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Greece - The Forming of the Pan-Hellenic Environmental Education Teachers’ Association

Friday 26 November 2004, by Neta GAZILA

The Pan-Hellenic Environmental Education Teachers’ Association can attest today to a year’s worth of substantial activity. At the founding meeting in November 1992, it was decided to set up a Provisional Management Commission to prepare the Association’s operation (statutes registration, organization of elections). Shortly after the Association’s statutes were ratified in May 1993, the Attiki (Athens area) and Thessaloniki branches began operating. In November 1993, the Association’s General Assembly ratified the operating regulations, and elections were held for the nomination of the Board of Directors.
The Association was born out of the need felt by teachers who had already been practicing Environmental Education (EE) for about 10 years to communicate and share their views and experiences in EE implementation. Teachers at all levels (primary, secondary, university) took part in its constitution.

The Association’s aim is to develop EE in every school in the country in view of changing the relationship between the human Species and Nature, to establish communication among the educators involved in EE, and to favor mutual help in their action. Also included in its objectives are the institution and operation of EE Centers, the sharing of information and experiences with organizations, and national or international, working in the same field, as well as the promotion of research in EE and in the environmental problems of the country.
It is a national Association acting and operating through its regional or local branches. So far, four branches have been set up and are running in four regions/cities: Attiki, Thessaloniki, Corinth, and Evros. The central Board of Directors operates out of Thessaloniki.

The Thessaloniki branch is in charge of publishing a quarterly newsletter called “For Environmental Education”. Four issues have been published to date. The Association, through its branches, has organized (and helped to organize) a large number of events, such as:
• an international symposium on the topic “Environmental Education: Research and Action”;
• an international seminar on the topic “The Mediterranean Year of Water”;
• a one-day seminar on the subject of Environmental Education Centers;
• one-day seminars on the topic “An Approach to Environmental Education through Experience” (organized in three cities with the assistance of British educators);
• a one-day seminar on the topic “Environmental Education: Actions, Objectives, and Perspectives”.
The Association has also cooperated with Prefecture-level officials in charge of Environmental Education, and participated, through its members (as participants or lecturers), in national and international meetings and a variety of events. The Association has scheduled many events for the year 1995.

Editor’s note: In Greece, two teachers fill the positions of «officials in charge of Environmental Education» in each Prefecture, one for each level of education, secondary and primary. The two officials coordinate Environmental Education activities in the Prefecture schools, assist teachers in designing and carrying out Environmental Education programs, and organize training seminars for working teachers.

KEY WORDS: Network; Environmental Education; Association; Education; Experience sharing; Publication; Meeting.
AUTHOR: Neta Gazila, Pan-Hellenic Environmental Education Teachers’ Association (P.E.EK.P.E.), P.O. Box 50957, 54014 Thessaloniki 22, Greece, Tel: 30 / 31 / 829 668, Fax: 30 / 31 / 285 962..