The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) is the largest public university in Greece. It comprises 7 Faculties organized into 33 Schools, 5 faculties with only 1 school each, as well as 4 independent Schools (a total of 42 Schools). More than 81.500 undergraduate and postgraduate students study at the Aristotle University, 72.140 in undergraduate programmes and 8.360 in postgraduate programmes. The Teaching and Research Staff numbers 2.207 people (767 professors, 452 associate professors, 618 assistant professors, and 370 lecturers); the Scientific Teaching Staff numbers 65; and the Special Laboratory Teaching Staff numbers 259 people. This is further supported by the 240 members of the Special Technical Laboratory Staff for teaching services; and the 961 members of administrative staff (last updated 8-9-2010). The School of Early Childhood Education has a total number of 2.300 students, who receive both theoretical instruction as well as teacher training practice in kindergartens.
The mission of this School is to meet the national, cultural and developmental needs of the early childhood education. Specifically, the Department focuses on producing and disseminating knowledge in the Pedagogical Sciences related to early childhood, identifying, researching and studying educational issues, providing pedagogical training for those wishing to teach in Early Childhood Education and providing pre-service training and staff development courses for school personnel.
The main research interests are: principles of learning and teaching for preschool aged children, effective learning environment, evaluation and assessment in early childhood education,quality in education, quantitative & qualitative methods in early childhood settings, teaching methodology, vocational training of early childhood educators, educational policy, evaluation of school achievement, promotion of creativity and higher order thinking, process-oriented instruction.
Also the School seek:
- To develop early education quality standards in relation to all aspects of early childhood education
- To co-ordinate and enhance early education provision, including parental involvement
- To undertake research and development through which best practice in curriculum, teaching methodology and parent involvement may be implemented and evaluated.