Democratic Characteristics of Classroom Discourse in Social Studies Lessons in Turkey


  • Zafer kuş Kırşehir Ahi Evran University


In 2005, Turkey underwent a significant educational reform, transitioning from a traditional teaching approach to a constructivist model. This reform also had an impact on the teaching of social studies. Previously, social studies primarily focused on transmitting cultural heritage and national identity, with teachers serving as the main source of knowledge. However, since 2005, the emphasis has shifted towards promoting democratic citizenship and developing active, responsible, and rights-respecting citizens. This research aims to investigate whether opportunities for democratic experiences are provided to students in the social studies classroom, using qualitative data from classroom discourse. The research methodology employed is a multiple case study design. Over a period of 8 weeks, three social studies teachers were observed, and data collected from the classrooms were analyzed using content analysis. The findings of the study indicate that a teacher-centered teaching process is prevalent in all observed classes, with a focus on knowledge transmission rather than democratic values and skills. The discourses employed by the teachers are predominantly didactic and interactive/authoritarian. Additionally, there is a lack of pre-planned and organized discussion processes within the classrooms.