x - Mevlana International Journal of Educational (MIJE)

Mevlana International Journal of
Education
(MIJE)
Volume 5, Issue 1
April 2015
MIJE is indexed in Turkish Educational Index, ASOS index, Index Copernicus, EBSCO Pub, Educational
Research Abstracts (ERA), Aniji, DOAJ, Directory of Research Journals Indexing (DRJI) and ERIC (Published
articles in MIJE are indexed by ERIC which is accepted by ERIC reviewers. Articles which are indexed by ERIC
indicated in the table of contents in relevant issue)
OWNER
YALÇINÖZ,Tankut
(Rector of Mevlana University)
EDITOR IN CHIEF
ÇELİK, Vehbi
(Dean of Education Faculty)
EDITOR
GÜMÜŞ, Emine
ASSOCIATE EDITORS
NEL, Norma
LETSEKA, Moeketsi
SAMUEL, Mihael Anthony
ASSISTANT EDITORS
Durmuş, Alpaslan
KAYA, Sinan
SECRETARIAT OF THE JOURNAL
TOZKOPARAN, Süleyman, Burak
EDITORIAL BOARD
ABADIANO, Helen R. (Central Connecticut State University, USA)
AGAYEV, Ejder (Qa fqaz University, Azerbaijan)
AKBAŞ, Okta y (Kırıkkale University, Turkey)
AKKOYUNLU, Buket (Hacettepe University, Turkey)
AKMAN, Berri n Hacettepe University, Turkey
AKPINAR, Burhan (Fıra t University, Turkey)
AKPINAR, Ya vuz (Boğaziçi University, Turkey)
AKTÜMEN, Muha rrem (Ahi Evra n University, Turkey)
AKYOL, Ha ya ti (Gazi University, Turkey)
ALACACI, Cengi z (Florida International University, USA)
AL-MABUK, Ra thi (University of NorthernIowa, USA)
Ana s tasiadou, Sofia D. (University of West Ma cedonia, Greece)
ARICIOĞLU, Ahu (Pa mukkale University, Turkey)
BAEZZAT, Fereshteh (University of Ma zandaran, Iran)
BALOĞLU, Nuri (Ahi Evra n University)
BAYRAM, Servet (Ma rmara University, Turkey)
BECK, Mi tchell (Central Connecticut State University, USA)
BİLGİN, İbrahim (Mustafa Kemal University, Turkey)
BİRGİN, Os man (Uşak University, Turkey)
BOOYSE, Joha n (University of South Afri ca, South Africa)
BOZDOĞAN, Aykut Emre (Giresun University, Turkey)
BOZOĞLAN, Ba hadır (Mevlana University, Turkey)
BÜYÜKÖZTÜRK, Şener (Gazi University, Turkey)
ÇAKIR, Abdulkadir (Mevlana University, Turkey)
ÇAKIR, Recep (Amasya University, Turkey)
ÇANKAYA, İbra him (Uşak University, Turkey)
ÇELİK, Vehbi (Mevlana University, Turkey)
CHUANG, Hs ueh-hua (National Sun Yat-sen University, Ta yvan)
ÇOŞKUN, Eyyup (Mus ta fa Kemal University, Turkey)
DANIŞMAN, Yusuf (Mevlana University, Turkey)
DEMİREAY, Uğur (Anadolu University, Turkey)
DEMİREL, Şener (Fırat University, Turkey)
DEMİRLİ, Ci hat (İstanbul Ticaret University, Turkey)
DEREVENSKY, Jeffrey L. (McGi ll University, Ca nada)
DIBOLL, Mi ke (University of Sussex, UK)
DOĞRU, S. Sunay Yıldırım(Dokuz Eyl ül University, Turkey)
ECIRLI, Ahmet (Universiteti Bedër, Albania
ERBAY, Fi liz (Mevlana University, Turkey)
ERGÜN, Mus tafa (Afyon Kocatepe University, Turkey)
FALLAHI, Vi da (Shiraz University, Iran )
GAO, Pi ng (University of Northern Iowa, USA)
GÖMLEKSİZ, Mehmet Nuri (Fırat University, Turkey)
GÜNDÜZ, Mus tafa (Yıldız Teknik University, Turkey)
GÜNEL, Mura t (TED, Turkey)
GÜROL, Mehmet (Yıldız Technical University, Turkey)
GURSEL, Mus a (Mevlana University, Turkey)
GÜZELLER, Cem Okta y (Akdeniz University, Turkey)
HALAT, Erdoğa n (Afyon Koca tepe University, Turkey)
HALAI, Nel ofer(Aga Khan University, Pa kistan)
HAMMOND, John (University of Ca nberra, Australia)
HARPUTLU, Leyl a (Ahi Evra n University, Turkey )
HERRING, Ma ry C. (University of Northern Iowa, USA)
HOSSEINCHARI, Ma ssound (Shiraz University, Iran )
HUANG, Chi -Jen (National Chiayi University, Taiwan)
HUTSON, Brya nt (The University of North Ca rolina a, USA)
İŞÇİOĞLU, Ersin (Eastern Mediterranean University, TRNC)
IŞIK, Erka n (Mevl a na Uni vers i ty, Turkey)
İŞMAN, Ayteki n (Sakarya University, Turkey)
KARA, Ahmet (Adıyaman University, Turkey)
KARADAĞ, Ruhan (Adıyaman University, Turkey)
KARADENİZ, Şirin (Bahçeşehir University, Turkey)
KARAMI, Morteza (University of Ma zandaran, Iran)
KARAKUŞ, Mehmet (Zirve University, Turkey)
KARAMI, Morteza (University of Ma zandaran, Iran)
KARATAŞ, Serçi n (Gazi University, Turkey)
KARIM, Reza ul (Leading University, Ba ngladesh)
KAUR, Ki ra ndeep (Punjabi university, India)
KAYA, Os ma n Nafiz (Fırat University, Turkey)
KESER, Ha fize (Ankara University, Turkey)
KOCABAŞ, İbra him (Fırat University, Turkey)
KOÇAK, Recep (Gazi Osman Pa şa University, Turkey)
KUMARAN, Dura ikkannu (University of Ma dras, India)
LAVICZA, Zs olt (Cambridge University, UK)
LEBLANC, Ra ymond (University of Ottawa, Ca nada)
LEMMER, El eanor (University of South Africa, South Afri ca)
LOUW, Ga bri el (North-West University, South Afri ca)
MCKEOWN, John A. G. (Mevl ana University, Turkey)
MEMMEDOV, Behmen (Qafqaz University, Azerbaijan)
MICHAIL, Ka l ogiannakis (University of Crete, Greece)
MITTAL, Shree Ram (University of Delhi, India)
MOONSAMY, Sha ron (University of the Witwatersrand, S.Africa)
MSILA, Vuyi sile (University of South Africa, South Africa)
NAM, Jeonghee (Pusan National University, Korea)
NEL, Norma (University of South Afri ca, South Africa)
ODABAŞI, H. Ferhan (Anadolu University, Turkey)
OKUYUCU, Ci ha n (Yıldız Technical University University, Turkey)
ÖMEROĞLU, Es ra (Gazi University, Turkey)
OMRAN, Ebra him Salehi (University of Ma zandaran, Iran)
ORAL, Behçet (Dicle University, Turkey)
ÖZDEMİR , M. Soner (Kırıkkale University, Turkey)
ÖZDEMİR, Selçuk (Gazi University, Turkey)
ÖZER, Ba yra m (Mustafa Kemal University, Turkey)
PANDAY, Shefali (University of Mumbai, India)
PAPE, Stephen J.(University of Florida, USA)
PEKER, Mura t (Afyon Koca tepe, Turkey)
GIJON PUERTA, José (Universidad de Granada, Spain)
PHASHA, Tl a kale Nareadi (University of South Afri ca, South Africa)
PING-KWAN, Fok (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
POTGIETER , Ca l vyn (University of South Africa, South Africa)
QUADIR, Ta rik (Mevlana University, Turkey)
RANA, Ri zwan Akram (University of the Punjab, Pa kistan)
SADEGHI, Abbas (University of Guilan Iran)
SAMUEL, Mi cha el (University of Kwa zulu-Nata, South Africa)
ŞAHİN, İsmail (Selçuk University, Turkey)
ŞAHİN, Sami (Gazi University, Turkey)
SAMANI, Si amak (Islamic Azad University, Iran)
SARI, Mus tafa (Mevlana University, Turkey)
SEMERCİ, Çeti n (Fırat University, Turkey)
ŞENAY, Ha san (Mevlana University, Turkey)
SHAHIM, Si ma (Shiraz University, Iran )
SHARRA, Steve(Michigan State University, USA)
SHELLEY, Ma ck (Iowa State University, USA)
SÜNBÜL , Al i Murat(Selçuk University, Turkey)
TABAKU, El i da (Universiteti Bedër, Al bania)
TAŞPINAR, Mehmet (Gazi University, Turkey)
THOMPSON, Ann D. (Iowa State University, USA)
TÖREMEN, Fa ti h (Zirve University, Turkey)
Trotma n, Wayne (Izmir Ka tip Çelebi University)
TÜYSÜZ, Cengiz (Mustafa Kemal University, Turkey)
UZUNBOYLU, Hüseyin (Near East University, TRNC)
UZOGLU, Mus tafa (Giresun University, Turkey)
URE, Omer (Mevl ana University, Turkey)
YALÇIN, Pa şa (Erzincan University, Turkey)
YALIN, H. İbra him (Gazi University, Turkey)
YAMAN, Sül eyman (Zonguldak Karaelmas University, Turkey)
YILMAZ, Erca n (Selçuk University, Turkey)
YÖRÜK, Si nan (Afyon Kocatepe University, Turkey)
REVIEWER OF THE ISSUE
Ha san EŞİCİ, Hasan Kalyoncu Uni.
Ayşe AYPAY, Es kişehir Os mangazi Uni.
Etem YEŞİLYURT, Mevlana Uni.
Ayşe Negi ş IŞIK, Mevlana Uni.
Seda t ŞEN, Harran Uni.
Erka n IŞIK, Mevlana Uni.
Za fer TANGÜLÜ, Mugla Uni.
Erol KOÇOĞLU, İnonu Uni.
Si nan KAYA, Mevlana Uni.
Yus uf ÖZDEMİR, Mevlana Uni.
Gürs el GULER, Bozok Uni.
Sul eyman GOKSOY, Duzce Uni.
Ya hya ALTINKURT, Mugla Uni.
Serpil KILIÇ, Fatih Uni.
Mehmet KANIK, Mevlana Uni.
Abi din DAĞLI, Dicle Uni.
Şehnaz YAYLA CEYLAN, Ka rabük Uni.
Al i Ça ğatay KILINÇ, Ka rabük Uni.
Ha kan KARA. Dumlupınar Uni.
Ti mur KOCAOĞLU, Mi chigan State Uni.
Sa bri SİDEKLİ, Mugla Uni.
Abdul kadir TUNA, Kastamonu Uni.
Mehmet Emir KOKSAL, Ondokuz Ma yıs Uni.
Ahmet BEDEL, Mevlana Uni.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Examination The Effect of Values Education Which is Given
Adolescents on Self-Regulation Strategies
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.35.5.1
Sinem Ergun Kaplan, Bulent Dilmac........................... ...............................................
1-9
According to the Opinions of Teachers and Students Active Citizenship
Education in Elementary School
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.61.5.1
Yucel Oksuz, Ceren Cevik Kansu…........................... ................................................
10- 25
The View of Teachers of First Graders Regarding Scheduling the Age of Starting School to an
Earlier Time
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.15.07.5.1
Huseyin Anilan, Yalcin Bay………............................ ................................................ 26- 44
The Relationship among Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers’ Conceptual Knowledge, Opinions
Regarding Proof and Proof Skills
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.71.5.1
Muhammet Doruk, Abdullah Kaplan….............................. ....................................... 45- 57
Effect of Seniority on Teachers’ Organizational Citizenship Behavior: A Meta-Analysis
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.76.5.1
Cevat Elma, Tufan Aytac.............................................................................................. 58- 76
Reality therapy oriented intervention program for cyberbullying behaviors and testing its
efficiency
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.64.5.1
Taskin Tanrikulu, Mustafa Koc, Orhan Tolga Aricak............................................... 77- 87
Formative Assessment, Teacher-directed Instruction and Teacher Support in Turkey: Evidence
from PISA 2012
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.15.01.5.1
Ibrahim Delen, Mehmet Sukru Bellibas..................................................................... 88- 102
Student Attitudes Towards Change From Ability Grouping To Heterogeneous Grouping At A
University Class
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.19.5.1
Mustafa Bahar..............................................................................................................
103- 114
Mathematical Language Used in the Teaching of Three Dimensional Objects: The Prism Example
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.15.11.5.1
Zeynep Cakmak, Fatih Bas, Ahmet Isik, Mehmet Bekdemir, Meryem Ozturan Sagirli ................
115- 129
A Philosophical Analysis On The Relationship Between The Problems Of The Modern Era And
Education
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.86.5.1
Mikail Soylemez…………………...............................................................................
130- 140
Evaluating the Teacher’s Guides of a Recently Published Course Book Series for Young Learners
in Turkey
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.69.5.1
Seyit Omer Gok............................................................................................................ 141- 164
Short Turkish Version of Proactive Scale: A Study of Validity and Reliability
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.12.5.1
Ahmet Akin, Neslihan Arici Ozcan.............................................................................
165- 172
A Brief Review of Literature on Using Technology to Help Language Learners to Improve Their
Language Skills
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.77.5.1
Eyup Bayram Guzel.................................................................................................... 173- 180
The Effect of Drama in Education on Language and Communication Skills of Children Between
48-60 Month-Old
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.15.04.5.1
Filiz Erbay, Kezban Tepeli, Ozden Kuscu................................................................ 181- 188
Creativity And Sense Of Humor Of Elementary School Principals
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.15.05.5.1
Bahar Senol, Ali Aksu...............................................................................................
189- 205
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE)
Vol. 5(1), pp. 1-9, 1 April, 2015
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.35.5.1
Examination The Effect of Values Education Which is Given Adolescents
on Self-Regulation Strategies
Sinem Ergün Kaplan1
Education Curriculum Department, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey
Bülent Dilmaç2
Psychological Counseling and Guidance Department, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya,
Turkey
Article history
Received:
18.03.2014
Received in revised form:
11.02.2015
Accepted:
22.02.2015
Key words:
Values, Values Education,
Self-Regulation, SelfRegulation Strategies
The purpose of this study is to test the effect of values education which is
applied to adolescents on their self-regulation strategies. The research
was carried on the third grade students in Çumra Trade Vocational High
School in Konya in 2011-2012 education years. Six female and five male
students were tested in both experimental and control group. Firstly, pretest was conducted on experimental and control groups in the research.
Secondly, values education activities which consist 20 sessions were
conducted on experimental group twice a week out of the lessons.
Activities were performed by the researcher. On the other hand, no
activities were applied on control group. It is seen, there is a significant
difference between the pre-test scores and post-test scores of the
experimental group in favour of the post-test in the aspect of selfregulation at the end of the research. Also, It is found that, there is a
crucial difference in utilization of cognitive strategy, self-efficacy,
intrinsic value and test anxiety of students between experimental and
control group. According to the findings, it is concluded that the values
education which was applied to adolescents, has positive effects on the
development of the self-regulation strategies.
Introduction
Education
is defined as, variations of behaviours with the effect of other
people (Başaran, 1991). It can be said that, a value education programme which includes
affective sides of education should be prepared for changing these behaviours. Although it is
commonly agreed that it is helpful to change behaviours, it is a topic of discussion when
values education should be given (Dilmaç, 2007; İşcan, 2007; Lamberta, 2004). Some of the
researcher suggest that values education can always be applied (Dilmaç, 2007) others argue
that because adolescents, who experience puberty in the most intense are open to change, this
term becomes important for them (Kuşcu, 2009). The stage which includes puberty, takes
place identity crisis (Cebeci, 2005). It is thought; values education which is given adolescents
will be more effective on this term because adolescents who experience identity crisis will
find their identity easier with the help of values education. On the other hand, according to
research by Knafo and Schwartz, discussions in the family about values, reveal negative
feelings (Knafo & Schwartz, 2003). This negative situation can reduce motivation of
adolescents, when it is contrast to parents’ values and it can break down adolescents’
1
2
[email protected]
[email protected]
Examination The Effect of Values Education Which is Given…S. E. Kaplan & B. Dilmaç
comprehension about parents' values and ability of comprehension. Therefore, it is very
important to increase adolescents’ motivational beliefs and self-regulation strategies, which
influence these motivational beliefs (Zimmerman, 1990; Cabı, 2009).
Definitions of Values, Values Education
Although a lot of researches have been made, they haven’t reached at a common view
about the definition of “value” concept. Value can be expressed as an imaginary scale which
is used to determine the importance of something (TDK, 2007). Values are also, defined as
main rules that base on value judgements (Halstead, 1996: 6). It is to made choice and judged
between alternatives that are based on distinction of good or bad helping of values. Values
represent ideal desires that people want rather than people have. It is claimed that everything
in the world can be separated as good or bad and value can be defined as good, bad or good
and bad (Dunlop, 1996: 69). Garia handles values as tangible and intangible. According to
Garia, value is described as positive or negative ideas that represent a specific behaviour and
aim of the existence. As a point of moral view, value is expressed as the key of moral and
religion (Nesbitt & Henderson, 2003: 77) and as a point of cultural view; value is expressed
as means which are used to reach desired will (Kluckhohn, 1951: 395). When philosophical
movements are thought, it is seen that, different views about the definition of value are exist.
According to idealists due to universe is infinite and worldwide, values are same everywhere
and they are universal principles. Realists advocate that it is necessary that values should be
built according to the laws of nature. Pragmatists argue that values can change every
condition; on the other hand existentialists express individuals should choose values with their
own will (as cited in Akbaba-Altun, 2003, p. 9).
Definitions of Self-Regulation Strategies
Other variable of research is “self-regulation” concept. No matter how process of
education is good, learning depends on student’s motivation and tendency to learning. So it is
very important to educate student according to learning style which is effective on them. The
need of learning and regulation in each environment for individual reveals as “self-regulation”
concept (Pintrich, 2000:483). Self-regulation is a versatile combination of variables related to
motivation and some processes (Cleary and Zimmerman, 2004:537). Researches about selfregulation (Zimmerman, 2008; Cabı, 2009) demonstrate a positive significant relation
between self-regulation learning strategies, motivation beliefs and academic achievement. For
this reason, preparing self-regulation activities is a necessity for students because these
activities help students with learning effectively in the school and out of school (Altun and
Sertel, 2006; cited in Cabı, 2009, p.4). It can be said by improving cognitive, motivational and
behavioural strategies of students, students’ intrinsic impulse can rise.
The self-regulated learning strategies are methods that students use to achieve learning goals
(Chih, 2006: 5). These strategies are related to the regulation of academic cognitive
(Zimmerman and Pons, 1986). The regulation of academic cognitive strategies are classified
as cognitive methods, self-regulation strategies which are used for regulating academic
cognition (metacognitive strategies) and resource management strategies (Zimmerman and
Pons, 1986). Cognitive strategies are stated as cognitive behaviours that are performed to
achieve a learning goal (Schneider and Weinert, 1990; cited in Salovaara, 2005, p.21). These
strategies are classified as rehearsal, elaboration and organization strategies (Salovaara, 2005:
23). Metacognitive strategies are related to monitoring and regulation of individual’s own
cognitive process (Alexander et al. , 1991). Metacognitive strategies include planning,
monitoring and regulating activities (Zimmerman and Martinez-Pons, 1986). Resource
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 1-9, 1 April, 2015
management strategies are methods which are related to check and manage the effect of
individual’s environment (Pintrich, 1993; cited in Chih, 2006, p.42). There are also
motivational beliefs which encourage the use of these strategies (Üredi, 2005: 25). These
motivational beliefs are goal orientation, task value and self-efficacy (Roberts, 1992; cited in
Chih, 2006, p.21). Also emotional reactions, which are related to tasks of learner, are stated as
affective activities (test anxiety) by Pintrich (Pintrich ve De Groot, 1990; cited in Üredi, 2005,
p.25).
Purpose of the study
The aim of this study is to test the effect of values education which given adolescents
on their self-regulation strategies.
Hypothesises of Survey
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Values education, which was given adolescents, increases self-regulation.
Values education, which was given adolescents, increases cognitive strategy usage.
Values education, which was given adolescents, increases self-efficacy.
Values education, which was given adolescents, intrinsic value.
Values education, which was given adolescents, reduces test anxiety.
Method
This study was performed with experimental test model. The experimental method is
a type of research in which the observing data is created to explore the causality of relations
between the variables, which are taken over by the researcher (Karasar, 2007). The research
was carried on the third grade students in Çumra trade vocational high school in Konya in
2011-2012 education years. Six female and five male students were tested in both
experimental and control group. The process of the research covers in March - June 2012.
Data collection tool
Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire
The self-regulation strategies and motivational beliefs of students are tested in the
research with “Motivated Strategies for Learning” questionnaire created by Pintrinch and
DeGroot (1990) and adapted by Üredi (2005). 44 sentences and 7 levels in the questionnaire
are applied. It includes two dimensions, which constitute of self-regulation strategies and
motivational beliefs in questionnaire. The dimension of self-regulation strategy involves two
scales which are related to the cognitive strategy use (13 sentences) and self-regulation (9
sentences). On the other hand the dimension of motivational beliefs includes three scales
which are related to self-efficacy (9 sentences), intrinsic value (9 sentences) and test anxiety
(4 sentences). Cognitive strategy dimension includes rehearsal, elaboration and organization
and self-regulation dimension involves metacognitive strategies like planning, monitoring and
regulating. Self-efficacy scale of motivational beliefs dimension tests determine perception,
which is related to performance of classroom and reliance. Moreover, intrinsic value scales of
dimension of motivational beliefs are related to perception the importance of classroom study.
Test anxiety scale of dimension of motivational beliefs tests perception related to exams.
Cronbach alfa values are calculated as 84 in self-regulation scale, 92 in self-efficacy scale, 88
in intrinsic value scale and 81 in test anxiety scale (Üredi, 2005).
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Examination The Effect of Values Education Which is Given…S. E. Kaplan & B. Dilmaç
Activities which were used in values education programme have been prepared by researcher
before practise. Practise has performed between March and June 2012. As beginning, pretests have been conducted on experimental and control group. Later activities were carried on
experimental group in 2 hours in a week. Activities were performed by researcher. At the end
of practice, post-tests were conducted on experimental and control group and compared.
Analysis of Data
Analysis of Covariance was performed in the research to measure the effectiveness of
experimental process. Also it is used to compare the result of pre-test and post-tests. After
practice, the results of survey were analysed in SPSS programme.
Findings
Findings related hypothesises are presented in this section. Statistics of that “values
education given adolescents increased self-regulation” were given in Table 1 and Table 2.
Table 1. According to Groups Self-regulation of Post-Test Average Scores Descriptive
Statistics
Groups
N
Average
Recovered Average
Experimental
11
57.83
57.98
Control
11
27.18
27.02
As, it can be seen from Table 1, it is discovered that average of experimental group is 58, 83;
average control group is 27, 18. Average of post-tests and control group, 57, 98 and 27, 02
respectively. The results of ANCOVA which to test difference between recovered average are
given in Table 2.
Table 2. The Result of Recovered Post-Test Average Scores according to Groups Selfregulation Pre-test Results (ANCOVA Results)
Var. K.
Intrinsic Value Pre-Test
(Reg.)
Group
Error
Total
*p<, 005; **p<, 001
KT
708.042
Sd
1
5269.969 1
1149.231 19
46757.000 22
KO
708.042
F
11.706**
5269.969
60.486
587.127**
It is understood that, according to ANCOVA there is an important difference between selfregulation of groups [F (1; 22) = 11.706, p<.001]. Therefore, self-regulation of experimental
group given values education (
=27.02) in significant level.
= 57.98,) is higher than self-regulation of control group (
Statistics of the second hypothesis that was “values education given adolescents increased
cognitive strategy usage” were given in Table 3 and Table 4.
Table 3. According to Groups Cognitive Strategy Usage of Post-Test Average Scores
Descriptive Statistics
Groups
N
Average
Recovered Average
Experimental
11
70.18
69.85
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 1-9, 1 April, 2015
Control
11
45.36
45.69
As it is seen from Table 4, it is discovered that average of experimental group is 70, 18;
average control group is 45, 36. The results of ANCOVA which to test difference between
recovered average are given in Table 4.
Table 4. The Result of Recovered Post-Test Average Scores according to Groups Cognitive
Strategy Use Pre-test Results (ANCOVA Results)
Var. K.
KT
Sd
KO
F
1
697.790
12.386**
Intrinsic Value Pre Test 697.790
(Reg.)
3199.629 1
3199.629
56.795**
Group
1070.392 19
56.336
Error
78585.000 22
Total
*p<, 05; **p<, 01
According to the result of ANCOVA, it is understood that, according to the result of
ANCOVA there is a significant difference between self-regulation of groups [F (1; 22) =
11.706, p<.001]. Cognitive strategy usage of experimental group given values education (
=69.85), is higher than cognitive strategy usage of control group (
level.
=45.69) in significant
The third hypothesis of research was “values education given adolescents increased selfefficacy”. With this aim, the statistics were given in Table 5 and 6.
Table 5. According to Groups Self-efficacy of Post- Test Average Scores Descriptive
Statistics
Groups
N
Average
Recovered Average
Experimental
11
67.09
66.96
Control
11
30.91
31.08
The average of experimental group and control group are calculated as 67.09 and control
group is 30.91. Average of post-tests of groups and control group 66, 96 and 31, 08
respectively. The results of ANCOVA which to test difference between recovered average are
given in Table 6.
Table 6. The Result of Recovered Post-Test Average Scores according to Groups SelfEfficacy Pre-test Results (ANCOVA Results)
Var. K.
KT
Sd
KO
F
46.684
1
46.684
1.776*
Self-efficacy pre-test
(Reg.)
7042.114 1
7042.114
264.880**
Group
505.134
19
26.586
Error
60574.000 22
Total
*p<, 005; **p<,001
According to the result of ANCOVA it is understood that, there is a significant difference
between self-efficacy of groups [F (1; 22) = 1.776, p<.005]. According to this, self-efficacy of
experimental group given values education (
=66.96,) is higher than self-efficacy of control
-5-
Examination The Effect of Values Education Which is Given…S. E. Kaplan & B. Dilmaç
group (
=31.08) in significant level.
The forth hypothesis of research was “values education given adolescents increased intrinsic
value”. With this aim, the statistics were given in Table 7 and 8.
Table 7. According to Groups intrinsic value of Post-Test Average Scores Descriptive
Statistics
Groups
N
Average
Recovered Average
Experimental
11
56.189
56.159
Control
11
34.090
34.114
It is found that average of experimental group is 56.189; average control group is 34.090.
Average of post-test of groups and control groups 56,159 and 34,114 respectively. The results
of ANCOVA which to test difference between recovered average are given in Table 8.
Table 8. The Result of Recovered Post- Test Average Scores according to Groups Intrinsic
Value Pre-test Results (ANCOVA Results)
Var. K.
KT
Sd
KO
F
91.461
1
91.461
3.260*
Intrinsic Value Ön Test
(Reg.)
2672.393 1
2672.393
95.249**
Group
533.084
19
28.057
Error
48129.000 22
Total
*p<05; **p<,001
According to the result of ANCOVA, it is understood that there is a significant difference
between intrinsic value of groups [F (1; 22) = 3.260, p<.005]. According to this, self-efficacy
of experimental group given values education (
control group (
=56.159) is higher than intrinsic value of
=34.114) in significant level.
The fifth hypothesis of research was “values education given adolescents reduced test
anxiety”. With this aim, the statistics were given in Table 9 and 10.
Table 9. According to Groups test anxiety of Post- Test Average Scores Descriptive Statistics
Groups
N
Average
Recovered Average
Experimental
11
8.545
8.804
Control
11
14.636
14.378
The average of experimental group and control groups are calculated as 8.545 and 14.636.
Average of post-test of groups, and control group 8.804 and 14.378 respectively. The results
of ANCOVA which to test difference between recovered average are given in Table 10.
Table 10. The Result of Recovered Post- Test Average Scores according to Groups Test
Anxiety Pre-test Results (ANCOVA Results)
Var. K.
KT
Sd
KO
F
1
80.181
4.440*
Intrinsic Value Pre Test 80.181
(Reg.)
167.761
1
167.761
9.290**
Group
343.091
19
18.057
Error
3583.000
22
Total
-6-
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 1-9, 1 April, 2015
*p<05; **p<, 001
According to the result of ANCOVA, it is understood that, there is a significant difference
between test anxiety of groups [F (1; 22) = 4.440, p<.005]. According to this, test anxiety of
experimental group given values education (
group (
=8,804) is lower than test anxiety of control
=14,378) in significant level.
Conclusion
The effect of the values education given adolescents on self-regulation strategies and
on motivational beliefs which provide the usage of self-regulation strategies is discussed and
interpreted in this section.
The first hypothesis of research was “values education given adolescents increased selfregulation”. This hypothesis means values education given adolescents has increased selfregulation which includes metacognitive strategies which include monitoring, planning,
regulating and resource management strategies. “Toiling”, “sharing”, “patience”, “analysing
you”, “recognition you”, “curiosity”, “managing time effectively”, “leadership”, “interested in
all life” activities are presented in values education programme. To remind learners how to
describe himself/ herself and his/her environment, helping learners to remember when learner
forgets something, to remind them in which occasions they can take leadership and recognize
the importance of time are aimed in these activities. It is thought that these activities help
learner with making own plan and to remind her/him necessary documents when learner
needs it and with these way, helping learners to solve the problem with their families or
friends on his/her own. Thus it is supposed that these activities are related to self-regulation.
Also they increased self-regulation.
The second hypothesis of research was “values education given adolescents has increased
self-regulation strategies which include rehearsal, elaboration, organization strategies.
“Loving learning” and loving success” activities are presented in values education
programme. To teach learner the most effective and the quickest learning method, and to
show happiness when learners gain information permanently are aimed in these activities. It is
thought that these activities are related to creating the easiest way of learning for students who
have different physical, social, musical, naturalist, intrinsic, verbal, mathematical and visual
intelligence. Thus, it is supposed that learner will succeed with creating their own learning
style at the end of these activities. It is thought that students become more successful about
connecting old and new informations at the end of activities. Their motivation is increased by
the effect of reaching their aim. Thus their memories become stronger. Therefore it is thought
these activities have positive effect on the cognitive strategy use.
The third hypothesis of research was “values education given adolescents increased selfefficacy”. This hypothesis means values education given adolescents has increased selfefficacy. “Initiative”, “self-confidence” and “courage” activities are presented in values
education programme. It is aimed that learner should trust himself/herself completely in these
activities. It is thought that these activities increased self-confidence and motivated her/him.
Thus it is supposed that these activities have positive effect on self-efficacy.
The forth hypothesis of research was “values education given adolescents has increased
intrinsic value in a positive way. This hypothesis means values education given adolescents
has increased task value from self-regulation strategies and intrinsic value from goal
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Examination The Effect of Values Education Which is Given…S. E. Kaplan & B. Dilmaç
orientation. "Learning loving", "analysing you", "loving success", "curiosity", "knowing you”,
“loyalty" and "sensitivity" activities are presented in values education programme. It is aimed
that learner should realize his/her own characteristics, be careful about choosing the best for
