The first University Departments of Education (both Primary and Preschool Education) were founded in 1982 according to the law 1268/82 at the Universities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Ioannina, Thrace (seat Alexanthroupoli) and Crete (seat Rethymno). However, the organization and the beginning of their operation were gradually implemented, beginning from the academic year 1984-85.
With later Presidential Decrees, new Pedagogical Departments of Primary Education and Preschool Education were founded at the Aegean University (seat Rhodes), at the University of Thessaly (seat Volos), and at the University of Thessaloniki (now Western Macedonia seat Florina).
The organization and operation of the Pedagogical Departments are pursuant to the provisions of law and the Presidential Decree 320/83 for the Institutions of Higher Education. According to this Decree the goals of the Pedagogical Departments are:
- To cultivate and promote the Pedagogical Sciences through academic and applied teaching and research.
- To provide their graduates with the necessary tools and qualifications that will ensure an integral background for their scientific and professional career.
- To contribute to the enhancement of the level of studies and to meet the increasing requirements of Education in relation to Pedagogy.
- To contribute to the treatment and resolution of pedagogical problems in general.
On this basis, the Departments of Primary Education and Preschool Education award degrees which give their holders the opportunity to be appointed as teachers in primary schools and kindergartens respectively.