School History


 PSPA Library

The Experimental School of the University of Athens
The Experimental School of the University of Athens (P.S.P.A.) constitutes the materialization of the proposal which the professor of Pedagogics Nikolaos Exarchopoulos stated in 1925 concerning the establishment of an experimental school in the University of Athens. It was established in 1929 under the Law 4376 “About the establishment of Experimental Schools in the Universities of Athens and Thessaloniki” aiming at the theoretical and practical education of Secondary Education teachers, the promotion of the science of Pedagogics and the practical training of the teachers of primary schools who followed further studies at the University.
It was housed in the newly-built “Socrates” school at the junction of Skoufa and Lykavittou streets. The school was completed in 1929 intending to house two four-grade high schools and it was inaugurated the same year (Decree 8/29, October 1929) including the three lower grades of Primary School (85 students) and the two lower grades of Junior High School (60 students).
The Experimental School consisted of a six-teacher and a one-teacher primary school and the Boys’ high school. The principal of the school held the rank of the General Inspector as the school constituted an autonomous General Inspection. Nikolaos Exarchopoulos was the first school supervisor and Nikolaos Palaiologos the first principal.
The school had a unique character compared to the other schools of its era concerning its function (a single direction for the primary and junior high school) as well as the education it offered to its students, its dominant characteristics being the cultivation of a family atmosphere in the relationships between students and teachers, the knowledge of the students’ psychosomatic condition, the care for the social development of every child and teenager and, finally, the freedom of expression and self-initiative of the students during the teaching process.
At the P.S.P.A. the students were monitored on their body condition (body measurements) as well as on their mental condition (IQ tests, analytic psychograms). Every student of the school possessed a personal file in which information about him were kept (health reports, essays, information about the student submitted by his parents, answers that he gave to questionnaires, projects, letters, etc.). Furthermore, in 1930 the institution of the students’ communities was organized, something which was pioneering for the era.
The school was also open in the afternoons for the students of the two higher grades of primary school and of all the grades of junior high school. During the afternoon operation the students had the freedom to choose, after agreement with their teachers, among a variety of extra curricular activities like working on a project or discussing about a topic of their interest, studying in the library, conducting experiments in the school laboratories or gardening.
In 1933 the scientific “Publications” of the Experimental school were published for the first time while in 1950 the first issue of the student magazine “The Voice of the Experimental School” came out.
In 1938 a house was rented at 42 Skoufa street in which the fifth and sixth grades of the primary school were housed together with the school cinema and the Post Education Secretariat.
During the Greek-Italian war and the Possession the building was first ordained by the Service of Passive Air Defense (its ground floor was turned into a shelter) and afterwards by the German forces until the liberation of Athens on 12th October 1944. The damages in the building were extensive and much of its valuable furniture as well as the equipment of the Chemistry laboratory was lost. During the period of 1940-1947 the school lessons took place in the annex building of 42 Skoufa street, in the Saint Dionysius Church as well as in other rooms that were granted by the students’ parents.
The operation of the school in the building of 43 Skoufa street was restored in 1947. In 1952-53 the destroyed by German dynamite Physics and Chemistry laboratory as well as the amphitheatre were completely reconstructed.
In 1976-77 the first mixed section functioned along with the Boys’ section and, consequently, the first girls were admitted to the school. In 1982, after the abolition of the Inspections institution, the Experimental School went under the Direction of Secondary Education of Athens and its relation with the University became idle. The unified Experimental School was abolished in 1986-1987 when the primary schools were detached from the school, they went under the Direction of Primary Education of Athens and finally a teacher was appointed as principal. 
The usefulness and value of the school library as a centre of intellectual source had always preoccupied the inspired educators of the school.
During the first year of the PSPA operation, after the proposal of the Supervisor, committees were set up having as a main goal to investigate several issues and to put forward their findings in the general meetings of the teachers’ council, which took the final decisions. Based on the proposals of the committees in charge, the teachers’ council decided:
A) The foundation and operation of a school library which served as a reading hall during the “free afternoons” and as a lending library at Christmas and Easter holidays.
B) The foundation and operation of an educational scientific library to serve the needs of the school’s teaching staff.
The library of PSPA constituted an important and primary factor of school life. In the bibliographies which refer to school libraries it holds a prominent position as the most organised and modern in Greece. Unfortunately, though, during the sit-ins of 1987 an important part of the library was destroyed and the library was led to decline. In 1996 the family of the student Christos Grilas made an important donation. However, until 2007 the library remained inactive. In 2008 the parents’ association in co-operation with the teachers’ council and the school management took the initiative of reorganizing the library starting with the electronic registration of the library material.
The library collection is a remarkable one consisting of 6000 titles of Greek and foreign language books, journals, dissertations, offprints, school manuals, informative leaflets as well as of rare editions of pedagogy. A big part of it has been created and it continues to be enriched with selective donations of scientific and educational content by students, graduates and friends of the school.
The significance of the library collection lies in the fact that it contains rare editions of the 19th and 20th century. The following works are mentioned indicatively: “The King’s flute” by Kostis Palamas (1909), “Pedometria and Pedagogic Statistics” by Sofia Gedeon (1930), “Cries” by Myrtidiotissa (1939), “Litigations” by Titos Patrikios, the Poetic Collections of Giannis Ritsos from 1930 until 1977, “Around Elikonas” by Georgios Vizyinos (1930) and many more. 
Except for the rare editions, the library as a whole covers the following subject headings: Greek Literature, Ancient Greek and Byzantine Literature, Greek History, Arts, Language, Sciences and Social Sciences, with special emphasis on Education and Pedagogics.
In 2011, after the kind permission of the school Supervisor for the use of a specific hall, the division and the classification anew of the library material were made feasible. 
The Scientific Library remained in the Teachers’ room and the School Library was transferred to the former Supervisor’s Hall.

