Future of Social Studies Education in Turkey




social studies, standardized test, assessment, Turkey


Social studies education [Sosyal Bilgiler] in Turkey has defined as an integrated field of study after the curriculum reform in the last decade. This interdisciplinary notion of the social studies education is established in the curriculum as a result of the modeling NCSS standards. This new social studies movement in Turkey has taken a thematic approach and focused on skills and values in the curriculum.  Unlike the former curricula, this new curriculum has adapted alternative assessment methods such as portfolio, self and peer evaluation, projects, poster presentations, and rubrics while Turkish educational system has been dominated by the standardized testing. On the other hand, there has been discussions in the United States regarding high-stakes testing’s influence on diminishing the instructional time of social studies  and instructional decisions in these classes. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to compare and discuss the influence of standardized testing on social studies education both in Turkey and the United States. I believe this discussion convey us to redefine and restructure social studies education and even considering the defragmentation of the field as it has been one of the major trends in the last two decades.     

Author Biography


Mehmet Acikalin is an associate professor in the Department of Social Studies Education at Istanbul University, Turkey. He served as a social studies teacher between 1996 and 1999 in Istanbul. Then, he has got a scholarship from the Ministry of National Education to pursue his graduate degrees in the United States. He received his master degree from the University of Missouri- Columbia in 2002 and PhD from The Ohio State University, USA in 2006. His dissertation entitled The Influences of Computer-Supported Instruction on the Principles of Constructivist Pedagogy in the Social Studies Curriculum. After completed his study, he returned to Turkey started to teach at Istanbul University. He teaches a variety of courses including social studies methods, instructional technologies and material development, and field experiences.  His research interests are computer-supported instruction in social studies, global education and social studies teacher education.  He also serves as Erasmus coordinator for the social studies education department in order to establish and keep international relations with the program.






International Perspectives