Anti-Intellectualism in Schools

Merve Ulukaya FLE/2015

In his article ‘’ 2000’lerde Öğretmenler ve Antientellektüalizm’’, Yetkin Işık seeks the reasons and results of anti-intellectualism in Turkish society. At first, the writer criticizes the government for not paving the way for critical thinking, further knowledge acquisition in schools draw the line for information to be learned. Neither the teachers, school managers nor the students are guided and supported by these government leaders for creating an intellectual society. Furthermore, small highbrow class is looked down and criticized. To me, the government, in fact, is afraid of people with higher voice; people who question, want to go beyond and they are pose a threat for their ideology. That’s why, these leaders seeks ways for not letting people notice their own power and want them to be either slave to the ideas of current government or brains with full of useless information. First of all, they try to intimidate society with religion, history adding the ideology of nationalism. While reading the text, I remembered my primary and secondary schools with the hanged pictures of po-faced statues watching us from the walls which I couldn’t make any sense. If it doesn’t work, here is silly TV series, books and newest computers, phones; iphone 5, 6…, latest fashion and so on that we can’t stop talking about.

I believe, teachers at this point are not guilty, they’re also intimidated by regulations and social oppression both of which are created by the government and thus, forced to have blinkers on. Most of the time teacher chooses just to teach and to be a strict, unapproachable authority who knows what he/she is to learn and there is no more. However, according to Freire’s banking concept of education, teachers are supposed to be constant learners, searchers who follow what’s new in their field and also learn their students’ interests and respect them. It’s important for teachers to not to find what’s easy and appropriate for them but what’s needed by the students.

Another point I feel sorry about is teachers who start to work in the Eastern parts of the Turkey as they go there without knowing what’s waiting for them. They are not well-informed on what to do, what path to follow with the limited conditions at there. Maybe I’m wrong but the situation in the Eastern parts is purposely hided from candidate teachers as we don’t see or hear much about the difficult life of teachers at there on TV or elsewhere. Also, we’re not taught what to do in such limited conditions as I believe 4-year university education for how to be a good and effective teacher turns to be useless information at there.

We as candidate teachers are about to start to work in an environment in which teachers are afraid to teach and the students are afraid to learn and we may will struggle a lot. We may start our teaching career enthusiastically with full of dreams and tasks to achieve in our mind, however, at some point we may stop talking about education and end up being one of them that we criticize. Also, we will have to effort more to raise students’ heads from their phones. I don’t know what exactly to do now but we should be prepared to face negative situations and not let the teaching desire inside us to die out.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s