Changes in Academic Characteristics of Turkish Students at Teacher Preparation Programs from 1982 to 2002

Yüksel Özden* and Selahattin Turan**
*Prof. Dr., The Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Deputy of Mugla, Turkey
**Prof. Dr., Eskişehir Osmangazi University Faculty of Education, Turkey

Problem Statement: One of the main problems in teacher preparation programs is to attract academically able students to schools of education in both Turkey and all other countries around the world. This study attemps to track historical developments and placement patters of Turkish teacher preparation programs.
Purpose: This study tracks the changes in student placement patterns of all teacher preparation programs in Turkey.
Research Question: Are there any changes in student placement patterns of all teacher preparation programs in Turkey from 1982 to 2002 by looking at the placement percentiles?
Methods: A trend and content analysis was used in the study. Based on Student Selection and Placement Test Scores, this study examines information and attempts to spot a trend concerning student placement patterns of all teacher preparation programs.
Findings and Conclusion: The data show that there are variations in entrance percentiles for primary, secondary, and vocational training. Secondary school teaching attracts the most academically able students. Since 1982, placement percentiles of all teaching programs have increased. Foreign language teaching and vocational teaching programs attract comparably less academically able students. The biggest increase was in primary teaching programs. When we examine the changes in placement percentiles, it is reasonable to say that placement percentiles into teaching programs have been affected by macroeconomic indicators. The data clearly show that teacher preparation programs attract highly able students.
Suggestions: The relationship concerning teacher education between Turkish Higher Education Council and the Ministry of National Education needs to be restructured.
Key Words: Teacher education, Turkish teacher education policies, teacher preparation