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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Teachers and education staff


9.Teachers and education staff

Last update: 27 June 2022

Pre-service Teacher Education and Educating School Teachers

Initial teacher training programs for pre-primary education, primary education, and secondary education in Turkey are carried out by the universities. Today, main source for training of teacher is faculties of education. All of the teacher education programs last four years.  In addition, Teaching Profession Knowledge Master's Programs without Thesis will be opened in order to provide pedagogical formation for those who graduated from departments other than the faculty of education that constitute a resource for teaching

A Historical perspective to the Pre-service Teacher Education

It is necessary to examine the history of teacher education in two periods in Turkey. The first of them is the period bound to Ministry of National Education (1923-1982), the second is the period bound to universities (after 1982). The period bound to MEB will be treated according to the educational levels and at the universities period, all levels will be treated together. Training teaching staff for higher education which is regulated with law will be held under a separate title.

Education of Early Childhood Education Teachers

In Turkey, 80 early childhood education schools were available in the academic year of 1923-1924. These schools employed 136 teachers with a student population of 5880. This numbers resulted in 43 students per teacher. Among those teachers, 9 came from Darulmuallimats, 57 from mother’s branch, 1 from a foreign school and the rest (59 teachers) were supplied from different sources (Ozturk, 1998).

In 1927-1928 educational years, Ana Muallim Mektebi (A school to educate ECEC teachers) was established in Ankara and then later moved to İstanbul in 1932-1933 with the new name ‘Istanbul Kiz Muallim Mekteb’ (Istanbul Girl’s Teacher School), having carried out the very duty of training teachers for the early childhood education schools.

The fundamental law of the Ministry of National Education, No: 1979, assigned the education of early childhood education teachers to tertiary programs. In 1979, a two-year program entitled ‘Early Childhood Teacher Program’ was developed and was later put into effect in 1980-1981 school years. By 1991-1992, this program was restructured as a four-year bachelor’s degree program and placed under the faculties of education.

Education of Primary School Teachers

In Turkey, history of teacher training goes back to Reforms Period (1839-1876) within the Ottoman Empire (Türk Eğitim Tarihi, p.161). First Teacher’s Training School for Men was established on March 16, 1848 called Darülmuallimin. This school is important in respect of being first educational institution training teachers except for madrasah during modernization process of the Empire.

In Ankara, on July 15, 1921, before declaration of Republic of Turkey (declared on October 29, 1923) and during War of Independence; an Education Congress was convened. Mustafa Kemal opened the Congress, coming from the front and gave an opening speech. Demanding to prepare a “national curriculum” in compliance with the national and historical characteristics of Turkey from the Congress, Mustafa Kemal described teachers as ‘esteemed leaders of independence of Turkey in the future’, and expressed his expectations from the teachers as “Teachers! New generation will be your devotion. Value of devotion will be parallel to the degree of your skill and self-devotion.

Within the first years of Republic periods, İlköğretmen Okulu (Muallim Mektebi) in provinces (First Teaching Schools for Boys and Girls) were taken from the private province administration on September 1, 1923 and affiliated to the Ministry of National Education (Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı-MEB). During this period, there were 20 İlköğretmen Okulu, 80% of curriculum applied in these schools covered general culture courses whereas only 20% of the same was related to vocational education (Osmanlıdan Günümüze Eğitim Tarihi, p. 224). In the beginning, period of these schools was raised from 5 years to 6 years in 1932-1933 school year. The first 3 years of 6 years consisted of courses at the secondary school level and the rest 3 years consisted of a curriculum including also vocational courses.

On April 17, 1940 an original educational institutions called Village Institutions (Köy Enstitüsü) were created as per law no 3803 in line with training teacher. Establishment objectives of these institutions based on pragmatic education philosophy understanding are to provide basic education for the people living in the rural areas and constituting the large part of the population of Turkey in said period, as well as to provide basic information and skills on production to increase welfare of both themselves and the state. But, in February 1954, those schools were unified within İlköğretmen Okulu.

