Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Perceptions of High School Mathematics Teachers Regarding the 2005 Turkish Curriculum Reform and Its Effects on Students' Mathematical Proficiency and Their Success on National University Entrance Examinations
by Er, Sidika Nihan, Ph.D., Ohio University, 2012, 245; 10630952
Abstract (Summary)

In Turkey, the secondary mathematics curriculum, students' mathematical proficiency, and their preparation for the university entrance examinations are inextricably connected. The Ministry of National Education adopted a new curriculum in 2005 that was built on constructivist theory. This study explored the perceptions of high school mathematics teachers in Turkey regarding the effects of this new curriculum on students' mathematical proficiency and students' success on the examinations. Specifically, this study investigated two issues: 1. the perceptions of teachers regarding the reform and its impact on students' mathematical proficiency and their success on national university entrance examinations, and 2. the differences among those perceptions across types of schools and years of teaching experience.

This exploratory investigation concurrently used a survey and interviewed teachers at Anatolian, general, and science high schools. The researcher designed and tested the survey and disseminated it to 162 teachers from 59 of the 81 provinces in Turkey. In addition, 18 teachers were interviewed: 9 from each of two provinces and 6 from each of the three types of schools. The researcher conducted three factorial analyses of variance and several follow-up tests to address the research questions, and analyzed the results using constuctivist theory as a framework.

Teachers' perceptions of the reformed curriculum and its impact on students' mathematical proficiency were about the same regardless of school type or teaching experience. The teachers indicated that the main obstacles to implementation are lack of time, large class sizes, an unchanged university entrance examination system, and insufficient professional development. Overall, teachers' perceptions about the impact of the curriculum reform on students' success on university entrance examinations were slightly negative. Teachers perceived that the educational and examination systems conflict with each other and that students who attend different types of schools require different curricula. The researcher recommends that entrance examinations be changed to align with the constructivist approach, that distinct curricula be designed and implemented that are suitable for each type of school, and that targeted professional development programs be developed. There is a need for further research related to the improvement of secondary school curriculum, assessment, and their implementation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Foley, Gregory
Commitee: Henning, John, Johanson, George, McKeny, Timothy
School: Ohio University
Department: Curriculum and Instruction Mathematics Education
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Education, Secondary education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Constructivism, Mathematical proficiency, Mathematics curriculum, Turkish curriculum, Turkish secondary education, University entrance examination
Publication Number: 10630952
ISBN: 9780355012750