Experiences of Textbook Scanners: Is Scanning a way for Transformation and a Tool for Human Rights Education?
Bagli, Melike Turkan
Faculty of Educational Sciences Ankara University ANKARA, TURKEY
The Project for Promoting Human Rights in Elementary and Secondary School Textbooks which began in May 2002 was carried out by the History Foundation. Its aim was to determine the problematic content regarding human rights in the context of school textbooks and formulate recommendations for their improvement. In this project over 190 textbooks were scanned and identified problematic content regarding human rights. In the year of 2005, paradigm in which the curriculum was based on had been totally changed by Ministry of Education to ?constructivist approach?; therefore new textbooks were published. In 2007, History Foundation started to second phase of the project for the new textbooks. As in the first project, scanning process was planned to be carried out with the support of ?volunteers? who were willing to scan textbooks. University students in Ankara and ?stanbul (These students were mostly undergrad students from the field of history, sociology, psychology, educational sciences, Turkish Literature, etc.) wee invited to be in the scanning process. Before the scanning process was started, scanners were trained in order to be able to make them skillful in scanning. Scanning process is that the process has a unique aspect -which is- it requires them as scanners to identify the textbook parts contrary to the human rights principles, however at the same time it is a kind of opportunity to transform them in the way of internalization of the human rights principles. After the first project, some of the informal feedbacks received from the scanners revealed that the process of scanning through the eye-glasses of human rights made them more conscious about this issue, skillful in identifying and describing problems regarding human rights in media, educational contexts and daily life. Semi-structured interviews with the scanners in 2008 also showed that through scanning textbooks, scanners have become more well-informed in terms of human rights. The results also revealed that scanning textbooks is also a way for educating under-grad students for human rights and scanning textbooks is a way of human rights education.