© 2017

Formal and Informal Education during the Rise of Greek Nationalism

Learning to be Greek


  • Explores the historical contexts of informal learning in Greece; a topic that has received limited historiographical attention

  • Includes original research and an array of historical sources within the study

  • Focuses on the period between 1880-1930, the years historians note to be the height of the Greek nationalistic ambitions in the Balkans


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Theodore G. Zervas
    Pages 63-87
  3. Theodore G. Zervas
    Pages 89-110
  4. Theodore G. Zervas
    Pages 137-158
  5. Theodore G. Zervas
    Pages 159-166
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 167-186

About this book


This book examines informal modes of learning in Greece from in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, set against the backdrop of Greek nationalist interests and agendas. For much of this period, one of the Greek state’s major goals was to bind the nation around a common history and culture, linked to a collective and homogenous community. This study addresses the critical relationship between the average Greek child and their home, community, and school life during the earliest stages of their education. The stories, games, songs, and theater that children learned in Greece for much of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries went beyond shaping their moral character or providing entertainment, but were instrumental in forging a Greek national consciousness.


Informal Education Nationalism Greece National Identity Formation Ethnic Minorities Greek Children

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.North Park UniversityChicagoUSA

About the authors

Theodore G. Zervas is Associate Professor of Education at North Park University, USA.  

Bibliographic information


“This most welcome volume traces the history of education in Greece during the age of romantic nationalism. Education was central in the Greek nation-building process. By placing the case of Greece into a broader comparative context, the book marks an important intervention into the history of education as a whole.” (Thomas W. Gallant, Nicholas Family Endowed Chair and Professor of Modern Greek History & Archaeology, University of California, San Diego, USA, and Social Sciences Editor, Journal of Modern Greek Studies)

“How do children become members of a nation? Most of our answers have focused upon the school, where the modern nation-state socializes its new citizens. But a host of informal institutions--families, folklore, theater, and more--have also played significant roles in in the process, as Zervas reminds us. Educating the nation's young was never just about schools, so scholars of education--and of nationalism--need to look beyond them.” (Jonathan Zimmerman, Professor of History of Education, University of Pennsylvania, USA)