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Qualitative Interviews. TURKEY. Where. 2 vocational highschools for girls , 5 early childhood education department of universities . . With Whom. 2 technical assistant managers , 2 teachers of vocational highschools , A male dean of an education faculty ,

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Qualitative Interviews

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  • 2 vocational highschools for girls,
  • 5 early childhood education department of universities.
with whom
With Whom
  • 2 technical assistant managers,
  • 2 teachers of vocational highschools,
  • A male dean of an education faculty,
  • The dean and the head of a early chilhood education department,
  • 2 heads of the department,
  • 3 professors at the early childhood education department,
  • A male professor at the faculty of education.
the o fficial t erm
The Official Term
  • The official term of the early childhood education in turkey is “preschool education”. During the interviews the term preschool is used.
the q uestions
The Questions
  • the concept of the gender,
  • the aspects of early childhood education,
  • the men in the field,
  • the curriculum and the implementation,
  • the obstacles in the field.
gender concept
Gender Concept
  • Among highschool teachers and managers the term “gender” was not known well, therefore it had to be explained at some points before the interview.
  • Five out of twelve interviewees, three of whom teach at universities where the language of education is english, were aware of the concept of gender.
  • The others perceived it as equality between women and men. And it isarguedfrequently that there is not any discrimination among children at this age group.
aspects of the early childhood education
Aspects of the Early Childhood Education
  • Difficulties in early childhood education itself.
  • It is not part of the compulsory basic education.
  • Positive approach on using the term “early childhood education” instead of “preschool education”.
  • Big proportion of preschool teachers are highschool graduates.
  • The common use of ‘care’ instead of ‘education’ which affects the status of the profession negatively in society.
  • less attractive for men.
men in the field
Men in the field
  • The vocational highschool in preschool field have been only for girls traditionally.
  • Any male teachers in child development department in these highschools.
  • The average proportion of the male students is around 10%.
  • The academic positions are completely filled by women in these universities accept one foreign male professor.
  • Several male phd students to be employed in these universities.
  • All of the interviewees are for more men in the field both in the academic and practical levels for various reasons:

-for physical activities at practical level, role-models for boys etc.

  • The need of the complete change in the approach of the society toward early childhood education.
  • The highschools’ curriculum does not contain any specific course about gender issue.
  • At the two universities in wich the language of education is english the gender concept is integrated in the courses by the initiative of the academics.
  • A dean believes the priorty of the early childhood education is not gender issue but the institutionalization.
  • An academic insist on the necessity of a course on a every kind of discrimination in which should contain also gender.
  • An other academic is actually teaching a course on gender at the education faculty but it is not a compulsory course for the early childhood education department students.
  • Generally all of the interviewees are for the integration of the gender in a selective course rather than a specific course on gender.
obstacles in preschool education expressed by the interviewees
Obstacles in Preschool Education Expressed by the Interviewees
  • the general quality of the education system,
  • the lack of continuity in educational policy,
  • overpopulation, bureaucracy, and some religious perceptions,
  • the weak foundational level of students at the vocational schools,
  • employment of high school graduates in pre-school institutions instead of university graduates,
  • curriculum determined by the YOK.
In the case of Turkey, it is obvious that the field of preschool education has its own problems which seem to have priority over gender issues:

-Since pre primary school period is based on care rather than education, expectations of the society regarding preschool education are mostly in this direction which has made this field women oriented.

-Institutionalising is another problem:

Overpopulation; lack of schools, staff, teachers, and funding.

Majority of children do not benefit from preschool education.

Since it is optional, many parents do not send their children to preschool even if they have the necessary means.

gender aspect in preschool education
Gender Aspect in Preschool Education
  • In Turkey, both preschool education and the concept of gender are problematic areas; thus, when they are considered together, the obstacles become even more overwhelming.
  • This leads us to cover the basic gender concepts. In other words, collection/mapping of practical GM methods and GM implementation strategies will be drawn in this direction.
  • Due to the reasons mentioned above, it seems unlikely to implement a curriculum which would include a separate course on gender for the programs of preschool education. However, it seems more applicable to add a section on gender into an already existing course in these programs.