Being a Pioneering Alternative School in Turkey: Values, Pedagogical Practices, and Challenges

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Gök S., Akar H.

EGITIM VE BILIM, vol.48, no.216, pp.139-160, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 216
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.15390/eb.2023.11778
  • Journal Name: EGITIM VE BILIM
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, EBSCO Education Source, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.139-160
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Recently, a few parent co-op alternative school initiatives have emerged in Turkey, a type of schooling that was largely missing in the history of the country due to the highly centralized education system at the national level. In this case study, we explored the pedagogical practices of an alternative parent co-op K-4 school in Ankara, Turkey. Data were collected through in-depth interviews with ten participants, thick descriptions of observations of the school site, analysis of school official documents, and subjected to inductive content analysis. Triangulation of the multiple data sources suggested that the school adopted the following values: democratic governance; a sense of community; holistic education; teacher and child autonomy. These values yielded a set of challenges, namely, blurry roles across all parties and power struggles among the teachers and parents; excessive time spent for achieving consensus among all parties; and the absence of school models to guide curriculum and instructional planning. Findings are discussed in the light of theories and previous findings on alternative schooling around the world.