2011). Moreover, Greek educators were from all regions of Greece.
Table 1
Frequencies of sociodemographic differences in the sample of Greek teachers
Social categories 
Type of social category 
N 
Percentage 
Gender 
Male 
70 
46.7 
Female 
80 
53.3 

Age group 
1829 years old 
8 
5.3 
3040 years old 
55 
36.7 

4150 years old 
65 
43.3 

5160 years old 
22 
14.7 

Educational level 
Postgraduate studies 
117 
78 
PhD 
33 
22 

Economic situation 
Very good 
4 
2.7 
Good 
86 
57.3 

Modest 
54 
36 

Bad 
6 
4 

Family situation 
Married 
99 
66 
Single 
41 
27.3 

Divorced 
10 
6.7 

Place of residence 
City 
125 
83.3 
Province 
17 
11.3 

Village 
8 
5.3 
As shown in Table 1, most of the survey participants were women, aged 4150 years old (M = 43.5, SD= 1.17), with postgraduate studies, good financial status, married, and stayed in city.
Data Collection
For data collection, the questionnaire was used as the research tool. The choice of this research tool has been made as a large number of data can be collected, and ensures the anonymity of the participants (Dafermos, 2011).
The questionnaire that was used in this research was created by the researcher on the basis of the existing literature about teacher’s views on migrant students. The teachers were asked the following questions:
If migrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but must be in specially formed classrooms (Athanasiou, 2001; Kasimati, 2006).
If they encouraged children in the classroom to chat with immigrant students (Charavitsidis, 2009; Dimakos & Tasiopoulou, 2003).
If they considered that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class (Angelakos, et al., 2008; Papazoi, 2016).
If it is important to have special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class (Lolakas, 2010).
The scale of answering was a fivedegree Likert scale in which teachers ticked X in a response depending on the degree to which they agreed or disagreed (All, Little, Moderate, A lot, Very much).
It is worth noting that Cronbach’s alpha was very low, as it was .429, so the questionnaire was regarded as a survey questionnaire, and the answers on each question were analyzed separately without computing a total score. Finally, an existing instrument for measuring attitudes towards migrant students was not selected, as the researcher attempted to create original questions based on the research objectives that were set, and not to use a readymade instrument, even though the existing instruments are more reliable (e.g. European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2019; Meuleman & Billiet, 2012; van der Veer et al., 2008).
Data Analysis
The program used for statistical analysis of the data was the IBM SPSS 23. Descriptive statistics were used for the presentation and analysis of the data, and chisquare analysis for group differences on the nominal or ordinal measurement level. Because it was the case of violation of some assumptions for applying chisquare test – the expected counts less than 5 should not be more than 20% and the minimum expected count should not be less than 1, the value of Likelihood ratio was applied as a more appropriate measure for association between the variables than the value of chisquare test, as Özdemir and Eyduran (2005) recommended.
Results of Research
As for the teachers' views on whether immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children, but should be in specially formed classrooms, most teachers (52%, n = 78) answered that they moderately agreed with this view. 14.7% of the sample (n = 22) agreed a lot, 24% (n = 36) agreed little with this view, while 9.3% (n = 14) disagreed very much with this view.
In addition, 58 teachers (38.7%) indicated that they encouraged very much native students to chat with immigrant students, 50 teachers (33.3%) said they encouraged them a lot, but 36 teachers (24%) said they encouraged them a little, and 6 teachers (4%) said that they did not encourage them at all.
Furthermore, 56% of the sample (n = 84) agreed moderately with the view that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class. 34.7% (n = 52) were quite agreeable with this view and 9.3% (n = 14) totally agreed.
Finally, 57.3% of the sample (n = 86) totally agreed that it was important to have a special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class, and 42.7% of the sample (n = 64) agreed moderately with this view.
Subsequently, some statistically significant differences of teacher’s responses are analyzed.
Gender differences
As it can be seen from Table 2 below, a chisquare test was performed for gender differences and it was found a statistically significant difference between the frequencies of male and female teachers who stated that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children, but should be in specially formed classrooms χ^{2} (3, N = 150) = 12.055, p < .001; Likelihood ratio = 13.044, p < .001; Phi = .381. More female Greek teachers (36.7% of them) than male Greek teachers (15.77% of them) stated that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but should be in specially formed classrooms.
Another chisquare test was performed, and it was revealed a statistically significant difference between the frequencies of male and female teachers who encouraged native students to chat with immigrant students χ^{2} (4, N = 150) = 22.112, p < .001; Likelihood ratio = 20.511, p < .001; Phi = .203. More male Greek teachers (67.1% of them) than female Greek teachers (34.2% of them) stated that they encouraged native students to chat with immigrant students.
Also, a statistically significant difference was shown between the frequencies of male and female teachers who stated that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class χ^{2} (4, N = 150) = 12.356, p < .001; Likelihood ratio = 12.891, p < .001; Phi = .423. More female Greek teachers (67.6% of them) than male Greek teachers (20.8% of them) stated that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class.
However, there was not any statistically significant difference between the frequencies of male and female teachers who stated that it was important to have a special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class χ^{2} (2, N = 150) = 2.341, p = .672; Likelihood ratio = 2.599, p = .672; Phi = .099.
Table 2
Chisquare tests for gender differences in Greek educators’ views on migrant students
Questions 
χ^{2} 
df 
p 
% 