her/him and improve his/her abilities in these activities. It is thought that students want to
know something for their own sake at the end of these activities. Thus it is supposed that these
activities are related to intrinsic value and have positive effect on intrinsic value.
The fifth hypothesis of research was “values education given adolescents reduced test
anxiety”. This hypothesis means values education given adolescents has reduced test anxiety.
“Risk taking”, “controlling themselves” and “responsibility" activities are presented in value
education programme. It is aimed in these activities that learner should know him/her
responsibilities and control himself/herself in stress occasion and take risk if it is necessary. It
is thought that these activities help student not to panic before exam and control him/her.
Thus, it is assumed that these activities are related to test anxiety and have negative impact on
test anxiety.
Acknowledgement
This article was presented in the Sinem Ergün Master Thesis in Necmettin Erbakan
University.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE)
Vol. 5(1), pp. 10-25, 1 April, 2015
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.61.5.1
According to the Opinions of Teachers and Students Active Citizenship
Education in Elementary School 1, 2
Yücel Öksüz
Ondokuz Mayıs University, Faculty of Education, Department of Primary Education, Division
of Primary School Teaching, Samsun, Turkey
Ceren Çevik Kansu3
Bayburt University, Faculty of Education, Department of Primary Education, Division of
Primary School Teaching, Bayburt, Turkey
Article history
The aim of this research is to define the opinions of class teachers,
Received:
social studies teachers and 4th grade students in elementary school
14.04.2014
on active citizenship education. Qualitative method has been used
Received in revised form:
in this research. In Bayburt, the city chosen by purposeful sampling
04.03.2015
and based on volunteering principal, had 24 class teachers
(Female=8, Male=16), 10 social studies teachers (Female=5,
Accepted:
05.03.2015
Male=5) and 20 4th grade students in elementary school
(Female=11, Male=9) studying in schools around Bayburt city
Key words:
center have taken part in this research. Semi-structured interview
ClassTeacher, Social Studies
Teacher, Elementary School 4th technique was used as a data gathering method. The data was
Grade Student, Active
obtained by two different semi-structured interview forms which
Citizenship Education.
contain 12 open ended questions for teachers and 5 open ended
questions for students. The answers given by the students and
teachers were resolved with the content analysis method. Various
categories have been formed by coding the answers for each
question. The frequencies of those formed categories were
compared by converting them into tables. When analysis was done
by comparing opinions of teachers and students, it drew the
attention of the teachers on active citizenship education and
developed more qualified methods by identifying the inadequacy in
teaching of lessons.
Introduction
In this day and age, all nations are aiming at raising individuals who can be at peace
with themselves and also be aware of their desires. They want to raise people who can express
their feelings and opinions clearly, question judgments but at the same time respect the
feelings and opinions of others, who have the culture to live together in peace and who can act
right for the nation's sake. The education processes developed in order to make this aim come
1
This study was conducted with permission of Bayburt Directorate of National Education and was
financially supported by OMU Scientific Research Council (Project ID: PYO.EGF.1904.13.007). We
thank all organizers for supports.
2
This study is the improved version of the verbal declaration presented in 22nd Education Sciences
Symposium.
3
Correspondence: [email protected]
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 10-25, 1 April, 2015
true must be qualified in every way. While students are learning their rights, responsibilities
and freedom, they must also learn the laws, equality, justice, democracy and nondiscrimination. Citizenship education is important because it gives students the necessary
education and also teaches them the abilities that are needed to build a democratic nation.
Democratic citizenship education supports the respect for different religions, cultures and
opinions; therefore, it enables the understanding and sharing of different social values (MEB,
2012).
The citizenship education in the Turkish education system conspiratorially started during the
Tanzimat Reform Era. It was one of the reforms in education made during this era to put
emphasis on citizenship education in order to build bridges between the citizens and the state.
When it comes to the Republic Period, the main aim of the citizenship education is to raise
individuals who love their country and know their citizenship rights and responsibilities.
Education of human rights and democracy in Turkey has been involved in some courses such
as Civics, Social Studies and recently Education of Citizenship and Human Rights.
According to the Eurydice reports, the goals of citizenship education are: ‘(a) developing
political literacy (knowledge of basic facts and understanding of key concepts); (b) acquiring
critical thinking and analytical skills; (c) developing certain values, attitudes and behaviours
(sense of respect, tolerance, solidarity, etc.); (d) encouraging active participation and
engagement at school and community levels’ (Eurydice 2012: 27).
Keser et al.’s (2011) study findings were compatible with EURYDICE Report (2005) –
political literacy, critical thinking and development of certain attitudes, values, and active
participation- on citizenship education, which yielded six themes, called the six blossoms of
extra-curricular activities in citizenship education: namely, active citizenship perception;
social accountability; intercultural awareness; awareness of democracy and human rights;
thinking and research skills; and interaction and interpersonal skills. But, Guerin et al. (2013)
studied four different categories that citizenship education has to cover. They are theoretically
and empirically analysed: political knowledge, critical thinking, values, attitudes and
behaviours, and active participation. Both studies are related to the dimensions of Hoskins et
al. (2006) and Mascherini, together with Manca and Hoskins’s (2009) findings. Out of the
these main dimensions, related with sub dimensions of the scale that was developed by ÇevikKansu and Öksüz (2014) , there are also many studies in literature which are related on to
environmental sensitivity (Ferkany and Whyte 2013; Jagers et al. 2014; Jin and Shriar 2013;
Tarrant and Lyons 2012), interest in activities (willing to social clubs, social activities,
extracurricular activities etc) (Keser et al. 2011; Yaman 2011), social response (İnce 2012;
Phillips 2011) and voluntary participation (Guerin 2013; Wood 2014).
It is possible to say that nations that cannot raise active, claiming and responsible individuals
are also deprived of dynamic powers. Dynamic power is only possible by an active education
during the education and training life of individuals in which they should be taught to be
conscious of the rights that they have just because they are humans with a very long
genealogy. With such an education, people will want to use and defend their rights. They also
learn to recognize why and how their rights should be defended. When considered from this
point of view, the course of Social Studies in the last grades of elementary school takes care
of this task.
Although each step of education is vital, primary school has a distinct significance in terms of
the populace it addresses. Primary school process, when the basic character and personality of
the person’s is formed, which is a critical time period to have value, attitude and behavior
-11-
According to the Opinions of Teachers and Students Active Citizenship…Y. Öksüz & C. Çevik Kansu
gained for the individual (Bacanli, 2002; Oktay, 2007). Owing to the fact that the foundation
stones of citizenship education are laid in primary school, therefore primary school is
regarded as an important fracture point in terms of citizenship education (Ersoy, 2007).
Aim of the Study
The aim of this study is to present the opinions of students and teachers on active
citizenship education.
Method
The qualitative research approach was used in this research. In qualitative researches,
perceptions and events are presented in a reaslistic and totalitarian way in natural environment
(Yıldırım and Şimşek, 2005). In this study this approach was preferred because it ensures the
full participation of all the participants involved in the research.
Research Staff
The research staff was formed by 24 class teachers working in Bayburt, which is the
city chosen by purposeful sampling and based on volunteering principal, (Female=8,
Male=16), 10 Social Studies teachers (Female=5, Male=5) and 20 4th grade students in
elementary school (Female=11, Male=9).
Data Collection and Analysis
Furthermore, a semi-structured interview method was used as the data collection
method. A semi-structured interview form which contains 12 open ended questions based on
expert opinion was developed by the researchers for the teachers to state their opinions on
active citizenship and Active Citizenship Education. These interview forms have been
analysed by specialists in their field. Besides, the teachers were asked to give some personal
information in the interview form. The face to face interviews were carried out by using a tape
recorder based on volunteering principal. After the interviews, the recorded data was
converted into text.
The answers of the teachers were analysed by the content analysis method. Various categories
were formed by coding the answers for each question. The frequencies of those formed
categories are presented under the findings title by tabulation converting them into tables.
Findings and Comments
The collected data were categorised into 3 different groups which include; class
teachers, Social Studies teachers and 4th grade students in elementary school.
The findings as a result of the analysis made on the questions in semi-structured interview
form are presented in tables.
1. Opinions of Teachers and Students on the Features that an Active Citizen Should Have
The answers of the teacher to the question “What does the concept of citizenship mean
to you?” and the frequency distribution are shown in Table 1.
-12-
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 10-25, 1 April, 2015
Table 1. Opinions of teachers and students on the features that an active citizen should have
and the frequency distribution
1.
2.
3.
Citizenship
and Consciousness
of Personal Skills (14)
Class Teachers
Human Rights (22) Responsibility (14)
Citizenship
and Consciousness
of Environmental
Social Studies
Human Rights (7)
Responsibility (2)
Consciousness (1)
Teachers
th
Consciousness
of Environmental
4 Grade Students in Properties (20)
Responsibility (13)
Consciousness (12)
Elementary School
Teachers and students displayed more than one variable features in their replies about the
features of active citizenship. Teachers named A. K., S. N., Ü., A. and Y. have defined an
active citizen as a person who know his/her rights and uses them. The teacher named A. K.
has defined an active citizen as “An active citizen is a person who knows his rights and uses
them” (26).
The teacher named M. stated his opinions on this subject as “Active citizenship is to know the
responsibility of the state and the nation and to pull one's weight” (32).
Teacher A. describes “An active citizen should respect the laws and know the rules and apply
them in his/her daily life” (8).
Generally, students expressed their opinions with the examples of being respectful in
friendship relations and relationships with adults, by being tolerant and being kind hearted.
2. Opinions of the Teachers and Students on the Sufficiency of Social Studies Courses in
Gathering Active Citizenship Features
The answers of the teacher to the question “According to you, is the content of Social
Studies Course for 4th grade in elementary school sufficient in gathering “active citizenship”
features? If there is any, what is deficient?” and frequency distribution are shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Opinions of teachers on sufficiency of social studies courses in gathering active
citizenship features and frequency distribution
Sufficiency of Social Studies Courses in f (Class Teachers)
f (Social
Gathering Active Citizenship Features
Studies
Teachers)
The content mentions this subject and it 3 (1,15,36)
1 (12)
is sufficient
“I think the content is sufficient but what 1 (2)
is important is how much we contribute to
its development”
“These subjects are mentioned in the 3 (1,36, 15)
1 (12)
content”
The content is sufficient but it must be 20 (2,4,6,7,8,16,17,19,20,23,
6 (3, 11, 25, 26,
improved
24,28,29,31,32,33,34,35,37,38) 27, 30)
“It is not updated”
3 (4,8,17)
1 (3)
“The subjects’ compatibility with the 1 (4)
1 (3)
environment is missing”
“There
is
few
activities
for 7 (4,17,29,33,34,35,38)
-13-
According to the Opinions of Teachers and Students Active Citizenship…Y. Öksüz & C. Çevik Kansu
implementation”
“We cannot give space to the children for
them to make up their own values.”
“There is no connection between the units
and subjects.”
“Instead of detailed ones, subjects must be
short but to the point.”
“It is abstract and superficial.”
“It must be objectified.”
The content is not sufficient
“It does not improve thinking skills.”
“Students present different behaviors
because of the effect of their
environment.”
“The education must be based on the love
of country, nation and flag.”
“Rights and responsibilities must be
given.”
“Some trips must be planned to see on
site.”
“The collaboration with parents is not
enough.”
“There are regional and environmental
problems, that's why it is not supported.”
“The problem is not with the content,
because it is difficult for children to gather
those features.”
“It will be more sufficient if it is taught by
teachers who were specially trained in this
subject.”
I do not have an opinion
1 (6)
1 (7)
1 (27)
1 (8)
3 (19,34,35)
2 (35,38)
5 (5,9,13,18,21)
2 (5,17)
1 (9)
2 (11, 30)
3 (13,16,23)
1 (18)
2 (19,22)
1 (20)
6 (22,24, 28,31,32,37)
2 (25, 26)
1 (33)
1 (34)
2 (14,10)
Most of the teachers agree with the opinion that “the content is sufficient, but must be
improved”. The teachers suggested that some deficiencies be removed. One of these
deficiencies is increasing the number of activities so as to apply and update the content.
Answers of the students to the question “Can you evaluate the Social Studies course
according to active citizenship education?” and the frequency distribution are shown below
in Table 3.
Table 3. Opinions of the Students on Social Studies Course in relation with Active
Citizenship and Frequency Distribution
Evaluation
f
Sufficient
7 (2,4,5,7,9,10,11)
Very nice course
4 (1,3,6,8)
Insufficient
2 (28,29)
Very helpful
1 (30)
Very helpful course for cleaning 1 (6)
It covers a half
1 (16)
I do not have an opinion
4 (12, 13, 24, 27)
-14-
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 10-25, 1 April, 2015
According to the students, the social studies course is efficient at gathering active citizenship
features. Nevertheless, when they were asked more detailed questions, their answers were not
clear. This is because, they are not aware of which citizenship feature they gathered. The
reason for this problem can be due to inadequate time for the lessons, time problem for
character training, social skills training and counselling courses or as mention in the
comments of teachers, the reason can be due to inadequate feasible and updateable activities
in the content.
3. Opinions of Teachers on Planning Citizenship Education in Social Studies Course
The answers of teachers to the question “How do you plan citizenship activities that
you use in Social Studies course?” and frequency distribution are shown in Table 4.
Table 4. Opinions of teachers on planning citizenship education in Social Studies course and
frequency distribution
Teachers' planning
f (Class Teachers)
f (Social Studies
Citizenship Education in
Teacher)
Social Studies Course
I directly apply the plan in the 14 (1,10,13,16,18,19,24,
2 (14,27)
curriculum in teachers' guide 29,33,34,35,36,37,38)
book.
I apply the plan in the 1 (20)
curriculum in teachers' guide
book by making some
changes.
The changes made in the 14
8
curriculum in teachers' guide (2,4,5,6,7,8,9,17,21,22,23,28,31,32) (3,11,12,14,15,25,26,
book.
30)
When the opinions of teachers on planning citizenship education in Social Studies course
were analyzed, their clear answers are “I make some changes” (20) and “I make some
changes with my colleagues in the same branch” (14). According to the changes that they
made on teachers' guide book, answers revolved around some statements such as “I make use
of some current events (striking examples” (6), “I try to adapt what we learn to our
environment (environmental features)” (6), “I try to let them be active students in the class
and school” (5), “I consider the level, interests and requests of the student.” (4).
4. Opinions of Teachers and Students on the Activities for Citizenship Education in
Social Studies Course
The answers of teachers to the question “What kind of activities do you use for
citizenship education in Social Studies course?” and the corresponding frequency distribution
are shown in Table 5.
Table 5. Opinions of Teachers and Students on the Activities for Citizenship Education in
Social Studies Course and Frequency Distribution
Activity No f (Class Teachers) f (Social Studies Teachers) f (Students)
1
Animating
Sampling
Activities in the book
2
Discussing
Catechise, discussing
Drama
3
Observation
Narration
Reading Text
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According to the Opinions of Teachers and Students Active Citizenship…Y. Öksüz & C. Çevik Kansu
4
Conversation
Power point presentation
Writing
While class teachers state that they use animating activities most, social studies teachers
mostly use sample happenings. However, students indicate that they use the activities in
books.
5. Opinions of Teachers on the Material They Use for Citizenship Education in Social
Studies Course
The answers of the teachers to the question “What kind of materials do you use for
citizenship education in Social Studies course?” and frequency distribution are shown in
Table 6.
Tablo 6. Opinions of Teachers on the Material They Use for Citizenship Education in Social
Studies Course and Frequency Distribution
Materials
f (Class
f (Social Studies
f (Students)
Teachers)
Teachers)
Visual and Auditory
22
6
Materials
Documents
2
Information
10
3
4
Technologies
Mass Media
2
2
Guide People
2
Real Objects
13
1
Course Materials
25 (pencil, notebook,
rubber etc.)
From the above, it is seen that the teachers mostly use visual and auditory materials.
However, the students consider the equipments that they use during the classes as materials,
such as pencil, notebook, rubber etc.
6. Opinions of Teachers on the Problems They Face in Citizenship Education in Social
Studies Course
The answers of the teachers to the question “What kind of problems do you face with in
citizenship education in Social Studies course?” and the corresponding frequency distribution
are shown in Table 7.
Table 7. Opinions of Teachers on the Problems They Face in Citizenship Education in Social
Studies Course and Frequency Distribution
Problems Teachers Face with in Citizenship f (Class Teacher)
f (Social Studies
Education in Social Studies Course
Teacher)
Curriculum
7
4
Subjects and activities in the curriculum are 4 (7,35,37,38)
2 (14,27)
very abstract.
The number of activities in the curriculum is too 1 (21)
3 (14,25,26)
high (time problem).
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 10-25, 1 April, 2015
Insufficient materials that are suitable for the
curriculum (especially visual materials)
Citizenship activities in Social Studies course
do not fit with citizenship activities in the
schoos
School and Education system
Insufficient physical potentials of the school
Lack of democracy
Examination system
Family
Difference between what is taught in schools
and in the house
Cultural, socio-economical and educational
level of parents
Bad connection between school, student and
family
Student
Deficiency in sense of responsibility
1 (19)
1 (5)
3
1 (19)
1 (33)
1 (28)
6
3 (8,31,34)
1
2 (32,34)
1 (15)
1 (3)
3
2 (3,14)
1 (10)
13
7
(13,16,17,18,20,29,38)
Lack of respect for values
3 (23,24,37)
Being prone to fight
2 (2,33)
They are aware of their rights but they do not 1 (38)
know their boundaries
They do not listen to each other
1 (23)
Subjects
5
Difficulties in applying for out-of-school 3 (4,5,6)
activities
Teachers cannot keep up with the time
2 (2,31)
Teachers do not try enough
1 (4)
Environment
6
Insufficient socio-economic potentials in 4 (4,7,9,33)
environment
Unfavorable climate conditions
1 (9)
False beliefs in nation
1 (6)
2
1 (12)
1 (11)
Class teachers said the cause of the problems include student (13), curriculum (7), family and
environment (6), subjects (5), school or education system (3); while social studies teachers,
blamed it on curriculum (4), family (3), student (2) and school and education system (1).
7. Opinions of Teacher on Their Suggestions for Active Citizenship Education in Social
Studies Course
The answers of the teachers to the question “What are your suggestions for better
citizenship education in Social Studies course?” and frequency distribution are shown in
Table 8.
Table 8. Opinions of Teacher on Their Suggestions for Active Citizenship Education in Social
Studies Course and Frequency Distribution
Solution Suggestions of Teachers
f (Class Teachers)
f (Social
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According to the Opinions of Teachers and Students Active Citizenship…Y. Öksüz & C. Çevik Kansu
for the Problems They Face in
Citizenship Education in Social
Studies Course
Curriculum
Culture of democracy must be taught
in a step by step manner in each grade
Citizenship education must be given
in every course
Curriculum must contain trips and
observations
There must be more concrete
activities, as well as animating and
applied activities
There must be more in touch with the
world of children
There must be more activities for
increasing assertiveness and selfconfidence in children
It should not be totally based on
games.
Connection between lessons and units
must be better
Guide books should not be abstract
and superficial
It must fit into the emotional world of
children
It must be eased and essential
precautions must be taken to apply the
activities
There must be more activities based
on games
School and Education System
All the clubs must work in connection
with an association or foundation
The ones in higher positions must
work along with the one in lower
positions
We must overcome the fear culture
Respect for differences must be
adopted
Reports prepared at the end of the
year must be taken into consideration
The concept of being a nation must be
emphasized instead of individualism
Free activity course must be included
Career days must be organized
Materials that are suitable for 4th
grade level must be developed
Computer software must be used
Studies
Teachers)
3 (2,16,34)
1 (3)
1 (3)
6 (4,8,21,22,35,36)
2 (14,27)
12
(4,9,17,19,21,24,28,31,34,35,37,38)
2 (26,27)
6 (7,9,28,31,34,37)
2 (8,32)
1 (10)
1 (15)
3 (33,37)
1 (15)
1 (17)
1 (19)
1 (23)
1 (2)
1 (16)
3 (16,32,34)
1 (16)
1 (17)
1 (20)
2 (24,35)
1 (27)
1 (30)
1 (25)
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 10-25, 1 April, 2015
Family
Family must support the education in
the school
There must be meetings and seminars
about this for parents
The child must be appreciated
Family and nation must be supervised
together respectively
Teacher
The feeling of possession must be
improved
Planning must be made with children
The child must be appreciated
Class teachers must be trained in this
subject
The effect of media on children must
be considered
Environment
Environment must support the
education in the school
People with various professions must
be invited to the school
Child must be appreciated
1 (5)
1 (12)
6 (5,6,13,29,34,38)
2 (11,12)
1 (12)
1 (11)
1 (1)
1 (12)
2 (6,35)
1 (12)
1 (30)
1 (38)
1 (5)
1 (12)
2 (8,22)
2 (14,27)
1 (12)
Mostly, teachers suggest that there should be concentration on applied activities and
organizing trips and observation activities for improving the curriculum. For improving
school and education system, they have given suggestions like organizing career days, coming
over the fear culture, and the involvement of free activity course as well. For family problems,
suggestions are generally focused on giving seminars, organizing meeting for the parents.
8. Ideas of Students for Improving Social Studies Course to be an Active Citizen
The answers of students to the question “What are your ideas and suggestions for you
to gain active citizenship features?” and the corresponding frequency distribution are shown
in Table 9.
Table 9. Ideas of Students for Improving Social Studies Course to be an Active Citizen and
Frequency Distribution
Suggestions
f
Trips can be helpful
7
(4,8,10,11,16,19,28)
Theater performances can be helpful
5 (9,15,18,19,30)
Communication with family must be provided
2 (7,22)
A picnic can be organized to keep the environment clean.
2 (14,23)
Activities must be supported with games
2 (22,27)
There must be projection
2 (23,25)
It can be helpful to have some texts book on how to behave well to 1 (1)
our friends
There can be teacher or student relations between classes (the ones 1 (2)
who cannot get along well with the others)
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According to the Opinions of Teachers and Students Active Citizenship…Y. Öksüz & C. Çevik Kansu
I would like to have this education as a course
There can be more subjects
More activities like collecting old batteries can be helpful
I want to be a member of library
Teacher can punish naughty students
Watching a video can be helpful.
I would like the books to open on their own
Every week a group can collect the rubbish in the school.
I want some cameras to be placed in toilets
We can study visually in computer rooms.
To form a ensemble
Animating outside can be helpful
To go to the cinema
Collecting some money to improve the materials in the school
There must be drawing and painting activities
To make projects with clubs (Trips, career days)
1 (3)
1 (5)
1 (6)
1 (12)
1 (12)
1 (15)
1 (15)
1 (16)
1 (16)
1 (16)
1 (17)
1 (23)
1 (24)
1 (26)
1 (29)
1 (30)
The answers of students on active citizenship education in Social Studies class, disclosed that
they focus more on activities like trips, theater performances, etc. The cause of this situation
can be the difficulties that teachers face when organizing such activities which require a long
procedure.
Results and Conclusion
Qualitative research methods has been used by many researchers to understand the
opinions and feelings of teachers and student on citizenship education (Adayemi, Boikhutso
and Moffat, 2003; Arıkan, 2002; Browne, 2001; Davies and Evans, 2003; Davies, Gregory
and Riley, 1999; Dunkin, Welch, Merritt, Phillips and Cranen, 1998; Güven, 2002; Özbek,
2004; Pederson and Cogan, 2003; Pang and Gibson, 2001; Shelly, 1996). But in this study,
opinions of the classroom teachers and social studies teachers about active citizen and active
citizenship education in social studies classes were jointly investigated with the student’s.
According to the teachers, an active citizen should know and should use the citizenship and
human rights very well. Whereas, according to the students, an active citizen should behave
according to the rules of good manners. Moreover, both students and teacher stated that
individuals must have a sense of responsibility and environmental consciousness in order to
be active citizens. Teachers emphasized on the feature of active citizen “who know his/her
rights and responsibilities” during the interview. This most repeated opinion coincides with
the studies of Adayemi et al. (2003), Ersoy (2007) and, Pang and Gibson (2001). The active
citizenship term emphasized influence in area of the individuals and citizen participation with
active or effective terms in literature (Hoskins ve Mascherini, 2009).
When opinions of the teachers and students on sufficiency of social studies courses in
gathering active citizenship features were investigated; teachers state that the entire course
includes information about citizenship and human rights education, yet, the Social Studies
course is more important in this aspect (Dynneson and Gross, 1982; Ersoy, 2007; Grand and
Vansledrigt, 1996; Hartoonian, 1985). Teachers lay much emphasis on the fact that even
though the Social Studies course is sufficient in content, it must also be improved. According
to the students, the Social Studies course is sufficient in the aspect of developing a sense of
citizenship. However, when a deeper question is asked, the answers that they give show that
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 10-25, 1 April, 2015
the acquisition has not reached to the desired level. In literature studies, the social studies
course showed that there is an insufficient achievement of active citizenship education which
supports the results (Arslan, 2014; Ersoy, 2014). However, there are many records that show
the contrary of these results in the literature. (Semenderoğlu ve Gülersoy, 2005; Gömleksiz ve
Kan, 2007; Demir, 2008; Ersoy ve Kaya, 2008; Vural, 2008; Çetin, 2009; Ayva, 2010)
When the opinions of teachers on planning citizenship education in social studies course were
investigated; the plans of teachers on citizenship education in Social Studies course was found
to be implemented by a book called teachers' guide book together with some changes. Also,
only half of the class teachers seem to use the teachers' guide book without any change. This
finding coincided with the studies of Blake, Brandy and Sanchez (2003), Browne (2001),
Ersoy (2007) and Arslan (2014). Nevertheless, the teachers were found to be insufficient to
teach human rights and citizenship education to the students (Ülger ve Yel, 2013).
When the opinions of teachers and students on the activities for citizenship education in social
studies course were investigated; the result disclosed that teachers use in-class activities to
give citizenship education. They even applied student activities that are contained in books.
Lastly, there are not enough out-of-school activities which give children an opportunity to
work in public. This finding coincides with the studies of Çengelci (2013), Ülger (2013),
Ersoy (2007), Mckay (1996), Pederson and Cogan (2003) ve Wilkins (2003). Yet, in other
studies in the literature, the importance of out-of-school activities has been emphasized
(Adayemi et al, 2003; Potter, 2002).
When the opinions of teachers on the materials they use for citizenship education in the social
studies course were investigated; the outcome showed that citizenship education materials are
generally made of visual and auditory materials. This finding coincides with the studies of
Ersoy (2007), Gündoğdu (2001), Pederson and Cogan (2000) and, Torney-Purta and Vermeer
(2004). The students also do make use of instruments and equipments which belong to the
course with their teachers during the class activities. This means that the students were not
actively involved in the course or methods and techniques used by the teachers because they
were not supported with sufficient instruments and equipments.
When the opinions of teachers on the problems they face in citizenship education in social
studies course were investigated; teachers seem to face some problems while teaching active
citizenship in Social Studies course. The problems that teachers face have been classified into
six titles which include; student, curriculum, family, environment, school and education
system.
These results were synonymous with the problems that happened in the literature (Aykaç ve
Başar, 2005; Kıvanç, 2005; Yaşar, 2005; Ersoy, 2006; Aydın, 2007; Çetin, 2007; Ersoy, 2007;
Çelik, 2009; Ersoy, 2009; Aydeniz, 2010; Güven, 2010; Ersoy, 2014).
When opinions of the teachers on their suggestions for active citizenship education in social
studies course were investigated; they gave some suggestions on how to tackle the problems
that they face in each category. Suggestions solve the problems in the curriculum, the school
and education system in a better way.
When the ideas of students on improving social studies course for the purpose of making
active citizen were investigated; some suggestions on how to improve the curriculum came
up. They include; organization of trips, performing of theatre plays, communication with
family and activities in order to collaborate with the environment.
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According to the Opinions of Teachers and Students Active Citizenship…Y. Öksüz & C. Çevik Kansu
Considering this study, the suggestions can be stated:







