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date: 25 June 2022

Village Institutes of Turkeylocked

Village Institutes of Turkeylocked

  • Filiz Meşeci GiorgettiFiliz Meşeci GiorgettiIstanbul University

Summary

In the 1930s, the primary schooling rate in Turkey was significantly low compared to the European states. Ninety percent of the population lived in villages without any schools and teachers. Therefore, promoting primary education was addressed as an issue concerning villages in Turkey. The seeds of the intellectual infrastructure in the emergence of institutes were sown at the beginning of the 20th century, during the Ottoman rule. To train teachers for villages, Village Teacher Training School [Köy Muallim Mektebi] was founded in 1927 and Village Instructor Training Course [Köy Eğitmen Kursu] in 1936. However, these initiatives were not sufficient in terms of quality and quantity. Village teacher training experiences, new education, and work school trends of Europe were analyzed by Turkish educators, opinions of foreign and Turkish experts were received, and the Village Institutes [Köy Enstitüleri] project was carried into effect based on the realities of Turkey. The first Village Institutes opened in 1937. They were established in a restricted area, with a limited budget, and a non-common curriculum until the Village Institute Law was promulgated in 1940. On April 17, 1940, the law prescribing their establishment was approved by the parliament. The number of the Village Institutes, which spread over the Turkish geography evenly, reached 21 by 1949. The period between 1940 and 1947 was when the Village Institutes were most productive. Learning by doing and principles of productive work were embraced at the Village Institutes. The curriculum consisted of three components: general culture, agriculture, and technical courses. In addition to their teaching duties, the primary school teachers that graduated from the Village Institutes undertook the mission of guiding villagers in agricultural and technical issues and having them adopt the nation-state ideology in villages. World balances changing after the Second World War also affected the Village Institutes. In 1946, the founding committee of the Village Institutes were accused of leftism and had to leave their offices for political reasons. After the founding committee stepped aside, the Village Institutes started to be criticized by being subjected to the conflict between left-wing and right-wing. Following the government changeover in 1950, radical changes regarding the curricula, students, and teachers of the institutes were made. Making the Village Institutes unique, the production- and work-oriented aspects were eliminated, and the institutes were closed down in 1954 and converted into Primary School Teacher Training Schools. Although the Village Institutes existed only between 1937 and 1954, their social, economic, and political effects were felt for a long time through the teachers, health officers, and inspectors they trained.

Subjects

  • Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Education, Change, and Development
  • Education and Society
  • Educational History

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