The First Life Studies Curriculum in the History of the Turkish Republic and the Influence of John Dewey

Kaya M. M.

Journal of Curriculum Studies Research, vol.4, no.2, pp.59-88, 2022 (Scopus)


In accordance with the interests of the country, in an integrated manner with the civilized world, existing institutions and practices have been modernized in the Republican era, in addition to laying the foundations of the institutions and practices in modern Turkey. Important revisions have also been made in the field of education while these foundations were being laid. One of these revisions was the abolition of the 1924 curriculum, which was previously prepared quickly, and was considered not to fully meet the needs of the country, as well as the replacement of the 1926 curriculum. This revision has undoubtedly brought about important changes with it. One of these changes is that a Life Studies course was included in the curriculum for the first time, as a separate pivotal course within the framework of John Dewey’s collective teaching approach. The purpose of this study was to examine the first Life Studies curriculum of the Turkish Republic in terms of goals, content, objectives, skills, values and attitudes.  In this study, designed in the qualitative research design, the historical research method was preferred. The data of the study were gathered using document analysis and literature review. The findings obtained were considered to be a tool that would serve the purpose of the research and be analyzed through the descriptive analysis method. According to the results of the research, it was found that the Life Studies course is included in the curriculum as a pivotal course in the first three grades of primary education with an interdisciplinary approach. The content of the curriculum includes numerous objectives, such as learning by doing, field trips, decision-making, communicating, learning rules and preparing the child for life as an entrepreneur.