Active citizen activities may enhance the cooperation of civil associations with the
student’s parents at schools.
The teachers that are going to teach active citizen terms may plan the class conditions
together with civil associations.
Awareness studies on active citizen day may be of great help to teachers, society,
students and their parents.
The students may assess active citizen education practice through their teachers.
A study that includes the teacher’s active citizen education in private and public
schools should be conducted.
Projects, like the Comenius projects, with different countries, particularly countries
that have a good level of active citizen education can be organized as well as a
comparable education study.
Programmes for active citizenship education can be developed and can be tested with
experimental studies on different classes and courses at primary school.
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M evlana International Journal of Education (M IJE)
Vol. 5(1), pp. 26-44, 1 April, 2015
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.15.07.5.1
The View of Teachers of First Graders Regarding Scheduling the Age of
Starting School to an Earlier Time
Huseyin Anilan1
Eskisehir Osmangazi University, College of Education, Department of Classroom Teacher,
Eskisehir/TURKEY
Yalcin Bay2
Eskisehir Osmangazi University, College of Education, Department of Early Childhood
Education, Eskisehir /TURKEY
Article history
The aim of the study is to present the reflections of scheduling the
Received:
age of starting school to an earlier time related to the experiences
15.01.2014
inside and outside the classroom, students, problems and solutions
Received in revised form:
experienced in teaching-learning process according to the view of
07.03.2015
teachers of first graders. The study is a collective case study. Work
group was determined according to measurement sampling among
Accepted:
09.03.2015
purposive sampling methods in qualitative research approaches. 14
primary school teachers working at public primary schools in
Key words:
spring term in 2012-2013 educational term around Turkey attended
Primary Education, First Class,
the research. The data of the study were collected via interview and
Transitions between Levels,
Compulsory Education
observation forms developed by the researchers. Descriptive
analysis technique was used for the analysis of the data. When
analyzing the data, Elo and Kyngas’s (2007) preparation,
organization and reporting phases were taken into consideration. To
validate the study, the findings were presented detachedly and
quotations were taken directly from attendants’ statements. In order
to provide the reliability of the research, we followed the way
Stemler (2001) called repeatability or single coder reliability. In
this research, the reliability was provided by considering the
percentage of both single coder and two coders. In the research, we
gained such findings that teachers disapprove of scheduling the age
of starting school to an earlier time; they think that this affect
teaching-learning process negatively; students 69-month-old or
younger cannot discharge self-care skills because of their physical
inability; and this hampers conduction of Phoneme Based Sentence
Method.
Introduction
People find themselves in social life from the time they are born. The social life is
limited with immediate environment at first; however, it develops and starts to cover further
environment in later periods. After a while, school time, a new and effective socializing
1
2
Dr. Assoc., Correspondence: [email protected]
Dr. Assoc., Correspondence: [email protected]
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 26-44, 1 April, 2015
process, starts. School time is the period that children get out from family environment and
involve in exterior environment and social life (Yörükoğlu, 2003). The most important factor
determining schooling of an individual in this period is the structure of the educational
system.
Depending on the structure of educational system, school time starts with preschool education
(compulsory or optional) or compulsory primary school. In turkey, children start school with
preschool education depending on their parents’ choice or compulsory primary school. In
parallel with this situation, children’s starting to primary school first grade can be directly
without preschool education or – at the end of preschool education – attending first grade.
Starting to primary school which forms the first step of formal education and forms the base
of later educational institutions and which is compulsory in many countries is one of the most
important cornerstones in a child’s life. Because primary school means, for many children,
leaving home for the first time, spending most of the day with new friends and adults,
attending activities with strict rules for the first time, being disciplined, obeying the teacher’s
directions, and especially learning reading, writing and arithmetic (Özarslan and Gündüz,
2013). In this sense, primary school first grade is quite important in terms of gaining basic
skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic and having positive attitudes towards reading in
future (Oktay and Unutkan, 2003).
Beside primary school which is of great importance in educational and social life of an
individual, elementary school – first step of primary school – and age to start elementary
school are also of great importance. In Turkey, with the amendment numbered 6287 on March
30, 2012 in Primary Education and Training Law numbered 222 dated January 05, 1961,
formal education which was applied as 5+3+3 till 1997 and 8+3 and then 8+4 was constructed
as 4+4+4 with the last amendment and made compulsory in Turkish National Educational
System (Gözütok et al., 2013). With the amendment in 7 th article of Ministry of National
Education Regulations of Primary School Institutions, children who are 66 months old start
school mandatorily; children who are 60 – 66 months old start school according to their
parents’ wish. In other words, with the new regulations, first step of primary education was
reduced to 4 years from 5 years and named as elementary school. Moreover, age to start
compulsory elementary school was reduced to age 5 (60 months) from age 6 (72 months).
Age to start compulsory education is between 3 and 7 in the world. Whereas age to start
compulsory education is 6 in many countries, it is under 6 in 38 countries. Compulsory
education starts at the age of 7 in 44 countries, at the age of 6 in 113 countries, at the age of 5
in 33 countries at the age of 4 in 4 countries and at the age of 3 in one countries. Age to start
compulsory education is 6 in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Estonia,
France, Italy, Austria, Romania, Portugal, Poland, USA, Australia, Korea, and Japan. It starts
at the age of 7 in Bulgaria, Finland and Sweden; at the age of 5 in Hungary, the Netherlands
and Malta; and 4 or 5 in England (UNESCO, 2011, as cited by Güven 2012).
The law amendment reducing the age to start compulsory primary education from 6 age (72
months) to 5 age (60 months) generated discussions in media organs and public, certain nongovernmental organizations, educational unions and academic environments (Ankara
University, 2012; Boğaziçi University, 2012; Gür at al., 2012; Eğitim Sen, 2012; Eğitim İş,
2012; ERG, 2012; Güneş, 2013; Güven, 2012; Müftüoğlu, 2012; METU, 2012; Turk Eğitim
Sen, 2012; Turkish Doctors’ Union, 2012). However, the topics of the discussions focus on
school maturity and development features of the individuals and social structure. It is ignored
what classroom teachers, who will involve in teaching – learning processes with these
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The View of Teachers of First Graders Regarding Scheduling…H. Anilan & Y. Bay
students, will do in these processes, how they behave, how they solve the problems. It is a fact
that whether classroom teachers have enough interest, information, skills, and educational
processes about the development of the children in those ages is affective in reaching true
judgements (Kesicioğlu, 2013).
Backdating the age to start primary education affects the classroom teacher who is one of the
most important shareholders of the process. Classroom teachers should deal with development
properties of the children besides teaching early reading, writing, and arithmetic. Moreover, it
should not be ignored that teaching success of reading and writing depends on teachers;
hence, it is important for teachers to follow the developments in the field, update their
information and know the methods effectively in terms of applications (Güneş, 2013). For this
reason, it will be useful to analyze the experiences of classroom teachers who are to continue
teaching- learning processes with the students who are in this age due to law amendment.
The aim of the study is to present reflections about effects of backdating of the age to start
primary school on experiences in and out of classroom, students, problems and solutions in
teaching- learning process according to elementary school first grade teachers.
Problem Sentence
According to primary school first grade teachers, how does backdating of the age to
start primary school reflect on teaching- learning processes?
Sub-problems
What do teachers think about backdating of the age to start elementary school?
How does backdating of the age to start elementary school effect teaching process of early
reading and writing?
What kinds of problems do students who start school when they are 69 months old or younger
experience?
What kinds of differences are there between the students who are 69 months old or younger
and older than them sharing the same educational program?
How are the self-care skills of the students who are 69 months old and younger?
Do classroom teacher have problems in early reading and writing process due to the age of the
students?
How does backdating of the age to start school affect the application process of Phoneme
Based Sentence Method?
Are there any differences between the students who are 69 months old or younger and much
older ones in terms of basic language skills?
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 26-44, 1 April, 2015
Method
Research Design
Aiming to identify how backdating of the age to start elementary school reflect on
teaching learning processes according to classroom teachers’ opinions, the study is a holistic
single case study conducted with qualitative method. Qualitative research is the research that
qualitative data collecting tools such as observation, interview and document analysis are
used; a qualitative process is followed in order to present the perceptions and events in natural
environment in a holistic manner (Yıldırım and Şimşek, 2013). Qualitative researches are the
researches that are conducted to evaluate a situation deeply and detailed (Yin, 2003;
Woodside, 2010). The most fundamental aspect of qualitative researches is to analyze one or
more situations deeply. In other words, factors about a situation (environment, individuals,
events, processes etc.) are studied in a holistic manner and focus is on how they affect the
situation and how they are affected by the situation (Yıldırım and Şimşek, 2013). We employ
qualitative method holistic single case study because it is aimed to identify how the
backdating of the age to start elementary school affects teaching-learning processes and how
students are affected from the situation.
Work Group
The work group of the study was determined according to criterion sampling a kind of
purposive sampling methods in qualitative research approach (Yıldırım and Şimşek, 2013). In
the selection of the teachers in work group, we take some criteria into consideration such as
having at least 10 years’ experience in the profession, educating the first grade at least twice,
having students younger than 69 months old in the classroom. 14 classroom teachers meeting
these criteria, working at public schools in Turkey in 2012-2013 educational years attended
the study. Qualitative descriptive approach requires describing the attendants in workgroup in
detail (Creswell, 2012). Personal characteristics of the teachers attending to the study are
given in Table 1.
Gender is an identifying factor in choosing a profession and continuing a profession. As seen
in Table 1, only two of the teachers attending to the study are male, the others are female. The
result is in fact an indicator of the perception in the society “ teaching is a profession for
women” (Akpınar, Yıldız and Ergin, 2006; Çermik, Doğan and Şahin, 2010; Ekiz, 2006).
Work experience is about the time of working as teacher professionally. In teaching, teachers
who have worked for 5 years or more are accepted as “experienced”. Experience in teaching
is more important than experience in other professions because each teaching-learning process
is a new experience for a teacher. Each experience guides teacher in planning, application and
evaluation of new teaching-learning processes. So, the teachers attending the study are
thought as “experienced” and they are expected to reflect their experience on teachinglearning process positively.
Table 1. Personal Characteristics of the Teachers Attending the Study
Number
T1
T2
Gender
Work
Experience
Age
F
F
18
17
41
40
The number of
Educating 1 st
Grade
6
5
-29-
Number of
Students
23
22
Number of the students
aged 69 months or
younger
2
3
The View of Teachers of First Graders Regarding Scheduling…H. Anilan & Y. Bay
T3
T4
T5
T6
T7
T8
T9
T10
T11
T12
T13
T14
M
F
F
M
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
F
17
12
12
26
34
16
23
18
21
20
16
12
39
32
34
47
56
38
45
40
44
42
37
34
3
5
5
10
6
6
9
5
6
5
5
3
25
20
22
27
26
29
27
21
22
24
25
27
8
3
3
3
4
11
9
3
4
2
2
4
Age is accepted as a sign of maturity in teaching. It is assumed that experience of individual
increases with their age. So, that the teachers are in a period which can be described as
“young maturity” is important in terms of their performance in teaching-learning processes.
Because when the teachers grow older, they become more dedicated to their school (Celep et
al., 2004). That the dedication of the teachers increase is a positive situation effecting time
and effort for educational activities. However, we know that the tendency to authoritarian
control (Emir and Kanlı, 2009), professional depersonalization and emotional exhaustion
increase with age; and these kinds of teachers are mostly in elementary schools (Yazıcı,
2009). It is not expected that excessive authoritarian tendency or professional
depersonalization and emotional exhaustion have positive effects on teaching-learning
process. Hence, the age of the teachers attending the study does not have negative effects on
teaching- learning process.
The basic duty expected from a first grade teacher is to teach students how to read and write.
But teaching early reading and writing is not easy by its nature; moreover there are many
factors that make it more difficult. The early reading-writing experience of the teacher is one
of these factors. In general, individuals doing the same thing again and again have more
chance to be successful in each repetition. They are getting proficiency in their profession. It
is seen that the teachers attending the study are experienced and expert in their profession.
The number of the students in a classroom is one of the most important factors affecting
teaching-learning process in terms of communication, classroom management, dealing with
individual differences. Johnson (2002) describes the classroom having 20 or less students as
small, and describes classrooms having at least 31 students as big (cited by, Güçlü, 2002). We
can say that the numbers of the classrooms in our study are appropriate in terms of teachinglearning process. It is known that the communication between teacher and students is much in
the classrooms having less students (Blatchford, Bassett and Brown, 2005; Yaman 2010).
Especially, in early reading and writing process having more students is not desired by the
teacher who has to deal with the students one by one. The classrooms of the teachers
attending the study are not crowded. But, it is assumed that it is difficult to teach early reading
and writing in the classrooms having more than 25 students.
Chronological age is of great importance in teaching early reading and writing because it is
expected to be parallel with physical, mental and social development. However, chronological
age is not the single determiner of the teaching early reading and writing process. Despite the
chronological age, there may be some individuals under or above the chronological age
depending on personal differences (Akyol, 2010). In the study, because it is aimed to analyze
the experiences of the students aged 60-69 months and their classroom teachers in teaching
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 26-44, 1 April, 2015
learning process, the chronological age is accepted as a measure. According to the measure, in
the classrooms of the teachers attending the study there are at least 2 – in average 4- students
younger than 69 months old.
Data Collection
Data of the study was collected with the interview and observation forms developed
by the researchers. The most frequently used data collecting technique in qualitative
researches is interview (Mason, 2005). In this study, an interview form structured with openended questions was used. Before preparing the questions in the data collection tool, we
scanned the literature and analyzed the similar studies. Then, being consistent to the aim and
the sub-problems of the study, a scheme form aiming to identify what the students 69 months
old and younger experience in early reading and writing processes, how they are effected,
what the teachers experience about these students, and how they direct the process was
constructed. In order to validate the interview form prepared by the researchers, the form was
evaluated by two field experts in terms of being understood and covering the topic which is
studied; and put into the final form in the directions of suggestions. In the final form, there are
four questions aiming to identify the personal characteristics of the teachers attending the
research; and 8 questions aiming to present the reflections of backdating of the age to start
primary school on teaching early reading and writing process and the experiences in the
process.
Table 2. Interview Places and Duration
Attendant
T1
T2
T3
T4
T5
T6
T7
T8
T9
T10
T11
T12
T13
T14
Interview Place
Teachers’Lounge
Teachers’Lounge
Teachers’Lounge
Teachers’Lounge
Classroom
Classroom
Classroom
Classroom
Classroom
Classroom
Teachers’Lounge
Teachers’Lounge
Classroom
Classroom
Interview Duration
10 mins.
8 mins.
9 mins.
13 mins.
9 mins.
17 mins.
15 mins.
10 mins.
18 mins.
15 mins.
10 mins.
12 mins.
7 mins.
12 mins.
In order to collect and diversify the data, we used an observation form beside the structured
interview form. While forming the observation form, the same process preparing the
interview form was followed by the researchers. In the observation form, there are four items
about the personal information of the student being observed; and 19 items describing
students’ physical, mental and social developments and some of their behaviors in the process
of early reading and writing. For each of the items in observation form, we prepared a 4-scale
measurement; 1: low, 2: medium, 3: good and 4: very good. So, the situation observed was
standardized for each observation and observer.
The data of the research was collected in March- April- May, 2013. Interviews – one of the
data collection tools of the research- was held by a researcher and recorded with the help of a
tape recorder. The interviews with the teachers were 8-10 minutes on average. Following is
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The View of Teachers of First Graders Regarding Scheduling…H. Anilan & Y. Bay
the information about where the interviews were recorded and how long they took.
Observations -another data collection tool of the research – cover 20 students aged between
60 and 69 months old. The students chosen randomly from the classrooms of the teachers
attending the study were observed by a researcher for three weeks and three hours a week. In
other words, these students were observed in Turkish Language courses 3 hours a week, 9
hours in total.
Analysis of the Data
In analysis of the data of the study, we used descriptive analysis technique (Yıldırım
and Şimşek, 2013). While analyzing the data, Elo and Kyngas’s (2007) preparation,
organizing and reporting phases were taken into consideration. According to this;
In Reporting Phase: At first, the interviews recorded were listened and typed with the help of
computer. Based on the privacy policy of the attendants, the teachers interviewed were coded
with “T” and numbers from 1 to 14. On the other hand, observation forms was ordered
according to student observed, date of observation and observation order; and observation
scores were compared.
In organization phase: In this phase at first, considering research questions and conceptual
aspect of the research, we formed a framework; and we determined under which themes we
will organize and present the questions. The data gathered from interview and observations
were grouped and matched with the interview questions. Interview questions were accepted as
main themes.
In Reporting Phase: In this phase, qualitative data were coded and grouped under themes and
sub themes. We tried to present the data intelligibly. While analyzing the data, we aimed to
support validity and contribute cogency (Wolcot, 1990), which is significant in qualitative
researches, by quoting directly from the statements of the interviewees in order to make the
topic clear. On the other hand, while explaining findings related to themes and sub-themes,
we benefitted from the observation results. For this purpose we evaluated interview findings
comparing to students’ observation scores based on repeated observations. Finally, the
findings were interpreted considering literature.
In order to provide reliability and validity of the research, we performed some processes.
The researcher presented the findings fair-and-square and quoted from the statements of the
interviewee in order to provide the validity of the research. Because according to Kirk and
Miller (1986), the validity in a qualitative research means that the researcher observes the
event much the same and quite fair-and-square (cited by: Yıldırım and Şimşek, 2013). On the
other hand, we benefit from data diversity and attendant confirmation which are additional
methods suggested in order to increase validity (Yıldırım and Şimşek, 2013). In order to
provide data diversity, observations were conducted together with interviews. On the other
hand, after analyzing data, the confirmation of the data were provided with 5 teacher
determined randomly among the teachers in the research.
In order to provide the reliability of the research, we followed the method which Stemler
(2001) named as replicability or single coder reliability. According to this, if the same coder
or coders get the same scores when they try to code the same data set again, it is accepted that
the score reliability is provided. According to Stemler (2001) the high percentage of
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 26-44, 1 April, 2015
consistency between coder or coders shows that score reliability is high. In the study, the
reliability is provided by comparing both single coder and two coders’ notion agreement
percentage. For notion agreement, we used Miles and Huberman’s (1994) reliability formula:
P(percentage of agreement)= Na(Notion Agreement)/Na(Notion Agreement)+Nd(Notion
Disagreement)X100. As the result of the calculations, while the reliability was found as 95%
for single coder, the reliability of the two coders was calculated as 91%; so the research was
accepted as reliable. The codes which are notion disagreement for both single coder and two
coders were revised and reached to an agreement.
Findings and Comment
The interview questions forming the sub-problems of the research were accepted as
main themes. Eight main themes were formed such as teachers’ notions related to age
implementation; the effect of the implementation towards early reading and writing process;
comparison of students who are 69 months old or younger and older ones; problems of the
students who are 69 months old or younger and solutions; self-care skills of the students who
are 69 months old or younger; the problems of the teachers in the process of teaching early
reading and writing; the effect of backdating of the age to start primary school on
implementation of Phoneme based Sentence Method; the difference between the students who
are 69 months old or younger and the students who are older than that age in terms of basic
language skills.
Teachers’ notions related to the backdating of the age to start primary school are given in
Table 3.
Table 3. Teachers’ Notions Related to the Backdating of the Age to Start Primary School
Teachers’ Notions Related to the
Backdating of the Age to Start
Primary School
Main
Theme
Theme
Sub-Themes
Positive
Negative
Mental
Physical
Mental
Emotional
Adaptation
School and
Environment
Parents
Concepts
No problem in comprehension
Weak small muscles, no hand craft, deficient in holding
pencils and scissors, no self care skills, not tidying the
goods, difficulty in activities
Lack of attention, desire to play a game, lack of ability to
obey the classroom rules, reading and comprehension
problems, problems in concentration and perception,
inability to sit
Lack of self confidency
Inability to adapt to school, group’s heterogeneity,
difficulty of the courses, inability to attend to the
activities, adaptation problems
Environment of the school and the classroom is not
suitable
Mothers put the students off
When the answers given by the teachers to the question “As a classroom teacher, How do you
evaluate the backdating of the age to start primary school?”, it is seen that none of the
teachers, except from only one teacher (T3) support the implementation. The teacher stating
his/her support on the implementation states that he / she does not have any difficulty in
comprehension and starts reading at the same time with other students. The teacher explains
his/her notion as:
I did not face any difficulty in comprehension. We started reading at about the same time with
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The View of Teachers of First Graders Regarding Scheduling…H. Anilan & Y. Bay
the other students. There was a time lag for about a month. (T3)
The teachers attending the research states that the implementation is not advisable by citing
some physical deficiencies such as weak small muscles, no hand craft, deficient in holding
pencils and scissors, no self-care skills, not tidying the goods, difficulty in activities. The
significance of the physical competence in early reading and writing is often emphasized
(Başar, 2013; Bilir, 2005; Duran, 2013; Gündüz and Çalışkan, 2013). Followings are some of
the notions of the teachers attending the research:
…For example; they have difficulty in some kind of stuff such as cutting, sticking, tearing.
They slog on holding scissors. Especially, one of them did not attend kindergarten, we had
difficulty in both holding scissors and doing the activities. In short, he/she had much
difficulty. While his/her friends were doing the activities easily, he/she could not do them. (T1)
…we have difficulty in doing the activities. For example, he/she cannot hold the scissors or
cut. This is because he/she have not completed the development of small muscles. (T9)
… has not completed muscle development, cannot use books and notebooks properly. Even
he/she cannot put his/her homework into the file. (T12)
Teachers do not find the implementation advisable because of such mental development
problems as lack of attention, desire to play a game, lack of ability to obey the classroom
rules, reading and comprehension problems, problems in concentration and perception,
inability to sit. In fact, it is stated that starting primary school earlier than six age causes
certain problems in terms of mental readiness (Turkish Doctors’ Union). Following are certain
teachers’ notions:
I don’t approve the implementation; because, They have problems in concentration and
perception. (T14)
I don’t find the backdating of the age to start primary school advisable; because, I have
difficulty in reading and comprehension activities especially with the younger students. (T11)
Teachers state that student have certain problems such as inability to adapt to school, group’s
heterogeneity, difficulty of the courses, inability to attend to the activities, adaptation
problems; so, the implementation is not advisable. Whereas students’ skills of learning
effectively and adaptation to school means readiness (Lewit and Baker, 1995). According to
the statements of the teachers, it can be stated that the readiness of the students is not enough.
Here are some teachers’ notions:
… Secondly, it is not proper for two distinct age groups to be in the same class. While the
older ones show success, the younger ones are overwhelmed. (T5)
… I evaluate it as bad; because they cannot adapt it. (T2)
…on the other hand, attention span of the young children is too short. They cannot adapt the
lessons. (T11)
Undoubtedly that there are many factors affecting teaching reading and writing. However, it is
stated that school maturity which means students’ being ready for school physically,
emotionally, mentally and socially (Yavuzer, 2010) is crucial, shows individual differences
(Yazıcı, 2002); and just the individual reached this maturity can do what they are asked at
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 26-44, 1 April, 2015
school (Ülkü, 2007). But, Güneş (2013) states that school maturity is related to old theories
and lost its validity at present.
The information acquired related to the effect of the age implementation on the process of
teaching early reading and writing are given in Table 4.
When the answers given by the teachers to the question “How did backdating of the age
implementation effect the process of teaching-learning?”, all the teachers – except from only
one teacher (T3) – states that the process is affected negatively in terms of certain reasons.
Following is the statement of the teacher stating that he/she is not affected from the process:
It was positive. I had delay just for a month. I did not have any difficulty in comprehension or
start to read with the students who are 66 months old. (T3)
Followings are some teachers’ notions who think that the teaching-learning process is tiring
and have difficulty in stages:
Main
Theme
Theme
The Effect of the Age Implementation
on the Process of Teaching Early
Reading and Writing
Table 4. The Effect of the Age Implementation on the Process of Teaching Early Reading and
Writing
Did not effect
negatively
Effected
negatively
SubThemes
Delay
Concepts
Tiring
Tiring for teachers, students and parents; getting tired easily.
Difficulty
in stages
Difficulties in preparation stage, difficulty in line studies,
they could not make syllables from phonemes, difficulty in
learning, problems in writing
Trying to draw attention, getting ill-tempered or being
introvert, caring other things, spoiling classroom order,
inability to obey school or classroom rules
Two different groups, learning slowly, dropping behind of
the others, need to special care, the forming of level groups
Worry of teaching, using the time of other lessons, inability
to catch up with the other lessons, diverging from the
program, lack of material
Behaviour
disorder
Group’s
difference
Worries
Delay for one month
Of course it affected us in a negative way. In fact, we had many difficulties. It was a difficult
process in terms of the teacher, the students and the parent. The parent worked very hard,
made an effort. The child has just started to read, but he/she has many problems and he/she
hardly read. Although the others can read the words they see, he/she has difficulty because
he/she could not perceived spelling the letters and then combining the syllables together. (T1)
They were doing the line works difficultly. There were no problems in teaching phonemes.
But there were many problems while writing. (T9)
Little children get tired easily because they have not completed their muscle development.
(T11)
The process of teaching early reading and writing is a problematic process for students,
teachers and parents. It can be said that starting primary school at an earlier age increases
these problems (Duran, 2013; Gündüz and Çalışkan, 2013). In the decision of backdating of
the age to start primary school, gradual transition was not applied; and all the people in the
scope of the decision were obliged to attend the implementation. There are many problems
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The View of Teachers of First Graders Regarding Scheduling…H. Anilan & Y. Bay
resulting from the classroom size containing two different age groups. Moreover, ıt is
inevitable that this cause some behavior disorders. It is natural that teachers, students and
parents worry in an environment created by these kinds of factors. The teachers attending the
research agree that these reasons affect the process of teaching and learning in a negative way.
Those are some of the notions of the teachers related to this topic:
I completed the process of teaching learning by relinquishing other courses. I could not teach
such an important lesson as life sciences. Because, I had to teach reading and writing at 1 st
grade in order to get them ready for the 2nd class. (T12)
It affected negatively. He/she is far behind from his/her friends. He/she is interested in the
things other than lessons. Hence, the environment of the classroom is ruined. (T13)
We had many difficulties because they are not at the same age. He/she obeyed the rules and
adapted to school environment for two months. The noise in the classroom started to increase.
Some of the students who were 66 months old referred to some other ways to draw attention.
They get more aggressive or introvert. (T4)
…teachers are given a book for 3 months for the name of getting the students adapted to the
school. There is nothing apart from these books. The books are complicated. It is not fair to
give the books pressed 4 years ago. (T6)
Resources, materials, and equipments used in the process of teaching and learning are
significant. In this scope, the books given to the teacher to use in the adaptation phase were
the subject of critique (Gözütok et al., 2013). On the other hand, little children’s behavioral
disorders because of the problems occurred in the groups are the results of their inability to
solve problems. The skill of solving social problems plays a crucial role in becoming
socialized (Yılmaz and Tepeli, 2013). The fact that teachers find the materials inadequate and
that face the problems of the children affects the process of teaching and learning in a
negative way.
Findings related to the comparison of the students who are 69 months old or younger and the
students who are older are summed in Table 5.
Table 5. The Comparison of the Students who are 69 Months Old or Younger and the
Students who are Older
The Comparison of the
Students who are 69 Months
Old or Younger and the
Students who are Older
Main
Theme
Theme
Older ones
are ready
Younger
ones are
not ready
SubThemes
Physical
Concepts
Muscles are developed, handcraft is proper
Emotional
Willing to learn, curious about learning
Mental
Comprehending easily, high perception, learning quickly
Physical
Weak handcraft, problems in writing, getting tired easily
Mental
Inability to comprehend phonemes, short attention, inability to
understand instructions, low perception, getting bored easily
Emotional
Inability to adapt, low desire to learn
Considering the question “How do you evaluate when you compare the students who are 69
months old or older and younger?”, it is seen that the student who are 72 months old or older
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 26-44, 1 April, 2015
are better than the others in every sense. Perception of the younger students is weak; their
attention span is short; their adaptation skills are inadequate; they are weak physically; and
they are unwilling. On the other hand, the older students are quite contrary. We can say that
the age difference between students result in similar consequences, thus, age maturity in the
process of teaching and learning is significant especially in terms of certain skills (Çelik, Boz,
Gümüş, and Taştan, 2013; Gündüz and Çalışkan, 2013; Meral Kandemir et al., 2013; Örs,
Erdoğan and Kipici, 2013). Following are some teacher statements:
…now the students 72 months old are ready for all the things. They can hold pencils, scissors
effectively; they can do the activities easily; they do not have difficulty in anything… but we
had many difficulties in 66 months old students. As I said before, for example, both in process
of teaching and learning and in activities. For example, adaptation to school phase. It lasted
for a month and a half. We could not make them ready in a month and a half. I could not
teach the letters. (T1)
… you cannot teach the children 72 months old and younger than 72 months old in the same
way. No matter what you do, students do not comprehend it. For instance, while you are
teaching the phoneme “a”, you say “aaaaa”. They think that this is a game and scream in the
corridor saying “aaaaa”. But the children 72 months old are not the same. They can
understand all the instructions and carry out. (T10)
There are significant differences. There is a difference for 1 year. There are problems in
writing and speaking, and learning is really difficult in this period. (T13)
Findings related to the problems of the students 69 months old or younger and solutions are
given in Table 6.
Table 6. The Problems of The Students 69 Months Old or Younger and Solutions
The Problems of The
Students 69 Months
Old or Younger and
Solutions
Main
Theme
Theme
Problems
No problems
Sub-Themes
Consepts
Attending the
activities
Communication
Self care
Meeting with parents, parents support, special care,
Development
Peer complaint, peer compliance
Toilet, shopping at the canteen, peeing their pants,
inability get dressed, difficulty in shoe strings and zips,
getting ill frequently, nutrition
Individual development, desks are large
They do
Good
Answering the questions “Is there any problem students 69 months old or younger face in the
classroom? If yes, how do you solve these problems?”, all the teachers – except from only one
of them – reflect that they have problems in classroom. It is seen that they have problems
mostly about self-care and toilet. This reflects on observation results. It is known that selfcare skills is a crucial problem with the students in these ages (Başar, 2013; Gündüz and
Çalışkan, 2013; Meral Kandemir et al., 2013). Followings are some of teachers’ statements:
The biggest problem is toilet. On the other hands, the children in that age have difficulty in
buying their need at the canteen. (T4)
You see the classroom although they are at the age group of six. Think that they are five.
While playing a game, he/she comes, and “Sir, I have to pee; Sir, Ayşe has wetted her clothes;
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The View of Teachers of First Graders Regarding Scheduling…H. Anilan & Y. Bay
Sir, Mehmet has pee his pants...” (T7)
At first, we suffered from self-care, meeting physical needs. They slogged tidying their clothes.
In order to solve this problem, we make them wear casual clothes. This is so because they
cannot fasten their zips and loop their buttons. They could not tie their shoe strings, I tied
their shoe strings.” (T8)
One of the most important problems is toilet. They cannot hold their pees; some of them pee
their pants. One of them pee his/her pants 6-7 times. I send him toilet in the lessons;
otherwise he/she pee his/her pants. They cannot meet their vital needs. (T11)
Self-care skills of the students who are 69 months old or younger are given in Table 7.
Analyzing the answers given by the teachers to the question “What can you tell about selfcare skills of the students who are 69 months old or younger?”, it is seen that little children
cannot carry out self-care skills because of physical inadequacy; they have problems in
especially meeting toilet needs (Başar, 2013; Gündüz and Çalışkan, 2013; Meral Kandemir et
al., 2013) protecting their goods, feeding, and changing their clothes. It reflected on the
observation results that the problems decreased but have not finished yet. It is understood that,
in solutions of the problems, parents and teachers support the students. Here are some
teachers’ notions related to this subject:
We have problems in toilet skills, looking after their clothes, fastening their zips, tying shoe
strings, holding pencils etc…(T8)
Main
Theme
Theme
Self-Care Skills of the
Students Who are 69
Months Old or Younger
Table 7. Self-Care Skills of the Students Who are 69 Months Old or Younger
Problematic
Sub-Themes
Concepts
toilet
Desire to go toilet frequently, peeing their pants, obligatory
change of the clothes, inability to go toilet alone
Desire to g oto washbasin frequently, washing hands, low
cleaning, cleaning after toilet, pediculosis
Inability to feed alone, inability to eat food
Washbasin/Cl
eaning
Nutrition
Clothes
Goods
No problem
Themselves
Inability to zip or unzip, inability to loop the buttons, clothes
cleaning, inability to tie the shoe strings
They cannot protect their goods, they are messy, they cannot
distinguish their clothes
They solve in several days
They slog on toilet training, cleaning their hands and clothes. They have not reached that
maturity. On the other hand, in these dirt places, children have pediculosis in their hair. Their
parents do not look after. (T14)
When there is a student who pee his/her pants, I don’t get him/her in. they get demoralized at
some point. I waited outside in a room and called his/her mother. Their parents come here and
either they bring them away or the parents bring here extra clothes and changed their clothes.
I did so… for example; I unzip some of my students, or fasten their buttons. We dealt with
these kind of things in the first semester. I do not have any problems now… (T7)
He/she could not manage to clean himself/herself. He cannot go to the toilet alone. He cannot
manage to eat his/her meal. (T13)
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 26-44, 1 April, 2015
They could not wear their coats. They all have this problem. I had to interfere in this period.
They cannot distinguish their books, notebooks and goods; they cannot look after them. I
collected their goods. They have difficulty in finding the parts in work books. (T9)
Teachers face some problems in the process of teaching and learning. Findings related to the
problems teachers face in the process of teaching early reading and writing are given in Table
8.
Main
Themes
Themes
SubThemes
Concepts
The Problems Teachers Face in
the Process of Teaching Early
Reading and Writing
Table 8. The Problems Teachers Face in the Process of Teaching Early Reading and Writing
There are
problems
Mental
He/she learnt the letters difficultly, he/she does not know the
writing of the letters, he/she learns slowly, he/she could not
start reading and writing, inability to obey the rules, need to
repeat, weak attention, low interest, dropping behind, he/she
does not understand the phonemes, mental maurity
Bad handwriting, difficulty in writing, he/she could not write
what he/she was said
Lost his/her self confidence
Physical
There is no
problem
Self
Confidency
Groups are
different
No problem
Different age groups, inclusion
There is no problem
When analyzing the answers given by the teachers to the question “do you have problems in
the process of teaching and learning? What can be the reason of this?”, it is understood that
students have problems especially because of mental deficiencies. Lack of attention and
interest are the explicit ones. While attention span of an adult is 15-20 minutes, it is not
advisable to expect the students in this age group to sit still for about 40 minutes and listen to
the lessons or attend to the activities (Başar, 2013; Güve, 2012; Turkish Doctors’ Union,
2012).
Findings related to the effect of backdating of the age to start primary school on the
implementation of Phoneme Based Sentence Method are given in the Table 9.
Table 9. The Effect of Backdating of the Age on the Implementation of Phoneme Based
Sentence Method
Theme
The Effect of Backdating of
the Age on the
Implementation of
Phoneme Based Sentence
Method
Main
Themes
Difficult
Not
difficult
Sub-Themes
Concepts
He/she should not start
school
The group should not be
mixed
Schools and classrooms
should be improved
Fear of unsuccessfullness
They did not attend kindergarten, we should
return to the old system
They should be collected together
Easy
The groups can be homogenized fort he others
There should be materials, the schools should
be improved
Younger ones should not start, loss of self
confidency
There is no emphasis on phoneme based sentence method and its phases in the contents of the
answers given by the teachers to the question “Does age implementation brings challenges in
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The View of Teachers of First Graders Regarding Scheduling…H. Anilan & Y. Bay
terms of application of the method? What should be done as a solution?” According to Güneş
(2013), brain researches explain that reading – writing preparatory works should start from
the birth, children should be taught reading writing in 4-5 ages, and the age 7 is too late.
However, the fact that the teachers just states that there are problems in their answers, and
they did not state anything related to the phases of the method is not enough to detail the
subject. This can be caused by the fact that the teachers do not know the phases of Phoneme
Based Sentence Method or this can also be caused by ignorance. Here are some teachers’
notions about whether age implementation causes a challenge in terms of the application of
the method:
Bringing. At first there should be some improvements in the basis. Physical conditions of the
classroom and the schools should be improved and then such an implementation can be
applied. (T14)
In my opinion, there should not be a mixed group. They should be separated or children 66
months old should attend kindergarten. (T2)
In order to solve toilet problems, they should adapt physical infrastructure. Books should be
arranged according to age groups. (T9)
Findings related to the difference between younger students and older students in terms of
basic language skills are shown in Table 10.
Main
Themes
Themes
The Difference between Younger
Students and Older Students in
Terms of Basic Language Skills
Table 10. The Difference between Younger Students and Older Students in Terms of Basic
Language Skills
There is
difference
SubThemes
Dropping
behind
Self
expression
Self
confidence
writing
Concepts
They are dropping behind in all fields, challange in
teaching letters“ş, r, ğ, g, y”, confusing the letters k-t, r-y,
d-t
Weak vocabulary, challenge in speaking, difficulty in self
expression, they cannot form a they cannot say their
adress, managing speaking late
They are shy, they are not self confident
Inability to write what they hear, inability to write what
they speak, inability to write between lines
Teachers think that there is difference between two groups answering the question “Is there
any difference between two groups in terms of basic language skills? If yes, what kind of
differences is there?” These differences are high in dropping behind, inability in selfexpression, lack of self-confidence, inability to write. This is reflected in observation scores
collected in the research. Başar (2013) believes that the students will improve their writing
even if they have challenges in writing.
Result and Suggestions
Following results are achieved in the research aiming to identify how backdating of
the age to start primary school reflect in the process of teaching-learning early reading and
writing according to teachers’ notions.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 26-44, 1 April, 2015
(1) The teachers attending the research do not find backdating of the age to start primary
school advisable. Teachers do not find physical and mental skills of the students in
that age group sufficient.
(2) Backdating of the age to start primary school affects teaching-learning processes in a
negative way. Students have challenges in the phases of teaching early reading and
writing; they show behavioral disorders due to negative effect of the age; the fact that
students from different age groups are in the same class affects the process of teaching
and learning in a negative way.
(3) The students who are 72 months old and older ones are better in every sense.
Perception of younger students is weak; their attention span is short; their adaptation
skills are low; they are also unwilling and incompetent. For older students, the
situation is the opposite.
(4) The students who are 69 months old or younger have challenges in attending the
activities, communicating, and especially self-care skills.
(5) It is seen that the students who are 69 months old or younger cannot carry out self-care
skills due to their physical inability; they have difficulty in meeting toilet needs,
protecting their goods, feeding, getting dressed and undressed.
(6) Teachers have challenges in the process of teaching-learning resulting from students’
mental inadequacy. Lack of attention and interest are the most explicit ones.
(7) According to the teachers attending the research, backdating of the age to start primary
school makes the implementation of Phoneme Based Sentence Method difficult.
(8) It is seen that students who are in different age groups are also different from each
other in terms of basic language skills. The difference is disadvantageous to younger
students; moreover, it is high in dropping behind, inability to express them, lack of
self-confidence, inability to write.
These can be suggested depending on these results:
(1) The age implementation should be softened in 2013-2014 educational term; moreover,
it can be retreated.
(2) If the process goes on as it is, materials, resources and process should be revised.
(3) Regardless of age implementation, preschool education should be obligatory.
(4) Teachers should be informed about how they treat younger students and what they do.
(5) Further researches should be conducted on this topic.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE)
Vol. 5(1), pp. 45-57, 1 April, 2015
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.71.5.1
The Relationship among Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers’ Conceptual
Knowledge, Opinions Regarding Proof and Proof Skills
Muhammet Doruk*
Primary Mathematics Education, Atatürk University, Erzurum, Turkey
Abdullah Kaplan
Primary Mathematics Education, Atatürk University, Erzurum, Turkey
The aim of this study is to reveal the relationship among preservice mathematics teachers’ conceptual knowledge, opinions
regarding proof and proof skills in terms of the definition of the
Received in revised form:
convergence of a sequence. The participants of the research are
25.03.2015
composed of six pre-service mathematics teachers who are thirdyear students at the department of elementary mathematics teaching
Accepted:
25.03.2015
in a state university located in Turkey. The data of the research
were collected via semi-structured interviews. According to the
Key words:
findings of the research, it was found that the majority of the preMathematical proof, opinions
service teachers who participated in the study did not have a
regarding proof, conceptual
knowledge
sufficient level of conceptual knowledge on the definition of
convergence of sequence; that their opinions on proof were
negative; and that their level of success in proving the theorem,
which they had proven before, was considerably low. Furthermore,
it was found in the research that there was a strong relationship
among pre-service teachers’ conceptual knowledge, opinions
regarding proof and proof skills, and the academic success achieved
in the related course did not reflect on their proof skills.
Article history
Received:
17.09.2014
Introduction
One of the most important aims of mathematics instruction is to ensure the
development of obtaining logical answers to “why” and “what for” questions, that is to say,
the development of reasoning (Altıparmak & Öziş, 2005). For the mathematics instruction to
achieve this aim, mathematical proofs constitute an important tool in terms of dealing with not
only the correctness of a statement but also why it is correct. Mathematical proofs are
regarded as the most important factor in learning mathematics because they involve
associating judgments in a certain mold and being sure of these judgments in view of the
development of mathematics and realities or propositions (Knuth, 2002).
When mathematical proofs are evaluated in terms of mathematics instruction, they provide a
considerable amount of benefits to the students in mathematical terms. The development and
maturation of students’ mathematical knowledge through mathematical proofs (Kitcher,
1984), developing the skill of critical thinking in students and offering new methods with
which students can solve problems (Rav, 1999) constitute just some of these benefits.
*
Corresponding author: Phone:+90-543-963-77-39. Fax.:+90-442-236-09-55, e-mail: [email protected]
The Relationship among Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers’ Conceptual Knowledge…M. Doruk & A. Kaplan
Although mathematical proofs are regarded as an important part of mathematics instruction
(Güven, Çelik & Karataş, 2005), the building block of mathematics (Heinze & Reiss, 2003)
and the objective of advanced mathematics (Weber, 2001) by many researchers, proof is a
concept about which students from every level experience difficulty and have prejudice
(Almeida, 2003; Arslan, 2007; Arslan & Yıldız 2010; Coşkun, 2009; De Villiers 1990; Jones,
2000; Moore, 1994; Raman, 2003). When the difficulties experienced by the students during
proof processes are examined, we see that Moore (1994) listed these difficulties as failure to
state the definitions; failure to understand the meanings of the concepts intuitively; failure to
use concept images during proof process; generalization and insufficiency in using examples;
failure to know what kind of a proof structure to form in view of the definitions; failure to
understand mathematical language and notations; and lastly, failure to know how to begin the
proof process. One of the most common difficulties experienced in performing proof is the
lack of conceptual knowledge regarding the concepts with which the proof is related. This
difficulty experienced by the students is a common finding that was obtained in the
researchers conducted by different researchers (Gibson, 1998; Knapp, 2005; Moore, 1990;
1994; Weber, 2006;). Another factor affecting students’ mathematical proof processes is their
opinions regarding proof. Beliefs and opinions are not only related to attitudes, but also
directly affect proof processes. This is because beliefs are influential in selecting proof
method and strategy, which stands as a difficulty in proof processes (Furinghetti & Morselli,
2009). In this regard, it can be stated that opinions regarding proof affect the success of
activities involving proof.
When the reasons for the difficulties experienced by the pre-service teachers in proof process
are examined, it is observed that the mathematics courses given in universities are filled with
proofs that are difficult to understand for pre-service teachers at first glance, and
consequently, pre-service teachers memorize proofs without understanding them in order to
pass these courses (Conradie & Frith, 2000). Since these courses in universities are generally
given via the traditional method, students mostly take the exams without internalizing the
concepts and instead memorizing the theorems and contents of the proofs without even
knowing them, and they pass the exams. Furthermore, according to mathematicians,
mathematical proof is filled with key ideas rather than the information existent in it. However,
mathematicians do not place the necessary emphasis on the key ideas during instruction, and
more importantly, they do not use these ideas during evaluation (Raman, 2003). Formation of
valid ideas and proofs along with criticism of the ideas is an integral part of performing
mathematics. If this reasoning skill is not earned by students, mathematics becomes a process
of following an operation sequence and imitation of examples without considering what
operation sequence means (Ross, 1998).
When the difficulties experienced by the pre-service teachers are taken into account, we can
generally talk about the existence of two conditions. One of these conditions is that the preservice teachers do not have a correct idea about mathematical proof and they cannot even
remember the proof (Chazan, 1993; Moore, 1994; Weber, 2001), whereas the other condition
is that they do not understand the concepts and theorems and implement them in a
systematized manner. The fact that the pre-service teachers remember a theorem or a concept
does not guarantee that they will perform the proof. They fail in performing the proof and
come to an impasse as they do not know what to do. In order to understand the reasons for
this failure, it is more useful to understand the methods utilized by the pre-service teachers
while they try to perform proof (Weber, 2001). The aim of this study is to reveal the
relationship among pre-service mathematics teachers’ conceptual knowledge, opinions
regarding proof and proof skills in terms of the definition of convergence of sequence.
Answers were sought to the following research problems within the scope of this aim.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 45-57, 1 April, 2015
1. What is the level of pre-service teachers’ conceptual knowledge regarding the subject
of convergence of sequence?
2. What are the pre-service teachers’ opinions regarding proof?
3. What is the level of pre-service teachers’ proof skills on the subject of convergence of
sequence?
Method
Taking the qualitative research approach as a basis, the case study model was used in
the study. It was concluded that the most appropriate case study design for this study was the
holistic multiple-case study. This is because there is more than one case that can be perceived
as holistic alone in this design. Each case is studied holistically in itself and later compared
with each other (Yıldırım & Şimşek, 2006). In this study, three cases were examined, namely
pre-service mathematics teachers’ conceptual knowledge, opinions regarding proof and proof
skills in terms of convergence of sequence. Then, these sections were studied holistically and
compared with each other.
Research Group
This study was conducted with six pre-service mathematics teachers who are studying at
the department of elementary mathematics teaching in a state university located in Turkey.
The pre-service teachers are third-year students at the department of elementary mathematics
teaching, which is a four-year department. The average age of pre-service teachers (three of
whom are females and the remaining three are males) is twenty two. The names used in the
research are not the real names of the pre-service teachers. The names used are the aliases
designated by the researchers. While selecting the participants, necessary attention was paid
to the fact that their knowledge on the subject of sequence is easy to remember. For this
purpose, the research was conducted directly after the Analysis 3 course in which the subject
of sequence was given. While selecting the participants, students who successfully passed the
Analysis 3 course and who had different letter grades were preferred. Therefore, maximum
variation sampling, which is among the purposeful sampling methods, was used in selecting
the participants. This is because the aim in a sampling, which is based on maximum variation,
is not for generalizations. On the contrary, the aim is to attempt to determine whether or not
there are common or shared phenomena among the cases that exhibit variation, and to set
forth the difference aspects of the problem according to this variation (Yıldırım & Şimşek,
2006). In the university where the study was conducted, students who pass the course are
given letter grades, namely AA, BA, BB, CB, CC, DC and DD ranging from the most
successful to the least successful. Since there were no students who passed the Analysis 3
course with the letter grades DC and DD, these students were not included in the research
group. Instead, one more students with the letter grade BA were included in the research
group, considering that he/she might be able to provide more information related to the
subject. While selecting the research group, students who successfully passed Analysis 3
course were listed according to their letter grades. Then, participants were randomly selected
from these lists. The aliases and letter grades of the participating pre-service teachers are as
follows: Aydın (AA), Burak (BB), Cemil (CC), Bade (BA), Banu (BA), and Ceren (CB). In
view of the letter grades achieved in the Analysis 3 course, Aydın was the most successful
student whereas Cemil was the least successful student.
Data Collection
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The Relationship among Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers’ Conceptual Knowledge…M. Doruk & A. Kaplan
The data of the research were obtained via semi-structured “Proof Process Interview
Form” (PPIF). The PPIF is composed of three sections. In the first section, the participants
were given the definitions of sequence and convergence of sequence that were required for
proving the theorem in the third section. The aim of this section is to observe the degree to
which the participants understood and internalized these concepts and see whether or not they
could perform the proof when they had the necessary definitions. In the second section of the
PPIF, there are open-ended questions that were asked in order to reveal the pre-service
teachers’ opinions regarding proof. In the third section, in order to reveal the proof skills of
the participants, they were requested to prove the “( ) ⟶  and ( ) ⟶  ⇒ ( +  ) ⟶
 + ” theorem again. While preparing the PPIF, the opinions of three academicians – two of
whom were lecturers specializing in qualitative research methods and one of whom was a
lecturer specializing in the analysis and theory of functions – were taken. Before the
interviews conducted with the pre-service teachers, the researchers explained that the research
would completely be conducted upon the principle of voluntariness, and the pre-service
teachers who did not want to continue this study could leave the study whenever they wished.
Furthermore, the pre-service teachers were told that the interviews would be recorded with an
audio recorder. They were asked whether this condition would constitute an inconvenience for
them. Their permissions were taken on this matter. The researchers stated that the names of
and information about the pre-service teachers would not be shared with anybody, and aliases
would be used instead of their real names in the research. The interviews conducted with the
pre-service teachers lasted for 25-30 minutes. All interviews were conducted in an
environment where the second author and the pre-service teachers could talk one-to-one and
where it was believed that external factors would not distract the participants. The definitions
and theorems used in the PPIF are given below.
Definition 1 (Sequence of Real Numbers): The function, which is defined as f: N → R, is
called sequence of real numbers.
Definition 2 (Convergence of Sequence): (sn ) ⟶ s ⟺ for ∀ε > 0, ∃n0 ∈ N such that for
∀n > n0 , |sn − s| < .
Theorem: (sn ) ⟶ s and (t n ) ⟶ t ⇒ (sn + t n ) ⟶ s + t.
Analysis of the data
Descriptive analysis was used in analyzing the data obtained from the opinions of preservice teachers. The data obtained in descriptive analysis are summarized and interpreted
according to the themes that have been designated before (Yıldırım & Şimşek, 2006). Data
triangulation was used in the study. The participants were requested to think aloud. Written
statements and audio records were evaluated together. Firstly, audio records were transcribed
in the study. While transcribing the data, discussions were made with the participants about
the incomprehensible statements. Thus, incomprehensible statements were clarified. After the
process of transcribing the interview data, the researchers classified the raw data according to
the categories designated beforehand. Following the classification stage, the categories were
examined by two colleagues of the researchers. Lastly, the feedback and categories obtained
were reorganized. An attempt was made to present the written and verbal statements of the
participants and their dialogues with the researcher in a frequently descriptive manner.
Therefore, it was aimed to increase the reliability of the research data.
Findings
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 45-57, 1 April, 2015
Findings regarding pre-service mathematics teachers’ conceptual knowledge on the
definition of convergence of sequence, their opinions regarding proof and proof skills are
presented in this section.
Findings Regarding Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers’ Conceptual Knowledge on the
Definition of Convergence of Sequence
In the first section of the study, the participants were given the definitions sequence of
real numbers and convergence of sequence that they would use while they were performing
proof. The participants were requested to read aloud these definitions. The following
questions were put to the participants in order to understand the degree to which they
internalized the definition of convergence of sequence: “What do you understand from the
convergence of a sequence towards a point?” and “What is the function of n0 in the definition
of convergence of sequence?” In view of the received answers, it was found that the
participants’ level of conceptual knowledge could be divided into adequate and inadequate
categories. The categories of the participants are given in Table 1.
Table 1. Pre-service teachers’ conceptual knowledge about definition of convergence of sequence
Adequate
Inadequate
Bade

