The University of Thessaloniki was founded in 1925 under the Law 3341/1925. The Faculty of Philosophy was the first to operate, after facing many difficulties, in November 1926, manned by fifteen professors as faculty staff and sixty-five students. In 1932 the Faculty of Philosophy agreed to reduce the number of academic degrees from eleven, as legislated under the 1925 Law, to five, among which there was a degree of Philosophy and Education. Out of the 170 first graduates in the Faculty during the inter-war years, 16 (9 female and 7 male) received a degree in Philosophy and Education.
The field of Philosophy was represented at the time by an advocate of the Educational Demoticism: Prof. Haralampos Theodoridis, who was among the first professors to be appointed to the Faculty. Ioannis Theodorakopoulos was elected as Senior Lecturer in 1930 and as Professor of Systematic Philosophy in 1933. The first professor of Education, elected in 1928, was Alexandros Delmouzos, one of the pioneers of Educational Demoticism; unfortunately, due to various difficulties and persecutions, he only managed to teach for less than a decade. However, it is because of his initiative and intensive efforts that the Experimental School of the University of Thessaloniki was founded in 1934; Delmouzos became the School’s first supervisor.
By a 1937 decree, the curriculum of the two Faculties of Philosophy (of Athens and Thessaloniki), becomes ‘uniform’ and the Faculty is divided into two Schools: The School of Greek Language and the School of History and Archaelogy. Within this framework, from the post-war period to the late 1960’s, Philosophy is taught by Konstantinos Stetsieris, Haralampos Geros and Vasilios Tatakis, the latter being the one who organised the Library of Philosophy. At the same time, and despite repeated notices, the Chair in Education remained vacant, while Education courses were occasionally taught by professors of Philosophy.
During the 1960’s the foundation was set for the studies in Philosophy to develop systematically. The Chairs in Philosophy increased and were taken by young scientists (Evangelos Moutsopoulos, Georgios Mourelos and Nikolaos Bousoulas), whereas the students had the opportunity to receive specialized studies in Philosophy during their last two years of study, which provided a more profound philosophical education to them. At the same time, the vacant Chair in Education was filled by Andreas Michailidis-Nouaros, who was appointed Professor in 1969 and who was actively involved in the field of Teaching Methodology within the Experimental School of the University.
During the 1970’s there was an ongoing process of organising and structuring a complete and versatile curriculum, as new fields of philosophical study were developed. Augoustos Bayonas, Adjunct Professor of the History of Philosophy, contributed greatly to this development. The composition of the curriculum of the Programme of Study in Psychology and Education during the academic year 1971-72, however, created the need to increase the faculty staff in the field of Education. Thus, in 1979, a second Chair in Education was established, which was taken by Panos Xochellis, Assistant Professor since 1975. He undertook considerable efforts to organise the first postgraduate course of studies in Education (officially active since 1977).
The situation developed further with the abolition of the Chair institution, under Law 1268/1982, and with the changes in the structure of the Faculty of Philosophy (initially, a School of Philosophy was founded, but then divided again in 1984-85). The new School of Philosophy, Education and Psychology operated as such until 1993, when the Department of Psychology became a separate School (under P.D 152/1993) and the School of Philosophy and Education was established. This separation contributed greatly, in the long run, to the expansion and a more profound study of both fields.
Avgelis & F. Peonidis, Philosophy, in: The Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Thessaloniki. The first 75 years. Thessaloniki: University Studio Press 2000, p. 133-141 (in Greek)
Foukas, The Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Thessaloniki: Studies and students during the interwar period (1926-1940). Thessaloniki: Kyriakidis Brothers Publishing House 2010 (in Greek)
Ι. Hasiotis & D. Aravantinos, The University of Thessaloniki at the dawn of the new century. Timeless course Seventy-five years old. Thessaloniki: A.U.Th. 2002 (in Greek)
Terzis & K. Bonidis, Pedagogical studies, in: The Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Thessaloniki. The first 75 years. Thessaloniki: University Studio Press 2000, p. 143-154 (in Greek)
By Vassilis Foukas, Associate Professor