Intro to KODA 101: The Rural Schools Transformation Network — Turkey

KODA (Turkish acronym for the Rural Schools Transformation Network) is a team of passionate people working together with the dedicated rural school teachers around Turkey in order to bring about positive change in the core skills KODA has deemed most important for students based on education research.

Our three goals are as follows:

  1. To shape a student-centered alternative education model
  2. To create a growing community which can lead the transformation in rural schools and support itself
  3. To inspire the rural school teachers and provide them with connections and resources

The rural schools we work with are located in the more isolated areas of Anatolia. Currently, these are places with many adversities and a lack of shared solutions despite the most genuine efforts of their amazing teachers.

As KODA, we choose to focus not on the adversities but on the strengths of these schools. In fact, we believe these schools have many untapped strengths.

We stand with the many dedicated teachers of rural schools and provide them with a network of like-minded teachers who they can work together with in solving their issues. We show them what we have learned, and ask them to share what works in their classrooms in monthly gatherings. These teachers are the biggest assets of rural education.

We look at the natural environment the schools are in, and we imagine an education that embraces these endless playgrounds.

We look at the close-knit communities the students live in, and we see opportunities for students to develop the self-confidence and self-love that only a healthy community can help cultivate.

These are treasures which some of the most successful school systems around the world would admire. However, in these villages, these opportunities are nearly untouched.

We have been preparing to start this project for a long time, talking to teachers, formatting and reformatting and researching all that has been done in similar situations. We are now ready! We have the perfect teachers to work with and an ever-improving set of workshops. We are ready to bring about meaningful change.

Happiness first! We believe that effective education is not possible without a happy and safe environment. We will create for the students an environment that is:

  • Full of games
  • Inter-disciplinary
  • Effective in incorporating peer education
  • Hands-on
  • Set in nature
  • Parent-involving
  • Diverse
  • Democratic
  • Considerate of emotional development
  • “Happiness first”
  • Personalized
  • Aimed to assist teacher development

This year, our first year, we are hitting the road with four different workshops in ten different schools around Anatolia. We plan to visit each of our schools once a month, each time with a different workshop.

The pilot period starts in February 2017 and continues until June 2017. Then, we will be back in September 2017 for 8 more months of gatherings with the same schools. We have already started planning for the summer festivals and the summer camp, as well!

We understand that the continuity of the practices we introduce cannot stay in the classrooms without the full support of our teachers. That is why the teacher gatherings are a part of the core program for us. With every workshop we do with the students, we will also hold teacher gatherings to discuss good practices, issues, and a theme brought in by KODA. This will be a time when the teachers we work with will share what works in their classes and discuss new practices.

The number of our supporters shows our strength. If you would like to join us on social media, please use the links below: (Turkish) (English)

We are currently looking for donations. Please remember that all this is possible only if we have the means to get into action — and we are working very hard to make this a reality. If you would like to join our mission by making a donation — no matter how small the amount, please use the link below:

We are also always open to ideas, suggestions, and other feedback to help us function better.

You can reach us via e-mail at

Thank you for taking the time, and we hope that you will tell your friends about us!

All the best from Turkey,

The KODA Team

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