17 SES 02, Progressive Education
“Leading education: The distinct contributions of educational research and researchers”, this theme brings to mind those who have made contributions to education in such a way that it has shaped how we still continue to approach education. One such contributor is John Dewey. Topics that are occupying the conversation in the field of education recently both in Turkey and internationally like constructivist, learner-centered approach and democracy education are all constructs that have their roots in Dewey’s “learning-by-doing” approach to education and his emphasis on raising students to become self-governing, self-sufficient citizens who show initiative, and independence of judgment. Dewey’s ideas as well as his visit to Turkey was influential in shaping of the Turkish education system after the establishment of the Turkish Republic. Dewey’s learner-centered approach to education meshed well with the Turkish government’s aim to build a democratic nation.
The establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923 led to radical political and social changes. The Islamic theocracy was replaced by a secular national republic with an elected national assembly, an industrialized and planned economy, a state system of secular schools, mobilization of manpower, participation of all the members of the state in politics, emphasis on knowledge and scientific thinking (Kazamias, 1966). But there were major challenges to achieving this goal. The country was struggling with poverty and lacked a centralized education system to channel educational policies. 80% of the population was living in the villages at the time. Only 5000 of 35,000 villages had a school (Seren, 2008). The rural population was very scattered and there was scarcity of teachers (Arayici, 1987). By 1927, 89% out of a total population of 13.5 million were illiterate with minimal attendance. This highlighted the importance of solving the educational problems both in the cities and in villages. So the question was what kind of an education system would address these issues.
John Dewey, among other international scholars, was invited to examine the existing situation and provide a report of what needed to be done (Ata, 2000; Celenk, 2009; Gunduz 2012). The government felt that the educational system must be reformed to transform the society into a modern democratic one, so they needed the advice of Dewey who believed that objective of education was to shape social order by using schools (Ata, 2000). In his report, Dewey provided extensive recommendations to ameliorate the overall state of teaching staff and to introduce innovative methods for teacher education noting that the greatest problem in the Turkish education system was the low quality teacher education, their inferior status (Dewey, 1960) and the fact that the number of teachers in the system only made up 1/4th of the needed teaching staff (Altunya, 2010) causing Dewey to put the highest emphasis on teachers and teacher education. According to Dewey teacher education had to be improved by exposing the teachers to modern and progressive pedagogical ideas such as a learner-centered approach to education. For the most part, the village institutes are seen as a model where many of Dewey’s ideas about how we should be training teachers and how we should be educating children particularly in rural areas are realized (Ata, 2000; Celik, 2014; Simsek & Yildirim, 2004; Uygun, 2008). Since the Village institutes were closed down in 1954 however, most attempts to provide a learner-centered education haven’t been successful, although traces of Dewey’s ideas have always been present. In this exploration we track how influential Dewey’s original report on the Turkish education system has been on the reforms made in the teacher education system in Turkey to demonstrate Turkey’s journey toward learner-centered education.
Altunya, N. (2010). Koy enstitusu sistemi: Toplu Bakis [The Village Institute System: A Collective Look]. Istanbul: Cumhuriyet Kitaplari. Arayici, A. (1999). Village institutes in Turkey. Prospects, 29(2), 267-280. Ata, B. (2000). The influence of an American educator (John Dewey) on the Turkish educational system. Turkish Yearbook of International Relations (Milletlerarası Münasebetler Türk Yıllığı), 31, 119-130. Bilir, A. (2011). The historical evolution of teacher training and employment politicies in Turkey. Ankara University, Journal of Faculty of Educational Sciences, 2(44), 223-246. Celenk, S. (2009). Secularization process in the history of Turkish education.Journal of Social Science, 19(2), 101-108. Dewey, J. (1983). Preliminary report. In J. A. Boydston (Ed.), John Dewey: The middle works, 1899–1924(Vol. 15, pp. 301.7). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. Dewey, J. (1983b ) Education as politics. In J. Dewey, The Middle Works, 1899–1924, Vol. 13:1921–1922, ed. J. A. Boydston (Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL: Southern Illinois University Press), 329–335. Kavcar, C. (2002). Cumhuriyet döneminde dal öretmeni yetitirme [Subject-matter teacher education in republic period]. Ankara Üniversitesi Eitim Bilimleri Dergisi, 35(1), 1-14. Kazamias, A. M. (1966). Education and the Quest for Modernity in Turkey (Vol. 8). University of Chicago Press. Şeren, M. (2008). Köye Öğretmen Yetiştirme Yönüyle Köy Enstitüleri [Village Institutes in terms of Teacher Training]. Gazi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 28(1). Simsek, H., & Yildirim, A. (2004). Turkey: Innovation and tradition. Balancing Change and Tradition in Global Education Reform, 153-185. Uygun, S. (2008). The impact of John Dewey on the teacher education system in Turkey. Asia‐ Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 36(4), 291-307. Yildirim, A. & Ok, A. (2002) Alternative teacher certification in Turkey: problems and issues, in: R. G. Sultana (Ed.) Teacher Education in the Euro-Mediterranean Region (New York, Peter Lang).
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.