Education Research Performance of Turkey - Mathematics and Science Education

posted Oct 27, 2014, 6:42 AM by M. Sencer Corlu   [ updated Jan 11, 2016, 8:54 AM ]

CITATION: Corlu, M. S. (2014). Education research performance of Turkey: 2014. [White paper]. Retrieved at November, 7, 2014 from

Latex and Google Sites

posted Apr 15, 2014, 7:47 AM by M. Sencer Corlu   [ updated Sep 21, 2014, 7:24 AM by M. Sencer Corlu ]

This is to try whether Latex codes work on Google Sites. Let's try with two familiar formula:

  • ${e^{ix}} = \cos x + i\sin x$                  
{e^{ix}} = \cos x + i\sin x
  • $\sum\limits_{i=1}^{n}{X_{i}^{2}}$
\sum\limits_{i = 1}^n {X_i^2}

The actual HTML code seem to make it really dark black. Math symbols are almost invisible on a dark background.

PGCE and University of Cambridge

posted Feb 9, 2014, 5:16 AM by M. Sencer Corlu   [ updated Feb 22, 2014, 12:42 PM ]

Bilkent students spend three weeks of their time in the UK at the University of Cambridge. They attend PGCE courses along with British teacher candidates. They spend three days of a week at schools while learning how to teach in the university for two days through practical courses. British students do not learn about educational theories much, or better to say, they learn about theories in the context of their subject matter. 

When I visited them, I observed an interesting practice that I need to talk about: 
My students were asked to teach mathematics in Turkish to their peers. I do not need to remind you that British student teacher did not know any Turkish. The follow-up conversation about equity and second-language learners was very interesting, showing that mathematics may not be the universal language, after all.

My students reported that British secondary schools mathematics education included:

There are 3 integrated aspects to our secondary courses:

  • Subject teaching: focusing on the curriculum, principles and practice of teaching your subject
  • Professional studies: the professional role of the teacher and aspects of teaching which are relevant to the whole school
  • Professional placement: 24 weeks spread across 3 terms. Trainees are placed in at least 2 contrasting partnership secondary schools, gradually taking on more responsibility for class teaching as the year progresses.
but no theory-based (subject-free) didactics.

Statistics - Summer Term

posted Jul 16, 2013, 5:00 AM by M. Sencer Corlu   [ updated Jul 16, 2013, 1:28 PM by M. Sencer Corlu ]

Statistics is a must course for Bilkent GSE teacher candidates; including biology, english, mathematics, and turkish majors. It is our hope that they will use their knowledge for their thesis or more importantly to improve their teaching. I designed the course with an understanding that, as Bruce Thompson says, statistics is useful for mathphobic, as well. Regression was the central focus, including its use in (nil) null hypothesis testing. In fact, the primary goal of the course was to help them understand all research is correlational, in addition to recognizing the importance of practical significance (i.e., effect sizes and, what Robert M. Capraro was very fond of, the confidence intervals). The final project of this 5-week long summer term course (42 contact hours) was to conduct a secondary analysis of TIMSS 2011 data. My students were likely to be the first to do so in Turkey as TIMSS data became available in January 2013. TIMSS data needed some in-advance preparation on my part, including merging with IDB software and assigning teacher weights. Perhaps, some of these teachers will pursue on what they learnt in the course and write scholarly papers in the future.

Some of the frequently asked questions were:
  • I would like to focus on gender. Is this a good research idea?
    • Only if you are interested in finding out why people are male or female? Dependent variable is always the focus in empirical research. 
  • Can I investigate Turkish students' achievement levels in biology? I want something simple; like, descriptive analysis!
    • Simple or complex, it takes at least two variables to conduct research. Otherwise, it does not qualify as research.
  • What should my minimum sample size be for ANOVA?
    • I don't know. Did you do a power analysis?
  • How can I know an instrument is reliable or not? 
    • You cannot. Cronbach's alpha is a measure of the internal consistency of your data, not a characteristic of a test.
  • What does internal consistency really mean?
    • It may be helpful to think internal consistency as the consistent ranking of the student scores across the items.
  • Some people are using the t-test in analyzing Likert-type survey data. Why is this wrong?
    • It is not wrong if one can use the mean to describe the location of data. Because, that's what t-test does, compare the means.
  • But, you said that the mean was meaningful only when data are at least intervally-scaled.
    • Exactly.
  • I estimated an effect size of 0.7. Is this any good?
    • It looks like it is. Did you use Cohen's d or eta-squared or what? More importantly, if other people believed d = 2; I don't think it is noteworthy, at all.
  • Why is Sum of Squares (SOS) so important?
    • SOS is useful because it allows the researcher to explain the unexplained.

