- Teachers as curriculum mediators: a study on the implementation of Social Studies curriculum in Turkey
- Progress in Education
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
Turkey has revised its curriculum for primary education in 2004 to address some of the pervasive problems identified in the education system and to respond to the new trends and demands that emerged in the global environment. Additionally, as a candidate country to European Union (EU) membership, adopting EU standards and educational perspective has been an important political motive and reference base. Reflecting similar reform efforts in countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the revised curriculum for primary education focuses on development of select competencies and skills, and adopts student-centred pedagogy and authentic assessment. Drawing on the findings of a qualitative research in pilot schools in Ankara, this chapter seeks to analyze how intended curriculum for primary schools is mediated by classroom teachers. The chapter focuses on the implementation of Social Studies subject at grade five, and considers teacher views and practices on the three main areas in which change proposals were made: content, pedagogical approach and assessment methods. The chapter highlights the discrepancies between intended curriculum and enacted curriculum, and from the perspectives of teachers, seeks to explain why these differences emerged by focusing on their views on the proposed changes, competency beliefs and contextual beliefs. The study confirms that teachers mediated the new curriculum in accordance with their beliefs; they embraced some of the aspects of curriculum proposals while modifying or discarding some others. The chapter argues for providing sufficient support to schools and adequately considering school capacity to support innovation. It also underscores the importance of involving teachers in curriculum development process.
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