The Music and movement games of Preschool Children in Greece (Late 19th - Early 20th Century): A Historical-Sociological Approach.

Ph.D Candidate: 
Giorgos Charonitis


This in-progress doctoral dissertation focuses on the study of the primary sources that refer to the music and movement games of preschool children in formal and informal education of the Greek territory during the late 19th and early 20th century. Through careful archival research and analysis of the available evidence and sources of the time, the research attemps to offer a sociological interpretation of the construction of images of childhood and ‘the child’ that emerge in such sources. The purpose of this project is not to confirm or refute modern perceptions concerning the child or music and movement education, but to study the representations of practices of children of different ethnicities-religions-societies who grew up in the late 19th and early 20th century in today's Greece, as they emerge through accounts of the music and movement games they practiced, while examining the historical and social conditions through which the children practiced the music and movement games. Our archival research as of music and movement games played by preschool children throughout Greece in the 19th century has yielded accounts of more than 120 music and movement games so far. On the basis of this material, the dissertation proceeds to the study of preschool education of the period to the beginning of the 20th century, examining their possible introduction or not in the pre-school education of the time and the relation of the games introduced in the formal education with the "matrix" of the music and movement games of everyday life. The research uses the analytical tools developed by Michel Foucault (1970, 1972) and refined by Mitchell Dean (1994, 2010) to examine the relationship of children's idiom culture representations with the broader ideological components of the time and its broader educational policy and ideology, as well as the relationship between childhood and adulthood, children and play, children and childhood. The research and analysis of its data continues and is expected to be completed by the academic year 2021-2022.