Turkey's Changemakers: An idealistic teacher: Ahmet Naç
Ahmet Naç has become the sixth Changemaker of the 8th season of the Sabanci Foundation Turkey’s Changemakers Program.
According to the recently published PISA report, Turkey ranks 52nd out of 72 countries in student assessment, with students very weak in science, reading, and mathematics.
Following publication of the grim report, many groups in Turkey started to think about possible solutions and new education models. One classroom teacher, meanwhile, tried a different model of education and worked for a better future all by himself.
Naç started working as a teacher in a village in Siirt, where he served for five years. He was then appointed to the Mehmet Akif Ersoy Primary School in Istanbul’s Esenler district.
As a supplement to his work, Naç examined the extensive research conducted by Salford University in Manchester on education processes. Inspired by this research, he got permission from the administration of his school to try a different education model.
First of all, Naç changed the physical conditions of his classroom, in particular building a library in every room.
Musical instruments were also provided, in addition to many paints and easels. Fellow teachers in the school were inspired by this approach and eight other classrooms were arranged accordingly.
What’s more, Naç steps beyond the traditional teaching methods, making use of rap music, painting workshops in the school garden, and introducing basketball and tennis to 1st graders.
Naç also includes parents as active participants within his changes. Some supported his initiatives financially, while others helped with the redesigning of the classroom.
As a teacher, Ahmet Naç did not create excuses regarding the problems in education. Rather than following a standard path, he searched for a different education model, completely recreating classrooms, developing a new teaching model, and thus making a huge difference to children’s future.