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With Greek education expenditure having been cut by an estimated 36% in the current harsh economic context and educational outcomes remaining weak, along with findings placing Greece at the top of the list of countries with high rates of educational inequalities as a result of an uneven distribution of resources across the country, the question of how we can ensure all children – regardless of geographical location  – are given equal opportunities to education seems to be more salient than ever. The magnitude of the impact of the country’s severe sovereign debt crisis over the last decade is perhaps best reflected in a disproportionate allocation of opportunity for access to the national curriculum, with children attending small rural schools generally receiving exposure to an abridged version of it, a practice which excludes them from important learning domains such as that of foreign language learning. This doctoral research employs a quasi-experimental approach to explore the design of an alternative, cost-effective learning model, and evaluate its suitability for remote contexts which suffer from having a lack of trained teachers and adequate government investment. Self-organised Learning Environments (SOLE) constitute an innovative pedagogical approach which is positioned alongside the notion that children actively construct knowledge rather than acquire it from someone else. By improving understanding around the potential of SOLE in maximising learning gains in educational settings where teacher input is not available, this study aims to illustrate the vast scope for innovation to create equitable educational opportunities while generating better value for taxpayers’ money.

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Lydia Lymperis (United Kingdom) 8713
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