An Ethnography in Turkish Higher Education: A Collaborative Research-Based Approach to Teacher Empowerment (CORBATE)

Gül Peker B.

Lambert Academic Publishing, Beau Bassin-Rose Hill, 2017

  • Publication Type: Book / Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Publisher: Lambert Academic Publishing
  • City: Beau Bassin-Rose Hill


This ethnographic study investigated the process of empowerment in the context of Turkish higher education. The participants of this study were teachers working at the Department of Basic English, School of Foreign Languages, the Middle East Technical University, Ankara where the researcher worked as a teacher and teacher trainer. The clients worked with the trainer in a three-year collaborative action research project.

Observational data, as a result of participant observation of the clients over a period of three years, along with interview and documentary data were coded and analyzed according to the interactive model of qualitative data analysis and phenomenological interview analysis. Following the coding of raw data, emerging themes were identified and compared with data from the other two sources (interview and documentary) for purposes of triangulation. Naturalistic criteria for reliability and validity were used along with inter-coder reliability. Data were displayed and conclusions drawn using three techniques from ethnographic data analysis: Characters, Setting and Plot; Natural History and Thematic Organization.

The findings of the study indicate the feasibility of teacher empowerment as Conversations with Self. Among some of the competencies needed for Conversations with Self are consciousness raising, working with other people, knowing self better and listening and observing both self and others better in order to be able to decide on what knowledge and values are beneficial for them. The findings of the study do not reveal a feasibility of teacher empowerment in terms of the political agenda of Conversations with Settings. Such conversations remained at the level of job involvement. That is to say, the political agenda of Conversations with Settings, was feasible in terms of autonomy and control in the classrooms of individual teachers.