Social and Ethnic Inequalities in the Cypriot Education System: A Critical Realist View on Empowerment, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Social and Ethnic Inequalities in the Cypriot Education System

A Critical Realist View on Empowerment, 1st Edition

By Areti Stylianou, David Scott


176 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138304390
pub: 2019-06-17
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Accommodating the diversity of learners in mainstream schooling and providing high quality education to all - what is usually described as inclusive education - is prioritised at international and European levels as a human rights issue and as a reform strategy which tackles inequalities and promotes social cohesion within both schools and wider society. This book advances critical realist ideas in empirical research in order to close the theory-practice gap and shift the emphasis from epistemology to ontology with regard to teachers’ empowerment to provide inclusive education. With a focus on the school context rather than the agency of the individual teacher, the authors use empirical data from case studies to demonstrate teachers’ disempowerment as real, and rooted in features of reality. Offering a unified critical realist model, the book challenges taken-for-granted ideas and practices concerning the empowerment of teachers in inclusive education and seeks to set the ground for a more holistic and inclusive educational change.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Inclusive Education

3. Empowerment, Social Contexts and Power Relations

4. Critical Realism and the Notion of Empowerment

5. Methodological Choices in Educational Research

6. Karma, Delta, Zita and Omega Case Studies

7. Empowering and Disempowering Contexts

8. Post-Conflict Retroductions: Teacher Empowerments

About the Authors

Areti Stylianou is a Curriculum Development Officer, working at the Pedagogical Institute of Cyprus. She has published articles in a number of journals, including the International Journal of Inclusive Education and British Journal of Educational Studies.

David Scott is Emeritus Professor of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment at the Institute of Education, University College London. He is co-author of Equalities and Inequalities in the English Education System (2018).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Critical Realism

Critical Realism is a broad movement within philosophy and social science. It is a movement that began in British philosophy and sociology following the founding work of Roy Bhaskar, Margaret Archer and others. Critical Realism emerged from the desire to realise an adequate realist philosophy of science, social science, and of critique. Against empiricism, positivism and various idealisms (interpretivism, radical social constructionism), Critical Realism argues for the necessity of ontology. The pursuit of ontology is the attempt to understand and say something about ‘the things themselves’ and not simply about our beliefs, experiences, or our current knowledge and understanding of those things. Critical Realism also argues against the implicit ontology of the empiricists and idealists of events and regularities, reducing reality to thought, language, belief, custom, or experience. Instead Critical Realism advocates a structural realist and causal powers approach to natural and social ontology, with a focus upon social relations and process of social transformation.

Important movements within Critical Realism include the morphogenetic approach developed by Margaret Archer; Critical Realist economics developed by Tony Lawson; as well as dialectical Critical Realism (embracing being, becoming and absence) and the philosophy of metaReality (emphasising priority of the non-dual) developed by Roy Bhaskar.

For over thirty years, Routledge has been closely associated with Critical Realism and, in particular, the work of Roy Bhaskar, publishing well over fifty works in, or informed by, Critical Realism (in series including Critical Realism: Interventions; Ontological Explorations; New Studies in Critical Realism and Education). These have all now been brought together under one series dedicated to Critical Realism.

The Centre for Critical Realism is the advisory editorial board for the series. If you would like to know more about the Centre for Critical Realism, or to submit a book proposal, please visit

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General