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Students of 27 nationaltities play Aristophanes


Name of the teacher
No teacher
Subject taught:
Theatrical education


Name of the School:
51th Primary School of Athens
Web site:


Background and Context:
51 primary school of Athens was built in 1894 but after different organical and buildings transformations it first functioned in 1971 under the current name. Since 2011 -2012, school operates as an all day school. Personnel of school is consisted by 28 teachers and 4 persons for cleaning and security services. School has a big percentage of migrants students. The headmaster of the school says: We are one of the first schools to receive foreign children and so we know how to behave and how to teach them. Parents also trust us because we do not look at nationalities and economic situations. For us, all are children in need of school."
Refugee children with difficult war and family backround and first generation migrant children with no knowledge of greek language attend 51 primary school of Athens under very good accepting conditions by school's enviroment.
Factual Description:
Activity was realised after the Association of Guardians and Parents and the headmaster tried to solve some organical problems of school. With a state regulation, cuts happened especially in the two last classes of the primary school, in subjetcs such as music education, theatrical education, english and arts ( at the same time gives the opportunity to teach these courses to non-specialized teachers as a second assignment, which in practice means that during the hours of these subjects either the children are taught other lessons (Language, Mathematics, History) or left freely in the courtyard to play). In secondary school there is not subject of theatrology. The subject of theatrical education is absolutely absent in the two classes while is known as a subject which have extremely benefits on children creativity and through the means of theatrical play human ideas and values can be promoted more easily to children minds. As many other things are happening in Greece the solution was "self-organisation". Headmaster along with parents found M.S, a teacher of theatrology which accepted to teach with initiative students on weekends.
As Andreas, a 6th grade student says "We work hard but we have a lot of fun. We are constantly trying to improve the result that we will bring to the audience and we all do it together, without discrimination, with cooperation ". He is a member of the Pagrati Theatrical Team, which includes children from different districts of Athens. Teachers of theatrology try to help children on their performance and other issues of a theatrical play .
One can consider that different actors such as parents, headmaster and teachers had a great cooperation , aiming at their children development beyond the basic school curriculum. The action was not only for national students but also for migrants and refugee students. In the play participated children of 27 different nationalities!
Activities carried out:
A theatrical play with the title "Aristophanes Junior" was chosen and re-editioned by two theatrologists, one of them is the teacher M.S. A combination of three works of Aristophanes, the Father of the Comedy (Ornithes, Ploutos, Acharnis) was used as a very useful tool which united national, migrants and refugee children not only to be entertained, but to learn, to cooperate and in the end to present their work in the audience.
The achievement was a big one since most of the children don't speak at all or speak in a low level greek language. A teacher M.S says on an article " I work in three schools in order to complete my hours of work. This is the school of my heart because it made me more difficult. It made me harder because the children were totally unrelated to theater and totally unrelated to the Greek language. They did not understand Greek, they could not read Greek. Whatever we did , i taught them to. We did not read text. They were having difficulty in understanding, and sometimes in the joint. It was very difficult. Upon learning their words, they forgot. We worked very hard. I had to convince them to be confident, that they have value. To convince them that what they do is very serious. To convince them with exercises, toys, to love it. It helped me a lot. We started with the chorals. Children who do not speak Greek, learn the songs! By the time they learned the songs, they were immediately mobilized and began to watch a little more so that with repetition they could learn prose, and speech.
Thus, they gained great contact with the language, without understanding it. There are children who know nothing but the words of the work play. And the words "good morning", "toilet", "lady", "break". You understand how heroes are the school's teachers, and the headmaster who has found the balance. Despite the difficulties and problems, you feel like you are in the most joyful school! It has no misery. While in other schools with immigrants, refugees, Roma, there is a lot of misery. It's almost ghettos. It keeps the kids far down. Very much to nothing. They have no vision. "These stupid can not learn." This is the point. Here is the personality of the headmaster who has mobilized and the teachers.
Assessment and lesson learnt:
"Children through the theater have become much better in the learning part. They learnt to learn. They have solved some problems of self-esteem, articulation of speech, cooperation. You have to see how they work together! In another school, for example, when I tell them to make a circle, they fight each other, who will tell the other how to do it. Here, see how they are self-organized and how one helps the other!
I've lived incredible moments of love and excitement. For example, a little girl playing in Acharnes is a muslim and she fasting because of Ramazani. So they do not send her to school, not to see the other children eat and become jealous. And the little girl came when we had a lesson, got to the rehearsal and left. It just came to play theater! "
Description of the Case Study in National Language:

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.