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ERIC Number: EJ867366
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-1303-0485
"We Should Be Ourselves before Being a European": The New Curriculum, New Textbooks and Turkish Modernity
Cayir, Kenan
Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, v9 n4 p1681-1690 Aut 2009
Globalization and transformations in nation-state structures require developing a new social-political language that would allow a peaceful coexistence for various identities and interests. This entails revising the link between local histories and the "universal." Education can play a crucial role for developing this language. This paper examines the new curriculum and textbooks in Turkey on the basis of this problematic. The Ministry of National Education states that the new curriculum aims at preparing Turkey to the information age and the European Union. However, new textbooks still take an apologetic, essentialist, and nationalist stance toward Europe due to the historical-psychological background of Turkish modernity. Textbook authors reconstruct local history in the mirror of the West and imagine a homogenous "Us" which is presented as the source of modern universal values. This stance is a manifestation of historical desire to break down the perceived hierarchy between Turkey and the West. It, however, reproduces such a hierarchy by placing the West ahead of Turkey along with a linear conception of history. The paper suggests a new frame for curriculum developers and textbook authors to recontextualize the link between Turkey, the West and modernity. This frame needs to be developed by taking a distance from both local experience and the West.
Educational Consultancy, Ltd (EDAM). Kisikli Mh. Alemdag Cd. Yan Yol Sk., SBK Is Merkezi No:5 Kat:1, Uskudar-Istanbul, 34692 Turkey. Tel: +90-216-481-30-23; Fax: +90-216-481-31-36; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Turkey