Historical Significance from Turkish Students’ Perspective

  •  Muhammet Avarogullari    
  •  Nurten Kolcu    


The purpose of this study is to determine how students in a south-western province of Turkey employ historical significance which is one of the second order concepts of historical thinking. 44 11th and 12th grade students participated in the study. They were asked to identify the most significant 10 persons in the history and provide their reasons for selecting each person. A total of 127 people are determined by students as significant. Each person identified by the students given a score according to a formula developed by the researchers. Thus 10 people with the highest score determined by the most significant person history. Analysis of these 10 people along with remaining of the list revealed that students are unable to employ professional standards to differ significant people from those who are not. Rather they are quite personal and subjective with regard to selections they made. Additionally it has been revealed that they choose people only from Turkish history, their selections characterized by people from relatively recent past, and paucity of female figures in list raised concerns regarding content, curriculum and instruction of history and social studies courses in Turkey.

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