The Implementation of One of the History Education Decisions in the Second National Education Council in 1943: The Formation Story of a Histomap

Article excerpt


This article discusses the meeting of the Second National Educational Council in 1943, the decisions made about teaching history and the preparation and implementation of histomaps, which was one of the decisions made about the teaching of history. For this purpose, document analyses are used and first hand and second hand resources were reviewed. The endeavor in this study is to show how one of the council decisions of the first years of the Republic is applied. Hasan Âli Yücel, the Minister of National Education assigned Hâmit Zübeyr Kosay for this histomap task. Benefiting from the study of John B. Sparks (1931) named "The Histomap: Four Thousand Years of World History" and working with a team, Hâmit Zübeyr Kosay developed a histomap compatible to Turkish History in 3 years. This case study is significant as it described the obligation of bureaucrats of the Ministry of National Education in the early 20s of the Republic. The histomap of Sparks by Rand McNally Publishing in the USA has been continuously updated since it was first developed. Unfortunately, since then the mechanisms were not constructed to update histomap of Kosay regarding the changing history course books and programs in Turkey.

Key Words

National Education Council, History Education, Hasan Âli Yücel, Hâmit Zübeyr Kosay, Histomap.

This article discusses the meeting of the Second National Educational Council in 1943, the decisions made about teaching history and preparation and the implementation of histomaps which was one of the decisions on the teaching of history. From this point of view, the implementation of decisions of the National Education Council will be discussed. As you know, Atatürk held the Maarif (old use of "education" in Turkish) Congress and 200 teachers were participated in it on July 15th, 1921 when it was the climax of Independence War. After 1923, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Scholarship Boards were held in Ankara. These meetings are also important as they show the democratic attitude of the administration group of the Turkish Republic about educational processes. The First National Educational Council was held on July 17th, 1939 with the efforts of Hasan Âli Yücel, the Minister of National Education. By holding the 2nd National Education Council, Hasan Âli Yücel served significantly in institutionalizing these meetings (Ergin, 1977; Ayas, 1948).

The Decisions of the Second National Education Council on History Education

While World War II was continuing severely, the Second National Education Council was held at the Faculty of Language, History and Geography in Ankara on the 15th of February in 1943 (Tan, 16 Subat 1943; Vatan, 16 Subat 1943, p.1-2; Aksam, 16 Subat 1943). As the subject of the article is decisions made in history education commission, the studies of ethics education and mother tongue commissions will not be discussed in this study. However, the Turkish journalists such as A. E. Yalman (1943) wrote the agenda of the National Council to his column. On February 21st in 1943, President Ismet Inönü invited the members of councils to the Çankaya residence (Tan, 22 Subat 1943).

The Second National Education Council and its decisions are of vital importance in terms of history education because no such technical, pedagogical, and detailed study had ever been made on history education in any of the preceding National Education Councils. History education commission presented a report on school history books, teacher and teaching issue, additional information, tools necessary for history education, and requirements for it (MV, 1943, p. 199). At this juncture, this council accepted that different history textbooks for vocational schools should be written. At that time, history teachers working at vocational schools were demanding different history textbooks for these schools (Uçar, 2008, pp. 73-74).

In the report presented by the history education commission to the Council Secretariat, it was suggested that synchronic tables on histomap systems should be prepared by the Ministry of Education as a teaching aid for history education in order to prevent students from memorizing historical facts. …


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