Tony Gurr

Posts Tagged ‘Ziya Selçuk’

What can I do for YOU?

In Educational Leadership, ELT and ELL, News & Updates (from the CBO), Our Schools, Our Universities, Uncategorized on 13/07/2018 at 11:35 am

The recent parliamentary and presidential elections here in canım Türkiyem left a lot of the so-called ‘white Turks’ a wee bit unhappy (to say the least). Muharrem İnce put up a brave fight as the CHP candidate…but most of knew it was always going to be a one-horse race!

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The real surprise came, however, when Erdoğan announced his new cabinet. In the line-up, there was a face that many described as ‘totally unexpected’!

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No…not that one…the ‘Son-in-Law’ just sent investors running for the hills and helped the dollar make a bloody great hole in my newly-painted ceiling!


This one…

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Ziya Selçuk…a well-known Professor from Gazi University…a progressive educational thunker and founder of Maya Okulları (originally in Ankara and now in Manavgat and Diyarbakır)a teacher’s teacher!

A surprise? A surprise?

Shouldn’t every country have a Minster of Education with this type of background… pedigree…sense of humour, even?


I guess many people thought it was unexpected because ‘Ziya Hoca’ had been the Head of the Instruction and Education Board (Talim Terbiye), a key arm of the Ministry of Education (MEB) when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) first came to power in the early 2000s…at the time Dark Lord Hüseyin Çelik held the reigns of power.

Ziya Hoca walked away.


Others might have thought it was a surprise that Ziya Hoca agreed to take the appointment!

The MEB has the reputation for changing its ‘leader’ more often than its underwear (5 times since 2002 and the start of AKP rule). Sadly, all these leaders also demonstrated amazingly low levels of Educational Literacy and Turkish Educational policy, some might think, was produced by this type of discussion…

Talking Ass

…and those very decisions then frequently falling foul of…

Baby U-turn

…’revisions’ that totally confused parents, students, teachers…even God herself!

This is not how Ziya Hoca does busyness and his appointment has, on the whole, been met with a lot of praise and given a lot of educators ‘hope’ (whatever you may think about Erdoğan, stupid he is not…not at all)!


So, why am I writing this post?

Well…on a lot of the Leadership and Middle Management Training programmes I run, we talk about what ‘new leaders’ have to do in their first 90 days in office (regardless of experience, qualifications and ‘personal vision’)…

Top of the list:

  • SHUT UP!

Hence, the title of this post…


I’ve been chatting to a lot of friends on the phone since the appointment (mostly because I can’t leave the house…after a ‘fight’ with a 6cm step left me with 4 fractures in my foot, a ripped calf on the other leg, bruised ribs…and a shiriously red-faced ego! Size really doesn’t matter!!!) and talking about what Ziya Hoca could do to improve the quality of language learning, teaching and assessment across canım Türkiyem.

A few ideas are:

  • Work closely with the Council for Higher Education (YÖK) and Universities with ELT Departments to ensure teachers-in-training are given more opportunities to actually graduate with higher levels of fluency and accuracy (at least a minimum of CEFR – B2+/C1 or GSE 70-78) – via language support across all 4 years of their courses, 6-month exchange programmes with schools in the UK, US or Canada, etc.
  • Ensure every school has access to a Professional Learning Budget for its language departments and has the authority to use this budget to meet the ‘bottom-up’ needs of teachers.
  • Create training opportunities that tackle the serious issues of ‘content-driven’ or ‘activity-based’ teaching that are the product of schools’ obsessions with ‘covering the textbook’ and develop teacher ability to meet commonly-agreed learning outcomes by creating motivating and engaging learning opportunities – not simply turning pages like a burger-flipper at Macdonalds.
  • Remove the current conventional wisdom that language tests have to be dominated by ‘objective’ multiple-choice questions and prepare the groundwork for a fundamental shift towards ‘formative assessment’ in our language classrooms and the use of valid and reliable ‘communicative tests’ which prioritise the importance of speaking.
  • NEVER, everever…repeat the ‘cock-up’ that was the Fatih Project!

There are many, many more…


If Ziya Hoca asked YOU, what would you tell HIM?


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HERE’S the graphic on ‘trust’ that I could not add into the comments section (15/07/18):

Workplace Trust (Jacobs 2012)