Banu

Aydın

Cemil

Burak

Ceren

In Table 1, it is observed that among the participants, only Bade was able to explain the
definition of convergence of sequence in her own words. That is to say, she internalized the
concept of convergence of a sequence towards a point. In view of this, it is deduced that
Bade’s knowledge on the definition of convergence of sequence was at least at conceptual
knowledge level. Bade’s answers are given below.
Table 2. Bade’s answers
What do you understand from the
What is the function of 0 in the definition of
convergence of a sequence towards a point?
convergence of sequence?
Since the domain of this sequence is
positive whole numbers, there will be more than
one number. These numbers gradually approach
towards a certain number. Here, a real number
sequence. When sequence is a complex
sequence, it can convergence towards a complex
number, too. That is to say, it approaches a
certain number within a certain rule. However, I
cannot associate it with daily life.
To my knowledge, 0 is... There are many
numbers in the sequence. Most of these numbers
converge towards s. Several of these numbers do
not converge. That is to say, they are finite.
However, when approximately all of them
converge, we consider them convergent. We do not
regard them and we see them as mathematically
small. In other words, we ignore them.
It was found that Banu, Aydın, Cemil, Burak and Ceren were not able to explain the definition
of convergence of sequence in their own words. That is to say, their knowledge on the
definition of convergence of sequence was not at conceptual knowledge level. Banu and
Burak’s answers are given below.
Table 3. Banu and Burak’s answers
What do you understand from the convergence of a What is the function of 0 in the
sequence towards a point?
definition of convergence of
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The Relationship among Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers’ Conceptual Knowledge…M. Doruk & A. Kaplan
sequence?
Banu:
Let me put it this way: in order for 
sequence to converge towards a number, it is
necessary that ε>0 and we have a 0 natural
number. The number, in which term of the sequence
that we took converges towards negative, is a
statement in the form of a small ε. I don’t know how
to express it verbally. However, I think it is symbolic.
Isn’t
this right? For
instance, we take  and progress
as 1 , 2 , 3 . We represent it with
the natural number there. Can’t we
state it as that natural number? I
thought we could. However, I don’t
know what exactly it is right now.
Burak:
We can call the value, which will be taken by a
sequence in the limit condition for infinite cases, the
place where that sequence converge. Can we say that
the sequence exactly takes that value? Although it
does not exactly take that value, it is near to it. As
stated by this definition, we are talking about the
values that it takes in the neighborhood of ε.
I cannot express it precisely.
Findings Regarding Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers’ Opinions on Proof
In the second section of the research, it was aimed to reveal the participants’ opinions
on proof from their statements. It was found that the participants’ opinions on proof fell under
“Positive” and “Negative” categories. The categories of the participants are given in Table 4.
Table 4. Pre-service teachers’ opinions on proof
Positive
Negative
Bade

Banu

Aydın

Cemil

Burak

Ceren

In table 4, it is seen that only Bade had a positive opinion on proof. Bade’s opinions on proof
are given below.
Bade: I better understand the subjects on which I can perform proof. I believe so. That is
because we take everything into account while performing proof. Therefore, when I perform the proof
about linear independence in linear algebra and when I try to prove it on my own with pencil and
paper, it becomes a better experience. Then, I don’t forget what linear independence is. Similarly,
there are limit definitions, convergence and related subjects in analysis, too. It becomes a more
productive experience in them.
It was found that other participants had negative opinions on proof. Most of the participants
regarded proof as an activity that must be memorized and that cannot be understood. The
following statements of Ceren and Aydın, who are among the participants having negative
opinions on proof, are as follows.
Ceren: Proof became a memorized subject in the way that it was given to us, or we were not
able to think how this theorem could be proven. Can this theorem be proven with only this method? Is
this the only solution to it? We never thought about it. That is to say, it was proven and we memorized
it. It was like this, and similar rules can be applied to others. That is how we used it.
Aydın: We did not care about it much. Passing courses was enough for us. I think I have no
interest other than passing courses... Theorems are long and hard to solve. It takes time to prove them.
They are somewhat complex. I mean you accept something from different places. I feel that is wrong.
It is right, but I forget it since it seems a little complicated. That is why we do not care about it much...
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 45-57, 1 April, 2015
We rather tried to memorize the proof. Then, we performed it when they asked us about it. Other than
that, we did not pay particular attention to it.
Findings Regarding Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers’ Proof Skills About the Concept of
Convergence of Sequence
After the participants’ conceptual knowledge on the definition of convergence of
sequence and their opinions regarding proof were examined, the participants were requested
to prove the “(sn ) ⟶ s and (t n ) ⟶ t ⇒ (sn + t n ) ⟶ s + t” theorem, which they had proven
before, in order to examine the pre-service teachers’ proof processes. Before performing the
proof, the participants stated that they had proven this theorem before and the definitions
given in the definitions section were enough to prove this theorem. The conversation between
Bade and the researcher about this subject is given below.
Researcher: In your opinion, what information do you require in order to perform the proof?
Bade: This definition is enough for me. I mean the definition of convergence.
...
Researcher: Have you ever seen such theorem before?
Bade: Yes, we have.
When the proofs performed by the participants were examined, it was found that the proofs
came under four categories; namely, correct proof (the proof was written correctly and the
explanation is sufficient), invalid proof (the proof was written correctly, but the explanation is
insufficient), incorrect proof (the proof was written incorrectly) and incomplete proof (the
proof wasn’t written completely and it remained incomplete). The participants’ states of
performing proof are given in Table 5.
Table 5. Proofs performed by the pre-service teachers
Correct proof
Invalid proof
Incorrect proof
Bade
Banu
Aydın
Cemil
Burak
Ceren
Incomplete proof






