Culture Shocks and Adaptation Processes Experienced by Turkish Novice Teachers

Erbaş Y. H.

International Journal of Progressive Education, vol.19, no.1, pp.243-261, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


This study aims to examine the culture shock of teachers who have just started teaching in rural areas and their solutions for their adaptation to the new cultural environment. Case study, one of the qualitative methods, was used as part of this research. The participants are 17 classroom teachers who recently started teaching in the villages in the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia Regions of Türkiye in the 2021-2022 academic year. Criterion sampling was used in the selection of the participants. A semistructured interview form prepared by the researcher was used as the data collection tool. The stages of thematic analysis were used in the research. The themes obtained as a result of the analysis of the data collected during the interviews with newly appointed teachers were grouped under four headings: Initial Culture Shock, Factors that Facilitate Cultural Adaptation, Factors that Make Cultural Adaptation Difficult, and Support to Novice/Prospective Teachers. According to the data collected from the teachers participating in the study, it is the language differences that cause culture shock the most. While the climate of the region they live in, lifestyles, differences in the communication channels used, and economic problems make cultural adaptation difficult, colleague support, acceptance, learning cultural elements, family support and certain personal characteristics facilitate the cultural adaptation process. In addition, teachers think that supporting new pre-professional teachers by communicating with experienced teachers, giving courses on cultural diversity in undergraduate education and holding orientation meetings will accelerate cultural adaptation.