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Open Access National–European identity and notions of citizenship: A comparative study between Portuguese and Greek university student teachers

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This paper reports a study of prospective teachers' views about Europe, and European and national identity, in Greece and Portugal. The paper analyses written responses to a closed multiple-choice questionnaire provided by 33 Greek and 35 Portuguese prospective teachers following courses in Ioannina and Braga universities in early 2018. First, students were asked to answer 15 closed questions related to their perceptions of national, European and other identities. More specifically they were asked to choose among different associations of Europe and different levels of how their country is integrated into Europe. Also, they were asked to choose their preferred 'identification with particular identities' (Villaverde Cabral and Machado Pais, 1998) and to articulate their notions of citizenship by commenting on different criteria for the naturalization of immigrants. Finally, they were asked to predict the future of the European Union by answering an open question. Data analysis focused on the 2018 data and on comparisons with existing data sets, collected in Greece and Portugal since 1994, relating to perceptions of national and European identity and to notions of citizenship. The authors expected to find change over time in data on attitudes in the two countries, reflecting the impacts of the recent economic crisis in both Portugal and Greece and the refugee crisis, particularly in Greece. Portuguese participants were found to manifest a more positive perspective on Portuguese–European integration than had been the case in earlier data sets, while at the same time wishing to preserve some specific aspects of national identity. The Greek students were found generally to be consistent with their pro-European viewpoints, but at the same time there seems to have been an increasing distrust of the European Union after the experience of the 2010–18 economic crisis – indications of which were apparent in some earlier findings .

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Keywords: CITIZENSHIP; COMPARATIVE RESEARCH; EUROPEAN UNION; GREECE AND PORTUGAL; PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2020

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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