Deskilling of teachers: The case of Turkey

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Gur B. S.

Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri, vol.14, no.3, pp.887-904, 2014 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.12738/estp.2014.3.2116
  • Title of Journal : Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri
  • Page Numbers: pp.887-904


Studies in various Western countries since the 1980s established that teachers find themselves increasingly more subjected to outside control and are often reduced to enforcers of decisions made by others. This study presents findings from a qualitative study with 20 teachers in an attempt to discover i) whether teachers' work is being transformed and ii) what type of transformation, if any, takes place. It first analyzes the debate on changes in teachers' skills in advanced industrial societies and moves onto a discussion of the nature of teachers' work, the transformation thereof and the alleged deskilling of teachers. The study later presents findings from a qualitative research indicating that there are significant similarities and differences between teachers' experiences in Turkey and in developed countries. This study reveals that the deskilling approach fails to adequately account for Turkish teachers' experiences, agency and adaptability. Furthermore, while teachers do not regard rather detailed curricula and guidebooks as a restriction of their professional domain, they express the opposite view regarding interventions by parents, inspectors and others. Finally, the study demonstrates that educators in Turkey have strong concerns regarding the future of their profession.