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Issues in Educational Research, 2021, Vol 31(4), 1270-1292.
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Turkish teachers' autonomy in using and adapting curriculum: A mixed methods study

Meryem Tokgöz Can
Öğretmenevleri Primary School, Turkey

Nilay T. Bümen
Ege University, Turkey

Despite the increasing popularity of teacher autonomy studies, there is still a need to explore what kind of mechanism or context is created by autonomy in the background while teachers are using or adapting the curriculum. This study aims to investigate teachers' perceived autonomy at the classroom level as well as their preferences for curricular use and adaptations. Drawing on a sequential explanatory design, after analysing quantitative data from 422 teachers through the teacher autonomy scale - Turkish and the questionnaire of teachers' preferences for oppositional curricular solutions, interviews were conducted with a selected small group. Findings reveal that Turkish teachers think they have no say in the objectives-content of the curriculum and need more autonomy, despite high scores in instructional planning and implementation. Teachers ideally expect a curriculum to both present all the steps of teaching in detail and provide adaptation opportunities with flexibility. We reveal that no matter how centralised the country they live in, no matter how limited their autonomy, teachers make adaptations with the expectation of a flexible curriculum. Moreover, we found that there are links between teachers' autonomy scores and adaptation patterns. Teachers with low autonomy scores made adaptations for replacing/ revising rather than extending and omitting.
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Authors: Meryem Tokgöz Can MA is an English teacher in Öğretmenevleri Primary School, 34820 Istanbul, Turkey. Her research interest includes curriculum and teaching English as a foreign language.
Email: mrymtkgz@gmail.com

Nilay T. Bümen PhD (corresponding author) is currently a professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Ege University Faculty of Education, Bornova Campus, 35040 Izmir, Turkey. Her research interest includes curriculum studies, effective teaching and teacher education.
Email: nbumen@gmail.com

Please cite as: Tokgöz Can, M. & Bümen, N. T. (2021). Turkish teachers' autonomy in using and adapting curriculum: A mixed methods study. Issues in Educational Research, 31(4), 1270-1292. http://www.iier.org.au/iier31/tokgoz-can.pdf

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