When the performed proofs are examined, it is observed that Bade and Aydın correctly wrote
the proof. However, Bade was able to explain the operations that she performed, that is to say,
she was aware of what she wrote, whereas Aydın was not able to explain the operations that
he performed. In the conducted interviews, it was observed that Aydın was not aware of the
statements that he wrote since he memorized the proof of the theorem.
Figure 1 shows the proof performed by Bade and the conversation made by the researcher
with Bade in order to understand whether or not she performed the proof consciously.
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The Relationship among Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers’ Conceptual Knowledge…M. Doruk & A. Kaplan
Figure 1. Proof performed by Bade
Researcher: What is 0 breakpoint of ( +  ) sequence if it has any?
Bade: There is 0 . I wrote it here, too. We say every n>0 . Our n will be bigger than both 0
and 1 . Therefore, we chose the maximum one between 0 and 1 .
Researcher: Why did you choose the maximum one?
Bade: Because it must be bigger than even the biggest one in order for it to include it. For
instance, let us leave out the two terms before 0 for  sequence. Let us ignore it. Let us leave out the
five terms before 1 for  sequence. If I had chosen the minimum one, if I had ignored two of them,
that would not have happened. I mean it would not have included the others. In order not to make a
mistake, I choose the maximum one for it to include all of them. I choose the maximum one between 0
and 1 for it to include the largest set.
Examining Bade’s statements, it was observed that she correctly proved the theorem by being
aware of the statements that she wrote while proving the theorem. Bade developed a special
systematic method while proving the theorem. This method resembles problem-solving steps
and it is as follows:
Understanding
Analyzing
the symbols
Utulizing the
defination
Operations
Check
Correction
Result
While proving this theorem, Bade understood the statement of the theorem (understanding),
wrote verbal statements in the theorem mathematically (analyzing the symbols), used the
definition of convergence of sequence (utilizing the definition), utilized mathematical
operations (operation), check the proof that she performed and whether or not there was an
insufficiency or error (check) respectively. While checking her proof, Bade realized that she
did not use the breakpoint of the (sn + t n ) sequence which enabled her to collectively use the
inequalities that she obtained from the first and the second definitions. She corrected her
mistake. Accordingly, she concluded that the statements that she wrote were valid for the
terms after the biggest breakpoint among breakpoints in the first and second definitions
(correction). She checked her proof once again and completed her proof (result). Bade’s
statements about check and correction steps are given below.
Bade: Let me check it for a moment... We forgot about the operation that we had performed on
the finite number. Here, n is bigger than 1 [first line] whereas n is also bigger than 0 in the other
one [second line]. Therefore, n will be bigger than the biggest value of both 0 and 1 . Since
0  1 will be finite, the terms of  +  sequence converging towards s+t will be infinite. It will
be bigger than the terms that are bigger than 0 which is included in s neighborhood as well as the
terms that are bigger than 1 which is included in t neighborhood. As a result, the infinite terms are
within s+t neighborhood.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 45-57, 1 April, 2015
Figure 2 shows the proof performed by Aydın and excerpts from the conversation made by
the researcher with Aydın in order to understand whether or not he performed the proof
consciously.
Figure 2. Proof performed by Aydın
Researcher: What is your purpose in writing 3 = {1 , 2 } here?
Aydın: I do not know why I did that. I remembered it from the courses. It is not a
property. What we have in the result are two different values: 1 and 2 . It is not clear which
one we must take or which one is bigger. I think we put the bigger one into the operation in
order to prove the theorem.
Researcher: Why do you put the bigger one into the operation?
Aydın: We have never asked our teacher about it.
Researcher: Why did you write the statement with the maximum one in your proof?
Aydın: Memorization. Previous knowledge. It is memorization because I have seen it before.
Although Aydın correctly wrote the proof as figure, he performed the proof without being
aware of what he wrote. In view of the conducted interview, it was found that Aydın’s
knowledge on this proof came from only memorization. While performing the proof, he
exhibited a result-oriented approach and did not consider the transitions, connections and key
ideas among the statements. He performed the proof without being aware of what he wrote.
Cemil was not able to complete his proof. While performing the proof, he tried to use the
definition of convergence of sequence, other similar theorems that he knew and his
memorized knowledge was the most striking feature. The proof performed by Cemil is given
below.
Figure 3. Proof performed by Cemil
It was found that Ceren, who was among other participants, only paid attention to the
operational part of the proof while performing the proof. It was observed that she did not paid
attention to the fact that in which cases that the inequalities she wrote during performing the
proof were valid, and consequently, she did not write the condition that would allow for
collectively using the two inequalities. Since the written inequalities would not be valid in this
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The Relationship among Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers’ Conceptual Knowledge…M. Doruk & A. Kaplan
case, the performed proof was evaluated as incorrect. In view of Ceren’s proof, it is
considered that she was not able to use the definition correctly since she did not comprehend
the concept of convergence of sequence. The proof performed by Ceren is given in Figure 4.
Figure 4. Proof performed by Ceren
While performing the proof, Burak and Banu correctly used the definition of convergence of
sequence. However, like other participants, they did not question under which conditions the
statements that they wrote were correct. If they had questioned under which conditions that
they could perform this operation while combining the two inequalities, their proofs would
have been correct. Since the proofs performed by them were invalid according to the
definition of convergence of sequence, their proofs were evaluated as incorrect. This
condition is observed in Burak’s proof that is given in Figure 5.
Figure 5. Proof performed by Burak
Results and Discussion
In regard to the first question of the research, questions were asked in order to reveal
pre-service teachers’ level of conceptual knowledge regarding the definition of convergence
of sequence. At the end of the study, it was found that a great majority of the participants had
a considerably low level of conceptual knowledge regarding the subject of convergence of
sequence. It was found that only one pre-service teacher’s (Bade) knowledge was at the
conceptual knowledge level. The concept of convergence of sequence is a concept that is
difficult for students to learn (Akbayır, 2004; Akgün & Duru, 2007). Furthermore, since the
university-level mathematics courses are given with the classic lecture method as follows:
definition→theorem→proof (Weber, 2004) or theorem→proof→examples (Almeida, 2003),
many students cannot learn the concepts completely and form relations between the concepts
(Yıldız, 2006). When looked at from this viewpoint, it can be considered that the knowledge
of the students who participated in the study remained at knowledge level, and they were not
able to understand the related concept. Accordingly, it can be suggested that the lecturers who
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 45-57, 1 April, 2015
are responsible for giving the related courses must review their instructional methods and use
different instructional methods.
The statements of the pre-service teachers were examined in order to find an answer to the
second question of the research. Pre-service teachers’ statements about their opinions on proof
fell under positive and negative categories. It was found that the majority of the pre-service
teachers had negative opinions regarding proof. Most of the participants regard proof as an
unnecessary and meaningless activity that must be memorized. This result supports the
findings of the studies in which most of the students had negative opinions against proof
(Moralı et al., 2006). Among the pre-service teachers, only Bade has a positive opinion
regarding proof. In her statements, Bade emphasizes that proofs reinforce her conceptual
knowledge and increase retention. Bade’s statement corresponds with the research result that
argues that students’ mathematical knowledge develops and matures via mathematical proofs
(Kitcher, 1984).
In order to find an answer to the third question of the research, pre-service teachers were
requested to prove again a theorem that they had proven before. It was found that most of the
participants failed in performing proof. In view of this, it can be stated that the pre-service
teachers’ proof skills are at a considerably low level. It was found that only one participant
(Bade) succeeded in performing proof and developed a proof strategy for herself. This method
reminds us of Polya’s (Polya, 1945) problem solving steps. This result supports the research
result of Furinghetti & Morselli (2009) arguing that there is a strong relationship between
proof process and problem solving and this process is composed of Polya’s steps of
understanding the problem, devising a plan, carrying out the plan and looking back. This
result, which was obtained in the study, shows parallelism with the research results, arguing
that the students failed in performing proof (Arslan, 2007; Arslan & Yıldız, 2010; Coşkun,
2009; Moore, 1994). Furthermore, it was found that the majority of pre-service teachers were
not able to perform the proof although the theorem that they were required to prove was a
theorem that they had proven before. This result supports Weber’s (2001) research result
arguing, “The fact that the pre-service teachers remember a theorem or a concept does not
guarantee that they will perform the proof.”
In order to reach the aim of the research, the answers to the research questions were evaluated
with a holistic approach, and an attempt was made to discover the patterns among the results.
The participant who had an adequate level of conceptual knowledge on the convergence of
sequence succeeded in performing proof whereas other participants with an inadequate level
of conceptual knowledge on the convergence of sequence failed in performing proof. This
condition calls to mind that there is a close relationship between conceptual knowledge and
proof skill. This result corresponds with the research results arguing that lack of conceptual
knowledge constitutes a difficulty in performing proof (Gibson, 1998). When the relationship
between opinions regarding proof and proof skill was taken into account, it was observed that
the participant who had a positive opinion regarding proof succeeded in performing proof
whereas other pre-service teachers with negative opinions regarding proof failed in
performing proof. Therefore, it can be stated that opinions regarding proof have a connection
with proof skill. This result, which was obtained in the study, corresponds with the research
results arguing that students’ opinions regarding proof affect their activities related with proof
(Furinghetti & Morselli, 2009; Weber, 2004). Lastly, when the participants’ academic success
in the related course, their opinions regarding proof and their proof skills were examined, it
could be said that students’ course success was not reflected on their proof skills and opinions
regarding proof. Although the participants of the research were selected among the preservice teachers who successfully passed the related course, the majority of the participants
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The Relationship among Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers’ Conceptual Knowledge…M. Doruk & A. Kaplan
failed in performing proof. This result corresponds with the fact that proof is a subject which
is accepted with resistance even by successful students (Weber, 2004).
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE)
Vol. 5(1), pp. 58-76, 1 April, 2015
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.76.5.1
Effect of Seniority on Teachers’ Organizational Citizenship Behavior: A
Meta-Analysis
Cevat Elma1
Eğitim Fakültesi, Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi, Samsun, Türkiye.
Tufan Aytaç2
Eğitim Fakültesi, Bozok Üniversitesi, Yozgat, Türkiye.
The basic purpose of this study is to determine the varying effect
sizes of teachers’ perception and opinions about organizational
citizenship behavior in accordance with their seniority. 17 studies
Received in revised form:
deemed meeting the inclusion criteria were chosen from 30 MA
23.03.2015
and PhD theses and dissertations in YOK National Thesis Archive
dealing with teachers’ opinions about organizational citizenship
Accepted:
25.03.2015
behavior in Turkey to be used in this study. Total number of
samples in this study is 8432 (teachers); 3448 of which are teachers
Key words:
with 1-10 years of seniority where as 4984 of which are teachers
Organizational citizenship,
with 10 and above years of seniority. In addition, several variables
meta-analysis, seniority,
teacher
such as publication year, the region used for the research,
educational level, scale type and researcher’s gender that could not
be included in the evaluation as a moderator in primary researches
were analyzed. In accordance with the results of this study, an
effect size with statistical significance at an insignificant level was
determined on the part of teachers with 11 years of seniority and
over according to fixed effect model (d= -0,133) and random effect
model (d=-0,180). In the consequence of the moderator analysis
conducted, moderator effects of the region in which the research
was conducted (p=0,000), educational level (p=0,002), the scale
type used in the studies (ready or developed) (p=0,000) and
researcher’s gender (p=0,018) were determined. Moreover, effect
sizes obtained from the studies showed that seniority difference has
a tendency to increase by year. As a result, seniority may not be
recommended to be used as a significant variable in those future
studies dealing with teachers’ opinions about organizational
citizenship behavior.
Article history
Received:
16.10.2014
Introduction
Many researches focusing on various dimensions of executive and organizational
fields are conducted to ensure that organizations could operate efficiently and effectively.
Majority of these researches deals with organizational structure and organizational behaviors.
Within this context, one of the subjects under the heading of organizational behaviors
1
2
[email protected]
[email protected]
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 58-76, 1 April, 2015
attracting the attention of the academia has recently been Organizational Citizenship
Behaviors (OCB) of employees. Indeed, OCB aims to protect the organization from
destructive and unwanted behaviors which prevent it from operating properly, to improve
employees’ abilities and skills; and to increase the performance and efficiency of the
organization through establishing effectual coordination. In this sense, OCB is closely related
to organization’s achievements such as taking advantage in a competitive environment,
attaining a learning identity, adapting to its environment, loyalty, work, sacrifice and
commitment of the employees (Organ & Ryan, 1995; Basım and Şeşen, 2006; Martinez,
2012). The most important reason for OCB’s rapid proliferation and acceptance of it in the
field of education is the fact that it is thought to make a lot of contributions to organizational
efficiency and performance (Bogler & Somech, 2005; DiPaola & Tschannen-Moran, 2001).
Looking at those employees working for efficient organizations, it may be said that they
perform tasks other than and go beyond those tasks, roles and responsibilities written in their
job description. In recent years during which competition among education organizations and
particularly among schools has been rapidly increasing, there existed a strong need for
managers and teachers exhibiting organizational citizenship behaviors. Teachers are expected
to perform voluntary tasks aimed at improving schools moving beyond their function as
teachers in classes as officially prescribed in their job descriptions. Within this context,
creating organizational citizenship behavior and ensuring the sustainability of this behavior
has increasingly been of vital importance in increasing the efficiency of schools (Özdemir,
2010; Somech & Bogler, 2002). However, there are various obstacles in teachers’ way to
exhibit organizational citizenship behavior. Various factors such as over competitive
atmosphere in schools, bad management of organizations, unsuccessful leadership, bad work
designs, negative effects of psychosocial working environment on communication and
cooperation processes, excessive frequency of inspection on teachers and the existence of a
structure of an over autocratic nature preclude teachers from exhibiting organizational
citizenship behavior (DiPaola&Tschannen-Moran, 2001; Yaylacı, 2004, Yıldırım, Uzum, &
Yıldırım, 2012). Within this scope, the contribution of OCB to the efficiency of a school,
which is a social organization with strong informal aspects, where activities based on
cooperation could be conducted, may be regarded as obvious.
Organizational Citizenship Behaviors (OCB)
The concept of organizational citizenship behavior, which was first mentioned by
Bateman and Organ (1983), has recently attracted the attention of academia in literature on
organization and its management and it has been used to refer to the behavior characterized as
extra role behavior during examination of relations concerning job satisfaction. In general,
OCB refers to extra role behavior, which is not included in official job descriptions; is beyond
the job requirements and exceeding the job expectations; and exhibited voluntarily to
contribute to the efficient operation of the organization (Karaman & Aylan, 2012; Organ,
1995, 1997; Podsakoff et al., 2000; Robbins & Judge, 2012; Sezgin, 2005). In other words,
OCB is exhibited by employees voluntarily regardless of orders without any pressure and that
contributes to the organization (Yılmaz & Çokluk-Bökeoğlu, 2008). In different studies, OCB
is described through different names such as surplus behavior, extra role behavior, social
organization behavior, organizational citizenship, prosocial organizational behavior, good
soldier syndrome, organizational spontaneity or civil organizational behavior (Podsakoff et al.
2000; Turnispeed & Murkison, 2000; Yaylacı, 2004). In problematic situations about the job,
OCB covers helping colleagues to solve the problem faced, accepting orders without causing
any problem, performing unexpected obligatory tasks without complaints, helping with
keeping the workplace clean and in order, talking to other people and organizations about the
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Effect of Seniority on Teachers’ Organizational Citizenship Behavior…C. Elma & T. Aytaç
job, organization and its managers in a positive manner, creating an organizational
atmosphere in which conflicts and distractions are absent or minimized, and protecting
resources of the organization (Bateman & Organ, 1983; Buluç, 2008).
OCB contributes to the social and psychological atmosphere of the organization as a personal
behavior performed on a voluntary basis, which also helps the organization with attainment of
its goals (Organ, 1997). Robbins and Judge (2012) state that those employees, who exhibit the
behavior of a “good citizen”, support their colleagues in their team; share the extra work load
voluntarily; avoid unnecessary arguments; respect both the soul of the work and written
instructions and rules regarding it; and welcome the obstacles they face during performance of
their tasks. According to Van Dyne, Graham and Dienesch (1994) those teachers with more
years of seniority develop strong attachment to the organization they work for, they have a
sense of belonging towards the organization and they have a more self-sacrificing attitude
towards it. Thus, exhibition of OCB by these teachers is facilitated.
In a number of studies, dimensions of OCB are classified as positive behavior (courtesy)
exhibited by members who are affected by each other’s work and decisions; providing other
employees who face problems with unreturned and voluntary help (Altruism-generosity);
welcoming, willing to accept the problems, disturbances and pressures and maintain the
positive position (gentlemanliness); perform role behaviors concerning the internal order of
the organization such as sustain work, punctuality and protecting the resources in a better
manner than that is expected from them (scrupulosity); commitment to the organization,
active and accountable participation in the political life of the organization and developing
new ideas (organizational and civil virtue) (Moorman & Blakely, 1995; Organ, 1997; Sezgin,
2005; Smith et al., 1983). Podsakoff et al. (2000) deal with OCB through seven dimensions:
helping; fairness, organizational loyalty, organizational obedience, personal initiative, civil
virtue and self-development.
Teachers’ Organizational Citizenship Behaviors
When the major characteristics of an efficient school are examined, reflections of
OCB exhibited by its teachers can be observed. Certain behaviors may be given as examples
for different dimensions of OCB: Consensus on the goals for team spirit dimension of OCB;
continuous communication and respect for respect and tolerance dimensions of OCB; and
develop employees in terms of their professional skills for participation dimension of OCB
(Gökmen, 2011). Considering the positive effects of OCB on school organization, it may be
said that it increases teachers’ organizational attachment and commitment, their sense of
justice, and their motivation while it decreases the labor turnover. A low level of OCB
exhibited by teachers and managers in schools has a negative influence on the performance of
employees and it undermines the school’s efficiency (Christine, 2011). A school where OCB
is dominant increases the efficiency of school managers and teachers and school’s culture; it
makes the school more appealing and it therefore increases the organization’s ability to attract
the attention of and maintain qualified managers and teachers. Behaviors such as helping
colleagues, providing proposals aimed at developing the work and processes; being careful
about being at work on time; making the best of working time; helping the new-comers with
their socialization; attending the workplace more than that is necessary (i.e. take leave less
than officially deserved); informing the management of absence in advance; helping the
inspectors or managers with their works; supporting them; and providing new and creative
proposals which would contribute to the organization are significant indicators of
organizational citizenship (DiPaola et al., 2005). Those teachers who have strong OCB help
their new colleagues voluntarily; take part in councils and committees; participate in extra
activities not included on the schedule; help students during their leisure times; work
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 58-76, 1 April, 2015
efficiently in cooperation with their counterparts and attach priority to professional activities.
They use their personal and professional skills to ensure that students and the school achieve
their goals (DiPaola & Tschannen-Moran, 2001; Yancı & Sağlam, 2014).
OCB is known to be in a positive relationship with personal and organizational performance
and make contributions to organizational efficiency. OCB makes the school more appealing
and it therefore increases the organization’s ability to attract the attention of and maintain
qualified managers and teachers (Podsakoff & MacKenzie, 1997; Özdemir, 2010; Yücel &
Kalaycı, 2009). Teachers’ OCB in schools is influenced by their personality, job requirements
and managers’ leadership behaviors (Moorman, 1991; Özdemir, 2010; Podsakoff et al., 2000).
In the consequence of various researches made, teachers who exhibit OCB have been found to
have higher performance. Students’ success and teachers’ OCB have also been stated to have
a close relationship and teachers’ efficiency to depend on teachers’ exhibition of OCB in
schools (Bogler & Somech, 2005; DiPaola & Neves, 2009; Moorman, 1991). OCB is also
affected by teachers’ attitude towards the school, behaviors and perception. Creating a strong
organizational climate to support teachers’ exhibition of OCB facilitates the cooperation,
information exchange, help and sharing between the teachers (Sezgin, 2005). OCB is vital
both for information transfer and bringing positive behaviors. OCB behaviors which influence
teachers’ relationship with managers, other teachers and parents have been recently put on the
agenda frequently (Oğuz, 2010).
Organizational Citizenship Behaviors within the Context of Various Variables
Significance of OCB stems from its relationship with a number of variables such as
job satisfaction, organizational justice, organizational commitment, organizational confidence,
organization culture. Recent researches on OCB accept and suggest the positive effects of
OCB on the employee and its organization; however, there are also researches which suggest
that OCB has negative effects. In majority of researches conducted home and abroad, it is
concluded that strong OCB of the employees has positive effects on the variable studied
(Buluç, 2008; Karaman & Aylan, 2012; Moorman & Blakely, 1995; Sezgin, 2005; Vey &
Campbell, 2004).
OCB is one of the commonly studied research topics particularly in the field of education in
Turkey and it has been discussed with its different aspects. Relationships between OCB and
commitment, organizational health, organizational justice, job satisfaction and exhaustion
have been considered in terms of various education levels and variables (Buluç, 2008; Çelik,
2007; Dönder, 2006; Karaman, Yücel & Dönder, 2008; Keskin, 2005; Mercan, 2006; Polat,
2007; Polat & Celep, 2008; Yaylacı, 2004; Yılmaz, 2010). Various researches conducted in
Turkey teachers have been determined to have a mid-level positive opinion about OCB
(Dönder, 2006; Keskin, 2005; Mercan, 2006; Yaylacı, 2004; Yılmaz & Çokluk- Bökeoğlu,
2008; Yılmaz & Taşdan, 2009). Researches conducted by Aktaş (2008), Altunbaş (2009) and
Yancı and Sağlam (2014) on high school teachers suggest that they exhibit OCB at a high
level.
Seniority depends directly on the person’s positive feelings about its employer and these
feelings may lead to promotion to a certain level (Sönmez, 2005). Research made by Yücel
and Kalaycı (2009) suggests that those teachers who are working in a reliable working
environment have a tendency to exhibit OCB. The most influential variable on OCB has been
determined as teachers’ seniority in their school. In the meta-analysis of Organ and Ryan
(1995) determiners of OCB have been determined as job satisfaction, perceived
organizational justice, organizational commitment and leader support. According to Morrison
(1994), as the seniority increases, trust and commitment felt by the employee towards his/her
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Effect of Seniority on Teachers’ Organizational Citizenship Behavior…C. Elma & T. Aytaç
employer increases and thus the employee perceives more number of tasks as covered in his
role since he/she feels more responsible towards the organization. This way, he/she exhibits
organizational citizenship behaviors.
Even though no evidence has been found indicating that seniority is effective upon teachers’
OCB in school, demographic variables have been used and interpreted in majority of
researches. Teachers’ OCB may be affected by factors such as their personal and professional
qualities; particularly by their gender, age, term of office, marital status, socio-economic
situation and the region where they work. In terms of variables determining OCB, along with
demographic and behavioral qualities of the employees, their seniority may also be
influential. Various researches show that teachers’ seniority is a significant predictor of
teachers’ OCB (Bogler & Somech, 2005; DiPaola & Tschannen-Moran, 2001; İpek, 2012;
Kidder, 2002; Martinez, 2012; Kidder, 2002; Suresh, & Venkatammal, 2010; Yener & Akyol,
2009; Yücel et al., 2009).
Different researches in which OCB perceptions are compared in seniority in literature have
different conclusions. Some of these researches in literature (Celep et al., 2004; Çetin et al.,
2003; Ölçüm-Çetin, 2004; Polat, 2007; Yücel et al., 2009; Yılmaz, 2010) reveal that teachers’
perception and opinions vary depending upon their term of office. The research made by
Yılmaz (2012) suggest that teachers’ opinions about OCB do not change depending on their
gender, education, age and the number of teachers in school while it changes depending on
teachers’ term of office. A number of researches in literature (Altınkurt & Yılmaz, 2012;
Bulut, 2011; Büyüközkan, 2012; Polat, 2007) suggest that teachers’ seniority does not have
any determining role in their exhibition of OCB; and that they exhibit OCB at same levels.
Number of quantitative and qualitative researches made on OCB in the field of education in
Turkey has been increasing day by day. In general, various scales and different independent
variables (gender, branch, marital status, education level, faculty from which teachers
graduate, seniority etc.) have been used in researches conducted on OCB in schools through
quantitative and qualitative methods (Altınkurt & Yılmaz, 2012; Sezgin, 2005). As a result of
these researches, some results have been obtained which are both statistically significant and
insignificant; and varying in terms of subgroups of independent variables. Meta-analyses are
required to synthesize the results of all these researches and to pave the way for new
researches on teachers’ opinions about OCB (Organ & Ryan, 1995; Dar &Raja, 2014).
Sezgin (2005) noted that these results should be synthesized because researches on OCB have
given different conclusions. He also claimed that meta-analyses should be made in this
respect. Increase in the studies on teachers’ opinions about OBC in schools witnessed recently
led to a necessity to draw a common conclusion through considering the number of samples
and synthesizing the results of these studies.
Research made by Sezgin (2005) shows that there is a significant relationship between
emotional commitment and OCB and emotional commitment of the employees is one of the
factors leading to exhibition of OCB. Sezgin (2005) noted that these results should be
synthesized because researches on OCB have given different conclusions. Increase in the
studies on teachers’ opinions about OBC in schools witnessed recently led to a necessity to
draw a common conclusion through considering the number of samples and synthesizing the
results of these studies. Since no meta-analysis on teachers’ opinions about organizational
citizenship has been found, this study would be an original one in both domestic and
international sense and it would pave the way for new researches in this field in terms of
different variables. Within this context, this study will examine the effect sizes of
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 58-76, 1 April, 2015
organizational citizenship and whether there is a difference between the effect sizes obtained
through various variables ignored in primary researches.
Purpose
The aim of this study is to determine the effect of seniority on teachers' organizational
citizenship behaviour. To this end, the effect size of teachers’ perceptions and opinions
regarding to organizational citizenship behavior is determined. Also the variables of
publication year, the region in which the research was carried on, school levels, scale type,
and researcher’s gender are tested as moderator variables.
Method
Research Model
Meta-analysis method, which is one of the methods used for synthesizing the research
results, constitutes this research’s model. The process including analysis, synthesis and
interpretation of quantitative findings obtained from independent studies through advanced
statistical techniques is called meta-analysis. The aim of meta-analysis is to combine the
findings of various studies conducted at different times in different places on the same subject
so as to reveal the facts about this subject and to achieve the most reliable fact in quantitative
terms through increasing the number of samples (Cumming, 2012: 205; Ellis, 2012: 5;
Hartung, 2008: Kış, 2013; Aytaç, 2014; Yıldırım, 2014). In this study, CMA ver. 2.2.064
[Comprehensive Meta-Analysis], Statistical Package Software for Meta-Analysis was used
for measurement of the effect sizes, variances and comparisons of the groups included in each
study. SSPS ver. 20.0 package software was used for the rater reliability test.
Data Collection
MA theses and PhD dissertations on teachers’ perception and opinions about OCB in
Turkey are the basic data sources of this study. The keywords “organizational citizenship”
and “organizational allegiance” were used to find the related material and researches in the
National Thesis Archive of the Council of Higher Education. Following the browsing process,
17 of 30 studies on the subject of this study were found convenient for inclusion criteria. In
choosing the studies to be included in this study, the following criteria were used:
(i) Criterion 1: Published or unpublished references: MA and PhD thesis.
(ii) Criterion 2: Convenience of the research method of the study: The requirement for being
an empirical study and use of tenure of office as an independent variable to obtain the effect
size during the meta-analysis.
(iii) Criterion 3: Existence of sufficient numeric data: Sample size, mean, standard deviation,
F value, t value, X2 value, Kruskal Wallis value, Mann Whitney U data and p value were
considered for teacher groups with 1-10 years of seniority and with 10 years of seniority and
over to determine the effect sizes necessary for a meta-analysis.
13 studies were not included in the study on the grounds that they used different variables
(managers, academic members) and they lacked the data necessary for a meta-analysis. The
sample of this study is limited to 17 studies and MA theses and PhD dissertations on this
subject written in Turkey between the years 2006 and 2012.
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Effect of Seniority on Teachers’ Organizational Citizenship Behavior…C. Elma & T. Aytaç
Research Reliability: A coding protocol which includes the name, content and data of this
study has been created. A secondary researcher who has an in-depth knowledge on the “Study
Content” section of the Rating Protocol and on what to do has rated using an inter-rater
reliability form in order to ensure the inter-rater reliability. The first rater is the first
researcher himself. Cohen’s Kappa statistics was used to ensure the inter-rater reliability and
it was found to be 0,91. This result indicated almost a perfect compliance between the raters.
Research validity: The validity and reliability of meta-analysis depends on the validity and
reliability of the studies included in the research (Decoster, 2004; Petitti 2000). Also,
screening and including all related studies which meet the criteria of meta-analysis increases
the validity of the study. It has seen that, all thesis included in this study have carried out with
valid and reliable research instruments. During this study, it was determined that the validity
of data collection means had been ensured in all of 17 studies included in the meta-analysis.
Data Analysis
During the analysis of data, one of the methods of meta-analysis comparing group
(fixed and random-effects models) Group differences method was used. During this study, the
effect sizes, variances and comparisons of the groups included in each study were measured
through CMA ver. 2.2.064 [Comprehensive Meta-Analysis], Statistical Package Software for
Meta-Analysis (Borenstein et al., 2005). This study includes teachers with 1-10 years of
seniority as sample group and teachers with 11 years of seniority and over as control group.
Thus, positive status of the effect size is interpreted as being in favor of teachers with 1-10
years of seniority while its negative status is interpreted as being in favor of teachers with 11
years of seniority and over. SSPS ver. 20.0 package software was used for rater reliability test.
Since the significance level was taken as 0,05 in the studies included in this study, the
significance level of statistical analyses to be used in this study was determined as 0,05.
Findings
The related data covered in the studies included in this study were analyzed so as to
find an answer to the question of the study. Findings concerning the publication bias,
descriptive statistics, forest plot, fixed effect model findings, homogeneity test, random effect
model findings and moderator analysis findings obtained from these analyses are given in this
part.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 58-76, 1 April, 2015
Funnel Plot of Standard Error by Std diff in means
0,0
0,1
Standard
Error
0,2
0,3
0,4
-2,0
-1,5
-1,0
-0,5
0,0
0,5
1,0
1,5
2,0
Std diff in means
Figure 1. Cone Dispersion Graphic of the Studies with Effect Size Data on Differences
among Teachers’ Perceptions about Organizational Citizenship Behaviors in Accordance
with Their Seniority
As reflected in Figure 1, majority of 17 studies that were included in this study is located at
upper side of the figure and very close to the conjoined effect size. In case there is no
publication bias, studies are expected to expand symmetrically on both sides of vertical line
showing the effect size (Borenstein et al, 2009: 284). Four of the studies (Altunbaş, 2009;
Yancı, 2011; Zengin, 2011) that were included in this study to determine the conjoined effect
size measured based on seniority variable went beyond the pyramid but they expanded around
the top and the middle of the figure. If there was a publication bias in 17 studies that were
included in this study, then, the majority of the studies will be located at the bottom of the
figure or only at a single part of the vertical line (Borenstein et al, 2009: 284). In this sense,
this cone graphic is one of the indicators of the absence of a publication bias in terms of the
studies included in this study.
Orwin’s Fail-Safe N Evaluation was also conducted to test the publication bias. Orwin’s FailSafe N calculates the number of studies that are likely to be excluded from the meta-analysis
(Borenstein et al, 2009: 285). In the consequence of this analysis, Orwin’s Fail-Safe N was
found to be 176. The necessary number of study for the average effect size found as 0,018 in
the consequence of the meta-analysis to reach 0,01 (trivial) level, in other words, almost to
zero effect size is 232. However, 17 studies which were included in this study are the total
number of studies which meet the inclusion criteria and which are available among all the
studies conducted on this subject in Turkey (qualitative, quantitative, theoretical etc.).
Impossibility to attain 232 other studies may be accepted as another indicator of the absence
of publication bias in this meta-analysis.
Non-Conjoint Findings of Effect Size Analysis Based on Teachers’ Term of Office
The effect sizes of teachers’ perception about OCB based on their term of office,
standard error and its upper and lower limits based on a reliability level of 95% are given in
an order from positive to the negative values on Table 1.
Table 1.
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Effect of Seniority on Teachers’ Organizational Citizenship Behavior…C. Elma & T. Aytaç
Effect Sizes of Teachers’ Opinions about OCB Based on Their Term of Office
Model
Research Name
Aktay, 2008
Altunbaş, 2009
Bulut, 2011
Büyüközkan,
2012
Dönder, 2006
Gökmen, 2011
Karagöz, 2007
Kepenek, 2008
Korkmaz, 2011
Köprülü, 2011
Özer, 2009
Öztürk, 2009
Polat, 2007
Uslu, 2011
Yancı, 2011
Yarım, 2009
Zengin, 2011
Fixed
Random
Effect Standard
Lower
size (d) error
Variance limit
-0,255
0,132
0,017
-0,513
0,321
0,110
0,012
0,105
-0,040
0,093
0,009
-0,221
Upper
Limit Z-Value
-1,935
0,003
2,920
0,536
-0,430
0,142
-0,035
-0,521
-0,125
-0,027
-0,018
0,084
-0,329
-0,273
-0,374
-0,039
-0,333
-0,489
-0,014
-0,745
-0,133
-0,180
0,075
-0,327
0,096
0,194
0,221
0,214
-0,127
-0,059
0,085
0,107
-0,126
-0,243
0,225
-0,523
0,087
0,060
0,056
0,099
0,113
0,113
0,122
0,067
0,103
0,109
0,234
0,074
0,105
0,125
0,122
0,113
0,024
0,061
0,003
0,010
0,013
0,013
0,015
0,004
0,011
0,012
0,055
0,006
0,011
0,016
0,015
0,013
0,001
0,004
-0,145
-0,715
-0,346
-0,249
-0,258
-0,047
-0,530
-0,487
-0,833
-0,184
-0,539
-0,734
-0,252
-0,967
-0,179
-0,299
-0,625
-5,271
-1,111
-0,242
-0,152
1,257
-3,197
-2,503
-1,599
-0,525
-3,156
-3,899
-0,111
-6,582
-5,640
-2,952
Of
pNumber Samples
Value Female Male
0,053
161
91
0,004
162
174
0,667
250
218
0,532
0,000
0,267
0,809
0,879
0,209
0,001
0,012
0,110
0,600
0,002
0,000
0,912
0,000
0,000
0,003
422
206
166
132
86
536
139
145
23
263
115
209
136
297
4319
4319
1277
217
150
192
308
391
308
203
93
586
433
95
134
114
4210
4210
In accordance with Table 1, the standardized mean difference (SMD=SOF) based on seniority
in these 17 studies, varies from -0,745 in favor of teachers with 1-10 years of seniority to
0,321 in favor of teachers with 1-10 years of seniority. A statistically significant difference (p
<0,05) was found in 8 studies while no significant difference was determined in 9 studies. The
confidence interval of 17 studies was also found to vary from -0,967 to 0,536.
Forest Plot of the Studies Including Data on Seniority
The forest plot of 17 studies included in this study and consisting of the data
concerning seniority is given in Figure 2.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 58-76, 1 April, 2015
Studyname
Statistics for each study
Std diff in means and 95% CI
Std diff Standard
Lower Upper
in means error Variance limit
limit Z-Value p-Value
Aktay, 2008
Altunbaş, 2009
Bulut, 2011
Büyüközkan, 2012
Dönder, 2006
Gökmen, 2011
Karagöz, 2007
Kepenek, 2008
Korkmaz, 2011
Köprülü, 2011
Özer, 2009
Öztürk, 2009
Polat, 2007
Uslu, 2011
Yancı, 2011
Yarım, 2009
Zengin, 2011
Fixed
-0,255
0,321
-0,040
-0,035
-0,521
-0,125
-0,027
-0,018
0,084
-0,329
-0,273
-0,374
-0,039
-0,333
-0,489
-0,014
-0,745
-0,133
0,132
0,110
0,093
0,056
0,099
0,113
0,113
0,122
0,067
0,103
0,109
0,234
0,074
0,105
0,125
0,122
0,113
0,024
0,017
0,012
0,009
0,003
0,010
0,013
0,013
0,015
0,004
0,011
0,012
0,055
0,006
0,011
0,016
0,015
0,013
0,001
-0,513
0,105
-0,221
-0,145
-0,715
-0,346
-0,249
-0,258
-0,047
-0,530
-0,487
-0,833
-0,184
-0,539
-0,734
-0,252
-0,967
-0,179
0,003
0,536
0,142
0,075
-0,327
0,096
0,194
0,221
0,214
-0,127
-0,059
0,085
0,107
-0,126
-0,243
0,225
-0,523
-0,087
-1,935
2,920
-0,430
-0,625
-5,271
-1,111
-0,242
-0,152
1,257
-3,197
-2,503
-1,599
-0,525
-3,156
-3,899
-0,111
-6,582
-5,640
0,053
0,004
0,667
0,532
0,000
0,267
0,809
0,879
0,209
0,001
0,012
0,110
0,600
0,002
0,000
0,912
0,000
0,000
-1,00
-0,50
0,00
0,50
1,00
11 year and over 1-10 years between
Figure 2. Forest plot of the effect sizes of teachers’ perception about OCB based on seniority
variable
When Figure 2 is examined, a difference lower than zero in favor of teachers with 11 years of
seniority and over is observed. The fact that there is a difference in favor of teachers with 11
years of seniority and over may be interpreted as a sign of the fact that they perceive and
encounter OCB more in proportion to male teachers.
Findings of Effect Size Meta-Analysis of Teachers’ Seniority Conjoined in
Accordance with Fixed and Random Effect Models
The average effect size of the perception of teachers with 1-10 years of seniority and
teachers with 11 years of seniority and over about OCB conjoined in accordance with fixed
and random effect models (without subtracting the outliers), standard error and its upper and
lower limits based on a confidence interval of 95% are given on Table 2.
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Effect of Seniority on Teachers’ Organizational Citizenship Behavior…C. Elma & T. Aytaç
Table 2. Findings of Effect size Meta-Analysis Based on Seniority Variable Conjoined in
Accordance with the Fixed Effect Model And Random Effect Model and Homogeneity Test
Model
Fixed
effect
Random
effect
Effect size and confidence interval of 95%
Heterogenity
Number
of
studies
Point
estimate
Standard
Lower
error
Variance limit
Upper
limit
17
-0,133
0,024
0,001
-0,179
-0,087 -5,640
17
-0,180
0,061
0,004
-0,299
-0,060 -2,952
Z-value
Qvalue
df
(Q)
99,522 16
I2
83,923
On Table 2, the average effect size value obtained from the effect size values of the studies
included in this study based on seniority variable in accordance with fixed effect model was
calculated as d=-0,133 whereas the standard error of the average effect size, the upper limit
and lower limit of confidence interval of the average effect size was calculated as SE=0,024; 0,087; and -0,179, respectively. Data obtained from 17 studies included in this study based on
the calculations showed that teachers with 11 years of seniority and over experience OCB
more than teachers with 1-10 years of seniority in accordance with fixed effect model.
However, since the effect size value is lower than 0,20, it was determined as an effect even
less than the lower level in accordance with Cohen’s classification (Cohen, 1988, 40).
According to Lipsey’s classification, there is an effect even less than the lower level when the
effect size is lower than 0,15. The classification of Thalheimer and Cook (2002) shows that
there is an insignificant difference (-0,15-0,15).
When statistical significance is calculated according to Z test, Z=-5,640 was found. The
obtained result was found to have statistical significance with p=0,005. Only 1 of the 17
studies included in this study based on seniority variable have remained within the upper and
lower limits of effect size and reached a result close to the existent effect size whereas the
remaining 16 studies have remained over or below these limits.
As for the homogeneity test, in other words, Q-statistics, Q was calculated as 99,522. 16
degrees of freedom at a significance level of 95% from x2 table was found to be 7,96. The
hypothesis on the absence of homogeneity in terms of the distribution of effect sizes was
rejected in fixed effect model because Q-statistics value (Q=99,522) exceeded the critical chi
square distribution value (x2 0,95 =7,96) with a degree of freedom of 16. Thus, effect sizes
distribution was determined to be heterogeneous in accordance with fixed effect model.
I2, which was developed as a supplement to Q statistics, put forth a clearer result concerning
heterogeneity (Petticrew & Roberts, 2006; Yıldırım, 2014). I2 shows the rate of total variance
about the effect size. As opposed to Q-statistics, I2 Statistics are not affected by number of
studies. During the interpretation of I2 25% indicates a low-level heterogeneity, 50% indicates
a mid-level heterogeneity and 75% shows a high-level heterogeneity (Cooper et al, 2009,
263). Since a level of heterogeneity close to a high-level heterogeneity was found in the
consequence of the homogeneity for the purpose of seniority variable (Q and I2) the model to
be used for conjoining process was transformed into a random model. The results of the
moderator analysis made to put forth the reasons for this heterogeneity are given on Table 3.
Tablo 3. Categorical Moderator Results about the Effect of Seniority on OCB
Moderator
Education level
Primary/secondary
Primary/secondary
High school
Region of the study
k
d
SE
%95 CI
4
8
5
-0,031
-0,210
-0,060
0,050
0,032
0,047
[-0,129; 0,068]
[-0,273; -0,146]
[-0,152; 0,032]
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Q
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 58-76, 1 April, 2015
Eastern Anatolia
3
-0,191
0,052
[-0,294; -0,089]
26,090
Central Anatolia
3
-0,025
0,064
[-0,150; 0,100]
Marmara
7
-0,123
0,045
[-0,211; -0,035]
Mediterranean
2
-0,037
0,045
[-0,124; 0,051]
Aegean
2
-0,433
0,072
[-0,574; -0,292]
Scale Type
16,301
Ready
12
-0,226
0,033
[-0,291; 0,069]
Developed
5
-0,036
0,034
[-0,102; 0,030]
Researcher’s gender
5,565
Male
9
-0,077
0,033
[-0,142; -0,011]
Female
8
0,188
0,033
[-0,253; -0,123]
*p<.05 Note: k=number of studies, d=Cohen’s d, SE= Standard Error, CI= Confidence Interval, Q=heterogeneity
among the studies
Comparison analyses were made for those studies whose number of subgroups is two and
more. In the consequence of the moderator analysis conducted, the effect sizes were found to
vary depending on the education level (p=0,002). Results of the studies conducted at
primary/secondary and high school levels and only at high school level indicated an
insignificant result (primary/secondary and high school: -0,031 and high school: -0,060) in
favor of teachers with 11 and above years of seniority; effect size in studies conducted only at
primary/secondary school level as sample increases (-0,091; -0,026). Studies in regions where
the provinces in which this research was conducted are located (p=0,000) were determined to
influence the effect sizes. Researches made in all regions indicated findings in favor of
teachers with 11 and above years of seniority, while particularly the effect size of researches
conducted in Aegean region is higher (Aegean: -0,043). The moderator effects of the scale
type (ready or developed) (p=0,000) and researcher’s gender (p=0,018) were also determined.
In studies which were conducted through ready scales, a difference in favor of teachers with
11 years of seniority and over was observed. Direction of the difference was observed to
change in favor of teachers with 11 years of seniority and over when the researcher was
female.
Effect Sizes of Studies
0,60
0,50
0,40
0,30
0,20
0,10
0,00
-0,10
-0,20
-0,30
-0,40
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
Research Year
Figure 3. Effect Sizes Meta-Regression Results based on the Years in Which the Research
Was Conducted.
As reflected in Figure 3, an increase tendency in seniority difference by years in terms of the
effect sizes of the studies is observed.
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Effect of Seniority on Teachers’ Organizational Citizenship Behavior…C. Elma & T. Aytaç
Discussion, Results and Recommendations
In this study, 17 effect sizes related to 17 studies constituting a sample of 8432 people
were calculated. A statistically significant difference was detected in 8 studies while no
significant difference was found in 9 studies. In fixed effect model, as a result of the
conjoining process, a statistically significant effect size of 0,133 in favor of teachers with 11
years of seniority and over was found. This result may be regarded as low and insignificant in
accordance with the classification of Cohen (1988) and Thalheimer and Cook (2002). In
random effect model, as a result of the conjoining process, a statistically significant effect size
of -0,180 in favor of teachers with 11 years of seniority and over was found. This result may
also be regarded as low and insignificant in accordance with the classification of Cohen
(1988) and Thalheimer and Cook (2002). When these results are evaluated together, they
show that there is a difference which may be regarded as insignificant among teachers’
perceptions about OCB in schools in terms of seniority variable. Thus, not using seniority as a
variable in future studies may be brought to the agenda. Since there is not any other metaanalysis regarding teachers’ perception about teachers’ OCB based on seniority variable, it
was not possible to compare and contrast these results.
In this study, teachers’ opinions do not vary depending on their term of office. Researches
conducted by Altınkurt and Yılmaz (2012), Dar and Raja (2014) and Polat (2007) also support
this result. The result of this indicating that opinions of teachers with 11 years of seniority and
over are positive about OCB even if it is at an insignificant level is in parallel with the results
of researches made by Celep, Polat, Elbir and Yapıcı (2004), Oğuz (2010) and Ölçüm-Çetin
(2004). Researches of Gökmen (2011), Köprülü (2011), Yılmaz (2010) and Yıldırım et al.
(2012) suggest that teachers with 11 years of seniority and over have a more positive attitude
towards OCB than those teachers with 1-10 years of seniority. Celep et al. (2004), Çetin et al.
(2003) and Köprülü (2011) and Yılmaz (2010), in their studies, found teachers’ positive
attitude increases as their years of seniority increase. As the duration of work in school
increases, an increase in the organizational citizenship level including conscience, altruism
and civil virtue is observed. Sezgin (2005) showed that teachers who are new in their
profession and teachers who are in later periods of their seniority are not very successful in
exhibiting OCB. Various researches put forward the fact that inexperience and absence of
time necessary for adopting the culture in the organization may prevent new teachers from
exhibiting OCB (Celep et al., 2004; Çetin et al., 2003; Dönder, 2006). Eres (2010) in his
research suggests that teachers with 21 years of seniority and over exhibit less OCB than
those teachers with less years of seniority. Possibility of withdrawal behavior exhibited due to
the idea “I have made all I could up to now” and willingness to retire to be one of the reasons
of this result should be taken into account.
A significant difference was found among teachers’ opinions about their frequency of
exhibiting OCB and seniority variable. Perceptions of teachers with 11-20 years of seniority
and perceptions of those with 21 years of seniority and over were determined to be different.
This study indicated that perceptions of teachers with 21 years of seniority and over about
OCB exhibition is higher than perceptions of teachers with 11-20 years of seniority.
Problems such as increase in the number of student for whom each teacher is responsible;
differences in social expectations; technological inefficiencies in schools; teachers’ perception
that their income is low may prevent teachers with less years of seniority from exhibiting
OCB (Yancı & Sağlam, 2014; DiPaola, Tarter & Hoy, 2005; Wagner & Rush, 2000). Within
the context of the results of this study, it may be said that creating working conditions which
will encourage new teachers exhibit OCB and an efficient communicative and cooperative
atmosphere considering their social and psychological needs will be beneficial.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 58-76, 1 April, 2015
Within the context of the results of this study, a decrease tendency in teachers’ years of
seniority difference in terms of effect sizes of researches based on research year moderator is
observed. One of the findings of this study reflecting the fact that there is not any significant
difference among teachers’ perception about OCB depending on seniority variable may
suggest that it will not be possible to use this variable as a significant independent one in
future studies. Results obtained from recent studies support this finding as well.
As a result, supporting teachers in exhibiting OCB, school management’s efforts to bring
trust, cooperation, commitment, helping each other, conscience and courtesy and rewarding
teachers exhibiting OCB may be regarded as significant factors ensuring both the school’s and
its teachers’ efficiency. Determining a common vision and creating a more interactive and
sharing culture based on trust may increase the exhibition of OCB. In this respect, transfer of
information and experience by more experienced and successful teachers into new and
inexperienced teachers may be regarded as an important drive. To that end, on-the-job
training provided for teachers who are in their earlier period of seniority may be provided in a
way to enhance their OCB understanding.
Further studies to reveal and discuss the reasons for the low level of difference among
teachers’ perceptions about OCB based on seniority variable in schools and for the fact that
teachers with 11 years of seniority and over exhibit more OCB than teachers with 1-10 years
of seniority even if it is at a low level may be recommended. Further meta-analyses may be
conducted using various variables predicting OCB such as gender, marital status and school
type.
References
(The symbol of * refers to the studies included in the meta-analysis).
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE)
Vol. 5(1), pp. 77-87, 1 April, 2015
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.64.5.1
Reality therapy oriented intervention program for cyberbullying behaviors
and testing its efficiency
Taşkın Tanrıkulu*
Department of Psychological Counseling and Guidance, Fatih University, İstanbul, Turkey
Mustafa Koç
Sakarya University School of Education, Hendek, Turkey
Osman Tolga Arıcak
Hasan Kalyoncu University, Department of Psychology, Gaziantep, Turkey
Article history
The purpose of this study is to develop an intervention program for
Received:
cyberbullying based on reality therapy and also to investigate the
26.07.2014
efficiency of this program for such behavior. For the study, firstly,
Received in revised form:
the concept of cyberbullying is analyzed and discussed within the
27.03.2015
framework of choice theory. Secondly, a psychological counseling
program intended to reduce cyberbullying behaviors is developed
Accepted:
27.03.2015
and a pilot scheme is launched. Remarks of experts are taken into
consideration in analyzing the pilot scheme and the program’s
Key words:
suitability with reality therapy is established. An intervention
Cyberbullying, Choice Theory,
program is implemented at a high school in Istanbul in the first half
Reality Therapy, Intervention
of the 2012-2013 school year. In the study, designed with 2x3
split-plot method, experimental and control groups consisting of 12
people are formed and a ten-session program is implemented for
the experimental group. Analyses show that cyberbullying
behaviors decreased in the experimental group, while there was no
change in the level of cyberbullying behaviors in the control group.
Introduction
Rapidly evolving technology continuously presents to us new and different
communication opportunities and every new communication technology brings with it some
problematic consequences. New technology has increased the use of electronic devices in
schools, such as cell-phones and the Internet, and, consequently, perplexing practices
involving these tools have emerged (Wright, Joy, Christopher, & Heather, 2009). One of the
most prevalent problems among these is a new form of bullying, conceptualized as
cyberbullying. While bullying behaviors are often encountered in schools, cyberbullying has
recently emerged as a widespread problem (Baker & Kavşut, 2007).
According to Arıcak, Tanrıkulu, Siyahhan and Kınay (2013), cyberbullying “includes all
relational or technical harmful behaviors directed to an individual, a group or a legal
personality by using information and communication technologies”. Cyberbullying, in other
*
Correspondence: Fatih University, Büyükçekmece, İstanbul, [email protected] Tel: +90 212
866 33 00 (2832) Fax: +90 212 866 33 37
Reality therapy oriented intervention program for cyberbullying behaviors…T. Tanrıkulu, M. Koç & O.T. Arıcak
words, can be defined as “intentional and recurring behaviors which support hostile behaviors
and include use of information and communication technologies, such as e-mail, cell phone,
pager, sms services and websites with the purpose of doing harm to others” (Agatston,
Kowalski, & Limber, 2007; Ang & Goh, 2010; Arıcak, 2009; Patchin & Hinduja, 2006;
Totan, 2007; Wright et al., 2009). Cyberbullying includes many purposes, such as
embarrassment, harassment, humiliation or insult, and it can be done by an individual alone as
well as by a group (Anderson, 2010).
Although the lack of balanced power and recurrence are said to be two criteria of
cyberbullying behaviors (Nocentini et al, 2010), another approach doesn’t consider recurrence
as a condition, because cyberbullying has a sustainable affect, everything on the Internet can
be seen later and other people, as well as the cyberbullies, can spread this bullying easily
(Levy et al., 2012). The inability to use social media opportunities and imbalance in power
concerning Internet knowledge and computers lead unqualified people to fail to defend
themselves in those instances. Some studies propose two new criteria for cyberbullying; one
is anonymity, which means that the doer of the cyberbullying is unknown, and the other is
publicity, which means that bullying can also be observed by other people (Nocentini et al,
2010).
Because cyberbullying can be observed by more people than traditional bullying, it can cause
more severe problems than traditional bullying (Dooley, Pyżalski & Cross, 2009).
Depression, social isolation, and self-destructive behavior are some common problems
(Mason, 2008; Wong-Lo, Bullock, & Gable, 2011). Some consequences, such as a difficulty
in perceiving emotional problems or problems with friendships, as well as feeling unsafe in
school, can occur (Sourander et al, 2010). Moreover, other studies show that victims have low
self-confidence and diminished self-respect (Didden et al, 2009; Mason, 2008; Patchin &
Hinduja, 2010). A study on 10-12 year-old students, by Navarro, Yubero, Larrañaga, and
Martínez (2011), shows that victims of cyberbullying have social anxiety and are especially
fearful of negative consideration. It’s been observed that female victims are more likely than
males to exhibit such symptoms (Dooley, Gradinger, Strohmeier, Cross, & Spiel, 2010)
Given all these aspects, cyberbullying has become a problem which needs to be focused upon
in the schools. Although there are descriptive studies about the issue, the number of studies
discussing types of intervention is inadequate. This study is, first of all, important because it is
an intervention program aimed at the reducing of cyberbullying behaviors. The results of this
study are expected to provide benefits both for academics and practitioners.
Intervention Program
Theoretical Base of the Program
This program is based on choice theory. The treatment approach of choice theory in
the area of psychological counseling is reality therapy. According to choice theory, the
responsibility for the control of behavior belongs to person. However, when people have a
problem with someone, instead of controlling and changing their own behaviors, they
generally prefer to take control of the behaviors of the other person and change him or her.
Consequently, this leads people to have relational problems with other people (Glasser, 1997).
According to Glasser (1985), when people behave differently than what we expect, we try to
persuade them to behave in the way we want. However, we cannot be successful in those
cases. We don’t have any control over other people’s behaviors and desires. We can only
control our own behaviors.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 77-87, 1 April, 2015
Reality therapy, which has been developed based upon choice theory, is based on principles
that train counselees to make more effective choices about developing satisfactory
relationships with other people. The most important goal of reality therapy is to make people
aware that the real responsibility for his behavior belongs to himself. Therapy process
includes understanding the fact that upon having this awareness, desired change is only
possible with person’s own behaviors and choices and putting a change plan which will
prompt the person into practice (Glasser, 1999).
Reality therapy tries to create a process in which responsible and realistic behaviors are put
into practice for the counselee and a successful identity is formed in this way. Designing a
plan to change unrealistic and dysfunctional behavior is the focus of therapy. Reality therapy
provides explanations for what counselees actually do and establishes specific changes which
need to be made (Palancı, 2004).
Reality therapy points out responsibility. Responsible people are aware of what they want and
what they can achieve, and they are independent and active while achieving these. In this
sense, responsible people can control life better and display behaviors accordingly. Therefore,
one of the most important goals of therapy is to provide people with responsibility. The
therapy process includes confronting the counselee with what he does, what he feels and his
thoughts, and realizing new choices in order to display efficacious behaviors. It shows the
counselee how he can take control of his life and how he can live effectively. To that end, the
counselee, firstly, is helped to understand what is dysfunctional in his current behavior. As the
dysfunction in his behaviors is realized, the counselee will begin to be motivated to search out
new proper behaviours (Palancı, 2004).
Preparation Process of Intervention Program
Moving from these features of choice theory and reality therapy, subsequently related
literature was examined for the preparation of the program.
Secondly, intervention studies for cyberbullying were investigated. At this point, it was
observed that studies for this problem are generally prevention programs. Therefore, moving
from a literature review (Bauman & Pero, 2010; Bayar, 2010; Burnukara, 2009; Dempsey,
Sulkowski, Dempsey & Storch, 2011; Dooley et al, 2009; Erdur-Baker, 2009; Grigg, 2010;
Jose, Kljakovic, Scheib, & Notter, 2011; Katzer, Fetchenhauer, & Belschak, 2009; Schneider,
O’Donnell, Stueve, & Coulter, 2012; Schultze-Krumbholz & Scheithauer, 2009; Smith et al.,
2008; Twyman, Saylor, Taylor, & Comeaux, 2010) which explains the relationship between
traditional bullying and cyberbullying, intervention programs developed for the issue of the
solutions to school bullying, peer bullying and conflict (Ayas, 2008; Dölek, 2002; Güner,
2007; Uysal, 2006) were examined.
Lastly, literature related with group counseling was examined, applications and activities
which could be used in the study were determined and a group program was designed taking
literature related to cyberbullying into account.
A pilot scheme of this program was launched in a private high school in Istanbul, during the
2011-2012 school year, and some adjustments were made to the program within the scope of
the results of this pilot scheme. The final shape of the group program was examined by two
experts in order to evaluate its suitability with the fundamentals of reality therapy. After these
two examinations, the group counseling program was finalized.
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Reality therapy oriented intervention program for cyberbullying behaviors…T. Tanrıkulu, M. Koç & O.T. Arıcak
General Goals of the Program and Sessions
The program was developed to intervene in cyberbullying behaviors displayed by high
school students. In this sense, it was aimed that students displaying cyberbullying behaviors
would gain awareness, recognize their own and others’ emotions, understand consequences of
their behaviors, gain responsibility, and develop their social relationships positively. In
accordance with this general aim, the main goals of the program were the following:
It was aimed that students would







