"EXPLORING TURKEY'S EDUCATION POLICY: WHAT DO THE GLOBAL TRENDS SUGGEST, WHAT DO THE RECENT AMENDMENTS REALLY AMEND?"
Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, 13-14 December 2012
Starting from the late 1980s, globalisation has quickly entered into the realm of the education policy in different settings, including Turkey. In particular, fast spread of the globalization process and the neo-liberal transformation introduced profound changes in terms of school finance, employee rights, curriculum development, privatisation and school-environment relations. Similarly, the lexicon of education policy was introduced some new ‘trendy’ concepts such as ‘productivity’,‘performance’ and ‘human capital’ and governments and business groups started talking about the necessity of schools meeting the needs of the global economy. The global educational agendas promoted by international organisations, such as United Nations, the OECD and the World Bank, now reflected educational discourses about human capital, economic development, and multiculturalism, leading to intense debates between scholars, policy makers and civil society on how the education should be. Recently, a controversial answer to this question has been given by Ömer Dinçer, the Turkish Minister of Education: ‘a new legal amendment is somewhat obligatory, which renders the primary education gradual, flexible and in line with the needs of democratisation and global trends’. Indeed, the most recent legal arrangements (the so-called 4+4+4 system, the Fatih project, the restructuring of the Ministry of Education with the Statutory Decree numbered 652) which introduced a thorough transformation into the Turkish primary education has been claimed to serve to this purpose from the start.
Against this background, this 2-day international conference organized jointly by ResearchTurkey and the Department of Political Science and Public Administration of the Middle East Technical University aims to investigate current trends and changes in Turkish education policy by locating them within the wider context of globalization.
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