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Assessment of the Turkish teacher training process through academicians' views.

Introduction

The most effective instrument for the humans to communicate with their environment is language. The social existence of the humans begins at birth. The individual, who is part of the social whole learns about his/her environment through language; shares his/her ideas and feelings with the people through language. In this respect, the individual's interaction with his/her environment is significant.

The individual who learns his/her mother tongue from the close environment in early ages has teachers and school mates with the start of school in addition to family and friend circle with whom s/he is interacting. Through language, the individual acquires novel information in the school period. First language education is a process which influences success in all of the lessons in school learning which starts with primary school (Erdo an and Gok, 2009: 2). Therefore language is one of the basic elements of the learning and teaching process. Both the importance of language on one's life and the importance of interaction in language education give rise to the need for qualified teachers. For teaching, the society and the members constituting it necessitate considering the environment with which the individual interacts (Kilic and Acat, 2007: 22). Therefore, all teachers, especially class and Turkish teachers have significant duties in terms of maintaining accurate and effective use of Turkish.

The teacher is one of the most significant variables of the learning and teaching environment (Sonmez, 2001:136) and at the same time the basic element of the educational system (Celikten, anal and Yeni, 2005: 208). Today, teaching is recognized as a profession which requires specialized knowledge and skills undertaking the roles of planning, implementing education and teaching activities, and management of educational institutions (Bircan, 2005: 207; i man and Acat, 2003: 236). Therefore, the teacher is a specialist of education and training in terms of encouraging and supporting student learning. Teaching profession requires:

a) Compliance with professional and ethical standards,

b) Self-efficacy,

c) Developing analytic and reflective strategies,

d) High-level knowledge on the topic to be taught

e) High level literacy and knowledge of mathematics (Van , 1998: 165).

The traditional views that a teacher carrying these features is the only source and transmitter of knowledge have been replaced with more contemporary approaches and the teacher has reached the position of teaching the ways of learning to students (YOK/World Bank, 1998: 1). Teacher training is a critical process (Yenilmez and Cemrek, 2008: 82). The teacher has a direct influence on the education and the quality of education (Yanpar Yelken, 2009: 2079). In this respect, it is an unquestionable fact that field knowledge is one of the foundations of teacher training programs (Temizkan, 2008b: 464). Above all, candidate teachers should be competent in their field knowledge (Schelfhout et al., 2006: 875). A teacher needs to have field knowledge as wells as a certain level of general culture and professional knowledge in order to execute his/her profession in an effective way (i man, 2006: 155). In addition, the training given to candidate teachers should correspond with the program applied in schools (Korthagen, Loughran and Russell, 2006: 1038). As of the 1997-1998 academic year, faculties of education have been restructured by the Council of Higher Education (YOK) and a minor program was started, ignoring the available course programs in Turkish education departments (Ozbay, 2005a: 313). The absence of this practice in the current program can be considered as a significant step for the professionalization of teaching Turkish. The program applied in Turkish education departments prior to the 2006-2007 academic year was frequently criticized in terms of the program applied, course content and distribution (Guzel, 2004; 0zbay, 2004; Ozbay, 2005a; Guzel, 2005; (Cifci, 2005; Kavcar, 2005; Cemilo lu, 2005; Sa ir, 2005) and new programs were recommended. Studies (Temizkan 2008a, Erdem and Ba aran, 2009; O uz, 2009; Ucgun 2009) over candidate Turkish teachers raised in this program demonstrate that the candidate teachers are not at the desired level especially in terms of written and oral expression skills. According to Erdem and Ba aran (2009: 753) candidate teachers stated that the university training influenced speaking skills positively, yet the oral expression course at the university is insufficient in terms of developing this skill. According to O uz (2009: 40) the self-efficacy perceptions of the candidate teachers related to their oral and written expression skills is at a considerably low level. Several studies have pointed out to the deficient aspects of the program in terms of professional knowledge and general culture courses. To exemplify, in Temizkan's (2008b) study over identifying candidate Turkish teachers' attitudes towards the teaching profession, it was found out that 49.75% of the candidate teachers felt insufficient in terms of general culture; 57.7% in terms of field knowledge; 49% in terms of pedagogical formation and 26% in terms of applying methods and techniques.

