The latest reform in initial teacher education (ITE) in Turkey

Yigit N.

ENERGY EDUCATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PART B-SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL STUDIES, vol.4, no.1, pp.309-322, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The present research seeks to understand continuous changes in the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes over the last fifteen years. Thus, the study elaborates themes such as need for the restructuring, the theoretical basis for the re-structuring and improvements in ITE from the policy-makers and practitioners' perspectives. The purpose of this study is to understand the re-structuring process of ITE and its theoretical base. In this study, document analysis and semi-structured interviews were used as data sources. The latter were carried out with three key teacher educators, policy makers who had active roles throughout the restructuring process, including preparing and writing official documents, leaflets and books for the purpose of conceptualizing the reform and providing materials for the practitioners, teacher educators, mentors and STs. The previous concurrent model of ITE was adopted for all levels of schooling after eight years of experience with the consecutive model for secondary-level ITE. With the latest reform, teaching practice and sound relationships among different bodies were given extra attention. Changes in the structure and curriculum show a substantial shift from a university-content, lecturer-based approach to a school/student-based approach. Minor modifications were made throughout the last decade, making pre-service teacher education compatible with European Standards. The results showed that the demand for more teachers for some stages of education, e.g. pre-school and primary, and special subjects and widespread dissatisfaction with the previous ITE programs gave rise to the restructuring of ITE in 1998. The cooperation and/or collaboration between the MNE and YOK in relation to planning to meet the future demands on teachers had been very weak, especially in the late 1990s, as compulsory education was extended up to eight years and the teacher shortage in primary education became a crucial issue for schools. Some curriculum changes in primary and secondary education, based on constructivist theory, required changes in ITE. These have made the two bodies, the Government and Higher Education Authority, work in cooperation to educate future generations of teachers in accordance with the requirements of the ever-developing learning environment and community. The new approach of ITE is based on a partnership model, focused on more clinical practice than in the past. The recent modification is concrete proof of a desire for continuous change in teacher education.