Michalinos Zembylas


This paper engages in critical discourse analysis (CDA) to examine the underlying philosophical and ideological assumptions about multiculturalism and intercultural education in some recent manifestations of educational policy in the Republic of Cyprus. It begins with an overview of CDA and its usefulness in educational policy analysis followed by a brief history of intercultural education in the Greek-Cypriot educational system. Sociopolitical and textual aspects of the chosen policy documents are then analysed which focus on the following questions: (1) What ideological assumptions are made about multiculturalism and intercultural education by Greek-Cypriot educational authorities, and what are the implications of those assumptions for the education of non-indigenous children; (2) How do the chosen policy documents construct culture and diversity and in what ways do those constructions establish and sustain certain power asymmetries? The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of this analysis for policymaking on intercultural education in the Republic of Cyprus and other multicultural settings.



multiculturalism, interculturaleducation, educational policy, critical discourse analysis

Angelides, P., Stylianou, T. and Leigh, J. (2004) ‘Multicultural Education in Cyprus: A Pot of Multicultural Assimilation?’, Intercultural Education, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 307-315.

Banks, J.A. (1994) An Introduction to Multicultural Education. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Banks, J.A. (2007) Educating Citizens in a Multicultural Society, 2nd edition. New York: Teachers College Press.

Ball, S. (1993) ‘What is Policy? Texts, Trajectories and Toolboxes’, Discourse, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 10-17.

Bryant, R. (2004) Imagining the Modern: The Cultures of Nationalism in Cyprus. London: I.B. Tauris.

Commission for Educational Reform (2004) Democratic and Humanistic Education in the Euro-Cypriot State [Demokratiki kai anthropini paideia stin evrokipriaki politeia], Nicosia: Ministry of Education and Culture.

Cummins, J. (1993) ‘Bilingualism and Second Language Learning’ in Grabe, W. (ed.), Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Vol. 13, pp. 51-70. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cummins, J. (1996) Negotiating Identities: Education for Empowerment in a Diverse Society. Los Angeles: California Association for Bilingual Education.

Cummins, J. (1997) ‘Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Education: A Mainstream Issue?’, Educational Review, Vol. 49, No. 2, pp. 105-114.

Duarte, E.M. and Smith, S. (2000) Foundational Perspectives in Multicultural Education. New York: Longman.

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) (2006) Third Report on Cyprus: Adopted 16 December 2005 (CRI(2006)17), Strasbourg: Council of Europe.

Fairclough, N. (1989) Language and Power. London: Longman.

Fairclough, N. (1992) Discourse and Social Change. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Fairclough, N. (1995) Critical Discourse Analysis: The Critical Study of Language. London: Longman.

Fairclough, N. (2003) Analyzing Discourse: Textual Analysis for Social Research. London: Routledge.

Fairclough, N. and Wodak, R. (1997) ‘Critical Discourse Analysis’ in van Dijk, T.A. (ed.), Discourse as Social Interaction: A Multidisciplinary Introduction. London: Sage, pp. 258-284.

Fish, S. (1997) ‘Boutique Multiculturalism, or Why Liberals Are Incapable of Thinking about Hate Speech’, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 378-395.

Gee, J. (1999) An Introduction to Discourse Analysis. New York: Routledge.

Giroux, H. (1993) Living Dangerously: Multiculturalism and the Politics of Difference. New York: Peter Lang.

Gregoriou, Z. (2004) ‘De-scribing Hybridity in “Unspoiled Cyprus”: Postcolonial Tasks for the Theory of Education’, Comparative Education, Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 241-266.

Gutmann, A. (2004) ‘Unity and Diversity in Democratic Multicultural Education: Creative and Destructive Tensions’ in Banks, J.A. (ed.), Diversity and Citizenship Education: Global Perspectives. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, pp. 71-96.

Kincheloe, J.L. and Steinberg, S.R. (1997) Changing Multiculturalism. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Liasidou, A. (2008) ‘Critical Discourse Analysis and Inclusive Educational Policies: The Power to Exclude’, Journal of Education Policy, Vol. 23, No. 5, pp. 483-500.

Luke, A. (2002) ‘Beyond Science and Ideology Critique: Developments in Critical Discourse Analysis’, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Vol. 22, pp. 96-110.

May, S. (1999) ‘Critical Multiculturalism and Cultural Difference: Avoiding Essentialism’ in May, S. (ed.), Critical Multiculturalism: Rethinking Multiculturalism and Antiracist Education. London: Falmer, pp. 11-41.

McDonough, T. (2008) ‘The Course of “Culture” in Multiculturalism’, Educational Theory, Vol. 58, No. 3, pp. 321-342.

Ministry of Education and Culture (2007a) National Report in Education. Nicosia: Ministry of Education and Culture.

Ministry of Education and Culture (2007b) Strategic Planning for Education: A Holistic Revision of Our Educational System. Nicosia: Ministry of Education and Culture.

Nieto, S. (1999) The Light in Their Eyes: Creating Multicultural Learning Communities. New York: Teachers College Press.