Findings of the studies on Turkish teachers are in line with the studies mentioned above. For example, according to the results of a study conducted by Ministry of National Education (MoNE), Research and Development Center, 85.6% of candidate Turkish teachers need in-service training in "diction", 78.1% in "speaking methods and techniques"; 68.1% in "preparations about speaking", 82.9% in "ways of developing writing skill", 81.8% in "writing texts in various genres", 80% in "writing methods and techniques", 68% in "preparations about writing" and 59.1% about "punctuation" (MEB, 2008a: 104).

Considering such results gathered from this and similar studies, some changes were made in the Turkish teacher training program and the new program was put into use in the 2006-2007 academic year. The basic rationale for the new regulation was stated as "in academic activities such as symposium, panel, workshop, discussion, conferences, the effectiveness of the current teacher training programs in education faculties have been questioned in terms of complying with the contemporary knowledge and skills and recommendations as to solving problems related to these programs have been put forward on the basis of expert opinion" (YOK, 2007: 7). The teacher training programs which have been put into use as of the 2006-2007 academic year usually incorporate 50% field knowledge, 30% teaching professional knowledge and 20% general culture lessons. These rates and course credits differ on the basis of teaching departments (YOK, 2007: 8). The current program includes 59 courses with 145 credits. 49% of these are field education courses, while 23% are general culture and 28% are professional knowledge courses. In contrast to the previous program, the contents of the Oral Expression, Literature Knowledge and Theories (the previous name of the course was Literature Knowledge and Theories), Turkish Folk Literature and Computer courses were extended and the idea of teaching them in two semesters was adopted. Comprehension Techniques course was divided into Listening Comprehension and Reading Comprehension while Expression Techniques course was divided into two as Speaking Education and Writing Education. Writing Techniques, Teaching Turkish to Foreigners, General Linguistics and World Literature are newly incorporated field courses. The greatest change in the current program is that the minor area practice has been removed.

However, in various studies, the course distributions and course contents of the current program applied in the Turkish teaching departments have been criticized (0zbay and Ucgun, 2008; Guzel, 2010; Kirkkilic and Maden, 2010).

For this reason, this study towards assessing the Turkish teacher training process according to academicians' views holds significance in terms of guiding future adjustments in the Turkish teaching undergraduate program.

The Aim of the Study

The aim of the present study is to assess the Turkish teacher training process in terms of academicians' views. To this end, the following questions were researched:

1. What do the academicians think about the process of training Turkish teachers?

2. Do the academician views on Turkish teacher training process differ significantly in terms of gender?

3. Do the academician views on Turkish teacher training process differ significantly in terms of their title?

4. Do the academician views on Turkish teacher training process differ significantly in terms of their areas of doctoral specialization?

5. Do the academician views on Turkish teacher training process differ significantly in terms of their seniority?

Limitations

This research is limited to the data obtained from a questionnaire applied to 75 academics in the Turkish education departments of some universities in Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (Adiyaman, Abant, Aksaray, Ataturk, Bahkesir, Ba kent, Cumhuriyet, Do u Akdeniz, Dokuz Eylul, Dumlupinar, Ege, Erciyes, Erzincan, Firat, Gazi, nonu, stanbul, Kastamonu, Kirikkale, Mehmet Akif Ersoy, Mu la, Mustafa Kemal, Ni de, 18 Mart, Sakarya, Selcuk, Trakya, 100. Yil) in the spring terra of 2009-2010 academic year.

Method

The research was structured as a survey.

The survey model aims to "describe a situation in the pastor present as it is" (Karasar, 1999: 77).

