The Child Abuse Matter and the Major Role Played by the Teacher: Issues Raised by a Pilot Focus Group Sample of Primary Teachers

Elena Vitalaki


A great deal of attention is now being paid to issues raised by child abuse. Recent reports, enquiries and relevant
agencies have all recognized the important role played by teachers in aiding the detection and prevention of child
abuse, due to their close everyday contact with children. The result of the ideas presented in the present work
was initiated by a Focus group of 12 re-educated teachers at the University of Crete, who met five times in order
to review and examine: a) their attitudes concerning possible child abuse incidents within the school settings, and
b) the type of teachers’ involvement in assessing and intervening with abused children and their families. Finally,
the participation of a second group of 6 re-educated elementary teachers in the last meeting provided the
opportunity of comparing feelings and attitudes between the 2 groups concerning child protection training
programs and made recommendations for ways gaps could be filled in the future. The present work concluded
that teachers who do recognize abuse do so intuitively, for there is little or no initial advice during the training of
teachers to help them develop such diagnostic skills. Nor is there training to help teachers take things further
after the initial diagnosis.

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Journal of Education and Learning   ISSN 1927-5250 (Print)   ISSN 1927-5269 (Online)


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