NEW YORK – Two hundred and sixty teachers and administrators attended an in-service training seminar for teachers who serve in the day and Greek afternoon/Saturday schools. The annual Staff Development Seminar was successfully organized Tuesday, November 3, (Election Day), by the Direct Archdiocesan District Office of Education and was held at St. Demetrios High School in Astoria, NY, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America.
This year’s Seminar included a series of presentations and workshops for the NYC parochial day school teachers (English program) with the general theme “Writing Across the Curriculum” according to the Common Core mandates of the New York State Education Department.
The Greek teachers had the opportunity to hear Prof. Marios Koukounaras-Liagkis, a theologian and educator at the University of Athens/School of Theology who focused on current methods of teaching the Greek language.
Prof. Marios Koukounaras-Liagkis held two 2-hour training workshops based on the needs of the Greek American schools, teachers, and students. Prof. Liagkis put an emphasis on the educational value of having a pleasant classroom environment in order to achieve success of the learning process focusing on the poem of K. Cavafy’s "All you can do.”
Furthermore, Prof. Liagkis made a reference to the factors that influence a positive climate in the classroom and analyzed mistakes in teaching. He proposed activities that may be used by teachers, at all levels, to encourage students to participate effectively, understand, and better master the Greek language. These activities were based on the child-guided (independent) learning and on the communicative teaching.
Teachers participated in a variety of language games and reflected on their own experience according to the age and language level of their students, transforming the Seminar to a vivid classroom. Participating teachers expressed their satisfaction in having learned useful skills and new ideas for their everyday teaching of the Greek language and culture.
Prof. Marios Koukounaras-Liagkis studied Theology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Greek Philology at the Democritus University of Thrace. He also holds an M.A. in Pedagogy and a Ph.D. in Sociology of Religion from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He has published a number of books on pedagogy and the sociology of religion and is a member of several State and Church Committees for education, religious education, and publications.