The Sample

The sample is comprised of 75 academics, who responded to the measurement scale in the Turkish education departments of some universities in Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (Adiyaman, Abant, Aksaray, Ataturk, Balikesir, Ba kent, Cumhuriyet, Do u Akdeniz, Dokuz Eylul, Dumlupmar, Ege, Erciyes, Erzincan, Firat, Gazi, nonu, stanbul, Kastamonu, Kirikkale, Mehmet Akif Ersoy, Mu la, Mustafa Kemal, Ni de, 18 Mart, Sakarya, Selcuk, Trakya, 100. Yil) in the spring terra of 2009-2010 academic year.

The scale applied in the research was sent to 193 academics serving in the Turkish education departments in the education faculties in Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The distribution of the sample in terms of title and seniority levels is presented in Table 1.

The sample comprised 7 professors (16-25 years of seniority: 4, above 26 years of seniority: 3), 9 associate professors (0-5 years of seniority: 1,6-10 years of seniority: 2; 11-15 years of seniority: 1; 16-25 years of seniority: 5), 52 assistant professors (0-5 years of seniority: 6:6-10 years of seniority: 7; 11-15 years of seniority: 20; 16-25 years of seniority: 9; above 26 years of seniority: 10), 3 instructors with PhD (0-5 years of seniority: 1; 11 - 15 years of seniority: 2), 4 research assistants with PhD (6-10 years of seniority: 3; 11-15 years of seniority: 1). The instructors and research assistants with PhD were also included in the sample since they did teaching. The research assistants and instructors with PhD degrees were placed in the category of "academicians" since they met the pre-requisite for academicianship by completing their doctoral studies.

Data Collection Instrument

"Turkish Teacher Training Assessment Scale" devised by the researcher was used as the data collection tool. This instrument which was in the form of 5-point Likert scale was devised on the basis of the instrument used in the doctoral dissertation of Yayla (2003). The items numbered 2, 3, 5, 7, 27, 31 in the scale were devised by the adjustment of items numbered 1, 10, 11, 12, 19, 21 in Yayla's "Music Education Department Academicians Questionnaire Form".

The content validity of the 50 items formed as a pilot test was specified by means of Lawshe technique. The Lawshe technique comprises 6 stages:

a) Formation of area experts group

b) Preparation of candidate scale forms

c) Collection of expert views

d) Obtaining the content validity rates related to the items

e) Obtaining content validity indices related to the scale

f) Formation of the final version of the scale according to content validity rates/index criteria (Yurdugul, 2005: 2).

The 50 item scale forms prepared on the basis of these stages were presented to 20 area experts for reviewing. The experts specified the extent to which the items in the scale measured the items as "it measures the target structure", "unsatisfactory in measuring the target structure" and "it does not measure the target structure".

The content validity rates (KGO) are obtained by the proportion of expert numbers who expressed the "Necessary" view related to any item to the total number of experts subtracted by one.

KGO=[N.sub.G]/N/2-1

Here, NG specifies the number of experts who replied as "Necessary" to the item and N specifies the total number of experts expressing ideas on the item (Yurdugul, 2005: 2).

The expert opinions on each item were collected and the content validity rates were obtained. The KGO rates with negative values or the value of zero (17, 18, 23, 44) were eliminated and the significance of the remaining items were tested via statistical criteria

In the calculations, the minimum values of KGO's which were transformed into tables by Veneziano and Hooper (1997) (quoted in Yurdugul, 2005: 2) were taken into consideration at a significance level of =0,05. Table 2 presents the minimum values related to the number of experts in addition to the statistical significance of the item.

According to the table, the items whose content validity rates fell below the value of 0.42 (8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 20, 21, 25, 32, 35, 38, 41, 45, 47) were eliminated and the devised 32-item scale was sent to academics via e-mail.

The undergraduate education in universities equip the students with the most basic and comprehensive knowledge in a field while graduate education maintains specialization and depth (Ozbay, 2010: 203). Therefore--considering the fact that it is also a part of the Turkish teacher training process--items related to graduate programs in Turkish education were also included.

Findings Related to the Validity and Reliability of the Scale

Factor analysis was applied in order to specify the validity of the scale. Initially, KMO and Bartlett tests were conducted in order to understand whether the scale is suitable for factor analysis. In this regard, the KMO test result should be .50 and over and the Bartlett sphericity test result should be statistically significant (Jeong, 2004: 70). As a result of this study, the KMO test result was found to be .67, Bartlett sphericity test was found to be significant (p<0.01) and it was concluded that factor analysis could be applied to the scale.

