Wellness in Education
Enriching students' well-being
Maria Chalari is a social researcher and academic who teaches and writes about social issues.
Drawing on her academic studies and research experience, she is currently dedicating herself to the enrichment of students' experiences and student well-being.
I have been engaging with the wonderful yet complex narrative of education since I was in school myself. I always wanted to do something with my life that would make a difference to my country - and, why not?- to the world; something that would make a difference to children’s lives.
As a student, I have been aware of the power of education systems for creating (and indeed, for restricting) truly transformative experiences for students. This undoubtedly influenced my decision to become an educator myself.
To me, an educator is a key promoter of human rights. Someone who strives to prevent injustice, oppression and discrimination, and prepares students to think more critically and creatively about their future. I strongly believe that people working with children, teenagers and young adults, possess tremendous power to make a difference in society.
This sense of purpose was behind my decision to become an educator, to continue my studies in Education and Human Rights at the Institute of Education, and then to carry on with my doctoral studies in Sociology of Education at the UCL Institute of Education.
Previously, I have worked with human rights organisations and institutions, and have taken part in many conferences, youth forums and human rights projects in different countries around the world. I have also worked as an educator in formal and informal education and have been a member of numerous research teams. Among other topics, my research focuses on: matters related to human rights; political, ethnic, racial, and gender-based social problems; the origins and the shaping of education policy at national and international levels; and the construction of social discrimination and exclusion.
From September 2019 until May 2022 I worked as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow at European University Cyprus. Currently I am working as a Scientific Collaborator and Research Associate at European University Cyprus and I teach Research Methodology at the same University.
Hailing from the Aegean island of Anafi, I find the beauty of life in my great loves: the endless blue of the sky, the charm of the sea and the art of photography.
MARIE SKLODOWSKA-CURIE POSTDOCTORAL
2 September 2019 – Today
I am currently conducting a research study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on student well-being and happiness in Cyprus and Greece at the European University Cyprus in Nicosia (Cyprus).
POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH FELLOW
5 April 2017 – 5 July 2019
I conducted a research study on social inequalities in education at the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece) with a Postdoc Scholarship from IKY, The State Scholarship Foundation.
1 December 2016 – 30 May 2017
I took part in the research project: 'Study on tools and policy pointers for mainstreaming innovative pedagogies and school organisation practices: barriers and solutions (European Commission, DG EAC), 2015-2017'. PPMI Group / Public Policy and Management Institute & National & Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece).
GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCHER
1 February 2016 – 30 May 2016
I took part in the pilot research project: ‘Addressing Violence in Schools through Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education’. Council of Europe, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Education and Human Rights MA (Greece).
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