Original Article


, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 429-441

First online:

A brief history of mathematics education in Turkey: K-12 mathematics curricula

  • Ziya ArgünAffiliated withFaculty of Education, Gazi University Email author 
  • , Ahmet ArıkanAffiliated withFaculty of Education, Gazi University
  • , Safure BulutAffiliated withMiddle East Technical University
  • , Bharath SriramanAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematical Sciences, The University of Montana

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In this study, we survey the history of mathematics education in Turkey starting with its historical roots in the foundation of the republic. The changes in mathematics education in Turkey over the last century are investigated through an analysis of changes in curricular documents for K-12 schools. We consider the factors and reasons affecting curriculum developments, changes in philosophy and structure in terms of standards, objective and instructions. This article utilizes archival research techniques by examining original sources and illustrates the nature of the changes benefiting from a historical perspective. As a result of such analysis of the aforesaid sources, we have seen that the main reasons for changing mathematics curricula are: to build up a modern civilization in Turkey; the reports of John Dewey and the recommendations of Kate Wofford, William C. Varaceus and Watson Dickerman; the desire to become a member of the European Union; international factors and political situations.


Turkey Mathematics education Curriculum History