As a result of the factor analysis, the items placed within none of the factors or which were below the .45 limit (1, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15,23, 24, 26, 29) were eliminated and the scale was assessed over 20 items and as a result, the common factor variance was found to be between .50 and .87. As a result of the factor load obtained at the end of the gradient of slope graphics and principal components analysis related to the factor analysis, it was concluded that there are six factors in this scale. The sum of the factor dimensions of the scale accounts for 70% of the scale. According to this result, it could be argued that the validity level of the scale is high.

The Cronbach's alpha values were calculated for the reliability of the scale and the Cronbach's alpha value for the whole scale was calculated as .83. According to this result, it could be concluded that the scale is reliable.

Data Analysis

Before the data analysis, the questionnaires were numbered. The evaluations were carried out with 75 questionnaires. In data analysis, the positive items in order to calculate the academicians' responses were "I definitely do not agree" 1, "I do not agree" 2, "I am undecided" 3, "I agree" 4, "I completely agree" 5. The minimum score to be taken in the questionnaire is 20 while the highest possible score is 100. The findings obtained as a result of the analyses were interpreted on the basis of intervals of 1.00-1.79--1 definitely do not agree, 1.80-2.59--1 do not agree, 2.603.39--1 am undecided, 3.40-4.19--1 agree, 4.20-5.00--1 completely agree. Findings related to the subproblems were analyzed via Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal Wallis tests.

Findings and Interpretations

Findings related to the first question of the research (What are academicians' opinions on Turkish teacher training?) are presented in Table 3.

The academicians' reply to the 2nd item (The only purpose of the Turkish education departments must not be training second level primary education teachers.) is at the level of "I agree". Turkish education is not limited to primary schools. Turkish is also taught to foreigners, people with Turkish origins and the children living abroad. Therefore, teachers who can teach Turkish to not only primary school students but also different target populations should be trained in Turkish education departments (Ozbay; 2005a; Ucgun, 2006; Kirkkilic and Maden 2010). According to Guzel (2010:371) there are different target populations in Turkish education, while these differences are not taken into consideration. This finding of the study is in line with the evaluations made in the related studies.

The items numbered 3 and 20 in the questionnaire are related to general culture courses in the undergraduate program of the Turkish education department. It has been understood that the academicians find the general culture courses in the program satisfactory. However, views on the diversification of these courses are at the level of "I agree". In the 145-credit Program, 33 credits are allotted to general culture courses. According to research findings, academicians find the general culture courses sufficient in terms of credits, yet think that the all or some of the current courses should be changed both in terms of course name and content.

The items 4 and 19 are related to the field knowledge courses. The academician views on the efficiency of the field education courses in the Turkish education undergraduate program is at the level of "I am undecided" (item 4) and the views on the increase of the weekly hours of the field education courses in the Turkish education undergraduate program is at the level of "I agree" (Item 19). This points out to the fact that academicians do not find field knowledge courses in the Turkish teacher training program sufficient.

The items 5, 21 and 22 in the scale are related to professional knowledge courses in the program. The academician views on the efficiency of the professional knowledge courses in the Turkish education undergraduate program (item 5) and the views on the increase of the weekly hours of these courses (Item 22) are at the level of "I am undecided". The academician responses related to the diversification of the professional knowledge courses are at the level of "I agree". On the basis of this, it is understood that academicians do not find the undergraduate program in the Turkish education departments sufficient in terms of professional courses. According to Kucukahmet (2007: 215), most of the professional knowledge courses in the teacher training undergraduate programs are general culture (general culture or general culture in the field) or field knowledge courses. It could be argued that this finding is in line with the research findings. According to the results of a study aiming to identify the importance of professional knowledge courses on teacher candidates' professional development, it is thought that the connections between theory and practice will be enhanced if activities are geared towards the application of theoretical parts in professional knowledge courses (Ta km and Haciomero lu, 2010: 172). According to these research findings, an arrangement for allotting a few hours of the professional knowledge courses to practice seems to be necessary.

