In recent years, the need for education to shift to the cultivation of moral and social values along with the achievement of its major educational goals is growing. The need to redefine and broaden the goals of education is particularly evident nowadays, given the general crisis that modern society is facing; a crisis not only economic, but also moral. Social Pedagogy can contribute to the ethical education of children and adolescents, as it is well-equipped with specific principles, goal setting mechanisms, methodology, techniques and tools that encourage learners to develop their skills and promote their ethical and critical thinking through both preventive and interventional educational programs. In addition, it has been verified that studying ancient Greek literature, in which timeless human values emerge, could trigger moral speculation among students. In the present study, a special reference is made to the value system of the ancient world and the actions of the Athenian society during the classical Age, which are in line with the basic principles and priorities of Social Pedagogy aiming to provide social care and solidarity to the vulnerable social groups of that period.
As far as the research part of this study is concerned, the ancient text of Sophocles’ "Antigone" is examined in relation to the detection of the values of giving and solidarity. The reason that this tragedy was chosen for analysis is that it is taught in the second grade of High School and thus the findings of this research could contribute to enrich and improve the teaching of values within the classroom environment. Through the method of quantitative and qualitative content analysis, the terms that directly or indirectly refer to the values of giving and solidarity, having both positive and negative orientation (values and disvalues), were identified. After a thorough and exhaustive examination of the ancient text, this research finds numerous terms (876 references), which are directly or indirectly related to these values or their corresponding disvalues. However, its most important finding is the identification of specific terms (51 references) of the ancient text, which are suggested as the most suitable for use in the classroom, as they illuminate, with an intense, direct and emphatic way, the values of giving and solidarity, as well as the corresponding disvalues. Also, this study examines the frequency of occurrence and distribution of all findings based on their orientation (positive or negative), their type (direct or indirect reference), their location in the parts of the tragedy, their identification within dialogues or monologues, as well as in the speech of the characters of the drama. Furthermore, their relation to the sex of the heroes and their origin (member of the royal family/ citizen) is investigated. Finally, suggestions are made on the use of research findings by teachers, so that the teaching of giving and solidarity values does not only remain theoretical, but also stimulate students to apply them in practice by undertaking collective voluntary actions and initiatives, having the parallel support of the family. These actions highlight the importance of cooperation, as well as social participation and care for the less privileged social groups. Moreover, it is only through the synergy and unbreakable unity of theory and practice that the teaching of values can obtain a socio-pedagogical dimension.
Μoral and social values, giving, solidarity, Sophocles’ "Antigone", ancient Greek literature, Social Pedagogy