An education program is a cluster encompassing all education and training elements such as courses and activities that take place in the learning environment, interpersonal relations and interactions, behavioral patterns of individuals, items to use and not to use, and the arrangement of those items. Therefore, an educational program can be described as the sum of individuals brought together intentionally in the learning environment, the items, and the relationship between all these elements.

The most important element of the educational program as an encompassing set, is the training program (curriculum). Curriculums are documents in which the knowledge, skills and behaviors students aim to gain are listed. In other words, it can be defined as outputs and outcomes students achieve as a result of the activities they do in the learning environment. Training programs aim for students to gain certain skills with practical and applied exercises and it also aims for these skills to transform into a behavior within the frame of educational program.

One of the key elements of the education cluster is the skills concept. We can divide skills into two main categories:

  1. Core skills: They can be defined as social skills or professional knowledge about another field. When we make a general literature review, we see that the goal is to provide children and young people with 5 basic skills: Mother tongue skills, foreign language skills, mathematics literacy skills, science literacy skills, civic literacy skills (civilized human education etc).
  2. Soft skills (social skills): They can be defined as transferable and applicable skills. It can be said that we cannot draw the line of these skills, and they are amorphous. Some examples are as follows: Communication skills, teamwork skills, critical thinking skills, learning to learn skills (researching scientific resources skills) etc.

If we think of the educational program as an encompassing set, training program and the skills intersect with the training program may be defined as subsets. Being another element of this cluster, values can be defined as air/atmosphere/ground in which all education elements are located. In other words it can be described as the world-view/vantage point that society and founders of the educational system aims students to gain.

Knowledge, emotions, values and skills children and young people are aimed to be equipped with, and forms and methods to use are frequently discussed matters with digitalization and the pandemic. The importance of digitalization of learning environments (schools etc.) in order to keep up with contemporary environments, once again has become evident in the pandemic period. The learning environment has become one of the worst affected elements, and also one of the elements that have had the worst effect on students in this period where face-to-face learning has been interrupted due to social distancing measures. Neither the number of teachers in the educational system nor the digitalized information has decreased. However, learning environments have had to transform in order to provide effective education because they are the ground in which the relationship between all of these elements are established. Communication tools and technological tools have had a great impact on this transformation, and consequently digital and online learning environments have been created.

Zeynep Şişman

Kızılay Academy Research Specialist