Pedagogy, empowerment and discipline: comparative perspectives of novice teachers in England and Turkey reflecting on ‘the other’

This paper discusses the views of Turkish and British novice teachers on pedagogy and pedagogical relationships with school students when confronted with the pedagogical practices of the ‘Other’. Experiences of those practices were gained by novice teachers during an exchange visit for British and Turkish university students in 2008-2009. Data was collected through questionnaires and focus group interviews. Findings suggest that Turkish and British novice teachers initially constructed the ‘Other’ as very different from themselves. The views of members of both groups were heavily influenced by the cultural contexts in which they trained and worked. British novice teachers tended to take as axiomatic constructivist approaches to pedagogy and the relevance to successful pedagogy of listening to students’ voices. Turkish novice teachers questioned both, many seeing control and dissemination of knowledge as central to pedagogy and student teacher relationships.