Male 
Female 

Migrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but must be in specially formed classrooms. 
12.055 
3 
<.001 
15.77 
36.7 
I encourage children in the classroom to chat with immigrant students. 
22.112 
4 
<.001 
67.1 
34.2 
I consider that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class. 
12.356 
4 
<.001 
20.8 
67.6 
It is important to have special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class. 
2.341 
2 
.672 
 
 
Age differences
A chisquare test was performed for age group differences and there was a statistically significant difference between the frequencies of teachers who stated that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children, but should be in specially formed classrooms χ^{2} (6, N = 150) = 48.971, p < .001; Likelihood ratio = 49.001, p < .001; Phi = .202. The studied Greek teachers in the age group of 5160 years old (39.8% of them) and in 4150 years old (29.9% of them) more frequently considered that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but should be in specially formed classrooms. Also, the studied Greek teachers in the age group of 3040 years old (16.5% of them) moderately considered that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but should be in specially formed classrooms, and the studied Greek teachers in the age group of 1829 years old (12.1% of them) less frequently considered that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but should be in specially formed classrooms.
Another chisquare test was performed, and a statistically significant difference was found between the frequencies of the age groups of teachers who stated that they encouraged native students to chat with immigrant students χ^{2} (12, N = 150) = 32.387, p < .001; Likelihood ratio = 32.459, p < .001; Phi = .456. The studied Greek teachers in the age group of 1829 years old (45.6% of them) more frequently stated that they encouraged native students to chat with immigrant students. However, the studied Greek teachers in the age group of 4150 years old (13.2% of them) and in the age group of 5160 years old (19.2%) less frequently stated that they encouraged native students to chat with immigrant students, while the studied Greek teachers in the age group of 3040 years old (32.6% of them) moderately stated that they encouraged native students to chat with immigrant students.
Also, a statistically significant difference was found between the frequencies of the age groups of teachers who stated that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class χ^{2} (9, N = 150) = 23.575, p < .001; Likelihood ratio = 24.227, p < .001; Phi = .401. The studied Greek teachers in the age group of 5160 years old (40.5% of them) and in the age group of 4150 years old (34.9% of them) more frequently stated that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class. On the contrary, the studied Greek teachers in the age group of 3040 years old (16.4% of them) and in the age group of 1829 years old (9.1% of them) less frequently stated that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class.
Another chisquare test was performed, and a statistically significant difference was found between the age groups of teachers who stated that it was important to have a special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class χ^{2} (12, N = 150) = 34.321, p < .001; Likelihood ratio = 34.446, p < .001; Phi = .209. The studied Greek teachers in the age group of 3040 years old (24.3% of them) and in the age group of 1829 years old (21.4% of them) more frequently stated that it was important to have a special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class, while the studied Greek teachers in the age group of 4150 years old (16.4% of them) and in the age group of 5160 years old (12.2% of them) less frequently stated that it was important to have a special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class Table 3.
Table 3
Chisquare tests for age differences in Greek educators’ views on migrant students
Questions 
χ^{2} 
df 
p 
% 

