Multicultural Competencies of Social Studies Teachers: A Qualitative Study




Social Studies Teacher, Multicultural Education, Competencies., education of refugee students


Purpose: Turkey is a country hosting many people of diverse religious beliefs (e.g., Islam, Christianity, and Judaism) and a great variety of ethnic origins (e.g., Turks, Greeks, Armenians, Slavs, Arabs, Romanians and Kurds). It is also subject to continuous migratory flows from neighboring countries and beyond. Due to these factors, it has become increasingly evident that a more multicultural educational approach is warranted. In this study, researchers analyzed the level of competency in teachers required for the implementation of such approaches within the framework of individual/personal, classroom, and institution/school levels in order to identify the capabilities of social studies teachers’ multicultural competencies. 

Method: In this study, researchers used a basic qualitative research design. Using a semi-structured interview technique, one-on-one interviews were conducted with 16 teachers from 8 schools with different socio-economic backgrounds and foreign student numbers. The data was analyzed with a thematic analysis approach. 

Findings: What was found in the course of the work? This will refer to analysis, discussion, or results. The findings of the study showed that teachers’ multicultural competencies were weak in individual/personal, institutional/school levels and in the integration of cultural characteristics into teaching at the classroom level. However, participating teachers indicated stronger multicultural competencies in other subcategories of the classroom level. 

Author Biographies


Yıldıray Karadağ is a Research Assistant at Department of Turkish and Social Sciences Education, Ondokuz Mayıs University. His research interest’s multicultural education, refugee and immigrant education, citizenship education. His current research is on the development of citizenship education offered to students of refugees and migrants in Turkey.

Alper Kesten

Alper Kesten is a Professor, in College of Education, Ondokuz Mayıs University. His research interests include social studies education, media literacy education, multicultural education and service learning.

Döndü Özdemir Özden

Döndü Özdemir Özden, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in Department of Turkish and Social Sciences Education, Kütahya Dumlupınar University, Turkey. Her main research interests are in social studies education, environmental citizenship, citizenship education and multicultural education.


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