Evaluation of religious- mystical Turkish literature in respect to the coursebook, students and teachers

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Gazi Üniversitesi, Eğitim Bilimleri Enstitüsü, Turkey

Approval Date: 2011




This study examines the teaching of Religious- Mystical Turkish literature in respect to teachers, students and coursebook based on current Turkish literature curriculum. Attitudes and knowledge level of 653 10th grade students from various socio-economic situations of Kırşehir's central and other districts have been investiagted. We have also evaluated the attitudes of 93 Turkish literature teachers and knowledge level of 81 Turkish literature teachers about Religious- Mystical Turkish literature who have been teaching in the central district of Kırşehir and other disticts. Moreover, thoughts and ideas of 10 Turkish literature teachers who have been working in the central district, Kaman and Mucur districts have been analyzed intensively with semi-structured interviews. In addition, 10th grade Turkish literature coursebook, which is one of the most important teaching materials, has been investigated in respect to the teaching of Religious-Mystical Turkish literature. This research can be defined as a causal-comparative descriptive field study that utilized both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Quantitative data have been gathered through the knowledge tests and attitude surveys. Qualitative data came from semi structured interviews and 10th grade Turkish literature coursebook. Results of the study revealed that the teachers knowledge level about Religious-Mystical Turkish literature was at medium level (76.4). Teachers who had completed/or were working on their masters' degrees had a success rate of 85.9, whereas teachers who had not had any graduate study had an average of 75.2. The difference between these two groups was significant. The duration of teachers' working time had a negative correlation with the success of the teachers. The teachers who had a positive attitude towards Religious-Mystical Turkish literature were quite high (82.8 %); and there were no teachers with a negative attitude. Teachers with the highest positive attitude came from Anatolian Teacher Training and Science High Schools. The duration of teachers' working time had a negative correlation with the attitudes of the teachers. It was interesting to observe that teachers who did not have any in-service training had more positive attitudes compared to teachers who attended two or more in-service training programs (102 pts.). The success rate of the students was at medium level. Students from Anatolian, Anatolian Teacher Training and Science High Schools (81.3 %)had the highest success rate whereas students from Vocational High Schools (36.1 %) had the lowest. Attitudes of most of the students (59 %) towards Religious-Mystical Turkish literature were at normal level. Students with positive attitudes (32.9 %) were quite more compared to those with negative attitudes (8.1 %). Students who scored higher in the knowledge test had a higher positive attitude (88.1) compared to those who scored lower (79.3) 71% of the teachers had not had any in-service training about the new curriculum after more than four years. This appears like a quite serious problem that needs to be tackled. In the coursebooks, various genres of Religious- Mystical Turkish literature such as hymm (ilahi), nefes, nutuk and praise (methiye) have been incorporated but there were no examples about şathiye which is one of the most important genres. Also in the section called Religious-Mystical Turkish literature Pir Sultan Abdal, Niyazi Mısri, Hacı Bayram Veli ve Mevlana (Rumi) were not included. One of the most important problems of teaching literature was the dilemma the teachers had with the new curriculum. The coursebook was prepared according to the needs of students, texts and activities and included no information about teachers. If the students come to the class unprepared, the lessons would be all teacher centered. We observed that the part about self-evaluation which is given at the end of each unit was not completed by the students, and the teachers regarded them as useless. The questions about the text were satisfying in terms of quality and quantity. Cross-referencing in the texts, using appropriate pictures, tables and figures helped students understand the text in a better way. The teachers stated that the vocabulary level of the students was not enough to understand Religious- Mystical Turkish literature, and the students had hard time in understanding the mystical concepts. The teachers stated that the students were more interested about the lives of the poets rather than the texts in the book, and they suggested that the students should be informed about the nature of the epic poems. Because the students could not understand the logic behing many poems. We also observed that most of the teachers used the term 'Mystical literature' rather than Religious- Mystical Turkish literature