Know and express their basic needs
Recognize responsibilities on their feelings
Comprehend their responsibilities while developing social relationships
Know cyberbullying behaviors and realize their effects
Find out basic needs which lead cyberbullying behaviors and make realistic choices in
order to satisfy these needs
Recognize the feelings of people who are exposed to cyberbullying
Understand how cyberbullying behaviors effect social relations.
In accordance with these goals, hypotheses below were questioned in order to test the efficacy
of the program.
(1) H0: There are no significant differences between pre-test, post-test and follow-up test
scores of the experimental group on a Cyberbullying Scale
H1: There are significant differences between pre-test, post-test and follow-up test
scores of the experimental group on a Cyberbullying Scale in favor of the follow-up
test and post-test
(2) H0: There is no significant difference between post-test scores of the experimental
group and the control group on a Cyberbullying Scale
H1: There is a significant difference between post-test scores of the experimental
group and the control group on a Cyberbullying Scale in favor of the experimental
group
(3) H0: There are no significant differences between pre-test, post-test and follow-up test
scores of the control group on a Cyberbullying Scale
H1: There are statistically significant differences between pre-test, post-test and
follow-up test scores of the control group on a Cyberbullying Scale
Method
Design of the Study
This study is an experimental study with 2x3 split-plot design consisting of pre-test,
post-test and control group.
Participants
This experimental study was conducted at a public high school. In order to form study
groups, 318 students in the 10th and 11th grades were administered a “Cyberbullying Scale”
(Arıcak, Kınay & Tanrıkulu, 2012). The names of the 30 students who achieved the highest
scores were ordered from high to low and the participants were randomly assigned as the
experimental and the control group. Students in the experimental group were interviewed one
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 77-87, 1 April, 2015
by one beforehand, given general information about the group study and their informed
consent was obtained. At this stage, all of the students, except one, accepted to participate in
the group study and the group study started with 14 students. Before the second session
started, two students left the group; one, because of his transfer to another school and the
other, because he didn’t want to continue this group study. The study, after this stage,
continued with an experimental group consisting of 12 students.
The students in the control group weren’t given a pre-interview. Because the experimental
group continued with 12 students, three students in the control group were removed randomly
in order to have an equal number of students in the two groups. After the experimental study
was completed, a post-test was given to both groups one week later, and a follow-up test was
given six weeks later. The average age of the students in the experimental group (Two
females, 10 males) was 15.91 (SD=0.66) and they were all 10th graders. The average age of
the students in the control group (Four females, eight males) was 16.83 (SD=0.71), with seven
of them being 10th graders while five of them were 11th graders. In order to test whether the
difference between the experimental group (M=22.33, SD=7.95) and the control group
(M=17.16, SD=5.11), in terms of displaying cyberbullying behaviors, was statistically
significant or not, pre-test results were analyzed, and it was seen that the difference between
pre-test results of two groups was not statistically significant [t(22)=1.89, p<.05]. Moving from
this finding, it can be said that the experimental group and the control group were statistically
equal to each other before the program.
After the groups were formed, sessions of application commenced. Two sessions were held in
the first two weeks and one session was conducted each week for the coming six weeks. In
accordance with a request from the school management, sessions were held at different times
and on different days in order not to have them during the same course hours. In this way, the
sessions were completed between September 2012 and December 2012. On average one
session lasted for 60 minutes.
Measures
Cyberbullying Scale (CBS)
In order to determine whether the independent variable applied in this study increased
cyberbullying behaviors or not, the “Cyberbullying Scale (CBS)” for adolescents, which was
developed by Arıcak, Kınay and Tanrıkulu (2012), was used. The scale is a 4 point Likert
type scale that consists of 24 items. The minimum obtainable score for this scale is 24 and the
maximum obtainable score is 96. Statistical analyses for this scale were conducted in April
2011. Firstly, an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was carried using the principal component
analysis for all of the items (N=515). When the component matrix was examined, it was
observed that all of the items were loaded under a single factor. This single factor accounted
for 50.58 % of the variance. In the meantime, the breakpoint on the scree plot was examined
and it was observed that the scale showed a single-factor structure. The factor loads under a
single factor varied between .49 and .80. Hence, it was believed that the scale had a single
factor structure. The Cronbach alpha coefficient for the entire scale was found to be .95 and
the test-retest reliability coefficient was .70 (N=103). These results suggest that the
measurement tool is both valid and reliable.
Data Analysis
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Reality therapy oriented intervention program for cyberbullying behaviors…T. Tanrıkulu, M. Koç & O.T. Arıcak
Data analysis is conducted by using SPSS 15.0. Before the analysis of data,
sufficiency of research data in terms of parametric techniques is evaluated; observing that
normality hypothesis, which is one of the initial hypothetical criteria of independent samples,
is met (Kolmogorov Smirnov p=.02), the use of parametric statistical methods has been
decided to be used. Therefore, independent samples T-Test is used for comparing the pre-test
means of experimental and control groups in this research. For comparing the pre-test, posttest, and delayed post-test means of experimental and control groups, One Way ANOVA
analysis is used. Independent samples T-Test is used again for comparing the post-test means
of experimental and control groups. In this research, statistical analysis of the findings are
conducted with respect to .05 significance level.
Results
Findings Related to First Hypothesis
Repeated measures ANOVA was performed in order to examine the difference among
the experimental group’s pre-test, post-test and follow-up test scores.
Table 1. Pre-test, Post-test and Follow-up test ANOVA results of Experimental
Group for Cyberbullying
N
M
SD
SS
Between
636.97
groups
Post-Test 12 6.66 5.06 Meas.
1874.05
Follow-up 12 7.41 3.80 Error
501.27
Total
3012.30
*p=.01 **1: Pre-test, 2:Post-test, 3: Follow-up Test
Pre-Test
12 22.33 7.95
df
MS
F
11
57.90
2
22
35
937.02 41.12*
22.78
Dif.**
2-1
3-1
As shown in Table 1, there are significant differences among the experimental group’s pretest, post-test and follow-up test results on the Cyberbullying Scale [F(2, 22)= 41.124, p<.01].
Post-test (M=6.66) and follow-up test (M=7.41) mean scores are lower than the pre-test mean
score (M=22.33). On the other hand, there is no significant difference between post-test and
follow-up test results. This finding shows that the cyberbullying behaviors of the students
who participated in the group counseling program decreased at a statistically significant level
in measurements just after application and later on, and that the level of cyberbullying
behaviors after the implementation didn’t differ from the results of the follow-up studies
conducted later on, and thus the effect of the program continued. Therefore, the null
hypothesis is rejected and the H1 hypothesis is accepted.
Findings Related to Second Hypothesis
The results of t-test analysis for whether there is a significant difference between the
post-test results of the experimental and control groups are given in Table 2.
Table 2. Independent Samples t-test results of Cyberbullying Post-test
Scores
Post Test
N
M
SD
df
t
Experimental Group
12
6.66
5.06
22
-3.47*
Control Group
12
15.83
7.58
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 77-87, 1 April, 2015
* p=.01
As seen in Table 2, there is a significant difference between the post-test scores of the
experimental group and the control group in favor of the experimental group (t(22)= -3.479,
p<.01). The cyberbullying scores of the experimental group are lower than those of the
control group. Therefore, the null hypothesis is rejected and the H1 hypothesis is accepted.
Findings Related To Third Hypothesis
In order to analyze the differences among pre-test, post-test and follow-up test results
of the control group, repeated measures ANOVA was performed.
Table 3. Control Group’s Cyberbullying Pre-test, Post-test, and Follow-upTest
ANOVA Results
N
M
SD
12
17.16
5.11
Post-Test 12
Follow-up 12
15.83
16.16
Pre-Test
Between
Groups
7.58 Meas.
5.33 Error
Total
SS
df
MS
810.55
11
73.68
11.55
424.44
1246.55
2
22
35
5.77
19.29
F
Dif.**
.29*
*p=.74
As seen in Table 3, there is no significant difference among the control group’s pre-test, posttest and follow-up test scores on the Cyberbullying Scale [F(2, 22)=.299, p˃.05]. In other
words, the means of the cyberbullying scores didn’t change over the time. Therefore, the null
hypothesis is accepted, and the H1 hypothesis is rejected.
Discussion
Data revealed that the intervention program reduced the level of cyberbullying. While
there is no significant difference between the pre-test scores of the experimental and control
groups, a significant difference is found between the post-test scores of the experimental and
control groups. Moreover, data suggest that there are no significant differences among the
pre-test, post-test and follow-up test results of the control group. Therefore, it can be
concluded that the decrease in the level cyberbullying of the experimental group resulted from
the implementation of the intervention program. The monitoring study supports this result as
well.
In the literature review, no study originating from a reality therapy based approach and which
tries to prevent cyberbullying has been found. In this sense, there isn’t any direct data to be
compared with the findings acquired from this study. However, according to data acquired
from the literature, it is evident that people who have a high level of establishing relationships
and the ability to cope with problems positively exhibit a low level of cyberbullying behaviors
(Schoffstall & Cohen, 2011; Sourander et al., 2010). According to reality therapy, one of the
factors causing behavioral problems is a person’s inability to develop realistic and positive
relationships with his/her environment. During the group counseling program, participants
were encouraged to develop the ability to produce realistic solutions for their social problems.
In this sense, it can be stated that the decrease in cyberbullying level at the end of the study is
consistent with the literature.
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Reality therapy oriented intervention program for cyberbullying behaviors…T. Tanrıkulu, M. Koç & O.T. Arıcak
Moreover, it is also suggested that there is a negative relationship between a sense of
responsibility and cyberbullying and that people displaying cyberbullying behaviors don’t
appraise the results of their behaviors and their effect on others (Çelik, Atak, & Erguzen,
2012; Dilmaç, 2009). Reality therapy also focuses on responsibility, the importance of an
individual’s choices in relationships, and an individual’s unsuccessful relationships as the
source of behavioral problems. In this sense, it can be stated that studies aimed at recognizing
and accepting the responsibility of one’s behavior explain the decrease in the level of
cyberbullying behaviors.
According to some other studies, it is seen that the most frequent reasons to do cyberbullying
are to have fun and to take revenge; in other words the desire to be powerful (Raskauskas &
Stoltz, 2007). This case shows that the need for entertainment and being powerful, which are
stated as two of basic needs of people, according to choice theory, are not satisfied
realistically. Therefore, it can be asserted that in the group sessions training related to the
organization of goals and needs is effective for a decrease in the level of cyberbullying.
In light of this data, variables predicting cyberbullying accord with the basic features of
reality therapy which explain human behavior. In this respect, it can be stated that with
regards to reality therapy, a group counseling program developed to bring those variables
which predict cyberbullying behaviors to the center of attention was effective in reducing
cyberbullying behaviors.
Limitations of the Research and Suggestions for Future Research
Besides the positive results obtained at the end of the intervention program, the
research includes some limitations as well. Firstly, the program is designed for small groups.
In this respect, the number of participants in the target group should not exceed 15 people.
Secondly, the program has been designed within the framework of choice theory. Therefore,
the researcher is supposed to be competent with the basic principles of choice theory in order
to carry out the program.
The findings of the research positively support the idea that this ‘program’ can be effective in
reducing cyberbullying behaviors. In order to increase the validity of the program, it will be
useful to conduct the program with different groups by different researchers and observe
whether or not there are similar results. Furthermore, with some adaptations, the program can
be carried out as a guidance activity aimed at a whole class, especially in schools, thus its
efficacy can be tested.
The current program in this research has been designed on the basis of reality therapy.
Carrying out new intervention studies based on different theoretical perspectives will be
useful. By these means, not only can the efficiency of the studies be compared but also
intervention options will be offered to those researchers directly confronted with this problem.
Monitoring the individuals who participate in a group study, and whose cyberbullying
behaviors have been observed to reduce significantly with follow up studies, and examining
the effect process of the program will provide an understanding about the level of persistence.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE)
Vol. 5(1), pp. 88-102, 1 April, 2015
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.15.01.5.1
Formative Assessment, Teacher-directed Instruction and Teacher Support
in Turkey: Evidence from PISA 2012
Ibrahim Delen*
College of Education, Usak University/ Usak, TURKEY
Mehmet Sukru Bellibas
College of Education, Adiyaman University/ Adiyaman, TURKEY
When evaluating the students’ learning process, the previous
science curriculum in Turkey did not value the role of inquiry and
formative assessment. But the latest policy documents clearly
Received in revised form:
identify the change with a particular emphasis placed on student27.03.2015
centered learning and formative assessment. As an effort to
understand the impact of this movement, our primary purpose with
Accepted:
28.03.2015
this study is to evaluate the current stance of Turkish teachers in
various critical skills, including formative assessment, teacher
Key words:
support and teacher-directed instruction, drawing upon PISA 2012
Science achievement, formative
data. To achieve this goal, we first investigated the association
assessment, teacher support,
gender, SES
between students’ test scores in science, and school and student
related factors that influence students’ assessment of teachers in
those skills. Then we compared Turkish teachers with countries that
are ranked usually above the average (United States), and on the
top (Korea) of international rankings. The study indicated a strong
positive relationship between teacher support and student science
achievement. It also indicated that teachers in all countries struggle
when providing formative assessment, and Turkish teachers support
students’ thinking and reasoning, check students’ understanding
more than their counterparts in USA and Korea.
Article history
Received:
08.01.2015
Introduction
Scientific inquiry plays an important role in students’ learning process, since it focuses
on understanding several key concepts in all grades. National Research Council (NRC, 2012)
defined these goals for students as: “ask questions of each other about the texts they read, the
features of the phenomena they observe, and the conclusions they draw from their models or
scientific investigations” (p. 55). As defined by NRC (2012), besides putting an emphasis on
content, science education also aims to focus on creating critical thinkers in the United States.
On the other hand, the development of science education followed a different path in Turkey.
Tasar, Temiz and Tan (2002) noted that the previous science curriculum failed to support
students’ scientific thinking. To change this trajectory, Turkish Ministry of Education made
*
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ibrahim Delen, College of
Education, Usak University, Usak/TURKEY 64200.
Contact: [email protected]
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 88-102, 1 April, 2015
huge changes in the last decade to align their goals with the aims stated in other countries.
Despite the fact that Turkish students are placed below average in the last Trends in
International Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMMS), the average scores of 8th graders
increased from 2007 to 2011 (Mullis et al., 2008; Martin, Mullis, Foy, & Stanco, 2012). After
investigating evidence from PISA (The Programme for International Student Assessment)
data, Gumus and Atalmis (2012) reached a similar conclusion by noting a significant increase
in Turkish students’ science scores from 2003 to 2009. Better scores in international tests can
be linked with the changes made in the science curriculum, and Turkey continues to spend
more and more to support science education. The goal of this article is to understand why
Turkey still is performing below average by examining the Turkish teachers’ performance in
PISA results.
Before moving forward, we will examine how international documents put an emphasis on
several key concepts to support science education. Later we will discuss how Turkey is
aligning the science curriculum to reflect on these aspects.
Importance of Inquiry and Feedback in Science Education
Inquiry has been a crucial part of science education for decades (Bybee, 2010). The
latest science education framework in the United States defined inquiry as making students
involved in scientific practices (NRC, 2012). The National Research Council (NRC, 2012)
defined eight practices: asking questions and defining problems; developing and using
models; planning and carrying out investigations; analyzing and interpreting data; using
mathematics and computational thinking; developing explanations and designing solutions;
engaging in argument from evidence; and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating
information. All of these practices focus on making students active learners in the science
education by focusing on modeling and engaging in argumentation.
Connected with the latest framework (NRC, 2012), previous policy documents in the US also
underlined the importance of making students active learners by using inquiry (National
Science Teacher Education Association, 1987; NRC, 1996; NRC, 2000). With a continuous
focus on inquiry, the latest frameworks in the US also started to underline the importance of
monitoring students’ progress (National Educational Technology Plan, 2004; National
Educational Technology Plan, 2010; NRC, 2012). More specifically, The National
Educational Technology Plan (NETP, 2004) defined importance of providing feedback as:
“Ensure that every teacher knows how to use data to personalize instruction. This is marked
by the ability to interpret data to understand student progress and challenges” (p. 41). The
latest plan supports this idea by noting the need as: “Actionable feedback about student
learning to improve achievement and instructional practices” (NETP, 2010 p. 37). Inquiry has
been an important factor of science education policy documents in the US for decades. In the
last decade, the policy documents also started to focus more on providing formative feedback
to students. In the next section, we will examine several policy documents and studies to
define the current state of science education in Turkey.
Shifting Gears in Turkey
Despite their importance to support students, the role of inquiry and providing
feedback followed a different route in Turkish policy documents. Previously, several studies
reported that Turkish policy documents (Tasar, Temiz & Tan, 2002) and textbooks (Dokme,
2005) failed to make students active participants in the classroom by supporting students’
scientific growth. In addition, the previous curriculum put the focus on teachers without
paying too much attention to students’ learning process (Gomleksiz & Bulut, 2007).
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Formative Assessment, Teacher-directed Instruction and Teacher Support…I. Delen & M. S. Bellibas
Koc, Isiksal and Bulut (2007) defined the differences in the curriculum by focusing on the
changing role of the teacher as: “(1) There is more than one solution and the teacher may not
know all the answers. (2) Teacher as the facilitator. (3) Teacher and students make decisions”
(p. 36). Connected with these ideas, the latest policy document defined the teachers’ role as
being responsible for making students inquire and research in the science classrooms (Milli
Eğitim Bakanlığı, 2013). The latest document also continued to underline the emphasis on
formative assessment by asking teachers to monitor the progress, identify learner difficulties,
and create meaningful learning environments (MEB, 2013). Similar to NRC (2012)
framework, Turkish Ministry of Education’s framework focus similar scientific practices
without paying close attention to creating explanations. These practices highlighted as the
following skills: science process skills (hypothesizing, measuring, collecting data, modeling,
controlling variables, creating experiments), analytical decision making, creative thinking,
innovation, communication, and team work (MEB, 2013).
The changes described above were reflected in the 2007 and 2011 TIMMS reports with an
increase in students’ science scores (Mullis et al., 2008; Martin et al., 2012). Connected with
this growth, several scholars discussed how the new curriculum had positive impacts on
teachers (Gomleksiz & Bulut, 2007) and students (Delen & Kesercioglu, 2012). When
focusing on teachers’ trajectory, Gomleksiz and Bulut (2007) noted that the new curriculum
highlights students’ scientific growth, and this helped teachers focus on students’ learning
process. At the same time, authors also added how changes implemented varied in different
parts of the country due to lack of professional development (Gomleksiz & Bulut, 2007).
In a more recent study, Delen and Kesercioglu (2012) studied with a cohort of middle school
students that were trained with the new and the old curriculum. In this study, 6th and 7th
graders were educated with the new curriculum, and the 8th graders were educated with the
previous curriculum. After collecting data from 290 students to measure scientific thinking,
the authors found that 7th graders performed better than 6th and 8th graders, and there was a
significant growth between 6th and 7th grade. Authors concluded that the new curriculum
supported students’ scientific growth and helped 7th grade students to outperform the 8th
graders who were taught with the previous curriculum (Delen & Kesercioglu, 2012).
When evaluating the students’ learning process, previous science curriculum in Turkey did
not value the role of inquiry and formative assessment, but the latest policy documents clearly
identify the change with a particular emphasis placed on student-centered learning and
formative assessment (MEB, 2013). As an effort to understand the impact of this movement,
our primary purpose with this study is to evaluate the current stance of Turkish teachers in
various critical skills, including formative assessment, teacher support and teacher-directed
instruction. In this process, we first investigated the association between students’ test scores
in science, and school and student related factors that influence students’ assessment of
teachers in those skills. Then we compared Turkish teachers with countries that are ranked
usually above the average (United States), and on the top (Korea) of international rankings.
To achieve these goals research questions in this study are as follows:
1. How teacher support, formative assessment and teacher-directed instruction are
associated with student learning outcomes in science among Turkish students,
controlling for the student and school characteristics?
2. How school characteristics in Turkey explain the variation in teacher support,
formative assessment and teacher-directed instruction?
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 88-102, 1 April, 2015
3. To what extent teachers in Turkey perform behaviors related to teacher support
formative assessment and teacher-directed instruction, compared to developed
countries, including USA and Korea?
Method
Data Source
Data employed in the current study comes from Program for International Student
Assessment (PISA), a program to assess 15 years old students’ skills in math, reading and
science literacy internationally, organized by Organization for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD). The data set includes a large amount of information from participant
countries regarding students, schools and parents. The first PISA was administered in 2003
and since then it has been conducted once in every three years. The first time Turkey joined
PISA was 2003. In this study, we utilized the latest PISA data that was collected in 2012.
Variables
Teacher Behavior. Teacher-directed instruction and formative assessment scales are
categories of teacher behavior in PISA. The teacher-directed instruction scale focuses on
testing following elements: “Setting clear goals, encouraging thinking and reasoning,
checking student understanding, summarizing previous lessons, informing students about
learning goals”. Assessment item is named as “teacher-directed”, but it focused on
understanding how teachers support students in science classrooms, which aligns with
supporting inquiry. Finally formative assessment identifies teachers’ role in giving feedback,
informing students about expectations and providing information to become successful.
Teacher Support. Teacher support emphasized on finding out how teachers provide extra help
and opportunities, help students with learning, informs students to work hard.
Students’ responses to each item in teacher directed instruction and formative assessment is
based on a four point scales: 1 implies “every lesson”, 2 implies “most lesson”, 3 implies
“some lessons”, and 4 implies “never or hardly ever.” Teacher support items also involve four
point scale, in which 1 implies “strongly agree”, 2 implies “agree”, 3 implies “disagree”, and
4 implies “strongly disagree.”
Student characteristics
Gender. Gender is a categorical variable. We include gender in the analyses to see
whether male and female students significantly differ in terms of their science achievement
and responses to questions regarding teachers’ practices. Gender also plays a controlling
variable role in the analyses. Table 1 below displays descriptive values of gender in Turkish
PISA data set.
Gender
Female
Male
Total
Table 1. Descriptive Statistics for Gender
Frequency
Percent
Valid Percent
2370
48.9
48.9
2478
51.1
51.1
4848
100.0
100.0
Cumulative Percent
48.9
100.0
Socio-economic Status. A second variable included in the analysis as a controlling variable is
socio-economic status of students (SES). In PISA data SES is designated by “index of
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Formative Assessment, Teacher-directed Instruction and Teacher Support…I. Delen & M. S. Bellibas
economic, social and cultural status (ESCS)” and it is created based on student responses to
parental occupation, the highest level of parental education, and an index of home possessions
related to family wealth, home educational resources and possessions related to “classical”
culture in the family home. Table 2 displays descriptive statistics of SES, including
frequency, minimum and maximum values in the scale, mean and standard deviation.
Table 2. Descriptive Statistics for Socio-economic Status (SES)
N
Minimum
Maximum
Mean
Index of Socioeconomic Status
4806
-4.61
1.94
-1.456
SD
1.106
School Characteristics
Public or Private. The school type (public vs. private) is school related variable
included in the analyses. The purpose here is to utilize this variable to control the variation
that occurs due to differences between public and private schools. This variable does not exist
in the student level data, in which case we combined school and student level data sets by
matching each student with school characteristics. Table 3 displays descriptive statistics for
public and private schools.
Table 3. Descriptive Statistics for the School Type (Public vs. Private)
Gender
Frequency
Percent
Valid Percent
Cumulative Percent
Public
166
97.6
98.8
98.8
Private
2
1.2
1.2
100.0
Total
168
98.8
100.0
Missing
2
1.2
Total
170
100.0
School Location. Table 4 demonstrates descriptive values for school location, which is
employed as a controlling variable. This is a variable that is consisted of five categories,
including village, small town, town, city and large city.
Location
Village
Small Town
Town
City
Large City
Total
Table 4. Descriptive Statistics for the School Location
Frequency
Percent
Valid Percent
Cumulative Percent
8
4.7
4.7
4.7
20
11.8
11.8
16.5
51
30.0
30.0
46.5
46
27.1
27.1
73.5
45
26.5
26.5
100.0
170
100.0
100.0
Data Analyses
Inferential Statistics. The first question inquiries into the relationship between student
science achievement and several teacher practices, including teacher support, formative
assessment and teacher-directed instruction, while controlling for student characteristics
(gender and SES) and school characteristics (public vs. private and school location). We used
a multiple regression analyses to answer the question. The second question examines the
relationship of each scale of teacher practices and school and student characteristics. We also
conducted a multiple regression analysis for each scale by regressing teacher support,
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 88-102, 1 April, 2015
formative assessment and teacher-directed instruction respectively on school and student
characteristics.
Descriptive Statistics. The purpose of the research third question is to compare Turkey with
two developed countries (USA and Korea) in regards to teacher support and behaviors
(formative assessment and teacher directed instruction). We calculated descriptive values
(mean and standard deviations) for each country to provide an answer to the question.
Findings
1. How teacher support, formative assessment and teacher-directed instruction are
associated with student learning outcomes in science among Turkish students,
controlling for the teacher and school characteristics?
The purpose of this question is to understand whether formative assessment, teacher directed
instruction and teacher support significantly predict student science scores in PISA,
controlling for gender, SES, school type and school location. A multiple regression analysis is
employed to estimate the significance. Table 5 displays results from the multiple regression
analyses. It shows that there is significant yet negative relationship between formative
assessment and student science achievement. Specifically, one point increase in the scale of
formative assessment is associated with a 9.53 decrease in students science score. Teacher
support is also significantly but positively related to student science achievement: one point
increase in the scale of teacher support leads to a 6.13 points increase in students science
scores. However, the analyses suggested that there is no meaningful relationship between
teacher-directed instruction and student science score.
Table 5 also shows significant results for school and student characteristics. Among all
controlling variables in the regression analysis, gender, SES and school location are
significantly associated with student test scores. Specifically, male students on average get
5.76 point less than what female students get in PISA science tests. SES is an important
predictor of student learning: one point increase in SES is associated with 25.05 point increase
in students’ test scores. School location is also a significant but negatively related predictor of
test scores. Students get 7.56 point less as the school location becomes more crowded.
Table 5. Variables Prediction Students’ Science Scores
Dependent Variable: Plausible Value 1 in Science
B
SE
Beta
t
(Constant)
518.242
14.213
36.463
Formative Assessment
-9.531
1.790
-.122
-5.323
Teacher-directed Instruction
2.159
1.763
.031
1.224
Teacher Support
6.132
1.831
.074
3.348
Male
-5.759
2.669
-.036
-2.158
Socio-economic Status (SES)
25.051
1.215
.349
20.612
Private
18.376
12.441
.025
1.477
School Location
-7.563
1.300
-.099
-5.818
R=0.368, R2=0.135, Adjusted R2=0.134, F (7, 3150) = 70.506, p<0.05
P-value
.000
.000
.221
.001
.031
.000
.140
.000
2. How school characteristics in Turkey explain the variation in teacher support,
formative assessment and teacher-directed instruction?
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Formative Assessment, Teacher-directed Instruction and Teacher Support…I. Delen & M. S. Bellibas
The purpose of this question is to understand underlying factors that influence students’ report
on their teachers’ skills in teacher support, formative assessment and teacher directed
instruction.
Table 6. Variables Predicting Student Perception of Teachers’ Formative Assessment
Dependent Variable: Formative Assessment
B
SE
Beta
t
P-value
(Constant)
-.158
.193
-.819
.413
Male
.152
.036
.074
4.179
.000
Socio-economic Status
.001
.017
.002
.084
.933
Private
.376
.169
.040
2.228
.026
School Location
-.075
.018
-.076
-4.249
.000
R=0.108, R2=0.012, Adjusted R2=0.010, F (4, 3164) = 9.301, p<0.05
Table 6 displays results from a multiple regression that focus on the relationship between
several characteristics of students and schools, and student report on teachers’ formative
assessment. The results show that students’ gender, school type and school location are
significant predictors of formative assessment. Specifically, female students and students
from public school have more positive view of their teachers in regards to formative
assessment. School location is significantly but negatively related to formative assessment
(R2=0.012, F (4, 3164) = 9.301, p<0.05).
Table 7. Variable Predicting Student Perception of Teacher-directed Instruction
Dependent Variable: Teacher-directed Instruction
B
SE
Beta
t
P-value
(Constant)
.472
.219
2.160
.031
Male
.015
.041
.007
.375
.707
Socio-economic Status
-.014
.019
-.013
-.737
.461
Private
.223
.191
.021
1.167
.243
School Location
-.097
.020
-.087
-4.850
.000
R=0.089, R2=0.008, Adjusted R2=0.007, F (4, 3169) = 6.343, p<0.05
Table 7 displays results from a multiple regression regarding the relationship between
characteristics of students and schools, and student report on teacher-directed instruction. The
results indicate that gender, school type and SES are not significant predictors of teacherdirected instruction. Only school location significantly related to the teacher-directed
instruction scale. One point increase in the location is associated with .10 point increase in
teacher directed instruction, implying that students from schools in more crowed locations
have less positive view of their teachers in performing teacher-directed instruction.
Table 8. Variables Predicting Students’ Perception of Teacher Support
Dependent Variable: Teacher Support
B
SE
Beta
t
(Constant)
.187
.182
1.029
Male
-.019
.034
-.010
-.551
Socio-economic Status
-.001
.016
-.002
-.094
Private
.408
.160
.046
2.556
School Location
-.106
.017
-.115
-6.425
2
2
R=0.119, R =0.014, Adjusted R =0.013, F (4, 3168) = 11.328, p<0.05
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P-value
.304
.581
.925
.011
.000
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 88-102, 1 April, 2015
Table 8 displays results from a multiple regression that focus on the association between
several school and student characteristics, and student perception of teachers support. The
results show that school type and school location are significant predictors of teacher support.
Specifically, students from public school have more positive view of their teachers in regards
to formative assessment. School location is significantly but negatively related to teacher
support, meaning that schools in less crowded locations have a more positive perception of
teacher support.
3. To what extent teachers in Turkey perform behaviors related to teacher support,
formative assessment, and teacher-directed instruction compared to developed
countries, including USA and Korea?
The purpose of this question is to compare Turkey with two developed countries (USA and
Korea) in terms of teacher support, teacher directed instruction, and formative assessment.
Descriptive values for each item are provided in Table 9. Since students’ responses are
reverse coded, lower means mean more frequent practices of related item.
In Table 9, means of items regarding teacher-directed instruction scale in Turkey and USA is
around 2; that is, in most class teacher directed instruction is evident. On average, such type
of instruction seems to be less common in Korean schools. In Turkey and USA, the most
commonly performed items are “checks for understanding” and “informs about learning
goals;” whereas summarizing previous lesson is relatively less commonly practiced. In Korea,
teachers inform about learning goals in most classes yet they encourage thinking and
reasoning in some classes.
Formative assessment seems to be problematic in all three countries. This means that teachers
less commonly gave feedback to students in Turkey, USA and Korea. In Korea, however, the
issue is more problematic since the mean is above 3, meaning that teachers rarely give
feedback to students. The most commonly practiced formative assessment item is informing
about expectations in USA and telling students how to get better in Turkey.
The means of items in relation to teacher support are relatively lower comparing to means of
item in other scales, meaning that teacher support is more evident in all three countries. On
average, Turkish, American and Korean students agree that their teachers let them know they
have to work hard, provides extra help when needed, helps student with learning, and gives
opportunity to express opinions. However, just like other scales, in Korea the means of items
in the teacher support scale are higher than those in Turkey and USA, meaning that on
average Korean students are less likely to agree with availability of teacher support in their
schools when compared with students in Turkey and USA.
Table 9. Descriptive Statistics for Teacher-directed instruction, Formative Assessment and
Teacher Support: Comparison of Turkey, USA and Korea
Turkey
USA
Korea
N
X
SD
N
X
SD
N
X
SD
Teacher-Directed Instruction
Sets Clear Goals
3173 2.04 .91
3267 1.98 .90
3355 2.31 .86
Encourages Thinking and
3177 1.84 .87
3260 2.18 .96
3356 2.92 .87
Reasoning
Checks Understanding
3177 1.83 .92
3257 1.80 .86
3352 2.31 .87
Summarizes Previous
3185 2.27 1.03 3258 2.46 1.04 3355 2.50 .85
Lessons
Informs about Learning
3174 1.81 .89
3257 1.70 .81
3355 1.95 .84
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Formative Assessment, Teacher-directed Instruction and Teacher Support…I. Delen & M. S. Bellibas
Goals
Formative Assessment
Gives Feedback
Gives Feedback on
Strengths and
Weaknesses
Informs about
Expectations
Tells How to Get Better
Teacher Support
Lets Us Know We Have
to Work Hard
Provides Extra Help
When Needed
Helps Students with
Learning
Gives Opportunity to
Express Opinions
3158
3.01
.99
3259
2.57
1.02
3354
3.35
.80
3166
2.73
1.01
3261
2.88
1.00
3352
3.48
.77
3170
2.24
1.01
3263
1.94
.90
3351
3.07
.88
3176
2.17
1.02
3260
2.47
1.07
3355
2.98
.94
3182
1.56
.69
3241
1.78
.69
3347
2.10
.75
3181
1.81
.79
3239
1.72
.74
3345
2.03
.71
3176
1.77
.76
3234
1.68
.70
3343
1.94
.65
3179
1.78
.82
3235
2.01
.85
3344
2.24
.77
Conclusion and Implications
Turkish Ministry of Education made significant changes in the curriculum in the past
decade to underline the role of inquiry and formative assessment. These changes resulted in
improvements in the previous international assessments (Mullis et al., 2008; Martin et al.,
2012). In conjunction with these changes, several scholars discussed how new curriculum
supported teachers (Gomleksiz & Bulut, 2007) and students (Delen & Kesercioglu, 2012). In
this study, by comparing Turkey with other two nations: USA (usually ranked above average)
and Korea (ranked top in international tests), our purpose was to examine how Turkish
teachers perform specific tasks associated with three domain of instructional practices,
including formative assessment, teacher-directed instruction and teacher support. In addition,
we examined whether those domains predict student learning, as well as factors that predict
teachers’ practices of each domain, controlling for the role of SES, gender and school
location.
Students’ Science Achievement
Role of SES, gender and school location. Consistent with previous body of literature,
we found that SES is significantly linked with student science test scores. The impact of SES
on student achievement in all subject matters has been a common wisdom in educational
literature. Literature consistently indicated that higher SES is associated with higher student
learning (Caldas & Bankston, 1997; Marks, Cresswell, & Ainley, 2006; Perry, & McConney,
2010; Sirin, 2005; White, 1982). In an earlier study, Sirin (2005) conducted a meta-analysis
by reviewing studies from 1990-2000 with an emphasis on SES. After reviewing 74 studies
that worked with more than 100.000 students, Sirin (2005) underlined that the role of SES is
