Social Studies Doctoral Dissertations in the United States and Turkey: A Comparative Study

Behsat Savas


This study delves into 169 social studies doctoral dissertations published from January 2012 to October 2015. The results of the included studies were qualitatively synthesized and presented in narrative form in the results section. In preliminary searching for systematic reviews concerning social studies, we concentrated on 169 doctoral dissertations published in the United States and Turkey, based on the following inclusion criteria: a) Only publications in the United States and Turkey between the years of 2012 and 2015 were included; b) Search was conducted by using such central keywords as ‘social studies’. From the initial search of electronic databases, 169 doctoral dissertations (130 from the U.S.; 39 from Turkey) were found.

While conducting international comparisons of school curricula, little attention has been paid to the comparisons on doctoral levels. Based on the comparative findings, this study concludes with some insights into how social studies doctoral dissertations can differ across countries. Similarities regarding key words and topics used were not observed. In a sense, this study aims to achieve a mutual understanding and awareness that might encourage Turkish scholars in regards with the research focus, keywords, and above all, their contribution to the field of study.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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