Completed Dissertations

Thesis Title Student name Program Thesis Supervisor(s) Year
Quality Assurance Policies in Higher Education in Turkey: The Perceptions of the Key Stakeholders

Gülşah KISABACAK BAŞGÜRBOĞA Educational Science Fatma Nevra Seggie 2022
Academic writing and the experience of graduate students and supervisors/advisors: The case of educational studies

This study questions quality and experiences of graduate writing in the field of educational studies. A typical graduate work has three basic components; the writer, the advisor and the text. By using two-phase research, the present study investigates all three components. The first phase of the research examines the quality of graduate theses written in the field of education studies. The quality examination is done by using a plagiarism detection software with respect to two parameters; similarity and plagiarism. 600 theses and dissertations written in the field of educational studies are analyzed. Findings show that the mean similarity index of the sample is 28.58%, which is significantly higher than the mean threshold. The rate of theses and dissertation having high-level plagiarism is 34.5%. The second phase of the study deals with the experiences and perceptions of academic writing among graduate students, and advisors’ perceptions of academic writing and their advising practices by conducting in-depth interviews. 12 advisors and 24 graduate students are included as participants. MAQXDA, a qualitative data analysis program, is used for the content analysis of interviews. Findings show that advisors and students have a difficulty in grasping requirements of academic writing. Participants regularize and understand from academic writing an epidemic conception of writing, which repeats itself across different cases while making limited contribution. It has been suggested that the genre qualities of academic writing in the field of educational studies can explain the theses and dissertations plagiarized and having originality issues. Keywords: Graduate writing, Originality, Plagiarism, Advising
Ziya TOPRAK Adult Education Ayşe Caner, Fatma Gök 2022
A Phenomenographic Study On Becoming Mother: Conceptions and Learning Experiences

The aim of the study is to reveal and describe women’s different ways of experiencing the phenomenon of becoming mother in two aspects: “the conceptions on becoming mother” and “the reflections on learning experiences regarding becoming mother”. To investigate the variations in these two aspects, phenomenography was used as a qualitative research methodology. Research data of the study were collected through semi-structured and audio-recorded interviews with 20 women who are mothers with various characteristics like age, educational level, working status, and number of children. Regarding conceptions on becoming mother, five categories of description were discovered through the phenomenographic data analysis. Becoming mother is conceived as: a multifaceted process, a life changing experience, a struggle with diverse difficulties, a set of particular personal traits and feelings, and a dynamic interaction with others. On the other hand, women’s reflections on their learning experiences as mothers were presented within three categories of description which are acquisition of parental knowledge and skills, construction of parental knowledge and skills, and transformation of self. Since motherhood is an -across the board- topic where the real subject’s self-reports are overlooked in general, it is most of the times spoken about on ‘behalf’ of its subjects. The collective voices of women regarding their mothering experiences, and the effort to present and describe these experiences through their own narratives as much as possible is what makes this study an important one. Keywords: Phenomenography, Conceptions on becoming mother, Mothers’ learning experiences
Işık SABIRLI Educational Sciences Özlem Ünlühisarcıklı 2022
Program Development for the Leaders in the Post-Truth Era: Arts-Based Creative (ABC) Leadership Communication Program

Developments in media and communication technologies welcomed a new era, defined as post-truth, implying a general distancing from the truth, where fake or speculative messages can be instantly shared by a vast audience. In this era, we need leaders with strong emotional and social skills to create a positive and ethical impact in society. In this study, due to the requirements of the Post-Truth Era which necessitates a new approach to leadership development, an online arts-based learning program entitled Arts-Based Creative Leadership Communication Program is designed for leaders with three main objectives. These objectives are to increase firstly their creative communication skills; secondly, healing effect of arts for their resilience; and, thirdly, social sensitivity through arts. After the design and implementation of this program, its targeted effects on the participants were analyzed, and an ARTS Learning Model was developed. Results indicated that all of the expected outcomes of the program were achieved successfully, and also its transformative effects were ensured in the long run. Meanwhile, the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic with its digital transformation process increased the effects of the program. The highest development was seen in the healing effect, while change in social sensitivity appeared as the lowest. The awareness created about the irrational functioning of the Post-Truth Era during the program affected social sensitivity scores negatively. Emotional skills as non-verbal communication element was developed more than social skills. To sum up, the program was found successful for the leaders in the Post-Truth Era. Keywords: Arts-based learning, instructional design, non-formal education, social emotional skills, action research, leadership, communication, creativity, post-truth
Burcu ERTÜRK KILIÇ Educational Sciences Fatma Nevra Seggie, Zeynep Kızıltepe 2021
Informal Workplace Learning Experiences of Gold-Collar Workers

