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About us Organization Services Teaching Academy Groningen Education Festival Lecturer of the Year

Dr M. Ioannou

University College Groningen
Dr. M. (Maria) Ioannou
Dr. M. (Maria) Ioannou

Maria Ioannou is a social sciences teacher at the UCG. She was born and raised in Cyprus, just a few metres away from the ‘Green line’ across the island, dividing it into the Turkish north and the Greek south. She studied social psychology at the University of Cyprus and took a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Oxford. Intergroup contact (as a means for prejudice reduction) is her main research topic.

Ioannou’s main strength is her aptitude for inclusiveness. Some students find speaking during class intimidating, as they are afraid of being judged by their peers or the teacher. Ioannou is able to deconstruct this intimidation and create a safe space for open discussions through the simple act of listening and understanding. Students are encouraged to try to understand things they found too difficult. She encourages new ways of thinking and stimulates empathy by coaxing students to question stories put forward by ‘others’. Ioannou understands that the most important weapons for the next generation of students are empathy and knowledge. She is also highly active in Shelter City Groningen, an initiative that provides shelter for human rights defenders from around the world.

Last modified:21 April 2022 11.42 a.m.
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