A Gender Review in Education, Turkey 2003 (6)

Content of Curriculum

Following morning assembly and roll-call, children at this primary school in the province of Hatay enter the school building to begin lessons for the day

Although the curriculum is as appropriate for girls as it is for boys, certain specific components are not in place to overcome gender discrimination within the culture.
Photograph by Rana Mullan © UNICEF Turkey 2003

Curriculum Development

Has a review of the curriculum been undertaken in the last five years?

Yes -- with the implementation of eight-year compulsory education in 1997, the education system has been restructured and education programmes for primary education, general secondary education, vocational secondary education, vocational courses and private schools and institutions have been reorganised.
MONE, 2003

Within this framework, the curriculum for the following Primary School courses were either revised or newly developed:

  • Citizenship and Human Rights, 1998;
  • Mathematics,1998;
  • Social Studies, 1998;
  • Science Primary 4th-8th grades, 2000;
  • Religion and Ethics, 2000;

Furthermore, foreign language courses have been added to the primary school curricula for grades four and five.
MONE, Research, Planning and Coordination Committee, p229, Ankara 2001

Have basic learning competencies been defined?

No -- General guidelines are given in the Basic Education Curriculum and goals and objectives are given separately for each course.

The main aim of the Turkish education system is defined as raising highly skilled, productive and creative individuals, ready for the information age, and committed to Atatürk’s reforms and democratic values. They are to be equipped with advanced thinking, perception and problem solving skills, enabling them to interpret different cultures and contribute to contemporary civilisation as well as mastering their own national culture. Furthermore, sense of personal responsibility and open-mindedness should be ensured. And the competencies have been defined accordingly. Grade level learning competencies for each course need to be defined.

If a curriculum reform was undertaken, what were the outcomes?

In 1997 a curriculum reform was undertaken as a part of a comprehensive education reform, which aimed at ensuring student centred education for all. The University of Ankara conducted research on ‘Evaluation of the Social Impact of Primary Schools’ in 2002. However, extensive quantitative and qualitative research to evaluate the outcomes of the education reform is still to be carried out.

Is the curriculum developmentally appropriate for girls?

To avoid discrimination against girls, in Turkey, equal opportunities and obligations for both sexes replace gender bias. Although the curriculum is as appropriate for girls as it is for boys, certain specific components are not in place to overcome gender discrimination within the culture.

Has a recent gender analysis of the curriculum been undertaken?


Has a recent gender analysis of teaching learning materials (including textbooks) been undertaken?

No -- The Directorate General forStatus and Problems of Women published two books and organised a panel discussion on sexism in textbooks and educational materials as an initial step towards the elimination of these from the curriculum and learning materials.

Are teacher-training materials, including textbooks readily available?

Yes -- textbook lists are published by the Supreme Board of Education of MONE and specific selection of books is made by committees in schools. Textbooks are on the market before the schools are open. Books for needy students are provided by the State in some areas and/or by parents’ associations. As part of the Basic Education Programme, teacher training materials are provided by MONE in 22,276 rural primary schools, 4,401 of which are central schools to which students are transported from surrounding villages. Books and stationery are provided for students in state boarding schools free of charge.
MONE, Directorate General of Primary Education, Ankara 2003.

Is life skills-based education included in the curriculum?

Yes -- however, this is not properly conveyed in practice and in written materials.

What learning areas or issues are addressed in life skills based education?

Interpersonal relations, being an efficient person in a democratic country, using necessary information in dealing with the social and natural environments, decision making, problem solving skills &c., are included in the curriculum besides literacy and numeracy.
MONE, Directorate General of Apprenticeships and Non-formal Education and the Research, Planning and Coordination Committee, Ankara 2003

Is writing (composition) included in the curriculum as well as reading?

Yes -- there is a written discourse component besides reading.

Continue to the seventh part of A Gender Review in Education, Turkey 2003, Educational Processes.

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