The purpose of this study was to examine informal workplace learning experiences of gold-collar workers working as corporate executive leaders. It was expected to understand what, how and why gold-collar leaders learned informally in the workplace, throughout their careers. The research was designed as a qualitative study and the data was collected mainly through semi-structured interviews. This study reveals the learning outcomes that are essential to act and perform as better leaders while dealing with increasingly complex tasks and responsibilities. These are solving problems, making decisions, managing risks and crisis, communicating, building teams, delegating, and monitoring tasks. The findings indicate that thinking strategically, exercising judgment, leading by values and principles, engaging people, empowering leaders, developing teams, leading the change and transformations, and fostering the organizational culture are the major learning outcomes associated with leadership thinking, mindsets and styles. Learning from experiences and other people, self-directed learning and meta cognitive learning skills, initiatives taken for increasing self-knowledge, dialogue, and networks as communities of practices are found as the major sources, strategies, and processes of informal learning used by the corporate leaders. Growth mindset, flexibility, passion, adaptation, and curiosity are revealed as individual factors influencing learning in the workplace. It is concluded that informal learning accounts for most of the leader`s learning in the workplace and leader development in the workplace should be considered and redesigned more from the perspective of informal learning. Keywords: Workplace learning, gold-collar workers, informal learning, transformative learning, high level managers, leader development, experimental learning, self-directed learning, knowledge workers.
Oya SARKAN Educational Sciences Özlem Ünlühisarcıklı 2021
Transformation through Social Action: Experiences of Participants in New Social Movements

The purpose of this study is to examine the experiences of the participants during new social movements and the effects of their participation on their later lives in terms of transformative learning. A qualitative approach was adopted for this study to understand how their experiences shape their perspectives. Research data for this study was collected through a semi-structured interview guide which was developed and implemented by the researcher. 24 individuals are selected purposefully, and through snowball sampling technique from among people who actively participated in new social movements. In Vivo Coding was employed to analyze the findings of this study in addition to descriptive coding, simultaneous coding, and lastly pattern coding. The findings indicated that participating in new social movements brought about transformation in the consciousness levels of the participants, in their emotions and feelings, and in their behaviors and habits. The findings revealed that several participants needed to reformulate their old-established assumptions through critical reflection. The study indicated that many participants underwent a perspective transformation. Moreover, this study demonstrated that emotional-spiritual dimensions play a great role in learning experiences of the participants. Following the analysis of the data through the theoretical perspectives of Mezirow and Freire, we can claim that social movements might provoke transformative learning experiences, which may end in a process in which the individuals transform their ideas, beliefs, emotions, and actions. Keywords: adult education, transformative learning, perspectlve transformation, social action, new social movements
Zehra BAHADIR KURUŞ Educatiıonal Sciences Özlem Ünlühisarcıklı 2021
Family Education Policies in Turkey: A Critical Discourse Analysis of a Family Life Education Program

The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the construction of the family within the Family Education Program (FEP) of the Ministry of Family and Social Policies. This study utilized critical discourse analysis. Seven textbooks from the field of family education and communication were chosen as the data of the study. FEP posits a claim to “strengthen and protect” the family and improve its wellbeing through education. However, a critical inquiry of the program demonstrates a disconnect between this stated intention and the program’s materials. This study reveals that the authors utilized a number of textual instruments to normalize the nuclear family as a privileged institution in society. In the texts a heteronormative discourse with an emphasis on reproductivity is reinforced. It is also apparent that no attention is paid to diverse families from different social, economic, and cultural backgrounds. The study also reveals that women were presented as the primary care providers in the family. These findings led me to conclude that the way in which the family is constructed in the program is not compatible with the FEP’s intention to “build healthy, happy, and prosperous families.” In this regard, I argue that the lack of progressive or critical approaches to the conceptualization of family inhibits a wider understanding of families and therefore limits understandings of needs and educational practices available. I conclude that by understanding multiplicity, complexity, and diversity of families it becomes possible to envision new opportunities for support and education. Key Words: Family Education Program, Construction of Family, Critical Discourse Analyses
Ayça GÜNAYDIN KAYMAKÇIOĞLU Educational Science Fatma Gök, Havva Ayşe Caner 2020