On Friday 1 May the Outreach Center and Gene Stein, a teacher at Newton South High School, co-taught a class lesson for 23 grade 11 History students. The class studied the social reforms ushered in by Kemal Ataturk during the formation of the Turkish Republic from 1920 to 1930.

The exercise used the writings of Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk to highlight the mandate of European style societal reforms. Students read parts of Pamuk’s writing on his up bringing in Istanbul and the “European” room that his family, which was part of the reforms. After reading, students divided into groups and were asked to create an “American” room, a room that would personify American culture, and to draw the contents of the room for the class. The learning goal of the lesson was to study the role of Ataturk’s modernization reforms and their impact on creating identity and class boundaries.

The day’s lesson plan is available for download.