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Assessment policy: introduction - Greece

Assessment today has no more meaning that it used to have in the past since the role of the school itself has greatly changed. The school is expected to provide pupils with a broad understanding and appreciation of values such as humanistic ideals and skills necessary for lifelong improvement.  In fact the educational system itself is assessed rather than the pupils’ achievements. 

The broad term assessment refers to almost all forms of measurement and appraisal, including tests, observations, interviews, and reports from knowledgeable sources, recorded and integrated in an organised manner and used in planning for further instruction.

The term is sometimes used to refer to one appraisal or one measure, or to avoid the negative connotations of the term test, testing and evaluation. To distinguish the new assessment approach from developmental screening, readiness, achievement and diagnostic testing; unit test; and the many other instruments and procedures typically called assessment, it is referred to as classroom assessment, alternative assessment or authentic assessment.

Classroom assessment includes the innumerable and complex ways in which teachers appraise children’s learning in the classroom.

Alternative assessment refers to almost any type of assessment other than standardised tests and similar developmental inventories and achievement tests.

Authentic assessment takes place as part of ongoing life and learning in the classroom, playground, lunchroom, and other typical school settings. 

Education in Greece is compulsory for all children 6-15 years old. The school life of the pupils, however, can start from the age of 2.5 years (pre-school education) in institutions (private and public) called "Vrefonipiakoi Paidikoi Stathmi" (creches). In some Vrefonipiakoi Stathmoi there are also Nipiaka Tmimata (nursery classes) which operate along with the Nipiagogeia (kindergartens). Compulsory education includes Primary (Dimotiko) and Lower Secondary (Gymnasio) Education. Attendance at Primary Education (Dimotiko) lasts for six years.  During the six grades pupils follow lessons of general education. All-day primary schools are in operation, with an extended timetable and an enriched Curriculum (http://www.ypepth.gr

The aims of the Greek educational system are specified by the Constitution (article 16,sec. 2) as follows:

Education constitutes a basic responsibility of the state and its aim is the moral, professional and physical development of the Greek people, the development of their national and religious awareness as well as their development as free and responsible citizens.

However, Law 1566/85 (article 1, sec. 1), that refers to, Structure and function of Primary and Secondary education specifies the following:

The aim of Primary and Secondary education is to contribute to the well adjusted and balanced moral, intellectual and physical development of pupils, so that irrespective of their sex and origin, they will be able to develop into well adjusted individuals with a fulfilling and creative life.

Apart from the provisions of the Constitution mentioned above there are certain others that concern school education. More specifically, article 5A of the Constitution states that the right to information and the right to participation in information in society are protected by the State. Also, in articles 16 and 24 of the Constitution reference is made to the need to protect art and cultural goods, and in Law 2413/96 the framework of action concerning multicultural issues in Modern Greek society is set. Furthermore, Law 2525/98 provides the guidelines for the development of the general educational programme called Diathematiko (Cross-thematic/Cross-Curricular) and the Individual School programme, while Low 2870/00 specifies the framework for the education of Pupils with Special Needs. Finally, with the accession of our country to the European Union the development of European citizenship awareness is considered necessary, along with the preservation of national identity and cultural awareness.

Curricula 

(http://www.pi-schools.gr)

The aims of school education and the values are promoted through the syllabus content, the attitudes, skills and activities mentioned in the general educational programme called Diathematiko (Cross-thematic/Cross-Curricular) and the individual school programme (ISC). The model that dominates the Greek educational system is based on the independent teaching of different subjects.

This general approach enables pupils to acquire a unified body of knowledge and skills following a holistic approach to knowledge. This approach also allows them to form their own personal opinions on scientific issues that are closely interrelated and are also related with the issues of everyday life.

The Cross-thematic approach is supplemented by methods of active acquisition of knowledge, which are applied in the teaching of individual subjects, and are further explored during cross-thematic activities taking place during the teaching of each theme.

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