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

Ziya Argün, Ahmet Arikan, Safure Bulut, Bharath Sriraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-441
Number of pages13
JournalZDM - International Journal on Mathematics Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010


  • Curriculum
  • History
  • Mathematics education
  • Turkey


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