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INVESTIGATING SCHOOL INEQUALITIES IN THE GREEK SCHOOL FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF RECOGNITION JUSTICE (ANERKENNUNGSGERECHTIGKEIT)

C. Govaris, D. Sakatzis, E. Sarafidou, S. Kaldi

University of Thessaly (GREECE)
International research of PISA program has raised recently a pedagogical interest about the school role in reproducing school inequalities and more specifically for students with an immigrant background. A significant response has been observed in Stojanov’s proposal about determining the concept of educational justice as recognitive justice in terms of quality about the pedagogical relationship. According to Stojanov (2013) a school open to care for quality in social relations amongst all participants can provide all students with experiences of three modes of recognition:
(a) empathy (emotional security),
(b) moral respect and
(c) social appreciation.

Based on the premises of Stojanov’s theory of educational justice and taking into account the existing school inequalities for students with an immigrant background in the Greek school, according to the PISA (2015) findings, a research was designed for secondary education students aiming to identify possible differences in experiences of recognition in the school environment between native students and students with an immigrant background. The study followed the quantitative paradigm of research with the use of self-reported questionnaires. Participants were 1303 secondary school students from 46 Lyceums (Senior High Schools) and 23 Vocational Lyceums in Greece. The outcomes showed that recognition experiences differentiate according to students’ school achievement rather than the national origin; the higher the school achievement the stronger the recognition they experience from the teachers. The role of individual achievement as a norm of recognition of students from the part of teachers is considered as problematic according to the theory of recognitive justice: a group of students (most of whom are with an immigrant background) face a negative condition of pedagogical relationship which creates challenges rather than empowering them concerning the issue of school success. Moreover, findings about recognition relations amongst students revealed that significant differences were found only in the case of those students with an immigrant background who had high school achievement. Those students are recognized in a lower level compared to their native peers. Therefore, for students with an immigrant background the case of negative social relations condition could be frustrating for them.

Overall, it appears that within the network of social relations and pedagogical relationship students with an immigrant background have reduced recognition experiences, a fact that demonstrates significant deficits in the level of the culture of school relations and consequently a significant deficit in relation to the aims of a school open to recognitive justice.