Issues in Pre-and Basic Education in Rural Turkey: Teachers' experiences and perspective

Ecem Karlidag-Dennis, Zeynep Temiz

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


Living and teaching in rural regions of Turkey is not an easy task due to the associated social, economic, cultural and regional difficulties. As such, the Ministry of National Education (MoNE) implemented a series of regulations in the attempt to persuade or even prevent teachers located in rural areas, especially in Eastern Turkey, not to relocate. For instance, newly appointed teachers must work for a certain number of years in rural parts (MoNE, 2018). Even though there is a national curriculum that aims to provide the same quality of education to students across Turkey, due to regional problems this is not always the case. Some of the areas where teachers live are remote and neither they, nor the students, have access to many facilities. Our research investigates the challenges that early childhood and primary education teachers and students experience from the teachers’ perspectives. We draw on critical education theorists such as Apple and Ball to analyse issues of privatization of education and class inequalities Moreover, it is important to point out that the neoliberal policies and the privatization of public education have been leading to regional differences in equity and poverty. The increasing number of private schools and support for them has also been affecting the quality of public schools since there is already an issue with the lack of resources in the Eastern cities of Turkey. Phenomenological analysis was utilized to analyse data from interviews in which teachers reflected on their experiences in rural schools. The findings have revealed that some of the difficulties that teachers encountered in rural areas could be traced back to the teacher education programme. Other challenges teachers encountered were due to the nature of rural settings, such as poverty and burnout syndrome.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeoliberalism and Education Systems in Conflict: Exploring Challenges Across the Globe
ISBN (Print)9780367362935, 9780367352554
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2020


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