Preschool Teacher Education in Turkey and Hungary

Előadó: Dr. Böddi Zsófia, Dr. Kurt Gökce, Dr. Serfőző Mónika

The three authors are psychologists, experts of early childhood education and teacher training. They work at Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Primary and Pre-School Education Department of Education. The second author is a guest professor from Turkey. We cooperate in both our teacher training and research work.

Előadás absztrakt:

Preschool education in Turkey has been improved in the last decade thanks to the support from the governmental and non-governmental organizations. The enrollment in preschool education raised from 1.9% in the 1980s to 59% in 2017 (Ministry of National Education [MoNE], 2010, 2017). Hence the percentages of enrollment in the preschool level is still low and kindergarten education is not compulsory. Preschools and kindergarten classes serve the children between 36 and 66 as well as between 48 and 66 months, respectively (MoNE, 2014).
Preschool education is compulsory from the age of 3 in Hungary. Children follow the preschool education until they reach the compulsory school age of 6 years. Hence upon the suggestion of an expert, a child can stay for one more year (Act CXC of 2011 on National Public Education). The characteristics of preschools are regulated by the Govn decree 363/2012 (XII. 17.) on the Core Program for Kindergartens. Free play and play-based learning have crucial roles in scaffolding the development of children to reach school readiness.
Since the constitution of the Turkish Republic in 1923, the preschool teacher training programs had been offered by the vocational high schools for women. In 1982, the Council of Higher Education was established, and all the teacher institutes were centralized under this governing body. All the preservice teacher training in all areas has been offered by the faculties of education.
Beginning with the 1990s, the first 4-year bachelor’s degrees in preschool teacher education have been offered in Turkey. In the last decade, the number of universities offering such programs have been multiplied in Turkey due to the increase in the enrollment and investment in the preschool education. Universities offer day and nighttime classes to meet the high demand from students (Kayhan & Kılıç, 2011). Students graduating from these undergrad programs are entitled to teach in public and private kindergartens and preschools (Aldemir & Kurt, 2014).
Hungarian preschool teacher training dates to the 19th century. In the 20th century, the first regulations in the preschool education had been shaped. Through a regulation decreed in 1958 the preschool teacher training has begun to be offered in the higher education level, besides the vocational schools. After 1993 only colleges offered preschool education programs to the students (Golyán, 2018).
Recently, the preschool teacher training programs are offered by the universities on the level of bachelor’s degree, both in its full and part-time forms. The training and outcome requirements (Chapter IX 4 of Annex 3 of Ministry of Human Capacities Decree 18/2016 (VIII.5.)) of preschool teacher training are clearly defined.
This presentation showed the similarities and differences between Turkish and Hungarian preschool teacher training systems. We believe that the exchange of international experience and knowledge can help us to improve teacher training in both countries.