Cultural Heritage in Social Studies Curriculum and Cultural Heritage Awareness of Middle School Students

Kafadar T.

International Journal of Progressive Education, vol.17, no.2, pp.260-274, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


The present study aimed to determine the cultural heritage elements in the social studies course curriculum in Turkey and the awareness of the middle school students about cultural heritage. In the study, the case study approach, a qualitative research design, was adopted. The study group was assigned with criterion sampling method, a purposive sampling approach. The study findings demonstrated that the cultural heritage elements were prominent in 4th grade and 5th grade curricula, respectively, and the least prominent in 6th and 7th grade curricula based on the social studies course curriculum achievements in Turkey. The middle school students associated cultural heritage with historical buildings the most in the physical historical heritage category and customs and traditions in the non-physical historical heritage category. Students mostly considered mosques as physical cultural heritage elements, followed by palaces, towers, castles, madrasahs, bridges, historical buildings, historical places, fountains, and customs and traditions, traditional dishes, oral traditions, performance arts, and crafts as non-physical cultural heritage elements. Students mostly reported that cultural heritage was important since it was inherited from ancestors, it allows us to learn the past events, it reflects us, not to forget the old times, it is our culture, it is our history, for the perpetuity of our state, to learn about past lessons, and they stated that the cultural heritage should be preserved by state protection, followed by allowing it to live on, raising awareness, claiming it as a heritage, remembering, warning, and punishment, respectively.