Academician responses to Item 7 (The undergraduate program applied in Turkish education departments should be continuously developed as appropriate to the program development techniques.) are at the level of "I completely agree." This finding lends support to the academician views that they do not find the program sufficient and thus the program needs new arrangements in accordance with program development principles.

The items 12 and 14 in the scale are towards identifying the academician opinions over the importance of Turkish teacher training. According to the findings, the academicians responded to the item which stated that the graduates of Turkish education departments should enter an exam in which their oral and written expression are to be evaluated in addition to a proficiency examination (Item 12) as "I agree". This can be interpreted as providing evidence to the fact that they do not find the State Personnel Selection Exam (KPSS), which is taken into consideration in the assignment of teachers as satisfactory. In studies conducted in various departments of education faculties, it was also found out that teacher candidates did not find this exam satisfactory in terms of reliability and validity (Gurol and Sevindik, 2009). Teacher candidates believe that KPPS is unnecessary and that the KPSS results are not sufficient for becoming a teacher (Gundo du, Cimen and Turan, 2008: 42; ahin and Arcagok, 2010: 628). It could be argued that these findings are in line with the current research findings which demonstrate correspondence between academician and student views.

The academicians stated that they "completely agreed with the idea that Turkish teacher candidates should be competent in terms of oral and written expression skills as well as knowledge (Item 14). Thus, it is understood that academicians view competence in written and oral expression skills as one of the primary criteria for Turkish teaching profession. "Teacher competencies" were prepared by the Ministry of Education in order to contribute to the objectives of national education, maintain national unity and information sharing more effectively, form a structure/system for comparing the qualities and features of teachers, maintain consistency in terms of social expectations about the status and quality of teaching, maintain language unity in terms of discussing the professional teaching level, raise the status of teachers in the society and to make them recognized more through identifying their knowledge, skill and values, to create opportunities for students to "learn how to learn", to establish trust in the parents and the society by making teachers' duties transparent (MEB, 2008b: IX). These competencies comprise general and specialized field competencies. General competencies include the knowledge, skill and attitude characteristics which all of the teachers should possess. As for the special field competencies, they are organized in terms of primary school teachers' branches. One of the Turkish teaching special field competencies is "being a model for the accurate and effective use of Turkish" which was put into use under the Ministry's approval dated 04.06.2008 and numbered 1835 (MEB, 2008c: 52). Therefore, in order for Turkish teacher candidates to be qualified teachers, not only knowledge levels but also the skills for using Turkish accurately are necessary. Turkish teacher candidates" expression skills should be evaluated, as well. The research findings at hand lend support to this finding.

The questionnaire's item 16 is related to Special Methods in Education in the Program. "'Special Methods in Education" is a course specially developed for teaching program students aiming at introducing special teaching methods broadly, equipping the students with teaching practices in MoNE schools and develop teaching skills for certain teaching areas (Alkan and Kurt, 2007:151). Special Methods in Education courses are taught in the 5th and 6th semesters of the undergraduate program. The course consists of 4 hours weekly: 2 hours of theoretical studies and 2 hours of practice. The course explanations are as follows:

Special Methods in Edueation-I (MB)

Basic concepts specific to the area and their relationship with area teaching, the legal bases of the area including the Constitution and the Basic Law of Ministry of Education, General purposes of area teaching, the methods used, tools and materials. Analysis of the related teaching program (objective, gain, theme, unit, activity, etc.). Analysis and evaluation of course, teacher and student workbook samples.

Special Methods in Education-II (A)

The methods, techniques, principles, environment and bases, regulations, teaching-learning processes, analysis and evaluation of the Turkish lesson curriculum at primary schools, developing reading, speaking, listening and writing skills through activities, transformation of the knowledge in grammar teaching to skills, selection of the materials for use in teaching Turkish, features of the text, preparation and evaluation of text questions, practical activities for making the acquired knowledge and skills more memorable, methods of measurement and assessment, measurement and assessment in Turkish teaching. Preparation of a contemporary teaching atmosphere through texts with appropriate level (YOK, 2007: 93).