dependent on the variable selection and defined the link between SES and academic
achievement as “a complex relationship” (p. 438).
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 88-102, 1 April, 2015
In this study, we found that as the school location gets crowded, students’ science scores
significantly decreases, controlling for SES and gender. That is, overall schools in large
location are less likely to produce higher student science scores in comparison to schools
located at relatively less crowded area. Research focusing on the impact of school location, on
the other hand, provided contradictory results, which mostly likely to be an issue of context
(Alspaugh, 1992, Fan & Chen, 1998; Young, 1998). For instance, Young (1998) investigated
student achievement differences between rural and urban school in Australia and concluded
that students from rural location acquire better scores in science. Fan and Chen (1998)
focused on rural and urban differences in USA and found that there is not much difference
between these two groups, once the effect of SES is controlled. Additional studies examining
difference in school related factors, such as educational resources and the profile of academic
staff, are needed, in order to explain the issue of gap between locations in Turkey (Burtless,
1996; Goldhaber & Brewer, 2000; Greenwald, Hedges, & Laine, 1996; Hanushek, 1997;
Stewart, 2008; Wayne & Youngs, 2003).
In addition to the role of SES and school location, student gender is appeared as a significant
predictor of ninth grade students’ science scores. Female students performed better than male
students according to students’ overall science achievement. Literature has not reached an
agreement regarding the role of gender yet. Previous studies, Delen and Kesercioglu (2012)
for instance, found higher achievement in favor of male students after examining middle
school students in Turkey. More comprehensive studies suggested that the issue of gender
should be analyzed taking into account different branches of science education (Becker,
1989). For example, Lee and Burkam (1996) indicated that male students acquire better scores
in physical science while female students get higher scores in life science. They further
argued that the difference between genders is due to the laboratory experience. Increased in
experimental and hands-on learning activities benefit females more than it does for male
students. Weingburg (1995) explains such difference between genders through students’
attitude toward science. If a student possesses a negative attitude toward science class, he/she
is more likely to get lower scores in science tests and vice versa.
Role of teacher practices. We found students’ test score in science increase with the
increment in teacher support index, controlling for SES, gender and school location. In other
words, the more support Turkish students receive from their teachers, the better science scores
they gain. PISA’s definition of teacher support is linked with how teachers help students in
the learning process. Two decades ago, Driver, Asoko, Leach, Scott and Mortimer (1994)
placed the teacher at the center of the instructional practices. Connected with this idea,
previous curriculum in Turkey put the teachers at the center without putting emphasis on
student learning. For instance, both authors of this study were educated in 1990s and early
2000s. Both of us only remember teachers dictating the lessons without acknowledging what
we think. This is fascinating for us to find out that the teachers are making the paradigm shift
happen. One of the key aspects of the curriculum change is teachers are putting students at the
center of the learning process (MEB, 2013).
On the other hand, we also found that teacher directed instruction has no significant
contribution to Turkish students’ science achievement. Teacher-directed instruction, as
defined by OECD, focuses on setting clear goals, and supporting student thinking and
reasoning. Connected with these variables, supporting the reasoning and thinking is one of the
most fundamental aspects of inquiry learning in US (NRC, 1996; NRC, 2000; NRC, 2012).
The missing link between teachers’ support for reasoning and thinking, and student
achievement raises some concerns for Turkish science education; since some scholars found a
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Formative Assessment, Teacher-directed Instruction and Teacher Support…I. Delen & M. S. Bellibas
direct link between these variables (Delen, 2014; McNeill & Krajcik, 2008). Interestingly, the
current study also indicated a strong negative relationship between formative assessment and
student science score. Formative assessment focuses on how teachers provide feedback to
students to discuss the weaknesses and strengths.
At this stage, it is important to note that previous studies also found that teachers struggle to
support students’ reasoning and thinking in science classrooms (Delen, 2014; Erduran, Simon
& Osborne, 2004; McNeill & Knight, 2013; McNeill & Krajcik, 2008). More specifically,
several studies underlined teachers’ challenges when providing feedback to students in this
process (Delen, 2014; McNeill & Knight, 2013). To overcome this challenge, some studies
underlined the importance of supporting teachers with providing professional development
(Delen, 2014; McNeill & Knight, 2013; Simon, Erduran, & Osborne, 2006).
The lack of professional development could be one possible explanation for the missing
connection for teacher-directed instruction and formative assessment. In Turkey, the
inadequacy of professional development in terms of both quantity and quality is a long-term
problem (Gumus, 2013). Recently, Turkish government implemented a national technology
education program. After examining eleven teachers that were selected to pilot this program,
Akcaoglu, Gumus, Bellibas and Boyer (2014) found inadequate training provided to teachers,
and they also added that the teachers were not satisfied with the level of training provided.
More than a decade ago, Guskey (2002) illustrated that professional development help
teachers change their practices, which leads to change in student achievement. Thus, the lack
of strong professional development would influence how teachers implement the changes
envisioned by the curriculum change.
Connected with gap, our analysis indicated that school type (public vs. private) and location
are significant predictors of teacher support. Specifically, there is more teacher support in
private schools than public school and teacher support decreases as the school location gets
more crowded. The type of school factor can be explained through the well-known
accountability concept (Benveniste, Carnoy, & Rothstein, 2003). Teachers in private sector
may receive more pressure from schools to spend more time on the academic development of
each student. Support being larger in less crowded area could be explained through the effect
of school size. For instance, teacher would be acquainted more with students if they have to
serve relatively smaller number of students (Cotton, 1996).
Cross-National Comparison of Instructional Practices
In this study, the terms “teacher-directed instruction” refers how the supports students
in the inquiry process. Despite the fact that, Turkey has lower scores in national tests
compared to USA and Korea, we found Turkish teachers support students’ thinking and
reasoning, and checks students understanding more than their counterparts in USA and Korea.
When we look at teachers’ support, Turkish teachers push students toward working hard more
than their colleagues in USA and Korea. In all categories, Turkish teachers received better
scores in terms of the support they provided compared to Korean teachers. In the last decade,
Turkey has been pushing teachers to implement constructivism by putting emphasis on
students’ learning process. This requires teachers to become facilitators of knowledge (MEB,
2013). Changing a national education system depends on significant effort, and this study is
the first to empirically report Turkish teachers seem to be doing a better job compared to their
colleagues in other countries.
Despite these positive findings, formative assessment seems to be challenging in all countries.
Otero (2006) defined formative assessment as: “Recognizing, describing, and using students’
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 88-102, 1 April, 2015
prior knowledge in instruction” (p. 250). As described by Otero (2006), formative assessment
requires teachers to pay continuous attention to students’ learning process. In the previous
chapter we discussed studies that found teachers challenges in providing feedback when
supporting scientific reasoning. Buck and Trauth-Nare (2009) took this idea further by noting:
“few teachers understand the pedagogical implications of such scaffolding or their role in
utilizing formative assessments” (p. 475). Connected with this idea, scholars are now
searching for ways to support teachers in this process. For instance, Lee, Feldman, and Beatty
(2012) used technology to support students and also described teachers’ struggles with
formative assessment. Similar to the previous body of literature, we found teachers in three
countries providing low quality support with an emphasis on formative assessment. Teachers
in these countries primarily focus on discussing how students can get better, but did not use
formative assessment to support students’ learning process.
Limitations and Future Research
In this study, our main goal was to understand the practices of Turkish teachers by
analyzing student reports. After investigating a major data set, we report that the Turkish
teachers are changing their viewpoint. On one hand, student reports clearly show that
instructional practices of teachers have changed toward becoming more learner-centered. On
the other hand, the perceived change seems to be limited, such that it does not focus on
important aspects of contemporary teaching approaches, such as using formative assessment
and fostering students’ reasoning and thinking in science classrooms. These are critical
aspects underlined by the most recent reports in Turkey (MEB, 2013) and also in other
countries (NRC, 2012). We therefore suggest that the Ministry of Education in Turkey
develop more rigorous in-service training that address teachers needs with respect to using
formative assessment and promoting students’ reasoning and thinking skills in science
classrooms.
A major limitation of the current study is that it depends solely on the reports of students
concerning practices of teachers, instead of real practices that are based on classroom
observations. In that respect, future studies should incorporate systemic observations as a
method to investigate teachers’ actual classroom practices in relation to implementing
student-centered ideas and formative assessment. In this way, a better understanding of the
changes in instructional practices of science teachers would be possible.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE)
Vol. 5(1), pp. 103-114, 1 April, 2015
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.19.5.1
Student Attitudes Towards Change From Ability Grouping To
Heterogeneous Grouping At A University Class*
Mustafa Bahar**
Department of Measurement and Evaluation, Faculty of Education, Fatih University,
Istanbul, Turkey
Article history
There is ample research on student grouping at primary, middle and
Received:
high school level but it is a controversial issue for universities
12.02.2014
educating the high and low achievers in the same classes, reflecting
Received in revised form:
confusion about whether scholarship and tuition fee students should
30.03.2015
be taught together. This study aims to shed light on what the
student population at university thinks about heterogeneous
Accepted:
30.03.2015
grouping after seeing effects of ability grouping, about which there
is almost no evidence. Students in an undergraduate department
Key words:
who started the academic year at two different sections grouped
homogenous grouping; tracking
according to their prior achievement took courses in mixed ability
at university; academic
achievement; mixed-ability
classes the following semesters. They were given a questionnaire in
class
three intervals asking them about their expectations and opinions of
grouping before and after mixing and then after one year of study.
45 students responded to any two questionnaires and 15 responded
to all three questionnaires. For the repeated measures design,
Friedman test was carried out to see the change of ideas from time1
to time3 and Mann-Witney U test was used to see the differences in
ideas between scholarship students and tuition-fee students. MannWhitney U test was carried out to test whether there was a
difference in the GPAs of scholarship and tuition-fee students
between time1 and time3. Students expressed a change in their
attitudes about achievement and how the other group influenced
them. GPAs of high ability students increased after they started
being in educated in mixed ability class, realizing the fears of low
achievers.
Introduction
The subject of heterogeneous/homogenous grouping has been an important issue for
decades. In the first place, different terms have been used to describe the selection of students
on the basis of ability, achievement or other criteria. Basically, ‘streaming’, ‘tracking’ and
‘setting’ have been used to express selection of students on the basis of achievement and
frequently ‘ability grouping’ has come to be used more than ‘homogenous grouping’
*
Earlier version of the study was presented at World Conference on Educational Sciences (WCES) 2012, Barcelona Spain.
Address: Mustafa BAHAR, Fatih University, Faculty of Education, R-346 Hadimkoy,
Buyukcekmece-Istanbul
Tel.: +90-212-866-3300 ext.2825
E-mail address: [email protected]
**
Student Attitudes Towards Change From Ability Grouping To…M. Bahar
(Macqueen, 2013). Welke and Bragg (1958) indicate there were tracking practices in the
United States around 1930s. While some (Pfeiffer, 1966) believed ability grouping was a
myth, others said it produced especially clear effects (Kulik & Kulik, 1982). Many looked
into ability grouping with equality in focus (Davies, Hallam & Ireson, 2003; Jackson, 2008).
Therefore, ability grouping was not advised in order to avoid inequality among students. This
is especially the case when preschool and primary education is considered. At the high school
level evidence and feelings are varied (Keller, 2011). Some evidence showed benefit for the
low achievers and no gain for the high achievers. Meta-analytic reviews show the effects of
grouping programs depend on their features. Some grouping programs have little or no effect
on students; other programs have moderate effects; and still other programs have large effects
(Kulik, 1992). Even if there may be a need for a fresh look at the issue of grading in K-12, the
issue has been well-documented. The debate still goes on but it needs to be evidenced at
university level as well. Because of the different practices in student intake in higher
education around the world, almost no study focused on student grouping in higher education.
Student grouping
There is controversy over the issue as grouping may be based on imperfectly
measured ability, informal grouping, vague interpretation of terms, survey instruments that
fail to discriminate ability and tracking, allocated resources, extent of grouping and the
curriculum (Betts & Shkolnik, 2000).This study aims to shed light on what the student
population thinks about heterogeneous grouping after living in an academically homogenous
classroom environment at university.
Heterogeneous grouping
Slavin’s review of 29 pieces of research on ability grouping on achievement found
zero effect (Slavin, 1990) and his review of 27 researches on the effects of ability grouping on
the achievement of middle school students found almost no difference between students
grouped according to ability and heterogeneous grouping (Slavin, 1993). A study found that
inequalities of civic competences across classrooms are relatively large in systems
characterized by early selection on the basis of ability (Janmaat, 2011). Responding to
growing concern over ability grouping, schools have introduced some alternative methods of
delivering instruction, such as cooperative learning (which presumes heterogeneous learning
groups) (Lee &Smith, 1993; Macqueen, 2013). In two studies, students in Gifted &Talented
programs experienced systematic declines in three components of academic self-concept
(Reading, Math, School) over time and in relation to matched comparison students in regular
mixed ability classrooms, but not in four components of nonacademic self-concept (Physical,
Appearance, Peer Relations, Parent Relations). In both studies, these results were consistent
over gender, age, and initial ability level (Marsh, Chessor, Craven, & Roche, 1995). The
achievements of average and less able students proved to be significantly higher when
compared to their peers in the same ability classes, whereas highly able students performed
about the same (Linchevski & Kutscher, 1998). Students most affected by inequities (ability
grouping) are those achieving at the lowest levels (Macqueen, 2013). Heterogeneous grouping
benefited the low achieving group most (Duru-Bellat, Mingat, 1998).
Ability grouping
Results revealed that the frequency with which teachers used ability groups was
positively associated with mean school gain in reading, suggesting that early literacy and
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 103-114, 1 April, 2015
reading improvement in kindergarten may be facilitated by the use of ability groups in reading
(McCoach, O'Connell, & Levitt, 2006; Robinson, 2008).
There are also a lot of studies that support ability grouping especially for the high school
period. On the one hand, findings by Slavin were criticized. Results of a study by Mulkey,
Catsambis, Steelman & Crain (2005) reaffirm that tracking has persistent instructional
benefits for all students. Yet, high-achieving students who are tracked in middle school may
suffer considerable losses in self-concept that subsequently depress their achievement, and
mathematics course-taking. Implications are for a broad range theory of tracking and for
further empirical work on the viability of heterogeneously-grouped classes (Mulkey,
Catsambis, Steelman & Crain, 2005). According to Jackson, being assigned to a school with
higher-achieving peers has large positive effects on examination performance (Jackson,
2008). The results of math classes from 882 students show that growth in student achievement
is significantly lower in general-track classes than in college-preparatory classes (Gamoran et
al., 1997). Despite extensive research and criticism, tracking for mathematics remains a nearuniversal practice in American high schools (National Center for Education Statistics, 1994).
In a meta-analysis of findings from 52 studies about ability grouping, studies in which highability students received enriched instruction in honors classes produced especially clear
effects, while studies of average and below average students produced near-zero effects
(Kulik & Kulik, 1982). Results of study by Cheung and Rudowicz (2003) revealed no
significant detrimental effect caused by the ability-grouped class and the ability level of the
ability-grouped class. Rather, students in classes that were more homogeneous according to
past academic achievement tended to have significantly higher subsequent academic
achievement and self-esteem. Ireson and Hallam (2009) also found high self-esteem in high
ability groups. Wiliam and Bartholomew (2004) found differences in mathematics
achievement between ability-grouped students and formal whole classes. A study by Shields
showed that some form of homogeneous grouping benefits the most able and gifted students
in terms of their academic achievement, as well as their attitudes concerning themselves as
learners and regarding their school experiences (Shields, 2002). As for self-concept, pupils in
the higher sets tended to have higher self concepts; pupil preferences for setting were greater
in the higher year groups, as was the extent to which the top set was perceived to be the best
(Hallam & Deathe, 2002). Ability grouping also increased the probability of choosing the
peer as best friend (Hallinan & Sørensen, 1982).
Schools with more mobility in their tracking systems, meaning less inequality, produced
higher math achievement scores overall (Gamoran, 1992). Charter Public School (fewer
mixed ability classes 20%) student gains in each group were larger than those of Traditional
Public School (more mixed ability classes 50%) students in similar groups, and the gains of
students in the high ability group were greater than those in the low ability group, contributing
to increasing inequality over the school year (Berends, Donaldson, 2011). According to
McEwin et al. (2003) and Phuong-Mai et al. (2008), a majority of American middle schools
favor tracking, that is, students grouped based on similar levels of capacity. Results from both
the questionnaire survey and interviews in the intervention study confirmed that the students
were more interested in being grouped with their friends.
Grouping Debates at University and Student Selection in Turkey
Student grouping in classes has been a controversial issue for universities educating
highest achievers and comparatively low achievers in the same class, which is reflected by
confusion among universities about whether scholarship and tuition fee students should be
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Student Attitudes Towards Change From Ability Grouping To…M. Bahar
taught together. On the other hand, in the case of universities there is very little research about
ability grouping of college students (Bosco, 2009). Bosco (2009) studied a group of college
geology classes and concluded that students should be grouped heterogeneously. In a study
with gifted youth, on the whole, the participants perceived homogeneous grouping more
positively with respect to academic outcomes. They learned more in the more challenging
environment provided by homogeneous classes. However, they had mixed feelings about
which setting better met their social needs (Adams-Byers, Whitseel & Moon, 2004).
Economics is another factor to take into account when deciding on mixed ability classes.
Mixing treatment has a positive but statistically insignificant effect on average adulthood
earnings. While mixing has positive effects on low ability students’ adulthood earnings, it has
smaller or even negative effects on higher ability students (Kang, Park, & Lee, 2007). Due to
the concerns about class content, pace and teaching methods, most teachers have a positive
attitude toward ability grouping. One overall result would be what Ireson et al. found; pupils
attaining higher levels make more progress in sets, whereas pupils attaining lower levels make
more progress in mixed ability classes (Ireson et. al., 2002).
In the Turkish context, students have to take a compulsory countrywide exam in order to enter
university. Exam results are made public and students are required to apply universities online
over the institution that makes the exam. No university gets its students itself; placement is
made centrally as well, depending on student preferences and their scores in related areas.
Because students select departments considering prior scores, location or name of the
university (Orhan et. al., 2015), students with similar ability study in the same department. As
for foundation universities, they also take students via the same system, no distinction is made
between foundation and public universities when it comes to student preferences but
foundation universities get students into the same department at three or four levels; full
scholarship, %50 scholarship, %25 scholarship and tuition-fee. Departments have different
codes for each type of student, but after enrolment in the university the students all study at
the same department in the end. Because students with different abilities study at the same
class, there is a strong need to inquire about how they perceive the situation. In one class at a
foundation university students were placed into classes with regard to their achievement at the
standard exam. Considering the possibilities of adverse consequences the administration
decided to mix the both groups into heterogeneous groups. The study aims to shed light to the
question of how the perception of undergraduate students will be influenced by this change
over time. Besides, how the GPAs of the students were influenced by the change from ability
to mixed ability grouping over time was sought.
Method
The study makes use of qualitative method and survey method by way of semi
structured questionnaire and a likert scale form of the same questionnaire.
Participants
Freshman students at a department from a social sciences faculty who started at two
different sections grouped according to their level of prior achievement (as a result of a
nationwide compulsory exam) took courses for one semester inability classes and then studied
in mixed ability classes for the rest of the undergraduate program. The complete group in two
sections consisted of 52 students, 27 of whom were scholarship and half scholarship students
and 25 of whom were tuition-fee students. 45 students out of 52 responded to the questions in
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 103-114, 1 April, 2015
both questionnaires. For the Friedman test, which is used with data that are not normally
distributed, few in number and ordinal, the data of 15 students qualified, which means 15
responded to all three questionnaires. For the Mann-Whitney U test, a total of 45 students
qualified.
Process
Students took courses in either one of two ability groups for one semester and then
both groups were mixed up to form two heterogeneous classes. Mixing both groups did not
take into account any other factors. That is, selection of students to groups was completely
random. Before mixed ability classes, when they were taught in ability groups, they were
asked five questions about their expectations of mixing the groups. The reason is that use of
pretest scores helps to reduce error variance, thus producing more powerful tests than designs
with no pretest data (Stevens, 1996). Students in both sections already knew each other in a
bigger group because of a pass-fail course taken by all students. They observed each other
and, they had some notion of what the other students/their fellow peers were like. In the first
place, all students were given an open-ended item survey asking five questions about a)
unification of classes and its effect on their psychology, b) unification of classes and their
academic achievement, c) unification of classes and their course studies, d) unification of
classes, extra activities and social lives, and e) how the other students influenced them, and
they were expected to fill in a likert scale questionnaire about the same issues. After forming
mixed ability groups they took classes for one semester and then they were given the
questionnaire once again to see if there was a change in ideas. Because time may have had an
influence on student ideas, the same questions were asked again at the end of the second year
(for the third time) to see if there were any other differences. Reliability coefficient of the
questionnaire for Cronbach’s Alpha was 0,846. As 15 students answered all the questions and
filled in the likert scale questionnaires throughout three measurements without missing any
data, Friedman test was conducted. When the data over more than two times is measured with
ordinal scale, Anova would not be suitable. To see the difference between pairs Wilcoxon
sign test was carried out as the measurements were dependent. To test the significance
between the differences in ideas of scholarship and tuition-fee students, the Mann-Whitney U
test was carried out because the number of students was not enough for t test.
Findings
Findings about questionnaires
Out of 52 students in class, 45 responded to at least two questionnaires. Eleven tuitionfee students and 4 scholarship students did not answer the second form after the second
semester. The Mann Whitney U test, which tested for the differences between scholarship and
tuition-fee students, was carried out with 45 students. 15 students answered all three
questionnaires over two years, which means Friedman test was carried out with 15 students.
Pre and two post semester questionnaires were matched and compared. The findings are given
in table 1.
Item
Item1
Table 1 Friedman Test and Wilcoxon Sign Test Results for Items 1-5
Wilcoxon Sign Test
Friedman Test
2
Median Difference
Time Mean Rank χ
df
p
Z
time1
1,87
2,056
2
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0,358
Student Attitudes Towards Change From Ability Grouping To…M. Bahar
Item2
Item3
Item4
Item5
time2
time3
time1
time2
time3
time1
time2
time3
time1
time2
time3
time1
time2
time3
1,90
2,23
1,60
1,90
2,50
1,87
1,93
2,20
1,90
1,80
2,30
1,50
2,17
2,33
8,400
2
0,015
1,806
2
0,405
3,937
2
0,140
7,778
2
0,020
2,0
2,0
3,0
time1-time3
-2,825
(0,005)
2,50
3,0
3,0
time1-time2
-2,138
(0,033)
N=15
Repeated measures test of Friedman with ordinal data for five items produced differences in
two of the items over time; Item2 and Item 5. In item1, there was statistically significant
difference in attitudes about the academic achievement of scholarship and tuition fee students
in time χ2(2) =8,400, p=0,015. There was also statistically significant difference in item5 in
attitudes about the perception of the other by scholarship and tuition fee students in time χ2(2)
=7,778, p=0,020.
In item 2, Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed student responses over three terms did change
significantly for the negative. There was a change in attitudes between time1 and time3 (Z=2,825, p=0,005). Median for time1 and and time3 were 8,5 and 11 respectively.
Table 2 Mann Whitney U Test for the difference of attitude between scholarship and tuitionfee students*
Mean
Sum of
Item
Group
N
U
Z
p
Rank
Ranks
Item4
Scholarship 18
15,28
275,00
40,00 -2,122 0,034
2. term Tuition-fee
8
9,50
76,00
Item5
Scholarship 21
16,90
355,00
124,00 -2,246 0,025
1. term Tuition-fee
19
24,47
465,00
*Only the results with significant change were reported.
As for the differences between the attitudes of scholarship and tuition-fee students, out of 15
questions over three measurements, there were differences of attitudes only in the first term of
the second question (How do you think your academic achievement will be influenced by
mixing the classes?) and the first term of the fifth question (How will the other students
influence you?). In other measurements both groups had similar ideas.
Table 3 Mann Whitney U test for the difference in GPA between time1 and time3 for
scholarship and tuition-fee students
Mean
Sum of
Group
n
U
Z
p
Rank
Ranks
Scholarship
20
23,60
472,00
98,00 -2,398 0,016
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 103-114, 1 April, 2015
Tuition-fee
18
14,94
269,00
In the first place difference between time1 and time3 was found for both groups and because
groups were small (n=20, n=18) for t test , Mann-Whitney U test conducted to evaluate the
difference between time1 and time3 GPAs of scholarship students and tuition fee students
found significant difference; Z = -2.398, p <0 .05. Scholarship students had higher GPAs than
tuition fee students in time3 with an average rank of 23.60, while tuition fee students had an
average rank of 14.94, U = 98.0, p = 0.016.
Findings about Written Student Responses
For the question that asked about the psychological effect of the unification of classes,
two of the low achieving students said it would have a positive influence and four of them
said it would have a negative one. One said it wouldn’t influence anything and another said it
would be hard to concentrate. The two who said it would have a positive influence and one
said it had no negative effect at the end of the semester. Three said unification of classes
influenced negatively, one said it influenced very negatively. Two of them did not give an
answer to the question.
As for the high achievers, six of them said it would have a negative impact, four said it would
have no effect. One said “it may be nice to meet with others”, and one said “sociable friends
in the other section will motivate me.” One said it would influence him/her positively in the
future. One said “not having old friends may be a problem”, and another student did not want
to get used to new friends. One was concerned about the other group’s desire to have a good
time. The student who said it would influence her very badly said it did influence very badly
after five months. Two of the low achieving students said they would be influenced positively
and at the end of the second term both said they were not influenced negatively.
As for the unification of classes and academic achievement, higher achievers were more
concerned about the level of education given than the other students. Four of the low
achieving students had similar ideas after unification. One who said it would have positive
effects said it had both good and bad sides and one who said it would have a negative
influence said it had no influence (after five months). High achievers were influenced
positively in terms scores and seven said there was no change. Their problems were as could
be expected; simplified courses, which bring about loss of motivation in high achievers. Eight
of the students expressed negative attitudes (simple, boring classes) and two had positive
attitudes (due to high scores).
Two of the three students who said course studies will be influenced negatively said they
were negatively influenced. One said nothing had changed. (One of the two students who said
they would study more really did so, whereas the other one said it had a negative influence.
The one who said she missed silence in class said unification had positive and negative sides.
The one who was concerned about scores; “my scores may fall”; she wanted to be in her old
class.
Even if the question was not about achievement (extra activities and social lives), low
achieving students’ ideas are centred around classroom achievement. One answer to the
question is “I feel bad when I can’t answer a question”. One student who had a positive
attitude continued having the same attitude at the end of the following semester. High
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Student Attitudes Towards Change From Ability Grouping To…M. Bahar
achieving students are not concerned much about their social lives but they feel the need to
express their concern about courses. One said that it would have an influence and added they
had different social activities. Three of the high achieving students expressed comparatively
different perspectives: One said: “They should know how to behave if there is to be
unification, their being noisy disturbs others”; another said “There are social differences as
you can observe” and the other said “To do activities with people I don’t like won’t change
the present dullness.” While a low achiever said “they (high achievers) are not social” a high
achiever saw them as being “noisy.”
Discussion
As the Friedman test shows, students’ attitudes towards the perception of their own
academic achievement changed over time, which may be due to more heterogeneous scores in
the class. Their studies were not affected, which might mean class unification did not make
any change in student study behavior, and it did not make any change in their social activities
out of class; their friendships were not influenced by uniting heterogeneous classes, at least as
expressed by the students. This goes hand in hand with findings of Adams-Byers, Whitsel and
Moon (2004). But it goes against findings of Chisaka (2002) who found ability grouping had
a negative effect on the instruction and learning of learners placed in low ability classes and in
social relationships of these learners and their peers in high ability classes (Chisaka, 2002).
Personal encounters with instructors show most of them preferred ability grouping on account
of holding intact classes.
Time has shown that students’ attitudes towards the other group changed in time3. Of all five
questions, scholarship and tuition-fee students had differing ideas in question-4 second term,
and question-5 1st term. For the remaining 3 questions students had similar averages over
three terms, which means they thought the same way towards ability grouping but had
different concerns.
The Mann-Whitney U test for the change of difference in GPAs between scholarship and
tuition-fee students showed there was significant change in scores favoring high achievers.
Results proved fears of tuition fee students were realized because GPAs of tuition fee students
decreased compared to scholarship students during the 2nd year. This result is also similar to
the ones depicted at secondary or high school level.
Half of the high achievers expressed no influence while the other half used negative
expressions about their psychologies and unification. More than half of low achievers used
negative expressions about unification. Overall, students’ ideas about unification with respect
to social activities changed for the positive, high achievers’ concerns centered around
achievement and the classroom even in this question. It appeared that students were not as
concerned about their social lives. In all questions high achievers had less concerns and their
concerns were about the level of holding the class but most low achievers were scared
because they could not keep up with others. These findings are similar to the findings of other
research carried out at high school level.
There is ample literature that says low ability groups are given simpler tasks and work at a
slower pace, which was the same concern for scholarship students. Pupils in high ability
groups are also allowed more independence and choice, opportunities are provided for
discussion, and pupils are allowed to take responsibility for their own work (Hallam & Ireson,
2005).
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 103-114, 1 April, 2015
Student responses in the study were very similar to the findings of Hallam and Ireson (2005)
which showed the curriculum was differentiated more in ability grouped classes by content,
depth, the activities undertaken and the resources used. The less able were given more
opportunities for rehearsal and repetition, more structured work, more practical work, less
opportunities for discussion, less access to the curriculum, less homework with less detailed
feedback, while work proceeded at a slower pace and was easier (Hallam & Ireson, 2005).
Differences in pedagogy were evident in the responses of teachers who taught both mixed
ability and ability grouped classes (Hallam & Ireson, 2005).
Most studies agree that high-ability students benefit from working with other high-ability
students (Steel, 2005). Students who answered the questionnaire in the study expressed
similar ideas (at university level) saying there were simplified courses and loss of motivation.
Hacker and Rowe (1993) found science teachers altered their pedagogy when they moved
from sets to mixed ability classes. With mixed ability classes, teachers provided a greater
variety of activities and more differentiated work, whereas they tended to use more whole
class instruction with sets.
Results from both the questionnaire survey and interviews in the intervention study by
McEwin et al. (2003) and Phuong-Mai et al. (2008) confirmed that the students were more
interested in being grouped with their friends. It was the same for the group in the present
study. Some of the high achieving students complained about easier classes, about which
there has been a complaint for about a century; the superior students find no challenge and
never develop their capacities if assigned only the average work (Reeve, 1956 cited in Welke
& Bragg, 1958). One thing to suggest may be offering modifications in the curriculum to
make room for the needs of high achievers as well. Flexible ability grouping, combined with
appropriate curricular revision or differentiation, may result in substantial achievement gains
both for average and high ability learners (Tieso, 2003).
A disadvantage to the repeated measure design is that it may not be possible for each
participant to be in all conditions of the process (i.e. time constraints, location of experiment,
etc.). The second disadvantage is that findings may not be generalizable to the public because
of the limited number of participants.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE)
Vol. 5(1), pp. 115-129, 1 April, 2015
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.15.11.5.1
Mathematical Language Used in the Teaching of Three Dimensional
Objects: The Prism Example
Zeynep Çakmak
Elementary Mathematics Education, Erzincan University, Erzincan, Turkey.
Fatih Baş
Elementary Mathematics Education, Erzincan University, Erzincan, Turkey.
Ahmet Işık
Elementary Mathematics Education, Atatürk University, Erzurum, Turkey.
Mehmet Bekdemir
Elementary Mathematics Education, Erzincan University, Erzincan, Turkey.
Meryem Özturan Sağırlı
Elementary Mathematics Education, Erzincan University, Erzincan, Turkey.
This study aimed to determine how students internalize the
mathematical concepts taught in their mathematics class, what
kinds of differences there are between mathematical languages
Received in revised form:
of the students and the teachers in defining them, and what
30.03.2015
mistakes the students make in expressing the concepts by using
mathematical language. The study was conducted with two
Accepted:
30.03.2015
mathematics teachers and 35 sixth-grade students in two
elementary schools. The data were collected with a classroom
Key words:
observation form and two open-ended knowledge tests. During
Mathematical language,
mathematical communication, the data analysis, classroom observation forms were subjected
mathematical concepts
to descriptive analysis and students’ knowledge test results
were subjected to content analysis. The findings showed that in
spite of the differences between what teachers wanted to
explain and what students internalized in their minds, these
were they were in parallel to one another. However, the
students had many problems in expressing their opinions
mathematically. The main reasons of these problems derived
from students’ just focusing a part of definition in coding,
having insufficiencies in students’ definition skills-inability to
use mathematical terminology, using daily life examples like
definition and being aware of the exact correspondence of their
definitions.
Article history
Received:
24.02.2015