1829 
3040 
4150 
5160 

Migrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but must be in specially formed classrooms. 
48.971 
6 
<.001 
12.1 
16.5 
29.9 
39.8 
I encourage children in the classroom to chat with immigrant students. 
32.387 
12 
<.001 
45.6 
32.6 
13.2 
19.2 
I consider that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class. 
23.575 
9 
<.001 
9.1 
16.4 
34.9 
40.5 
It is important to have special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class. 
34.321 
12 
<.001 
21.4 
24.3 
16.4 
12.2 
Educational differences
As it can be seen from Table 4 below, a chisquare test was performed for educational differences and a statistically significant difference was found between the frequencies of teachers with different educational level who stated that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children, but should be in specially formed classrooms χ^{2} (4, N = 150) = 36.241, p < .001; Likelihood ratio = 37.018, p < .001; Phi = 0.319. More teachers with postgraduate studies (55.8% of them) than teachers who hold PhD (35.9% of them) considered that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but should be in specially formed classrooms.
Another chisquare test was performed, and a statistically significant difference was found between the frequencies of teachers with different educational level who stated that encouraged native students to chat with immigrant students χ^{2} (4, N = 150) = 24.557, p < .001; Likelihood ratio = 24.891, p < .001; Phi = .331. More teachers who had PhD (44.1% of them) than teachers with postgraduate studies (27.6% of them) stated that they encouraged native students to chat with immigrant students.
Also, a statistically significant difference was found between the frequencies of teachers with different educational level who stated that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class χ^{2} (4, N = 150) = 17.654, p < .001; Likelihood ratio = 18.213, p < .001; Phi = .399. More teachers with postgraduate studies (34.2% of them) than teachers who had PhD (17.9% of them) stated that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class.
Another chisquare test was performed, and a statistically significant difference was found between the frequencies of teachers with different educational level who stated that that it was important to have a special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class (χ^{2} (6, N = 150) = 47.509, p < .001; Likelihood ratio = 47.871, p < .001; Phi = .482). More teachers with postgraduate studies (49.8% of them) than teachers who had PhD (34.6% of them) stated that that it was important to have a special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class.
Table 4
Chisquare tests for educational differences in Greek educators’ views on migrant students
Questions 
χ^{2} 
df 
p 
% 

Postgraduate studies 
Ph.D. 

Migrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but must be in specially formed classrooms. 
36.241 
4 
<.001 
55.8 
35.9 
I encourage children in the classroom to chat with immigrant students. 
24.557 
4 
<.001 
27.6 
44.1 
I consider that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class. 
17.654 
4 
<.001 
34.2 
17.9 
It is important to have special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class. 
47.509 
6 
<.001 
49.8 
34.6 
Differences in the economic situation
A chisquare test was performed for differences in economic situations, and a statistically significant difference was found between the frequencies of teachers with a different economic situation who stated that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but should be in specially formed classrooms χ^{2} (12, N = 150) = 21.296, p < .001; Likelihood ratio = 22.239, p < .001; Phi = .367. More teachers in a good economic situation (39.7% of them) considered that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but should be in specially formed classrooms. Also, teachers in very good economic situation (28.9% of them) frequently considered that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but should be in specially formed classrooms, while teachers with modest (12.1% of them) and in bad (4.4% of them) economic situation less frequently considered that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but should be in specially formed classrooms.
At the same time, there was a statistically significant difference between the frequencies of the answers of Greek teachers with different economic situation who stated that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class χ^{2} (12, N = 150) = 60.701 p = .000; Likelihood ratio = 60.779, p = .000; Phi = .235. More Greek teachers in a good economic situation (64.7% of them) stated that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class, than the studied Greek teachers in moderate (35.9% of them), very good (24.4% of them) and bad (11.3% of them) economic situations.
However, there was not any statistically significant difference between the frequencies of the answers of Greek teachers with different economic situation who stated that they encouraged very much native students to chat with immigrant students χ^{2} (6, N = 150) = 11.329, p = .246; Likelihood ratio = 12.335, p = .246; Phi =.129, neither who stated that it was important to have a special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class χ^{2} (3, N = 150) = 2.010, p = .919; Likelihood ratio = 2.963, p = .813; Phi = .116 (Table 5).
Table 5
Chisquare tests for economic situation differences in Greek educators’ views on migrant students
Questions 
χ^{2} 
df 
p 
% 

Very good 
Good 
Moderate 
Bad 

Migrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but must be in specially formed classrooms. 
21.296 
12 
<.001 
28.9 
39.7 
12.1 
4.4 
I encourage children in the classroom to chat with immigrant students. 
60.701 
12 
<.001 
24.4 
64.7 
35.9 
11.3 
I consider that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class. 
11.329 
6 
.246 
 
