The Transitional School of the Therapeutic Community KETHEA EXODOS as a heterotopian space of education for ex-dependents

Anastasia Lambrou (1) & Charalampos Poulopoulos (2)


(1) MSc, Social Worker

(2) Professor of Social Work, Department of Social Work, Democritus University of Thrace, e–mail:




The present study investigates the transitional school in the light of Foucault’s heterotopias. Its specific objectives are the exploration of the experiences (experiences, perceptions, feelings, opinions) of the adult learners and their educators, and how this experience contributes to redefining the former addict’s relationship with space and time, in what way the transformative educational process contributes to the therapeutic path of former addicts and their social reintegration.

The study used qualitative methodology. The data processing and analysis were performed according to the content analysis. The data collection tool was the semi-structured interview. Based on the interview guides for adult teachers and learners, 14 interviews were held at the KETHEA EXODOS Adult Alternative School in Larissa. Eight interviews were conducted with adult learners (four men, two women) and six interviews were conducted with adult teachers (three men and three women).

Putting the former addict in the transitional school’s educational context seems to equip him with life skills, knowledge, attitudes, behaviors he/she rediscovers, shapes from the beginning, reframes and gives new meaning. In addition, this placement seems to increase the thirst for knowledge and learning, contributes to changing the attitudes of learners in the learning and educational process, and is an essential factor in preventing relapse during drug treatment. The relationships that develop, and especially the educator – learner relationship, appear to play a decisive role in the learners’ learning path and in building their social identity.

The transitional school seems to be the constant reference point for the new values being conveyed as the learners argue, constituting the bridge with the ‘outside’ and therefore the bridge with the next day ‘of their sober self’. It seems to be a social space as a field for experimentation and self-discovery, denial of dependence and submission, and exhortation to personal evolution, both the educators’ and the trainees’, to imagination and approach of what one would like to be. From all the data, it can be seen that the transitional school is a heterotopic place of education for ex-dependents’ in accordance with Foucault’s six principles of heterotopology.


Key words: Heterotopias, Transitional School, Adult Education, Transformative Learning, Social Reintegration

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