Διαφορετικότητα, πολυπολιτισμικότητα/διαπολιτισμικότητα και ηγεσία για την κοινωνική δικαιοσύνη σε προγράμματα δια βίου μάθησης και εκπαίδευσης ενηλίκων στην Κύπρο: Φιλοσοφικές προσεγγίσεις και χαρακτηριστικά των διευθυνόντων/διευθυνουσών των κρατικών ινστιτούτων επιμόρφωσης
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This dissertation focuses on the investigation of a Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Institute (the Cyprus State Institutes for Further Education (SIfFE)) principals’ Diversity Practice and Multiculturalism (DPM) position, as well as their and Social Justice Consciousness, Knowledge, Skills and Leadership Traits. For the purpose of the research, a qualitative research method was used with semi-structured interviews, and an in-depth study of relevant policy documents. The sample of the research consisted of 23 SIfFE principals who were chosen based on two main criteria: a) years of service as principals of the SIfFE, b) proportion of interculturalism and diversity of the student population. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) was used for the analysis of the data. Regarding the first research question, the analysis of the principals’ philosophical position to matters of diversity and multiculturalism, is based on Steinberg and Kincheloe’s (2009) Tentative Positions of Diversity and Multiculturalism (conservative diversity practice and multiculturalism or monoculturalism, liberal diversity practice and multiculturalism, pluralist diversity practice and multiculturalism, and critical diversity and multiculturalism). For the second research question, concerning the social justice leadership traits, consciousness, vision, skills and knowledge the SIfFE principals possess, the relevant literature and Theoharis’ (2009) typology were utilized, mainly because of the specificity of this typology concerning school leadership and social justice and because of its clear distinction between “a good leader” and “a social justice leader”. Based on the results of the research, an interlapping nature of the tentative DPM positions became evident. Most of the SIfFE principals (14 principals) expressed views that indicated a Liberal DPM position, maintaining a positive attitude towards immigrants and individuals from vulnerable socioeconomic groups in education and the society in general. As is typical for this position, they emphasized the similarities, natural equality and common humanity of all individuals and supported the narrative of same or equal opportunities, rights, and obligations in education and the society. Additionally, they indicated a preference for an integration policy, although they ignored the relation of social structures and power relations with the formation of inequalities and injustice in education and broad society. Seven (7) principals indicated a Conservative or Monocultural DPM position. These principals saw multiculturalism and diversity as problematic on a societal and educational level and referred to the cognitive and learning deficiency of the migrants and other vulnerable students, both minors and adults. They also highlighted their fear of danger for deterioration of the Greek- v Cypriot culture because of the increased presence of migrants, especially in face of the political problem of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus and they called for respect and assimilation to the dominant culture. Two (2) principals gave indications of a Critical DPM position. These principals indicated a positive attitude towards the presence of immigrants and other diverse groups in broader society and education and recognised that inequality exists against these groups. Most importantly, they placed the educational system in a context affected by power relations and dominant attitudes in broad society and they clearly supported an integrative policy for migrants. Finally, they criticised the formal educational system’s practices of exclusion or assimilation. As was found, three principals provided adequate indications for social justice leadership, based on Theoharis’ (2009) criteria, while most of the indications for their selection concerned aspects of social justice consciousness, vision and commitment, and, to a smaller extent, knowledge and skills. A direct relation between the elements of the critical DPM position and social justice leadership was also found. Among the most important findings, the more positive approach of all directors towards the minor and adult immigrant students of their Institute, in relation to their approach to immigrants in the wider society, is highlighted. Additionally, the need for professional development of all the principals and the teachers of the LLL and AE institutes, especially the SIfFE is stressed. Finally, the need for relief from the centralisation of the system, and a more direct connection of the school unit with the community have been found to be essential for the enactment of social justice leadership.