This article was published in Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol 27 number 2,
Author(s): Michalinos Zembylas, Constadina Charalambous, Panayiota Charalambous, Panayiota Kendeou , " Promoting Peaceful Coexistence in Conflict-Ridden Cyprus: Teachers’ Difficulties and Emotions towards a New policy Initiative", Pages 332-341, Copyright Elsevier (February 2011).
This article looks at teachers’ perceptions of difficulties and emotions about a recent policy initiative in the Greek-Cypriot educational system to promote peaceful coexistence.
This policy initiative by the government sparked strong emotional reactions.
This paper provides an in-depth understanding of the intersection between tensions at the larger socio-political landscape and teachers’ emotional readiness to deal with this policy initiative.
To do so, the paper draws on the findings of a quantitative and a qualitative study conducted during the end of the 2008–2009 school year.
The findings indicate that most Greek-Cypriot teachers recognized the importance of cultivating peaceful coexistence in schools. However, the survey also documented a significant lack of readiness and willingness to implement the new objective, coupled with doubts regarding its feasibility.
The qualitative analysis confirmed that teachers’ emotional resistance was triggered by both ideological and practical obstacles.
Taken together, the data from both phases of this research suggest that despite teachers’ notable indications of positivity towards reconciliation on a rhetorical level, when it comes to implementation, the ideological, emotional and practical difficulties they face are disheartening and, often, insurmountable.