Because of the old editions included, the Scientific Library needs the intervention of an expert librarian, something which is not feasible at the moment. As a result, it is suitable only for on the spot reasearch and it is not open to the public.
The Student Library is housed in a pleasant and well-lit room which is appropriate for reading, project planning, investigation, cultural programmes and it is the basis of the school magazine “The Voice of the Experimental School”.
The main Library Catalogue includes books of the main scientific fields, Greek and foreign literature, poetry, Greek and foreign prose texts, biographies, history and geography books, children’s books (fairy-tales, theatrical plays, patent works, etc.) as well as books of knowledge, education and general interest. Of the ten classes of the Dewey decimal classification, the following are covered in subject matter: philosophy, metaphysics, psychology (100), religion (200), social sciences (300), language (400), natural sciences and mathematics (500), technology (applied sciences) (600), the arts; fine and decorative arts (700), literature and rhetoric (800), and finally geography, history and subsidiary scientific disciplines (900) and research. The library also includes monographs, monographic series, serial publications, works of many volumes, offprints. 
The number of items included amounts to 6,200 of which 3,200 are of scientific content, 2,500 of student interest while 770 are books of pedagogy and philosophy written in German.

Parents' Association

PSPA put into practice the institution of parental meetings in order to achieve the close collaboration between family and school. N. Exarchopoulos believed that the enlightening work of the school should not be limited only to teachers’ and parents’ meetings of a personal and confidential character but that it was necessary they be extended to parents’ common meetings as well. As of March 1931 these meetings took place regularly and after a parents’ decision, they were conducted on the last Saturday of every month.
The parents’ association, after studying on 31/1/1931 the way of conducting these meetings and determining the programme of the first meeting, it also specified the pedagogical issues, which the teaching staff of the school could develop, so that parents enriched their experience and knowledge regarding the obligations they had towards their children while at the same time being informed about the school’s spirit of work.
The decision for the foundation of the Parents’ Association was taken in the meeting of 2nd April 1932. The proposal was submitted by the parents and it was approved by the Supervisor, the Principal and the Teaching staff of PSPA.
Right after its election the first administrative board worked with zeal and unparallel effectiveness, qualities that also characterised the succeeding boards.
In that way, the Parents’ Association always managed to find the necessary funds to supplement government subsidies. It was at its expense that the fencing of Saint Dionysius Church, where school breaks took place, was constructed, the great hall, the second floor amphitheatre as well as the third floor were re-constructed, the metal structures, which were used for the construction of the new classes of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor, were built, the school’s “Publications” were published, the ICT laboratory was equipped and many more.
