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Development of knowledge and innovative ideas

This thematic area will embrace a whole range of educational programmes and actions designed to suit all levels of education and including the following units:

This unit consists of a set of educational actions relating to and inspired by the Academy of Plato.The idea behind the actions to be developed at the primary and secondary school level is to familiarize children with the legacy of values associated with the Academy of ancient Athens – not viewing these values purely from the perspective of the study of ethics, or solely in the context of Platonic philosophy itself, but much more broadly in their later evolution and in their subsequent historical applications. The concepts to be drawn out and emphasized are those:

  • of dialogue,
  • of the principle of equality among all those participating in that dialogue, regardless of race, social status or background,
  • of the importance of participation in the construction of personal identity,
  • of the management of disagreement,
  • of the use of a method of inquiry based on rational, critical thinking.

The various programmes will be designed for young people in the last grades of primary school, junior high and high school.They will address the needs and interests of these three age groups and their teachers, but also the local community and the various institutions associated with the educational community.

The programmes will be developed around four axes, all designed to meet to the underlying objective and all to be seen as both instrumental and as carrying their own distinct values as parallel aspirations to the main objective. These axes are as follows:

  • Learning through direct experience,
  • Interaction between the school and the community,
  • Conducting of research,
  • Team work,
  • Emphasis on the concept of public value in its tangible and intangible dimensions, as public space and as public sphere.

 

This unit is a highly significant element of the programme and aims at the development of carefully checked and reliable learning materials:

  • In different styles (text, multimedia, metadata),
  • At different levels of understanding (primary, junior high, high school, Greek general public, tourists),
  • Targeted at different audiences (educational, encyclopaedia, local awareness-raising, direct experience learning, etc.),
  • Using different levels of interactivity (simple passive reception/browsing, searching, creation, participatory process).

The material will be mostly textual and multimedia in nature. It is organized into knowledge units or themes containing a summary and/or more detailed text, still or moving pictures and sound. The varied components of the knowledge units will include, for example, catalogues, lists of works, timelines, maps, learning games and graphs. The texts and accompanying material/illustrations (or, conversely, the images and their accompanying captions/explanations) are designed and written on three main levels of difficulty of comprehension: for children of primary, junior high and high school.

The material will present the user with the knowledge sections organized both thematically and alphabetically, allowing simple or more advanced searches among titles and textual content. The topics will cover the following broad categories:

  • Place (natural and man-made environment).
  • People.
  •   History.
  • Philosophy (ideas and works).
  • Reception and Impact.

Multimedia components will also be designed and address the various levels of comprehension, including, for example, video, sound and multimedia archives (e.g. flash) in formats including browsing, interviews, music, theatre, recitals, simulation, re-creation, games, etc.

The summer schools are intended for children from schools in Greece, classical and general high schools in Europe, and schools in America, Australia and Asia. They are intended to promote the study of Greek language and civilization.

The courses will offer the participants a variety of topics, allowing them to study the various disciplines and subjects associated with the general spirit of the Academy, while also learning about contemporary Greece and its people.

Through the active collaboration of groups of students the courses will offer a valuable tool for social and cultural development and learning through direct experience. The students will be introduced to the history, literature, philosophy and civilization of Greece, from ancient times to the present day. The material will be attractively presented using contemporary methods such as workshops, study groups, visits to places of cultural, archaeological and architectural interest, sports, talks by teachers and lecturers, open discussions with museum directors, experts in art conservation, writers, directors, photographers and other specialists.

The courses will be taught in two two-week cycles, and will be open to young people aged 15 to 18. The programme is to run for three years, from 2012 to 2014.

The summer school in philosophy and applied research will attempt something profoundly innovative: to attract high-calibre researchers from all over the world, through international competition. The researchers will be from a variety of disciplines, both the sciences and humanities, and will all be individuals interested in investigating the relationship between applied research and its underlying principles, and the ways in which this research supplies feedback for – and occasionally overturns – these same principles.

Within the framework of the summer school,  will be investigated the connections between philosophy and applied research in various areas, with the emphasis on the sciences, and particularly on the organization and supply of digital information. Both practical and methodological issues will be explored, relating to the creation of new products and services and with reference to the basic principles of philosophy. Particular emphasis will be laid on a multi-disciplinary approach to the production process, the moral issues raised by the application of the results of research, and the changes they may bring to the philosophical system from which they have arisen.

