Fulbright takes fellow to Turkey

statue at ankara university

Turkey’s education policy landscape, reform and privatization will be the focus of a Northern Arizona University faculty member during a Fulbright fellowship beginning this fall.

Guy Senese, professor of educational leadership, recently earned the award to draw comparisons between the political and theoretical foundations of education in Turkey and the United States. His work will be based at Ankara University’s School of Education Sciences.

“I’ll continue collaborations with several colleagues and a number of students who are deeply engaged in critical studies of democracy and education,” Senese said. “We hope to explore with students ways in which privatization has effected the landscape of secular democracy.”

Turkey and the U.S. are juxtaposed in educational formation as both experienced rapidly growing urban centers after World War I, and both are moving rapidly toward private markets in education services.

“Turkey is a nation with polar characteristics—pulled politically by values of secular multi-party democracy, and also by deep and now resurgent roots in quasi-public Islamic education,” Senese said.

Turkey’s education system consists of “village institutes,” or democratic village schools, and was influenced by American educator John Dewey, a proponent of pragmatism that visited the country at the turn of the 20th century.

Senese also will engage with the Egitim Sen trade union for teachers and examine the Turkish roots of academic freedom and shared governance.