Becoming the teacher of a refugee child: Teachers' evolving experiences in Turkey

Karsli-Calamak E., Kilinc S.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION, vol.25, no.2, pp.259-282, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13603116.2019.1707307
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, PAIS International
  • Page Numbers: pp.259-282
  • Keywords: Inclusive education, Syrian refugee students, social justice, child refugees, teacher education, Early childhood education, INCLUSIVE EDUCATION, SYRIAN REFUGEES, SUPPORT, UNDERSTANDINGS, RETHINKING, STUDENTS, JUSTICE, SCHOOLS, ISSUES, SPACES
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


Anti-immigrant discourses are sweeping across the globe while forced displacement brings educational, political, economic, and social challenges in many countries. Turkey's latest initiative is the inclusion of almost one million school-aged Syrian children into the public education system. In this research, we aim to understand the evolving experiences of teachers of Syrian refugee students in relation to inclusive education in Turkey. We conducted our fieldwork in a public school located in a disadvantaged neighbourhood of the capital city of Turkey which had a dense population of Syrian refugee students. Using a phenomenological approach, we interviewed three early childhood teachers and two Turkish as a second language teachers over a semester. Informed by a constant-comparative method, our analysis revealed that teachers' notions around particular themes exemplify Fraser's three-dimensional social justice framework dimensions - redistribution, recognition, and representation - and their practices are accordingly moving on a continuum of inclusivity-oriented to exclusion-oriented actions. The study contributes to creating a dialogue about inclusive education in terms of imagining new ways to support refugee children and their teachers.