The school will be run for two years, with a different programme each year to allow the courses to evolve in line with the results of the preceding year. It is hoped that the courses will eventually be established as a significant academic institution, run regularly on an annual basis. Participants will be selected through an open invitation published on the internet and announced on the networks of excellence at the most important academic and research institutions abroad. The participants will be chosen by a special panel of academics, following a rigorous evaluation of the applications submitted.

 There will be also educational visits to special locations and institutions, with presentations of research results, methods and concerns associated with the relationship between philosophy and science, with the emphasis on the productive and practical dimensions of the latter.

This programme is intended to help foreign postgraduate students, doctoral candidates and post-doctoral researchers wishing to attend courses or work on doctoral or post-doctoral research at Greek universities, particularly in the following disciplines: philology (classical – modern Greek), linguistics, history (ancient or modern), history of art, archaeology, philosophy, political science, social theory and sociology, international and European studies, visual arts, theatre, arts management, museum studies.

The programme will be open to:

A) Foreigners, not of Greek descent.

B) Persons of Greek origin living permanently abroad, or persons of Greek nationality from  second generation and on, who have acquired a degree abroad and been permanently living outside Greece for at least fifteen years.

C) Greeks – to be considered only in the event that there are insufficient candidates in categories A) and B) above to match the number of scholarships available.

D) Foreign post-doctoral researchers.

Under this programme scholarships will be granted to meet living expenses and study costs.

This action will involve the creation of a single, specialized platform for managing and recovering digital data – creating a unique reference point from which users will be able to explore digital content on the subject of Plato. The system will offer, inter alia, the following functions:

The Digital Databank will be supported by a user profile handling service, which will serve as the reference point for related information systems (internet portal, applications, etc.) to allow provision of personalized user services.

The whole system will be available, right from the beginning, in multilingual form, operating initially with at least five languages and with the possibility of expansion to take in new languages through an open multilingual application model functioning alongside but not absolutely tied to the multilingual content model.

The databank will also feature three attractive value-added applications which will enhance the functional value of the Digital Databank and the quality and wealth of the information being handled.

The three value-added service systems envisaged are the following:

Geo-Information Management and Screening Sub-System, based on OGC standards and the Digital Databank interfaces, which will integrate geo-information from various sources, layers and forms (raster, vector) to make available and project the data from the Digital Databank in geographical terms. The system will provide the relevant signing services for the geographical content and for projection of maps with different layers.

Recommendation Sub-System, which by taking into consideration the preferences and position of the user, and by using the Databank’s content signing and content location services,  recommends to the user:

  • Pathways for browsing.
  • Content for reading.

Specialized Mobile Unit Interfaces, which offer an integrated browsing experience across a large part of the Digital Databank’s services and content. The interfaces created will be in two forms:

  • Specially designed for specific mobile phone or tablet PC platforms (e.g. Android, Windows Phone, Symbian, iOS, and so on).
  • Specially designed internet contact for internet browsers using mobile units with touch interface.

The databank will be complemented by a collection of basic content covering, for example:

  • Mainly research material (doctoral dissertations and research papers), while a new collection will also be developed by the researchers.
  • The works of Plato: the entire oeuvre of the philosopher, taken from authoritative and respected editions (analogue or digital).
  • Selections from Platonic philosophers: a small number of representative original texts by successors of Plato and the Neo-Platonists, as well as thinkers showing marked Platonic influence.
  • Bibliographies: detailed, general and specialist bibliographies covering all themes relating to Plato, the Platonic philosophy, the age of Plato, the Academy, the location and mythology of the site, the subsequent evolution of academies around the world, the influence of Platonic philosophy on various aspects of western (and Arab) civilization, etc.
  • Selected articles: a selection of important articles on Platonic issues which cannot be found online, digitally formatted and posted on the databank.
  • Comprehensive selection of websites, with comments: an inventory of websites relating to the Academy, as location and institution, to Plato and his successors, and to Platonic philosophy and its influences.