It is understood from this definition that the topics to be covered in Special Methods in Education II are continuation of the topics covered in Special Methods in Education I and that these two complement each other. However, in the program, Special Methods in Education I is coded as a "professional knowledge course" while Special Methods in Education II is coded as an "area course". The academician views on the 16th item ("Special Methods in Education-I" in the Turkish teaching undergraduate program should be coded as an area course according to the course definition) is at the level of "I completely agree". The 17th item of the questionnaire is related to the area of expertise of the academicians who teach Special Methods in Education. The academicians replied to the item "Special Methods in Education I-IF' courses should be delivered by academicians who have completed their doctoral studies in the area of teaching Turkish" as "I completely agree." Therefore, these two findings are in correspondence with each other.

The academicians replied as "I completely agree" to the consideration of the academicians' area of expertise when making the course distributions (Item 18). According to this, it could be argued that academicians do not view the problems in the process of Turkish teacher training as only a dimension of program but they also believe in the existence of significant problems in practice. In a study over identifying quality standards for the education faculty, the features that the candidate teachers expected from the academicians were identified as expertise/knowledge in the field (Yanpar Yelken, Celikkaleli and Capri, 2007: 210). The current research findings show that academicians share this view, too. Therefore, it could be commented that both research findings are in line with academician and candidate teacher expectations.

The scales' items 25, 27, 28, 30, 31 and 32 are related to post-graduate studies in Turkish education field. In statement of the 25th item is "The basic aim of the postgraduate programs in Turkish education is to support Turkish teacher training programs". The academician views on this item are at the level of "I agree". As for the items 27 and 28, they are related to the content of the research studies conducted in postgraduate programs. Academicians stated that these studies should support both Turkish teacher training and second level primary education programs (Items 27 and 28). Girmen, Kaya and Bayrak (2010) have found out that postgraduate theses focus on coursebooks, written expression, reading comprehension and primary reading-writing areas. According to Saracalo lu and Dursun (2010) the postgraduate theses in Turkish educational programs are mainly on course programs, teaching approaches, styles and strategies related to computer and technology. According to the present research findings, postgraduate studies should also support Turkish teacher training programs. Therefore, it could be commented that although academicians believe that research in Turkish education postgraduate programs should support Turkish teacher training, the theses mainly address the primary education level, which means the adopted ideas are not in line with the practices.

The academicians' ideas on item 30 (The weight of GPA in selection of the candidates for postgraduate studies in Turkish education programs should be increased) are at the level of "I agree". In Kilmen's study (2007: 187) it was found that the GPA is a meaningful predictor for female students' postgraduate academic success at the level of 0,05, and positive and meaningful relationships were determined between GPA and postgraduate academic success at a value of 0,32 (p<0,05). This shows that academicians too associate success in undergraduate education with success in postgraduate education. In addition, the fact that academicians agreed with the idea that the GPAs should receive increased weight in student selection for postgraduate studies can be interpreted as they do not find the student selection system healthy.

Academicians "agree with" the ideas that in addition to the current graduate programs, graduate programs specific to certain professional areas must be opened (Item 31) and the postgraduate programs should be standardized (Item 32). Thus, it could be argued that academicians view the differences in practice in the postgraduate programs in Turkey as problematic. These findings are compatible with the statements in Ozbay's study (2005b) where post-graduate programs are evaluated and Aslan's study (2010) which intends to identify the postgraduate students' opinions on academic self-efficacies of students.

Findings related to the second question of the research (Do the academician views on Turkish teacher training process differ significantly in terms of gender?) are presented in Table 4.

Academician views on Turkish teacher training do not vary significantly in terms of gender (p>.05). Consequently, it is understood that academicians share the same opinions on the quality of Turkish teacher training.

Findings related to the third question of the research (Do the academician views on Turkish teacher training process differ significantly in terms of title?) are presented in Table 5.