 
 
 
It is important to have special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class. 
2.010 
3 
.919 
 
 
 
 
Family status differences
A chisquare test was performed for differences in family status and a statistically significant difference was found between the frequencies of teachers with different family status who stated that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children, but should be in specially formed classrooms χ^{2} (12, N = 150) = 34.225, p < .001; Likelihood ratio = 35.461, p < .001; Phi = .372. More married teachers (53.1% of them) than divorced (33.2% of them) and single (13.4% of them) teachers considered that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but should be in specially formed classrooms.
Another chisquare test was performed, and a statistically significant difference was found between the frequencies of teachers with different family status who stated that they encouraged native students to chat with immigrant students χ^{2} (6, N = 150) = 56.174, p < .001; Likelihood ratio = 56.207, p < .001; Phi = .405. More single teachers (71.4% of them) than divorced (30.6% of them) and married (10.9% of them) teachers stated that they encouraged very much native students to chat with immigrant students.
However, as it can be seen from Table 6 below, there was not any statistically significant difference between the frequencies of the answers of Greek teachers with different family situation who stated that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class χ^{2} (4, N = 150) = 11.579, p = .210; Likelihood ratio = 8.126, p = .087; Phi = .272, neither who stated that it was important to have a special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class χ^{2} (2, N = 150) = 3.452, p = .981; Likelihood ratio = 4.951, p = .981; Phi = .871.
Table 6
Chisquare tests for family situation differences in Greek educators’ views on migrant students
Questions 
χ^{2} 
df 
p 
% 

Married 
Divorced 
Single 

Migrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but must be in specially formed classrooms. 
34.225 
12 
<.001 
53.1 
33.2 
13.4 
I encourage children in the classroom to chat with immigrant students. 
56.174 
6 
<.001 
10.9 
30.6 
71.4 
I consider that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class. 
11.579 
4 
.210 
 
 
 
It is important to have special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class. 
3.452 
2 
.981 
 
 
 
Differences in place of residence
A chisquare test was performed for differences in places of residence, and a statistically significant difference was found between the frequencies of teachers with different place of residence who stated that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but should be in specially formed classrooms χ^{2} (4, N = 150) = 21.471, p = .001; Likelihood ratio = 22.372, p = .001; Phi = .451. The Greek teachers who lived in villages (43.8% of them) more frequently considered that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children, but should be in specially formed classrooms, than the Greek teachers who lived in province (37.6% of them) and in cities (32.4% of them).
Another chisquare test was performed, and a statistically significant difference was found between the frequencies of teachers with different place of residence who stated that they encouraged native students to chat with immigrant students χ^{2} (6, N = 150) = 26.851, p < .001; Likelihood ratio = 26.945, p < .001; Phi = .393. The Greek teachers who lived in cities (43.9% of them) more frequently stated that they encouraged native students to chat with immigrant students, than teachers who lived in province (30.1% of them) and in villages (20.8% of them).
However, there was not any statistically significant difference between the frequencies of the answers of Greek teachers with different place of residence who stated that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class χ^{2} (4, N = 150) = 12.372, p = .135; Likelihood ratio = 10.730, p = .217; Phi =.304, neither between the frequencies of the answers of Greek teachers with different place of residence who stated that it was important to have a special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class χ^{2} (4, N = 150) = 9.198, p = .239; Likelihood ratio = 10.846, p = .239; Phi = .396 (Table 7).
Chisquare tests for differences in the place of residence in Greek educators’ views on migrant students
Questions 
χ^{2} 
df 
p 
% 

Village 
Province 
City 

Migrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but must be in specially formed classrooms. 
21.471 
4 
.001 
43.8 
37.6 
32.4 
I encourage children in the classroom to chat with immigrant students. 
26.851 
6 
<.001 
20.8 
30.1 
43.9 
I consider that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class. 
12.372 
4 
.135 
 
 
 
It is important to have special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class. 
9.198 
4 
.239 
 
 
 
