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Research Site Close-up:

Athens & Patras GREECE

Religious and Ethnic Greek Christian Orthodox

PIs:  Ageliki Nicolopoulou (Lead PI) • Natassa Kyriakopoulou (co-PI) • Irini Skopeliti (co-PI)


PI: Kushnir

Ageliki Nicolopoulou

Ageliki Nicolopoulou (PI) is Professor Emerita of Psychology at Lehigh University. She was born and raised in Greece and came to the US for her education, receiving her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of California--Berkeley. She has taught at the University of California- San Diego, Smith College, and Lehigh University. She is a sociocultural developmental psychologist whose research interests include the role of narrative in development, socialization, and education; and the influence of the peer group and peer culture as social contexts for children's language, literacy, cognitive, and socio-emotional development. She has taught courses in cross-cultural developmental psychology emphasizing how language and language interactions play a crucial role in shaping children’s identity and academic status.


Natassa Kyriakopoulou (co-PI) is Laboratory and Teaching Personnel at the School of Education, Department of Early Childhood Education at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Her research area is conceptual change, and she has primarily studied children’s scientific reasoning as they acquire science concepts and the challenges they encounter during conceptual change. In addition, she has investigated the impact of children's epistemic cognition on conceptual change and social cognition's role in conceptual development. She has also developed educational interventions to foster children's scientific reasoning and enhance their epistemic and social cognition. More recently, her work has widened to encompass pre-service teachers’ beliefs about learning, teaching, and self-regulation alongside their epistemic beliefs. She has participated in a cross-cultural research program, where the validity of a tool for exploring educators' beliefs about learning, teaching, and self-regulated learning was examined in several countries (e.g., Australia, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Poland). This instrument has been used to investigate how educators’ belief systems impact educational practice.

Irini Skopeliti (co-PI) is an Assistant Professor of Cognitive Developmental Psychology in the Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education at the University of Patras (Greece) and a CO-PI of this team. Her research interests are at the intersection of cognitive, developmental, and educational psychology, focusing on cognitive development and learning processes, particularly conceptual change. Initially, she investigated students’ conceptual understanding of scientific concepts using tools adopted in cross-cultural developmental studies (e.g., Greece, Great Britain, Australia). She has also examined how students’ initial conceptual understanding changes during the process of learning and development and how using teaching tools can promote conceptual change. More recently, she has been engaged in cross-cultural research across several continents, investigating how teachers’ educational and epistemic belief systems influence their choices, designs, and implementation of educational practices.

Natassa Kyriakopoulou
Irini Skopeliti

Photographs of research site pending for this sub-grant.

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