Date of Conferral
DR. JOHN WALKER
Cyber child exploitation is a problem in Greece due to the economic crisis and the resulting lack of government focus on social improvements. Research reveals the importance of educating school teachers of the potential for cyber exploitation of children and argues that early detection of child-focused cybercrimes will decrease the prevalence of child exploitation. The purpose of this interpretive qualitative study was to explore the phenomenon of cyber child exploitation in Greece and to identify strategies teachers may employ to identify and avert cyber child exploitation. Grounded theory provided the framework for this research. The sample consisted of 20 school teachers from a private primary school in suburban Greece. The 20 teachers were over 21 years old, presently certified as teachers and working in primary school, willing to share on voluntary basis information about their experiences and concerns with cyber child exploitation awareness among students, as well as parents. One-to-one interviews were conducted to gather data. Coding was the procedure followed to divide the interview data and rearrange based on common patterns. The resulting themes revealed that no consistent strategies were used to protect children, teachers play a significant role in the prevention of cyber child exploitation, and there is a need for professional development of programs to protect children. Implications for positive social change suggest that educational institutions will help protect children as teachers become more knowledgeable about specific measures to effectively recognize cyber predators. With the guidance of well-informed teachers, students may learn to use the World Wide Web in an effective fashion while being able to avoid the dangers posed by cyber predators.