Their Graduation Ceremony 2013 and My First Marshall Experience

posted Jun 15, 2013, 4:08 PM by M. Sencer Corlu   [ updated Jan 5, 2016, 1:14 PM ]

Today, I attended the graduation ceremony of the Class of 2013. Moreover, I served as the Graduate School of Education Marshall to lead master's students at the ceremony. Among 30 or so students, two of them were mathematicians: Gulumser and Mehmet graduated GSE program with a teaching certificate, IB teacher award and a master's degree. The rest of the mathematicians will graduate at the end of summer school. Too bad they missed the ceremony. We organized a small party yesterday for all our graduates. I am sure it has been a very busy two years. They have all the reasons to be proud of themselves for this accomplishment. Congratulations; wish them all the best in their first teaching jobs.

My first master's student: Zehra Catma

posted Jun 7, 2013, 12:18 PM by M. Sencer Corlu   [ updated Jan 5, 2016, 1:12 PM ]

Zehra Catma, Class of 2013, successfully defended her master's thesis today. Zehra is going to work as a mathematics teacher in Gaziantep Kolej Vakfi Schools, next year. From her thesis, she managed to produce a manuscript, submitted to a SSCI journal, in addition to a proposal submitted for the 2014 annual conference of AERA. Congratulations!!!

Catma, Z. (2013). How special are teachers of specialized schools? A quantitative investigation of Turkish mathematics teachers' self-confidence levels in the technology domain. (Master's thesis). Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey.

STEM Education in a Global Context: Bahcesehir K-12 Model

posted May 27, 2013, 1:49 PM by M. Sencer Corlu   [ updated Jan 5, 2016, 1:19 PM ]

This was the first time that I spoke as a professor at a panel together with my dissertation supervisor Dr Robert M. Capraro. It was an honor.

At Nigde: Birth of TSTEM

posted Jun 18, 2012, 5:16 AM by M. Sencer Corlu   [ updated Jan 5, 2016, 1:23 PM by M. Sencer Corlu ]

Last week, I was at Bilkent  for three days to select the most suitable teacher candidates among many applicants. I conducted semi-structured interviews, asking questions to predict whether they could successfully complete Bilkent's intensive teacher education program and conduct research for their master's thesis. The selection process was very difficult as many of them were very strong candidates but unfortunately, we could only invite a limited number of people to this program. These young men and women gave me some hope with respect to the future of my country. Following that week, I went to Nigde to attend The National Mathematics and Science Education Congress to speak at a panel on STEM education in Turkey. This is likely to be the first time that STEM Education is talked about in Turkey. I was very proud and also somehow excited to be on that panel and also for presenting in Turkish. 

First Experiences at Bilkent

posted May 29, 2012, 4:46 AM by M. Sencer Corlu   [ updated Jan 20, 2014, 12:26 PM ]

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Graduate School of Education (GSE) at Bilkent University to meet faculty and the grad. students. The trip went very well, as well as the visit itself. I met with Dr. Sands and other faculty members with whom I'll be working next year. I tried the understand the Bilkent system for teacher education, which was more intensive than the standard Council of Higher Education (CoHE) program. My first impressions were very positive about the system, faculty, and particularly the 7 master's students and two PhD students I met during my one-day visit. I am looking forward to working with them; to produce, to produce, and to produce-to accomplish many many great things.

I did not have much chance to wonder around the campus; however, I visited my lojman, which is tiny but cute in a way. I may come back before the official starting time in late October to join the selection process for the incoming students. Exciting, very exciting...

Passing the Torch

posted May 15, 2012, 3:11 AM by M. Sencer Corlu   [ updated May 15, 2012, 3:24 AM ]

Niyazi is a good friend of mine, whom I mentored during his master's and first year at Ph.D. Now that I am leaving, he overtakes my responsibilities as the senior researcher in Capraro Institution. I am confident that he'll be an exemplary scholar, a good colleague to me and Dr. Capraro, and a great example to the upcoming students. Here is a photo in front of our poster at NCTM research pre-session. Please look carefully at the upper left corner of the poster; where you can see the institutional logo of my new affiliation. This is my first academic work for B.U.

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