Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

A Convergent Parallel Mixed-Methods Study of Controversial Issues in Social Studies Classes: A Clash of Ideologies

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

A Convergent Parallel Mixed-Methods Study of Controversial Issues in Social Studies Classes: A Clash of Ideologies

Article excerpt

Ideological orientation is one of the most important factors in explaining perceptions and behavior of humans and states (Jacoby, 1991; Jost, 2006; Kello, 2015; Treier & Hillygus, 2009). As a concept, ideology has quite an important function with many variable and contested definitions (Eagleton, 1991). According to Kenyon (2017), however, ideology encompasses the values, beliefs, and conventions about the ways in which governments, citizens, and nations relate in modern society.

Each state uses ideologies to sustain its existence and principles on which its legitimacy has been built (Repnikova, 2017; Schmidt, 2011; Shkedi & Nisan, 2006; Tsvetkova, 2017). Therefore, the overall objectives of education in a country signal what kind of society the state desires to build (Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, & Wahistrom, 2004; Robinson, Lloyd, & Rowe, 2008; Seery, 2008). Most of the time, education aims to raise children as citizens who are attuned to society (Cotton, 2006). Additionally, individuals are imbued through education with the ideas formally agreed upon in society (Harring & Sohlberg, 2017; Kenyon, 2017; Shkedi & Nisan, 2006; Tobin, Hsueh, & Karasawa, 2011). This means that education and ideology are closely intertwined (Bingham, 2008; Shkedi & Nisan, 2006; Pace & Hemmings, 2007) and that education is among the means through which official ideology renders its own principles of legitimacy absolute and sacred (Akın & Arslan, 2014; Shkedi & Nisan, 2006; Singh, 1997).

Turkey also uses educational activities as a means to realize its own ideology and ensure the state's perpetuity (Babahan, 2009). Kerr (2002) argued that these objectives can be achieved through the content in instructional programs via teachers and other components of education like books, activities, and so forth (Hammett & Bainbridge, 2009; Levinson, 2010; Shkedi & Nisan, 2006).

However, no matter what content education programs have or what official ideology is reflected in the content, teachers' attitudes and behaviors are of vital importance in transmitting the curriculum and its imbedded official ideology (Grundy & Hatton, 1995; Lockwood, 1996; Oulton, Dillon, & Grace, 2004a; Uljens, Møller, Ärlestig, & Frederiksen, 2013). Although teachers follow the same curriculum and textbooks, some teachers adopt the official ideology and become its representatives (Shkedi & Nisan, 2006; Westheimer & Kahne, 2004), while others who have ideologies that conflict with the official ideology can tend to reflect their own ideologies. In other words, just like everyone, teachers also have their own ideological orientations (Grundy & Hatton, 1995) and can reflect either the official ideology or their own in the lessons they conduct (Pace & Hemmings, 2007). That teachers themselves and their behaviors are highly influential in what is acquired and how it is acquired is also known (Oulton, Day, Dillon, & Grace, 2004b; Nieto, 2003; Noddings, 2003; Pace & Hemmings, 2007; Yapıcı, 2004).

Every society ascribes different meanings to ideologies (Shkedi & Nisan, 2006), and no matter what kind of classification is offered, the basic aim is to stereotype people (Leonardo, 2003). The desire to stereotype people actually imposes restrictions (Eagleton, 1991). However, ideologies in Turkey can be basically classified as: Socialist/Leftist, Nationalist, Liberal, Religious Conservative, Atatürkist/Kemalist, and Conservative Nationalist" (Carkoglu & Toprak, 2006; Paker & Icin-Akcali, 2013). When taking all these factors into consideration as a whole, teachers can tend to present the content in educational program in line with their ideological orientations in cases where their individual ideologies clash with the official ideology (Goellnitz, 2016; Kello, 2015; Oulton et al., 2004a).

Such tendencies incompatible with the official ideology can also lead to variations in the way teachers present CIs (Allen, 2015; Brayboy, 2005; Goellnitz, 2016). …

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