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Title: Citizenship education between secular and religious nationalism : a case of curriculum reform in Turkey, 1995-2012
Author: Sen, Abdulkerim
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis provides a critical examination of the Turkish citizenship education reform from 1995 to 2012 drawing on interviews with key informants, archival and public policy documents, programmes of study and textbooks. A literature review finds that democratic citizenship education aims to make learners competent members of their multi-layered communities who are equipped with participation and deliberative decision-making skills, value the rule of law, democracy, human rights and diversity in pursuit of social justice. By contrast, national citizenship education promotes a monolithic national identity, conformity and obedience by transmitting abstract knowledge of political structures. Since the 1990s, the United Nations (UN) and the Council of Europe have supported democratic citizenship education based on international human rights standards. In 1995, the Turkish Ministry of National Education responded positively to the UN Decade for Human Rights Education initiative and attempted to reform citizenship education that had been devised as a tool to consolidate secular nationalism. This marked the start of the curriculum reform that intermittently lasted until the repeal of the courses in 2012. Data analysis is informed by the conventions of critical discourse analysis, which suggests scrutinising micro-relations of language in the text against ideological power structures of the broader context. One significant finding of the study is that the forces of secular and religious nationalism in Turkey responded to the educational projects initiated by the UN and the CoE and introduced new citizenship education courses. However, they used these courses to consolidate their own and obliterate their rivals’ ideological discourses. By providing an in-depth analysis, this research aims to contribute to the institutionalisation of citizenship education in Turkey and the scholarly debate about the role of internal and external influences in citizenship education curriculum change.
Supervisor: Hugh Starkey, Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available