Culturally Responsive Teaching Practices in Social Studies: Interaction with Refugee Students in Turkey

Yilmaz A., GÜNEL E.

EGITIM VE BILIM-EDUCATION AND SCIENCE, no.212, pp.121-159, 2022 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.15390/eb.2022.11338
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, EBSCO Education Source, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.121-159
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Migration, which has been one of the most emphasized topics around the world in recent years, is also among the important issues of the social studies course and the curriculum, whose main purpose is to provide students with knowledge, skills, and values regarding citizenship. Skills and values such as respect, tolerance, empathy, communication, understanding, and respecting different cultures, which the social studies course aims to teach, can be considered as the skills and values that should be addressed within the subject of migration. Culturally responsive teaching is one of the approaches used in solving the problems faced by refugees in the education system of different immigrant receiving countries. The purpose of this study is to identify the problems encountered in providing cultural understanding and helping to create interaction in the social studies course where refugee students are present. It is also to prepare, implement, and evaluate culturally responsive education-oriented action plans to suggest solutions to these problems, and to improve social studies education for both refugee students and students of the mainstream culture. In the study, action research design, one of the qualitative research methods, is used. A total of 30 students, including 3 social studies teachers and 6 refugees and 24 students from mainstream culture, participated in the research. Data collection process was carried out in two interrelated stages; first, the introduction to the field and the second, application process. First of all, data were collected to understand the problems through in-class observation and semi-structured interviews, and then practices were purposefully prepared to contribute in solving the identified problems. Therefore, data collection tools such as observation, interview, researcher diary, and student diaries were used. Data analysis was done simultaneously with data collection. The data obtained were analyzed with an inductive (content analysis) approach through the NVivo 12 program. Some of the findings suggested that there is an improvement in the interaction between refugee students and other students during the social studies course. Therefore process of in-class adaptation and participation in the social studies course for both refugee students and other students were increased. In line with these results, it can be suggested that these practices should be reflected in the curriculum within the education system for a sustainable culturally responsive teaching and that in-service training should be given to the practitioners on this subject.