Veli Onur Çelik
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The current study aims at examining the content, objectives and applications of the course titled “Physical Education and National Folklore Dances”, one of the culture courses available in the curriculum of Village Institutes focusing on daily physical activities. For the purposes of the study, a qualitative study was designed, in which a number of interviews were carried out with six teachers who graduated from village institutes in various years and a teacher of physical education who worked at Kars Cılavuz Village Institute between 1948 and 1953. Çifteler Village Institute assumed the role of a so-called laboratory in the history of village institutes and all the new implementations and applications were piloted in this institute. Therefore; the subject of the study were chosen among the graduates of Çifteler Village Institute who agreed to participate in the study. All the interviews conducted with the participants were audio recorded after their permissions were taken. The transcripts were coded and categorized by using Nvivo qualitative Data Analysis Software.

The data obtained from the participants revealed that a great variety of physical activities such as trekking, jogging, activities in the workshops and free games, were carried out in Çifteler Village Institute.  Following the arrival of Physical Education Teachers in Çifteler Village Institute in 1947, the following sport branches were also taught: football, basketball, running and wrestling etc.  The national folklore dances played in the mornings constituted an important part of daily activities. Welcoming the day with the sounds of drums and piano accordion, the participants stated that they considered these national folklore games as a way of culturalization and developing an awareness of national identity. Thanks to the visits among village institutes, these dances extended to other institutes. As a result of people teaching these dances and enthusiasm to learn them, most of the local songs and dances were known by the students in village institutes.

According to the data obtained from the participants and the related literature, we can conclude that the objectives determined for “Physical Education” course, to a great extent, were fulfilled despite the unfavorably difficult conditions of 1940s and 1950s. It is suggested that the further studies to be carried out on sports activities in village institutes and the course titled “Physical Education and National Folklore Dances” are likely to contribute to sports education literature at national and international levels.

Key Words: Village Institutes, Çifteler Village Institute, Physical Education, Physical Education Programs, National Folklore Dances.

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