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Open Access History and citizenship: Does the reformed Greek Cypriot primary history curriculum include myths and legends that represent the 'other'?

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This paper investigates the elements in ancient Greek myths that refer to the 'other' in the recently reformed Greek Cypriot history curriculum's primary phase programmes of study (MoEd, 2016). The article's opening section analyses the conceptual nature of such myths and their presence in modern curricula. It goes on to identify in these myths the presence of any foreign, different or genderbased 'other', and whether they are included in Greek Cypriot textual or visual teaching material about myths and legends. The article also considers the extent to which this material refers to characteristic, dominant female figures who play a leading role in classical myths and local historical narratives – figures associated with numerous Cypriot place names, traditions, historical accounts and fiction. The paper builds on Said's (1989) concept of otherness, post-colonial theory and Foucault's discourse analysis (Given, 2002) to consider in particular how the myth of Aphrodite, the gendered woman 'other', was marginalized during Venetian, Ottoman and British colonial rule of Cyprus from 1489 to 1960. More generally, it examines the significance of teaching ancient Greek myths as an aspect of Greek Cypriot citizenship education.
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Keywords: ANCIENT GREECE; CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION; CYPRUS; GREECE; GREEK CYPRIOT CURRICULUM; IDENTITY; MYTHOLOGY AND MYTHS; TURKISH CYPRIOTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 26 October 2018

More about this publication?
  • The History Education Research Journal (HERJ) is an international, open-access, peer-reviewed journal that focuses on the global significance and impact of history education. It covers all aspects of history education theory, scholarship, and pure and applied research. Articles illuminate contemporary issues, concerns, policies and practice, drawing upon the eclectic research methodologies of history education. The journal is published in partnership with the Historical Association.

    HERJ is a relaunch of the International Journal of Historical Learning Teaching and Research. All past issues up to and including vol. 15, no. 1 were published under this title. HERJ vol. 15, no. 2 is the first to be published by UCL IOE Press.
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