Panayiotopoulos, C. and Nicolaidou, M. (2007) ‘At a Crossroads of Civilizations: Multicultural Education Provision in Cyprus through the Lens of a Case Study’, Intercultural Education, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 65-79.

Papamichael, E. (2008) ‘Greek-Cypriot Teachers’ Understandings of Intercultural Education in an Increasingly Diverse Society’, The Cyprus Review, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 51-78.

Park, Y. (2005) ‘Culture as Deficit: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Concept of Culture in Contemporary Social Work Discourse’, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 11-33.

Popkewitz, T. and Brennan, M. (1998) ‘Restructuring of Social and Political Theory in Education: Foucault and the Social Epistemology of School Practices’ in Popkewitz, T. and Brennan, M. (eds.), Foucault’s Challenge: Discourse, Knowledge and Power in Education. New York: Teachers College Press, pp. 3-39.

Ravitch, D. (1990) ‘Multiculturalism: E Pluribus Plures’ The American Scholar (Summer), pp. 337-354.

Roussou, M. and Hadjiyianni-Yiangou, E. (2001) Intercultural Education in Cyprus. Nicosia: Ministry of Education and Culture, Primary Education Programme Development Service.

Schlesinger, A.M. Jr. (1991) The Disuniting of America: Reflection on Multicultural Society. New York: W.W. Norton.

Sleeter, C. and McLaren, P. (eds.) (1995) Multicultural Education, Critical Pedagogy, and the Politics of Difference. New York: State University of New York Press.

Spivak, G. (1987). In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics. New York: Routledge.

Spring, J. (2008) ‘Research on Globalization and Education’, Review of Educational Research, Vol. 78, No. 2, pp. 330-363.

Spyrou, S. (2009) ‘Between Intimacy and Intolerance: Greek Cypriot Children’s Encounters with Asian Domestic Workers’, Childhood, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 155-173.

Statistical Services of the Republic of Cyprus (2006) Demographic Report. Nicosia: Cyprus Statistical Services.

Taylor, S. (2004) ‘Researching Educational Policy and Change in “new times”: Using Critical Discourse Analysis’, Journal of Educational Policy, Vol. 19, No. 4, pp. 433-451.

Thompson, J.B. (1990) Ideology and Modern Culture: Critical Social Theory in the Era of Mass Communication. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Tiedt, P.L. and Tiedt, I.M. (2002) Multicultural Teaching: A Handbook of Activities, Information and Resources, 6th edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Trimikliniotis, N. (2004) ‘Mapping Discriminatory Landscapes in Cyprus: Ethnic Discrimination in a Divided Education System’, The Cyprus Review, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 53-86.

Trimikliniotis, N. (2008) ‘The State of Education and Racial Discrimination for 2007-2008 in Cyprus’. Unpublished manuscript, Nicosia, Cyprus.

Trimikliniotis, N. and Demetriou, C. (2009) ‘The Cypriot Roma and the Failure of Education: Antidiscrimination and Multiculturalism as a Post-accession Challenge’, in Coureas, N. and Varnava, A. (eds.), The Minorities of Cyprus: Development Patterns and the Identity of the Internal-Exclusion. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Troyna, B. (1994) ‘Critical Social Research and Education Policy’, British Journal of Education Studies, Vol. 42, No. 2, pp. 70-84.

Tryfonas, P. (ed.) (2003) Pedagogies of Difference: Rethinking Education for Social Justice. New York: Routledge.

Valentin, S. (2006) ‘Addressing Diversity in Teacher Education Programs’, Education, Vol. 127, No. 2, pp. 196-202.

van Dijk, T.A. (ed.) (1997) Discourse as Social Interaction: A Multidisciplinary Introduction. London: Sage.

Weiss, G. and Wodak, R. (eds.) (2003) Critical Discourse Analysis: Theory and Interdisciplinarity. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Wubbels, T., den Brok, P., Veldman, I. and Van Tartwijk, J. (2006) ‘Teacher Interpersonal Competence for Dutch Secondary Multicultural Classrooms’, Teachers and Teaching, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 407-433.

Zembylas, M. (2007) Five Pedagogies, a Thousand Possibilities: Struggling for Hope and Transformation in Education. Rotterdam: The Netherlands, Sense Publishers.

Zembylas, M. (2008) The Politics of Trauma in Education. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Zembylas, M. (in press a) ‘Children’s Construction and Experience of Racism and Nationalism in Greek-Cypriot Primary Schools’, Childhood.

Zembylas, M. (in press b) ‘Racialization/Ethnicization of School Emotional Spaces: The Politics of Resentment’, Race Ethnicity and Education.

Zembylas, M. and Iasonos, S. (in press) ‘Leadership Styles and Multicultural Education Approaches: An Exploration of Their Relationship’, International Journal of Leadership in Education.

Zembylas, M. and Karahasan, H. (2006) ‘The Politics of Memory and Forgetting in Pedagogical Practices: Towards Pedagogies of Reconciliation and Peace in Divided Cyprus’, The Cyprus Review, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Fall), pp. 15-35.