Children's University Reports


Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, 
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, 
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

Kahlil Gibran
(Lebanese Writer, Poet)

The way to encourage students toward higher education is to introduce them to the university at an early age. Especially the students who are disadvantaged in terms of socio-economic and cultural aspects gain more importance. In fact, according to a survey conducted by SIS Catalyst, 8 out of 10 children attend a higher education in a socio-economically good region, while only 8 out of 100 children can continue their education in a non-socio-economically good region. When we look at the reasons of this situation, it is possible to list many reasons such as place of living, family income, gender, education level of parents. But from a psychological point of view, we can show the "Attitude" as the fact that all of these reasons actually form. If we cannot establish a healthy attitude towards classes, science and university until 11 years of age, then the motivation we try to create with external factors is either less effective, or does not go beyond creating an externally oriented attitude. Perhaps for this reason, the concepts of the Nobel Prize and the most elite of the world cannot go beyond an "utopia" for us. The survey which has been done by Indepentend Educators Union in order to find answers to the questions of "Are we able to understand the young population well and prepare them well for the future?" showed us that the young people feel that their self-confidence is heavily related to "financial power", 19.1 percent of the youth said "material power", 15.15 percent said "knowledge", 12.94 percent said "strong family", and 12.06 percent said "leadership" to the question of "What does a person need the most to have a strong self-confidence?".


As it is understood from this point, in our country, individuals put the external resources such as financial power and capital on the first plan in every stage of life and they hold the importance of the financial power more than their inner and personal development. This and many other researches reveal that life goals of young people are more associated with material characteristics.

Because of all these, "science and knowledge" need to find more space in society. About the matter, Peter Gray (2014) from Norway Science and Technology University states that science should not be perceived only as Mathematics and Science, progress more based on research, the universities should no longer raise science aristocrats, but real scientists. and underlines the need to create a new capacity and find innovative ways to bring society and science together. However, by advancing in science, industrial and social challenges can be overcome.

"Children Universities" are the most important mechanisms in this matter. The color and sound of each child is special in children's universities that introduce children to science and art at an early age to help them gain a positive attitude towards science, to make them embody the concept of university, to contribute to their thinking more effectively and creatively and raise them as individuals not only know how to learn how to do but also practice what they know in life. Academicians can guide their children in the most fun way, and they arouse curiosity against science and art in children. When we look at the state of this structuring in the world, it is seen that the first school established under the title of children's university was in Birmingham in the 1990s by two educators, Sir Tim Brighouse and Sir David Winkley, with the name of "Saturday Schools". During 2011, children's universities were established in 70 regions in the UK as well as in Scotland, Wales, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Canada, Cyprus and Turkey.

When we look at the situation in our country, it is possible to talk about the existence of 20 Children's University. Our children's universities, each are first in their fields, are different from each other in terms of structure and operation. While some of them open up 5-day programs with periodic periods through project contributions, some of them continue only summer and during semester holidays, while others continue their activities throughout the year. Unfortunately, some of them has not been sustained and they have been closed after a few cycles. While the conditions for participation in each program are different, everyone who volunteers in general can participate in these trainings. These trainings can be paid and free of charge, which may vary depending on project support. Some of the Children's universities, which are generally supported by project support, have difficulties in ensuring sustainability, so most of the time, they are seeking sponsors. Apart from these, the most remarkable event in our country is to include special programs for gifted and talented children. The reason why gifted and special children are assigned a special place is the strategic plan and the project support given to the gifted students, although the main reason is that these students usually need different learning environments and mentally challenging activities. University academics can be a natural mentor and an experienced guide for them, as well as offering them effective spaces to reveal their creativity by offering different, satisfying environments in the universities. Although the concept of children's university is not used in the USA, the USA has started this kind of education much earlier, in the 1980s, with Talented Children's Education Centers or Enrichment Schools, Saturday Schools, with the gifted, and has continued these trainings until today. When we look at the differences between children's universities and such events and activities aforementioned, we see that the models in USA are more systematically and academically prepared with longer periods of education plans and based more on knowledge and skill; In children's universities, we can say that they focus on building attitudes, aiming to reach more children, and there are structures that are more in favor of science and higher education.

When we examine their structure in Turkey, although they are all called children's universities, we can say that they are usually mixing Europe model and USA model together. However, this also varies according to the structure, facilities and needs of the local region. Regardless of their structure and model, children's universities, whose aim is to 'popularize science and disseminate science activities in society', will develop and strengthen in the coming years by creating common mind platforms.


​​The aim of Istanbul Aydın University Child Education Application and Research Center is to provide students with the opportunity to explore new fields of study and current knowledge, to develop their thinking skills and to guide the society and their lives as productive individuals who solve problems.
  1. On the basis of volunteerism, to ensure that all students reach the university by removing the boundaries,
  2. Include disadvantaged groups and enable them to benefit from universities,
  3. To provide students with a respectful atmosphere without pressure and to provide performance.

güncelleme: 29.6.2020 15:34