ANALYSIS OF THE CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES IN TURKISH SOCIAL STUDIES/HISTORY EDUCATION IN REGARD TO THE EUROPEAN UNION STANDARDS

Open Access
Author:
Tarman, Bulent
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
November 22, 2005
Committee Members:
  • Marilyn L Page, Committee Chair
  • Murry R Nelson, Committee Chair
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
  • Patrick Willard Shannon, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Social Studies
  • education
Abstract:
The current study examines the reconstruction of Turkish social studies/history curriculum and assesses how well the program conforms to the established EU directions and norms. The purpose of this study is to reconcile the issues of Turkish accession, the implementation of European Union educational standards and policies, the influence of political change (with regard to the EU) on social studies/history texts in Turkey, and the differences between traditional pedagogy and curricular reforms for the whole of Turkish Education. This study considers the historical framework of the relationship between Turkey and the EU; Turkey’s efforts toward educational modernization; the rationale for such initiatives; and their role as creating complicating factors for both national education reform, and, simultaneously, EU acceptance of Turkey as a nation and, in particular, its history/social studies curriculum. The complexity of integrating one nation with another is significantly difficult in itself. The challenge of integrating culturally distinct national entities into a functioning, peaceful community of states increases this difficulty by several orders of magnitude. Therefore, this study explores the conflicting imperatives and the efforts to establish commonality. In this area, the influence of history/social studies education becomes the focus as it is the vanguard for establishing permanently altered mind-sets for the ultimate good of both Turkey and the European Community. Finally, of ultimate importance to this study is the status of evolutionary change in Turkish history/social studies education. Based upon the assumption that EU membership for Turkey is a positive step toward avoiding marginalization in the increasing integration motivated by globalization, an evaluation of the current status and the necessary progression of change is not only logical, but also imperative for this study’s value.