İlköğretmen Okulu was 3 years over lower secondary schools (like upper secondary school named lise) till 1970-1971 in this way, after then raised to 4 years. Basic Law of National Education (Milli Eğitim Temel Kanunu) No. 1739 enacted in 1973 included provision “teaching is a certain speciality occupation undertaking education and administrative duties related to the same of the state” and stipulated that teachers be provided with higher education regardless of instruction level.

As of 1974-1975 school year some İlköğretmen Okulu were brought into status of 2 Years Eğitim Enstitüsüs. This status continued up to 1982 when bounding universities. In 1997, elementary schools named “İlkokul” were integrated with lower secondary schools named “ortaokul” under a single structure of primary education schools named “İlköğretim Okulu”.

Education of Lower Secondary School Teachers

Considering the institutions training teachers for lower secondary schools, the basic resources for training teachers for the lower secondary schools were 3 years Eğitim Enstitüsü till the regulation in 1982.

Resources of such teachers’ colleges were the “Gazi Teachers’ Collage and Training Institute for Lower Secondary Education”, established in 1926-27 academic year. In the beginning education period of said school is 3.5 years, while education period of all the departments were arranged as 3 years as of 1967-68 education year. Function of Egitim Enstitüsü as training branch teacher for lower secondary schools continued till 1978-79 academic year. As of this date, these were called as Yüksek Öğretmen Okulu (teacher training schools for secondary education), their number reduced and their curriculum was restructured as four years so as to train teachers for the high school. These schools were affiliated to existing universities or newly established universities in 1982 and turned into education faculties.

Education of Upper Secondary School Teachers

Two resources can be mentioned in respect of teacher training for secondary education schools (named “lise”) between 1923 and 1982. These are Yüksek Öğretmen Okulu (these schools are different from the schools mentioned in and the existed between the years 1891-1978) and universities.

Higher Teacher Institutes

One of the institutions contributed significantly to teacher training for upper secondary schools during Republic period is Higher Teacher Institutes. “Darülmuallimin-i Aliye” established in Istanbul in 1891 is considered as the beginning of Higher Teacher Institutes. The Ministry of National Education took the necessary measures to develop these schools so as to meet the teacher need and this educational institution continued its function of training teachers as a unique school in its field till 1954-55 school year. As need of teacher in high schools, Higher Teacher Institutes were established in Ankara in 1959 and another in Izmir in 1964. However, Higher Teacher Institutes which were most long standing educational institution in respect of training teachers for high schools for 130 years were abolished in 1978.


MEB was completely responsible of teacher training till 1982, while universities had significant resources. Primarily faculty of Science and Letters in Istanbul University as well as University of Ankara Faculty of Language, History and Geography and Faculty of Science trained number of teachers in the field of Turkish language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography and Foreign Languages for high schools and equivalent schools. Particularly, teachers were trained via “Pedagojik Formasyon” program conducted by the departments of education in some universities since the midst of 1970s. In other words, the students of certain faculties (science, literature etc.) would both attend their undergraduate programs and took the pedagogical proficiency courses parallel to these programs. Today’s teacher education in Turkey is completely managed by Council of Higher Education, and carried out at university’s faculties of education.

In its 2023 Education Vision Document, the Ministry of National Education has included the target of opening graduate-level programs by removing the "Pedagogical Formation" application based on certificates. In this context, Pedagogical Formation Education has been abolished in line with the Decision of the Ministry of National Education, Board of Education and Discipline, dated 29/06/2020 and numbered 12.

The meeting of Council of Higher Education on 09.02.2012 concluded that teacher education programs that are either open or distance oriented would not accepts students by 2012-2013 academic years, thus programs of Anadolu University Open Education Faculty such as Early Childhood Education and English language teacher education programs did not accept students. Moreover, the night programs of all teacher education programs were closed, except for Early Childhood, Counseling and Psychological Advising, Special Education, Religion Culture and Ethics teacher education programs. However, only special education and Arabic language teacher education programs accept students to the night programs. In addition, a regulation issued by the Council on 22.05.2015 stated that mentally handicapped, hearing and visual handicapped teacher education programs were placed under Special Education programs.