Informal Teaching and Learning: A Study of Everyday Cognition in a Greek Community

By Rosemary C. Henze | Go to book overview

2 The Communities

TRIKALA AND KIRIAKITSA

The Central Greek province of Thessaly, where this study was conducted, consists largely of flat, fertile plains. Considered the "breadbasket" of Greece, Thessaly grows most of the wheat the country uses, as well as corn, cotton, watermelons, and many other crops. It has several medium-sized cities, one of which is Trikala.

A city of approximately 30,000 inhabitants and the seat of the local prefecture, Trikala is about 5 hours north of Athens by car or bus. To the north lie the sandstone promontories of Meteora, which are well known for the 13th-century Byzantine monasteries perchedon top of the cliffs. To the west are the Pindus mountains, whose outlifes are esually hazy from smoke and dust. To tha east across the plains lies a larger city, Larisca, and to the south is the small city of Karditsa (see Figure 3 for map).

Tourists pass through Trikala on their way to the magnificent formations at Meteora, but they rarely stay. The historical sites in Trikala do not cater to tourism, and unless one is interested in the everyday life of a fairly typical Greek town with a river (the Lithaios) and a fort built in the middle ages, there is little for tourists to do there. For this reason, Trikala is a far cry from the Greek islands most outsiders think of when they picture Greece.

Kiriakitsa, a large village of approximately 1,800 inhabitants or 300 houses,1 is located four kilometers from Trikala. In fact, Kiriakitsa is so close to Trikala that it is considered a suburb or sinikeia within the city

____________________
1
Population estimate from the Dimarheia (town hall) in Trikala, June 1986.

-27-

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Informal Teaching and Learning: A Study of Everyday Cognition in a Greek Community
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - How to Ring a Doorbell 1
  • 2 - The Communities 27
  • 3 - Fieldwork in Kiriakitsa And Trikala 42
  • 4 - Alitheia and Psemata (Truth and Lies) 55
  • 5 - Teaching and Learning to Do 73
  • 6 - Teaching and Learning To Understand 104
  • 7 - Teaching and Learning To Use Language 132
  • 8 - The Particular And the General 150
  • Appendix A: Variation in Informal Teaching and Learning (n = 109) 156
  • References 179
  • Author Index 183
  • Subject Index 185
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