De?erler Eğitimimin ilköğretim 4. Ve 5. Sınıf Sosyal Bilgiler Ders Kitaplar?ndaki Yeri ve Önemi The Place and Importance of Values Education in 4.th and 5th. Grade Primary School Social Studies Textbooks
The term ‘value’ has been used in many different meanings until today in different areas and it has been the reason for confusion in values education. In this sense, Weber (1990) has stated that different approaches to the term ‘value’ have played a negative role for the production of values. Kohlberg (1981) has defined ‘value’ as giving moral decisions and acting accordingly while Hill (1991) interpreted values as the beliefs that people care and direct the life of individuals. On the other hand, Veugelers (2000) defined values as the beliefs that help individuals to decide what is good or evil.
International organizations also saw the need to define values in accordance with their missions. In the Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations, it is indicated that education should strengthen human rights and freedom while supporting tolerance among different religious groups, ethnicities and nations (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948). UNESCO is another organization that defined the role of values in education. According to the report by UNESCO, education becomes valuable if one learns (a) how to know (b) how to do, (c) how to live together and (d) how to be. In this sense, UNESCO has also claimed that in order to develop intercultural and interfaith dialogue, common values accepted by everyone should be given in schools.
It has been observed that critical thinking and problem solving skills were given in values education programs in western societies while those skills have started to be taught in Turkey recently. In this study, the main values education movements and the processes and principles of teaching values education in real life are analyzed. We looked at the place of values education in 4th and 5th grade Social Studies textbooks in Turkey. After analyzing the basic processes and principles of values education, we looked at the values to be given to the students in the textbooks.
Values education approaches have varied beginning from 1970s. Superka and his colleagues (1976) argue that there are five basic approaches to values education: inculcation, moral development, analysis, values clarification and action learning. On the other hand, Sunal and Haas (2002) identified three approaches to values education: values clarification, value analysis and character education.
While discussing the basic processes and principles of values education, we claim that values education should not be given only as theoretical knowledge. If the students are not supported with real-life examples and experiences, theoretical information will result in reducing the interest in values education. It is also stated that using concrete terms, instead of abstract ones, will help primary school children to get the idea more effectively. We also mention the limitation of rewarding a student for his/her good manners and actions. At this point, we analyzed several studies conducted in this area and found that rewarding a student too much will result in undermining the sense of helpfulness (Batson, et al., 1978) and hindering intrinsic motivation (Kohn, 1993; Deci&Ryan, 1985). Other basic processes and principles of values education discussed in this study are; the role of teachers in values education, group study for effective values education, promoting reasoning and logic while developing empathy, the role of self-esteem, and developing the sense of ‘us’ instead of ‘me’.
Content analysis was conducted to collect data from the 2004 Social Studies program published by Ministry of Education and the 4th and 5th grade Social Studies textbooks. The researchers identified the frequencies of words and references regarding values and then categorized them to provide a meaningful content. After creating the coding frames, collected data was gathered under the relevant codes.
Five main characteristic features of values are defined in the 2004 Social Studies 4th and 5th grade program. Those are: 1- Values are unifying phenomenon accepted by societies and individuals. 2- Values are the benchmarks that meet the needs of societies and are there for the sake of individuals. 3- Values are not only related to conscious but also to feelings and emotions. 4- Values are motives that take place in individual’s mind and direct his/her behaviors. 5- The difference between values and norms is that the former is more general and abstract. In analyzing the textbooks, it is found that generally three approaches have been followed in order to teach students values. Those are value clarification, moral reasoning and value analysis.
Based on the findings, we state that it is good to see the integration of values education in Social Studies programs, however, in order to have an effective and permanent influence, infrastructure should be built accordingly. The first and most important point is to educate our teachers in that way so that they are not alien to the subject. We also claim that using different available resources, instead of just textbooks, can help educators to be more effective in their classrooms while teaching values.
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