F. Uslu

Hitit University (TURKEY)
Ideology is defined usually as “set of ideas, beliefs and attitudes, consciously or unconsciously held, which reflects or shapes understandings or misconceptions of the social and political world.” Ideologies are also generally described as “systemic frameworks about or on the social and physical world.” Bu I think those definitions and descriptions aren’t sufficient for our purpose here.
Here, we must distinguish worldviews from ideologies. Worldviews are weak and flexible frameworks about or on the social and physical world. They are weak and flexible in the sense that they will change or transform according to new facts or developments. But if a worldview is held firmly, systematically and if it resists changing according to recently appearing factual data and scientific knowledge then it can be called an “ideology.”
In twentieth century, we have witnessed the rising of ideologies. Ideologies are now everywhere and have a great role as a barrier on individual’s thinking and learning, especially in the Middle East and in developing countries.
Ideologies are dogmatic worldviews and make their supporters exclusivists, fanatics and discriminatory. Ideologies are strong and hardly changeable personal views which are lack of factual knowledge and for that aspect they cannot be criticized and questioned by their adherents. Ideologies get their power from enthusiasm not from their suitability to facts to scientific facts. Because of that, ideologies also make harder understanding and grasping universal human values and rights.
Ideologies can be seen as prisons of mind. As Cemil Meric –a contemporary Turkish thinker- says, “ideologies are the straitjacket of minds”. Indeed this metaphor is fitting the situation exactly.
Because of this ideologies and ideological prejudices should be seen an important barrier to learning, especially their influence is more on high school and university students. So teachers should be within the awareness of this fact and should behave to the students according to that fact.
In order to improve that awareness and make it explicit to minds, my presentation seeks to explain and underline some important features of ideologies and try to show how those features would became boundaries to learning.