Designing Multicultural Teaching and Learning Environments in Science Education

Designing Multicultural Teaching and Learning Environments in Science Education

İlke Çalışkan (Hacettepe University, Turkey) and Kaan Batı (Hacettepe University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1847-2.ch009

Abstract

This chapter starts by focusing on the multicultural education needs in Turkey and tries to define and discuss these needs. Then the features of multicultural science education are described using examples from practices given in the literature. In this context, multicultural science education is discussed under the headings of learning strategies, learning opportunities, and cooperative learning, followed by presenting examples of multicultural science education. As a result, the framework of multicultural science education presented in this chapter aims to shed light on multicultural education practices in Turkey and other countries around the world.
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Introduction

In this century, cultures have become closer not only with the strengthening of social communication but also due to the immigration caused by civil wars. While multiculturalism is a much-discussed phenomenon in countries, such as the US, for other countries like Turkey, it is a relatively new phenomenon. The war in Syria over the last decade has led to many Syrians migrating to European countries, particularly to Turkey. According to the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM, 2015), by November 2014, Turkey had 1.6 million refugees and 85% of these people live outside the refugee camps. This means on average 2.1% of the Syrian population is added to each city in the country. One million of the refugees who are at school age have been integrated into the existing Turkish education system. In the classrooms, it is reported that there is language and culture discord between the Syrian and Turkish children, especially in the border towns. As of October 2015, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) stated that there are an estimated 708,000 Syrian children refugees between five and 17 years of age in Turkey (UNHCR, 2015). This report states that in the academic year of 2014-2015, about 90 percent of school-age children living in 25 camps were able to continue their education, but only 13 percent of all Syrian refugee children out of the camps were attending school. Syrian students at Turkish state schools can benefit from all kinds of educational services offered to children and can be educated with their Turkish peers. As of the 2015-2016 academic year, the total number of asylum seekers in K-12 in private and public schools reached 66,875 children (Emin, 2016). In this situation, it is very important to determine and enhance the perceptions of the teachers and teacher candidates concerning multiculturalism in order to provide both the Turkish and refugee children with a good education and create a positive atmosphere in schools.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Teaching: This is an action doing by both teachers and learners and gaining different concepts and skills in educational environments.

Learning: This is a mindful activity related to many theories such as constructivism, pragmatism, cognitivism for internalizing concepts in mind and transfer an action in daily life process.

Multiculturalism: This is a term related to different disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, education, and considers different characteristics and properties of people such as cultural identity, ethnicity, religion, political views, etc., and respecting, accepting diversities, and accepting them as a richness in society and educational environments.

Science Education: This term covers aims, different interactive instructional designs, learning-teaching processes, both process and product-based measurement and assessment techniques related to internalizing science concepts and their daily life applications.

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