Academicians' views on Turkish teacher training (p>.05) do not vary significantly in terms of title. Thus it could be argued that academicians share similar views on the quality of Turkish teacher training regardless of their titles.

Findings related to the fourth research question (Do the academician views on Turkish teacher training process differ significantly in terms of doctoral specialization areas?) are presented in Table 6.

Academicians' views on Turkish teacher training (p>.0.05) do not vary significantly in terms of doctoral specialization areas. This finding shows that academicians share similar views on problems of Turkish teacher training regardless of their areas of expertise.

Findings related to the fifth research question (Do the academician views on Turkish teacher training process differ significantly in terms of seniority?) are presented in Table 7.

The analysis results demonstrate that academicians' views on training Turkish teachers vary significantly in terms of their seniority ([X.sup.2] = 10.695, P<0.05). In order to identify the source of this difference, the double combinations of seniority periods were analyzed with Mann Whitney U. The differences observed between 0-5 years and 11-15 years and 11-15 years and 16-25 years and 26+ are greater for the 11-15 years group, which has a higher mean. 83% of the academicians with 11-15 years of seniority are assistant professors and 65% of these have Turkish education as their areas of expertise. Accordingly, the academicians who are experts in Turkish teaching and who are at the beginning of their careers follow the training process of Turkish teachers more closely.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Conclusions

In this study which aimed to assess the Turkish teacher training process according to academicians' views, it was determined that academicians did not find the undergraduate program satisfactory in terms of teacher training.

Academicians explained that they did not find the area and professional knowledge courses satisfactory in terms of variety, but they found the general culture courses satisfactory in terms of quantity. Research findings indicate that the weekly hours of area courses should be increased and the professional knowledge courses should be varied so as to reach a satisfactory level.

Academicians' other evaluations regarding Turkish teacher training include the requirement that the courses should be delivered by academicians who are experts in the field; arrangements and adjustments are necessary for the course codes and contents and that KPSS does not ensure a selection of high-quality teachers.

Academicians have also stated that the postgraduate studies in the field of Turkish education should support Turkish teacher training and that the postgraduate programs should be standardized.

In the research, it was also found that the academicians' views of Turkish teacher training did not differ in terms of their gender, title and areas of doctoral expertise. This shows that the academicians' approaches to Turkish teacher training process are similar. A significant difference was determined in terms of seniority, which was stronger in the 11-15 years group.

Recommendations

The following recommendations were made on the basis of the research findings:

1. The Turkish education departments should aim at training teachers not only for the second level primary education but also for pre-school and basic education level children, Turkish children abroad, people of the Turkish Republics and foreigners; related arrangements should be made.

2. The weekly hours of the area knowledge courses in the Turkish education departments should be increased; the general culture courses should be varied. The area courses in the program should be varied and a few hours of these courses should be allotted to practice as appropriate to the content.

3. The program applied in Turkish education departments should be closely monitored, research findings about the program should be taken into consideration in program development studies.

4. In possible changes to be made in the program, practice studies on verbal skills should be focused on, new arrangements whereby Turkish teacher candidates' oral and written expression skills will be evaluated should be considered.

5. All of the academicians serving in the Turkish education departments should be sensitive about teacher candidates' accurate and effective use of Turkish.

6. The code of the Special Methods in Education-I should be changed as "area knowledge" considering its content.

7. The course distributions should be made according to the academicians' areas of doctoral expertise. Therefore, studies towards increasing the number of experts, academicians with PhD degrees should be made; new education faculties should not be opened before forming the faculty team.

8. The weight of GPA should be increased in the selection of students for Turkish education post-graduate programs. Postgraduate programs specific to special professional areas must be opened and the postgraduate programs should be standardized.

9. The studies conducted in Turkish education post-graduate programs should not only support primary school Turkish programs but also teacher training programs.

10. Studies over identifying the candidate Turkish teachers' expectations from the program and academicians should be carried out.