The amounts of money that the Parents’s Association has given for the school are high and it has been admitted that the maintenance of the building would be problematic without its assistance. 
The afore-mentioned action of the Parents’ Association proves beyond any doubt that the goals, which N. Exarchopoulos set when he suggested the implementation of this institution, were achieved. 
The parents’ association continues to the present to aid the school’s efforts for better education either by offering material support or by assisting in the solution of several issues that arise or by participating in the school’s cultural and scientific activities.
Despite the adversities of times, the Experimental School continues to function as one school not only regarding the relationships of the students but also regarding the relation of all its parties, namely the Parents’ Association, The Graduates’ Association, and of course the Teachers’ Council.

Programmes and Activities

1. “Human rights and social exclusion”, 1998
Responsible: G. Papadakis, Religious Education Teacher
2. “Religious communities-minorities: Orthodoxy and Romeo Catholicism”, 2006
Responsible: Konstantina Peppa, G. Papadakis, Religious Education Teachers
3. “Institutional and cultural formation of the united Europe”, 2007
Responsible: G. Papadakis, Konstantina Peppa, Religious Education Teachers
4. “Aspects of western art”, 2008-2009
Responsible: G. Papadakis, Konstantina Peppa, Religious Education Teachers
5. “Christian and middle age history of the Mediterranean”, 2010
Responsible: G. Papadakis, Konstantina Peppa, Religious Education Teachers
6. Educational student exchange between PSPA and the “Cycle d’ orientation de Coudriers” school of Geneva, Switzerland, 2010
Responsible: G. Papadakis, Religious Education Teacher, F. Bacha, English Language Teacher
7. “Religious and secular art in Rome. The evolution of figurativism”, 2011
Responsible: G. Papadakis, Religious Education Teacher

Responsible teachers: F. Bacha, Cr. Skliami

Responsible teacher: E. Koutsoudaki

Responsible teacher: A. Pavlopoulou

• Excursion Programme – Kastoria – Florina 29/3/2012-01/04/2012
• Participants
• Misa
• The town of Kastoria
• Biodiversity
• Arcturos

“Following the knights at the castles in search for the Holy Grail”
Students’ projects for the programme “Following the knights at the castles in search for the Holy Grail”
• The Koroni castle – L. Kortesis
• The Rhodes Kights’ Castle – Claudia Giannopoulou
• The Kythera castle – Katia Zafiropolou
• King Arthur: the myth, the story, the reality – Aristotelis Iakovidis
• Templar Knights – Andrew Koufogeorgos
• The Ligiras castle 
• The knight
• Teutonic Knights – Thanos Manaras
• Crusaders – Spyros Zachariou
• The Mystras castle – Natalia Manolidou
• The Nafplio castle – Alexandra Kritikou
• The Knights of the Round Table – Asimima Bibe
• The White Tower – Theodore Vournas
• The knight castles of Italy – Cleopatra Arvanitidou Lykoka
• King Arthur – Lia Sikerides
• The Holy Grail – Agamemnon Arvanitides Lykokas
• Jesuits 
• Love in knights life

The students’ projects that were carried out in the Astronomy class in 2011-2012 under the supervision of their teacher Mr. Th. Petrskou are presented.
SOLAR SYSTEM by Marina Kanta
WEIGHT AND AGE by Al. Konstantopoulos and Marina Kanta
THE INVISIBLE UNIVERSE by Rosina Gousia and Polina Dimitri
SUPERNOVA by Stefanos karamesinis