Discussion
Based on this research, it was found that most of the studied teachers had mainly positive views on migrant students. More than half of the sample stated that immigrant children should not be in the classroom with the rest of the children but should be in specially formed classes. However, more than half of the sample encouraged very much native students to chat with immigrant students. Also, more teachers considered that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class. It is worth noting that this finding indicates a negative attitude towards immigrant students. Furthermore, most of the sample believed that it was important to have a special educational material in each school to approach the diversity of the intercultural class. The most negative views towards migrant students were expressed overtly by the female Greek teachers, who were 4160 years old, had postgraduate studies, were in good economic situation, married, and lived in villages. The most positive views towards migrant students were expressed overtly by the male Greek teachers, who were 1840 years old, had PhD, were in bad economic situation, single, and lived in cities. Finally, the hypotheses were supported as it was found that Greek teachers had mainly positive views towards migrant students, while the sociodemographic characteristics were important factors determining their views.
As regards teachers' opinions on migrant students, several studies have shown that most of the teachers have moderate and positive views, as well as socialdemographic characteristics have an essential role to these views (Angelopoulou & Manesis, 2017a; Chrisohoou, 2005; Cummins, 2005). However, as stated above, there is no agreement in the Greek literature on whether teachers' views are clearly positive or clearly negative (Baltatzis & Davelos, 2014; Damanakis, 2005; Milesi, 2006; Pagouni & Karountzou, 2007; Papavasiliou, 2015; Tsokalidou, 2012; Vasiliadis, 2012). According to the research by Angelopoulou and Manesis (2017b), teachers aged less than forty years, seem to be more positive towards intercultural education. In addition, it is very likely that teachers have received moderate and inadequate training in intercultural pedagogy to adopt mainly stereotypical views towards intercultural pedagogy in the school context, as shown by how to address the educational needs of bilingual pupils/students, the intercultural practices they adopt, and their role in the educational process in general (Balabanidou & Pozoukidis, 2010; Boutsiouki, 2018). In particular, the contribution of training in intercultural pedagogy has become important as it is likely to lead them to acquire intercultural information (Leeman & Ledoux, 2003), which facilitates their educational work. Besides, teachers themselves also want to train, among other things, teaching in a multicultural classroom and approaching school diversity (Nikolaou, 2000).
At the same time, teachers must realize the uniqueness of children and include in their practices their special characteristics. It is important to allow their students to be unique and different (Tiedt & Tiedt, 2006). Finally, it is important that the school cooperates with the immigrant child's family, which should be done from the outset in order to create a climate of trust and mutual support. Schoolfamily cooperation works positively in selfesteem, performance, and adaptation of the child to the school environment (Angelopoulou & Manesis, 2017b).
Conclusions
School is not just a place where migrant students come into contact with Greek language and education. School is the miniature of a society and therefore school integration extends to social inclusion, which weighs the future of these children. In order to be successful in this integration, both institutional and administrative factors, as well as pedagogical and didactic ones, are needed (Tsokalidou, 2012). It is therefore necessary to educate teachers, as well as to carry out more research on the individual difficulties faced by teachers and students, which are an integral part of the learning and socialization process in which they participate and which they create. As far as concerned the scientific contributions of this study, this research, with a sample of Greek teachers from all regions of Greece, found that teachers' views on immigrant students were positive, although most teachers considered that immigrant pupils should not exceed a percentage of 30% of pupils in one class. The study also revealed that the most positive views towards migrant students were expressed by the male Greek teachers, who were 1840 years old, had Ph.D., were in a bad economic situation, single, and lived in cities. Finally, there are some limitations of this research. The sample was small compared to the total number of all Greek teachers, and the Cronbach alpha was not very high. It is suggested in the future to investigate the psychological factors related to the perceptions of teachers towards migrant students, and if burn out and stress of teachers are related to these perceptions.
Funding/Financial Support
The author has no funding to report.
Other Support/Acknowledgement
The author thanks the participants in the research for their cooperation.
Competing Interests
The author has declared that no competing interests exist.
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About the author
StavroulaVera Strychnou is a Ph.D. student in Educational and Developmental Psychology at Department of Psychology at SouthWest University “Neofit Rilski” in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, as well as an educator in Greece.
Corresponding Author's Contact Address
SouthWest University “Neofit Rilski”
66, Ivan Mihailov,
2700 Blagoevgrad,
Bulgaria
Email: verastrychnou@gmail.com
Psychological Thought
2020, Vol. 13(1), 1236 SouthWest University “Neofit Rilski”
https://doi.org/10.37708/psyct.v13i1.367