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DR. DUYGU UCGUN

Nigde University

Faculty of Education
Table 1: The distribution of the sample in terms of title and
seniority levels

                                  Seniority

  Title     Distribution    0-5    6-10    11-15
                           Years   Years   Years

Prof. Dr.        n           0       0       0
                 %           0       0       0

 Assoc.          n           1       2       1
Prof Dr.         %         11,1    22,2    11,1

  Asst.          n           6       7      20
Prof. Dr.        %         11,5    13,5    38,5

Ins, Dr.         n           1       0       2
                 %         33,3      0     66,7

 RA. Dr.         n           0       3       1
                 %           0      75      25

  Total          N           8      12      24
                 %         10,7     16      32

                                 Seniority

  Title     Distribution   16-25   26+    Total
                           Years

Prof. Dr.        n           4      3       7
                 %         57,1    42,9    100

 Assoc.          n           5      0       9
Prof Dr.         %         55,6     0      100

  Asst.          n           9      10     52
Prof. Dr.        %         17,3    19,2    100

Ins, Dr.         n           0      0       3
                 %           0      0      100

 RA. Dr.         n           0      0       4
                 %           0      0      100

  Total          N          18      13     75
                 %          24     17,3    100

Table 2: The minimum values for content validity rates at [alpha]=0,05
significance level

Number of   Minimum Value
Experts

5           0.99
6           0.99
7           0.99
8           0.78
9           0.75
10          0.62
11          0.59
12          0.56
13          0.54
14          0.51
15          0.49
20          0.42
25          0.37
30          0.33
35          0.31
40+         0.29

Table 3: Academicians' opinions on the process of Turkish teacher
training

Items   n    [??]   Agreement Level

I2      75   4,15   I agree
I3      75   3,40   I agree
I4      75   3,01   I am undecided
I5      75   2,61   I am undecided
I7      75   4,39   I completely agree
I12     75   3,71   I agree
I14     75   4,64   I completely agree
I16     75   4,40   I completely agree
I17     75   4,25   I completely agree
I18     75   4,45   I completely agree
I19     75   3,76   I agree
I20     75   3,79   I agree
I21     75   3,44   I agree
I22     75   2,89   I am undecided
I25     75   4,16   I agree
I27     75   4,37   I completely agree
I28     75   4,01   I agree
I30     75   3,61   I agree
I31     75   3,77   I agree
I32     75   3,52   I agree

Table 4: Mann-Whitney U Results demonstrating academicians'
opinions about the process of Turkish teacher training according
to gender

Gender   n    Rank Order   Rank Sum     U       p

Female   17     40.41       687,00
Male     58     37.29      2163,00    452,00   ,604

Table 5: Mann-Whitney U Results demonstrating academicians' opinions
about the process of Turkish teacher training according to title

     Title         n    Rank Order   sd   [X.sup.2]    P

Prof. Dr.          7      35,07
Assoc. Prof. Dr.   9      45,67
Asst. Prof. Dr.    52     34,86      4      6.698     .153
Ins. Dr.           3      48,50
RA. Dr.            4      58,88

Table 6: Mann-Whitney U results demonstrating academicians'
opinions about  the process of Turkish teacher training according
to doctoral specialization areas

Area of Doctoral Expertise   n    Rank Order   sd   [X.sup.2]    p

  Turkish Education          34     36,82
  Old Turkish Literature     10     36,45
  Turkish in Turkey          2      38,50
  Turkish Folk Literature    5      56,20      7      5.832     .559
  Turkish Language           10     37,90
  Modern Turkish Literature  10     39,95
  Turkish Language and
    Literature
Teaching                     4      31,13

Table 7: Mann-Whitney U results demonstrating academicians'
opinions about the process of Turkish teacher training according
to seniority

                                                            Source of
                          Mean                              Difference
Rank   Seniority     n    Rank    sd   [X.sup.2]     P        (M-W U)

1      0-5 Years     8    24.88
2      6-10 Years    12   41.21                             1-3
3      11-15 Years   24   48.21   4    10.695      .030 *   3-4
4      16-25 Years   18   31.25                             3-5
5      26+           13   33.62

* P<0.05
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