North London Turks Project (NLTP)
North London Turks Project (NLTP) survey observes education of children who speak in Turkish and also, the factors influence them.
The Perception of Turkish-Speaking Parents on Their Children’s Education
This study aims first to discuss the perception of Turkish –Speaking Parents on their children’s education, second to find out the reasons behind the parents’ perceptions in different times and finally to recommend solutions how to solve such inconsistency. The research question is what the parents’ perceptions are about their own language level, parent/teacher interaction, and the success of their children in school. For this purpose, the research design of this study was identified as survey design, cohort study. The questionnaire was designed to find out the information about Turkish Speaking parents whose children attended a state school in the UK, and to analyze different variables about parents such as age, gender, education and English language skills, socio-economic status, daily habits, and level of involvement in children’s educational activities.
The data were collected from different samples from a population whose members do not change but they were surveyed at two different times, 2004 and 2012. The percentage of the total sample that chose each alternative for each question was reported. Means and graphs were used to illustrate data. Majority of parents assessed their children’s educational achievement between good and very good in 2004 although the results of the LEA showed the opposite. In this study, the apparent inconsistency between parents ‘perspective and LAE assessment was tested in 2012 and examined by considering the dissimilar teacher figure and teacher/school authority in Turkish culture, including language skills, and parents’ educational backgrounds.
The Facts of Turkish-Speaking Community’s Achievement in the UK and Recommendations
Our Findings and Recommendations
As it is known, the achievement level of the Turkish-speaking community is quite low. The aim of this report is to present the facts of Turkish-Speaking Community’s achievement and reasons why this group is underachievers, and recommend solutions to the related concern authority such as government, organizations, non-government organizations, head teachers, school principals, research council and local authorities. The findings involves wide range of issues such as parental involvement, language problem, the perceptions of parents on their children situation at school, the parent-teacher-and-children communication at school, out school activities, integration of the group within society and school, education level of the parents, lack of role models, the parents knowledge about British Education system and so on.
Firstly, the data of some of the findings were collected with questionnaires. Three questionnaires were prepared. The first one was designed to collect data about the education of Turkish-Speaking community and the factors that affect their success at school. The second questionnaire investigated the effects of out-school activities, parents involvement in Education process, parents’ perception on their children success and it also examined the same issue as the first one did. The third questionnaire was about the career decision making process of the children and the factors related to this issue. Additionally, the reports of the DFE, the related articles and researches about Turkish-speaking community, the statistics which is presented by National Statistics and the published books were used to support the findings.
The main findings were that children are low achievers due to the lack of language support in the school and language difficulties. Following to this, they think that they are successful at school; however; they are not aware of that it is because of being in a low achieved class. Additionally, they don’t have enough role models during their education life to encourage them to increase their success and motivation. Low achievers are not encouraged to succeed due to their exam results. In other words teachers do not expect that their learners are likely to achieve higher grade. The successful students are complaining about the objectives of the curriculum. They think that they are wasting their time in the school due to the repetition of the same subjects so that they drop-out the school.
Parents have misunderstandings of their own English level. They indicate their English level is high although it is not sufficient to help their children with their homework. They also indicated that they do not visit school, because, they think that their English level is low to talk to teachers. However, when their English level was asked to them, they said that it is very good. Mainly, the Turkish-Speaking parents are illiterate with no formal education in their country of origin so that it creates a gap between the children of educated families and illiterate families. The parents are not aware of British Education system so which types of school the most appropriate for their children is not known. These factors are affecting the achievement level of the children.
There is need for an orientation programme for parents to explain the British Education System. Another orientation programmes that aims to make easy the integration process of the Turkish-speaking community into the host community’s culture should be organized.
In addition to this, the parents need pedagogical training to be involved in their children education process at home as well as in the school. If necessary, school trips should be arranged for parents to help them to understand the general structure of the school cognitively.
The Special English Language programme for Turkish-Speaking parents should be organized.
The youth in action programmes should be organized in schools to increase the interests of the students towards school and their motivation to higher education.
Seminars towards increasing the attendance of the children to schools should be organized. The students should be encouraged to be self-disciplined to study even they do not have extra support in schools.
The significance of this study is that it recommends different solutions such as orientation and pedagogical training for these parents and their children rather than general recommendation of the government reports and existing researches.
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International Conference on Gender and Education: Critical Issues, Policy and Practice: Re-Gendering Education
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Feray J. Baskin - PhD Candidate, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
Daniela Alaattinoğlu - PhD Candidate, European University Institute - Florence, Italy
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