Creating a democratic nation-state and sustaining its progress was seen by the founders of the Republic of Turkey as necessary to achieving the goal of becoming a distinguished member among developed civilizations. The founders conceived of education as a main instrument in disseminating this new ideology and ensuring the emergence of a culture of democracy in Turkish society. Accordingly, establishing a new education system was a primary consideration during the early years of the Republic. Scholars, looking at the issue from diverse perspectives, have routinely revealed the influence of John Dewey’s report on Turkish education and discussed how his recommendations were applied by Turkish officials. Unlike previous studies, however, this article aims to analyze the influence of both Dewey and Ziya Gökalp on Turkish education and from both ideological and practical perspectives, despite their dissimilar ideas on some fundamental issues.

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