Revisiting the Legacy of Turkey's Village Institutes as Sites of Cultural Transformation


Marshall Building, Room 490
845 N Park Ave.
85719 Tucson , AZ


Fri, 02/15/2019 - 3:00pm to Tue, 05/24/2022 - 6:19pm


Part of the Spring 2019 Middle Eastern and North African Studies Colloquium Series and the Student Professional Development Series

Yasemin Tezgiden Cakcak, Lecturer, PhD-Visiting Scholar, School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, University of Arizona 

Village Institutes were established in the young Republic of Turkey in 1940, when villages were suffering from poverty, ignorance, fatalism and a lack of infrastructure. Established as emancipatory institutions to transform the rural landscape in Turkey from the conditions of the Middle Ages, they aimed to educate village teachers to teach critical literacy, modern techniques of farming, hygiene and ways to combat contagious diseases. By educating the rural population, founders of Village Institutes aimed to alleviate poverty, suffering and oppression in the villages. For İsmail Hakkı Tonguç, the founding father of Village Institutes, there would be no republican democratic ideal or liberation without education. This talk follows the traces of the founders of Village Institutes, as well as their sources of inspiration, such as John Dewey. Interpreting their liberatory education practices from a Gramscian perspective, I consider Village Institutes as sites for cultural transformation.


Yasemin Tezgiden-Cakcak, PhD, is lecturer at the Foreign Language Education Department of Turkey’s Middle Eastern Technical University. She is a visiting scholar at the University of Arizona’s School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies. She is also affiliated with Bilingual and Multicultural Education Program at Northern Arizona University. Her research interests include critical pedagogy, refugee education, applied linguistics and foreign language teacher education. She is one of the associate editors of the book titled A Language of Freedom and Teacher's Authority Case Comparisons from Turkey and the United States (Lexington Books, 2017). She is now authoring her own book named Moving Beyond Technicism in English Language Teacher Education in Turkey