Corresponding authors:
Elementary Mathematics Education, Faculty of Education, Erzincan University, Erzincan, Turkey. email: [email protected], [email protected]
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Mathematical Language Used in the Teaching…Z. Çakmak, F. Baş, A. Işık, M. Bekdemir & M.Ö. Sağırlı
Introduction
Language is an important tool not only for expressing the meanings that already exist
in mind but also for forming new concepts, relations and meanings, and for sharing this
formed knowledge (Baki, 2008). The effective and accurate utilization of this tool plays an
important role in establishing environment for healthy communication allowing for
development of accurate conceptions of idea (Nuhrenborger and Steinbring, 2009).
Mathematical language provides a mean for effective discourse that words and symbols
unique meanings, and all users of this language infer the same meaning from the same
expression (Bali, 2003). As such, mathematics becomes a universal language that enables its
users to express scientific thoughts and concepts. The mathematical language, which is
formed as a result of the blending of daily language with mathematical concepts, possess a
unique technical vocabulary, which renders it different and more complex than the language
used in daily life (Austin and Howson, 1979; Raiker, 2002). In an educational setting and in
mathematics classrooms, if it is used effectively, what the teacher teaches and what the
students learn align well (Yeşildere, 2007). Otherwise, the use of less accurate language
potentially leads to misconceptions (Raiker, 2002). The peculiar relationship between
mathematics and language has been defined in a way to minimize the potential
misconceptions and difficulties to emerge in the process of making sense of mathematics
(Adanur, Yağız and Işık, 2004).
With the increased importance attached to the mathematical language in communicating
disciplinary knowledge (Boulet, 2007; Cirillo, Bruna and Eisenmann, 2010; Doğan and
Güner, 2012; Ferrari, 2004; Rudd, Lambert, Satterwhite and Zaier 2008), the number of
studies which address the effects of the knowledge of mathematical concepts to the formation
of students’ mathematical languages (Capraro and Joffrion, 2006; Çakmak and Bekdemir,
2012; Dur, 2010; Gökbulut, 2010; Korhonen, Linnanmäki and Aunio, 2011; Monroe and
Orme, 2002; Morgan, 2005; Raiker, 2002; Vogel, and Huth, 2010; Woods, 2009; Yeşildere,
2007) is on the rise in the literature. Also, it is important that teachers playing an important
role in the formation of students’ mathematical languages (Mercer and Sams, 2006) should
effectively use the mathematical language along with having a command of pedagogy and
mathematics. Therefore, investigating the mathematical language used by teachers and
students in the conceptual development of mathematical concepts, their comparison and
uncovering the differences between two languages are important for the development of this
language.
A relevant study in the literature (e.g., Moschkovich , 2007) compared the definitions of
students and teachers with regards to parallelogram and trapezoid. The study showed while
the teachers mostly used formal definitions by using mathematical language, the students used
informal definitions by using daily life expressions in their definitions. In another study (e.g.,
Huang, Normandia and Greer, 2005), how teachers and students developed a conceptual
understanding of knowledge and differences between these processes were researched in the
study about elementary school students and teachers. The study showed that knowledge was
not directly transmitted to the student from teacher and there were differences between
teachers’ and students’ mathematical language. Also another study (Raiker, 2002) researched
whether teachers and students gave different meaning to mathematical concepts or not. The
findings of the study showed that teachers and students defined the concepts differently
because of their actual positions. Considering these studies, determining the barriers in front
of the mathematical language which is one of the important elements of mathematical
communication is also important for teaching mathematics.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 115-129, 1 April, 2015
The use of mathematical language pertaining to the topic of prism was examined in this study
for the following two main reasons: i) Along with basic mathematical concepts (addition,
subtraction etc.), the necessity of presenting many other concepts pertaining to the subject
(lateral face, space diagonal etc.) by the teacher with an appropriate mathematical language
while teaching the subject of prism, ii) Ability to measure the levels of teachers and students
to establish effective communication by using examples, which are easily-found in students’
everyday environments (Gökbulut, 2010), on the subject of prism.
The fact that the mathematical language and mathematical concepts are of abstract structures
is of importance for analyzing the mathematical languages of secondary school students, who
are at the stage of dealing with abstract operations (Senemoğlu, 2011, p. 49). At the time of
the study, the sixth-grade students had already gone through a five-year communication
process, which the classroom teachers had established and with which the students had been
familiar. At this step, mathematics teachers are expected to explain more concepts and to use
the mathematical language more effectively. Therefore, it was thought that whether a
mathematics teacher and a student use the mathematical language effectively or not could best
be examined at the level of sixth-grade. On the other hand, the reason the second semester of
the academic year was selected is to minimize as much as possible the mistakes arising from
the process of getting used to the secondary school and to the teacher’s language.
Considering these issues, the purpose of the study was to determine how sixth-grade students
internalize in the concepts explained using the mathematical language on the subject of
learning prisms, which is one of the sub-domains of “Geometrical Objects” of the learning
domain in Sixth-Grade, how teachers and students explain these concepts by using the
mathematical language and which mistakes students do in this process.
The main focus in the study is to determine the differences between mathematics teachers’
mathematical language use in teaching the concepts as part of the secondary school sixthgrade subject of “Let’s learn prisms” and students’ mathematical language use and to define
students’ mistakes in this process.
Three specific questions guided our data collection and analysis process.
1. Are what teacher say (or what he/she tries to establish) and what students construct in
their minds the same?
2. Which differences are there between the mathematical language used by teachers and
students?
3. What kind of mistakes do students make in mathematical language use while
expressing mathematical concepts?
Method
1. Model
A case study method from qualitative research methods which allows for the
thorough analysis of one or more events, media, programs, social groups or other
interconnected systems (McMillan, 2000) was used in this study.
2. Participants
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Mathematical Language Used in the Teaching…Z. Çakmak, F. Baş, A. Işık, M. Bekdemir & M.Ö. Sağırlı
The research was carried out at the second semester of the 2011-2012 Academic
Year with two mathematics teachers and 35 sixth-grade students (11 years) in two public
secondary schools located in a medium-sized Eastern Mediterranean city in Turkey. 19 of
these students were educated in the state schools in the city centre and 16 of them were
educated in the village schools. The first teacher working in the city centre was coded as
T1and had a 10- year experience in teaching. The second teacher working in the village
was coded as T2 and had a 5-year experience in teaching. A purposeful sampling method
of typical case sampling was used for selection of participants. The participant teachers
were coded as T1 and T2. The participant students correspondent with teachers’ codes
(e.g. students of T1 were coded as T1S1,…,T1S19; and students of T2 were coded as
T2S1,…,T2S16).
3. Data Collection Instruments and Collection of Data
Data were collected in two stages. First, the mathematical concepts and their
definitions on the subject of prism which were taught during two course hours were
collected using the observation form. The aim here was to determine the concepts that the
teacher used in the communication process and how these concepts were expressed. At
the second stage, data on students’ thinking were collected using two open-ended
knowledge tests –KT1 and KT2-, which were on the concepts taught as part of the subject
of prism for sixth-grade students. These tests were prepared after taking opinions from
three educators who had command of the subject of qualitative research. The question
asked in KT1 is the following: Suppose that your best friend missed the class the day the
subject of prism was taught. This is why he/she does not know anything about what the
teacher lectured in the class. Convey the lecture to your friend. On the other hand, the
question asked in KT2 is the following: Define the concepts of lateral face, edge, space
diagonal, prism, vertice, base and height; and show the elements of a prism by drawing
one in the boxes. Students were firstly given KT1, and after collecting KT1 test forms
back, KT2 test forms were handed out, in order to prevent KT2 from affecting students’
responses to KT1, as KT2 involved elements of concepts given in KT1.
4. Analysis of Data
Analysis of data was performed in two stages: analysis of the observation form and
KT1, and analysis of KT2. At the first stage, analysis of the data pertaining to the first
sub-problem was performed using the observation form and KT1. Data extracted from
the observation form were subjected to descriptive analysis in which the conceptual
structure is known beforehand (Yıldırım and Şimşek, 2008) and then, through the
observation data obtained, the concepts mentioned by the teacher in the class were
determined. Besides, the data were analyzed by considering teachers’ emphasis on certain
characteristics of concepts and their dialogues with students. Two independent raters
coded the observation data. Points that were thought to have influence on concepts were
determined through the experts’ consensus, and the analyses of teachers’ lectures were
summarized. In order to identify the concepts and relations that could explain the data
collected through KT1, the data were subjected to content analysis. Students’ responses
to KT1 were analyzed by two experts, and the similarities and differences between the
analyses of teachers’ classes and the responses given by students to KT1 were noted.
At the second stage, KT2 results were analysed so to respond the second and third subproblems. The coding categories reached
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 115-129, 1 April, 2015
1) Accurate drawing of prism and correct use of mathematical language;
2) Accurate drawing of prism but inaccurate use of mathematical language;
3) Accurate drawing of prism but incorrect use of mathematical language;
4) Accurate drawing of prism but no definition;
5) Completely incorrect answers or blank ones. Frequencies and percentages of
student responses were determined. At the same time, at this stage, students’ mistakes were
categorized. To increase the reliability of coding; parts that had been removed, categories that
had been defined and expressions that had been put under them were re-analyzed by a group,
which was consisted of the two experts and another expert from outside the scope of the
study, and then common responses were identified. These three experts discussed the
responses and added new categories if needed. Lastly supportive qualitative data including
quotes were used to explain the sources of errors.
Findings
1. Findings related to the sub-problem “Are what teacher say (or what he/she tries
to establish) and what students construct in their minds the same”: In order to determine
what the teacher says (or what he/she tries to establish); the two participants teachers’
lectures are summarized (below) including the durations they dedicated to each concept.
The reason a special emphasis was put on durations is the idea that time is an important
factor influencing students’ comprehension of concepts.
Class analysis of T1:
The teacher started the class by sharing an example from daily life: “Folks! The other
day I received a box of books I had ordered earlier. They put the books in the box like this
and sealed the box like this... So, what is this box?” By asking this question, he let the
students figure out that the box is a prism. Then, he talked about examples of prisms
encountered in daily life. This opening discussion lasted about 11 minutes. He then
introduced the elements of a prism on a teaching object and provided definitions. This lasted
approximately 6 minutes. He then offered examples of objects that are not prisms, formally
defined prisms, and finally asked students to draw a prism and to share its definition
(approximately 10 minutes). While discussing examples of prisms and their elements, he
concluded the lesson by asking and asked students to draw expanded rectangles and triangular
prisms (6 minutes). He started the second class by discussing four space diagonals about 10
minutes, and then he provided a formal definition by asking students to visualize the two
remotest corners of the room. He continued the class in the Q&A style by describing oblique
and right prisms (5 minutes). While describing oblique and right prisms, he both used
teaching object and drew examples on the board. In the remaining time, he presented
examples from the computer and from the course book.
Class analysis of T2:
The teacher spent the majority of the first session by trying to learn what students
know in order to determine students’ prior knowledge on the subject. In this process, he used
triangular prism and rectangular prism together, and introduced many elements of prisms. He
put a special emphasis, for around 7 minutes, on the concept of dimension. He stated, “the
most important concept in prisms is the concept of height, which is the third dimension”. T2
used a matchbox as an example, which was a small object considering the size of the
classroom. Using the matchbox; he introduced the concepts of height, vertix and edge along
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Mathematical Language Used in the Teaching…Z. Çakmak, F. Baş, A. Işık, M. Bekdemir & M.Ö. Sağırlı
with the number of faces for around 3 minutes. Then, he talked for 4 minutes about the
concepts of oblique prism and right prism. While describing oblique and right prisms, he did
not use teaching object and only drew examples on the board. He devoted 8 minutes to the
concept of height, which he thinks the most important concept in prisms. The first session
ended following a dialogue between a student and the teacher. He started the second session
by discussing the subject of prisms (2 minutes). Using the Q&A method, he asked T2 students
to calculate the perimeter of the lateral faces of the rectangular prism that he had shown in the
previous session, and then he talked about the perimeters these faces (around 6 minutes).
While defining lateral face, he said that “the lateral face of a prism is always a rectangle” and
demonstrated it on the material (for around 5 minutes). He dedicated 2 minutes to the concept
of edge by also showing it on the example he had. After talking for 7 minutes about the
concepts of diagonal and space diagonal, he summarized the subject of prisms for around 3
minutes and then asked students to write down these concepts on their notebooks.
In order to determine what students construct in their minds, as stated in the first sub-problem,
the responses given by the students of both teachers to the KT1 were analyzed. It was
observed that while some students used one type of prism, others used two and some others
used none. Graph I illustrates the types of prisms produced by the students.
Graph I. Types of prisms used by students coded as T1S and T2S while depicting
prisms.
As presented in Graph I, while only three students identified triangular prism, which is less
frequently experienced in daily life and textbooks in T1’s class, this number was higher in
T2’s class. This result might stem from the fact that T1 emphasized rectangular prism in his
lecture and referenced other types of prisms less frequently. On the other hand, T2 used
examples of rectangular and triangular prisms together. Additionally, although both teachers
had introduced other types of prisms such as hexagonal and pentagonal prisms in their
lessons, none of the students provided such examples.
In Graph II and Graph III. Illustrate the approaches that the students used in response to the
question in KT1 (Suppose that your best friend missed the class the day the subject of prism
was taught. This is why he/she does not know anything about what the teacher lectured in the
class. Convey the lecture to your friend.)
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 115-129, 1 April, 2015
Graph II. Depiction codes and frequencies of students coded T1S for the subject of
prisms
Graph III. Depiction codes and frequencies of students coded T2S for the subject of
prisms
The depiction codes and frequencies of T1S are given in Graph II. They followed the
following way while depicting prisms: Demonstrating by drawing the elements (15 correct, 1
partially correct, 1 incorrect), by specifying the elements (6 correct, 2 partially correct, 1
incorrect), by drawing the expansion (5 correct, 2 incorrect), by defining the elements (1
correct, 6 partially correct), by drawing a right prism (3 correct, 1 incorrect) and by drawing
an oblique prism (4 correct, 2 incorrect).
The depiction codes and frequencies of T2S are given in Graph II. They followed the
following path while depicting the subject of prisms: Demonstrating by drawing the elements
(9 correct, 2 partially correct), by specifying the elements (4 correct, 2 partially correct, 1
incorrect), by drawing the expansion (4 correct) and by defining the elements (2 correct, 2
partially correct). It is notable that they did not attempt to draw a right prism or an oblique
prism.
As shown that students mostly preferred to depict prisms by either drawing or specifying the
elements of a prism. It was also observed that the instances of defining these elements by
using a mathematical language were lower in the class of T2. This might be due to the fact
that T1 dedicated more time and energy to defining the elements of prisms in his classes and
asked students to write down those definitions. On the other hand, T2 asked different
questions and dedicated less time.
Note also that none of the students in T2 class used oblique or right prisms in their
depictions. On the other hand, T1’s students used examples of these types of prisms. This
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Mathematical Language Used in the Teaching…Z. Çakmak, F. Baş, A. Işık, M. Bekdemir & M.Ö. Sağırlı
finding required a revisiting of class observations, which indicated that both teachers
dedicated approximately same amount of time to introducing these types of prisms. However,
T1 both used teaching objects and drew examples on the board. On the other hand, T2 only
drew examples on the board. Differences in students’ responses might be attributed to these
teacher practices.
2. Findings related to the sub-problem “Which differences are there between the mathematical
language used by teachers and students?”: With the purpose of finding answers to the second
sub-problem; class observations and students’ responses to KT2 were analyzed. With the
purpose of determining whether students managed to define the concept of prism, the visual
illustrations and verbal definitions provided by students were coded in line with the data
obtained from KT2 (Define the concepts of prism, and show by drawing a prism in the
boxes) and these codes and frequencies are presented together in Table 1.
Table 1. Categories and frequencies concerning students’ definitions of the concept of
prism
Prism
T1S
Example
f
T2S
Example
f
Accurate drawing of prism
and
correct
use
of
mathematical language
0
-
1
“Prisms are three dimensional
figures with a height and equal
upper and lower bases”
Accurate drawing of prism
but
inaccurate
use
of
mathematical language
10
“An empty box”
2
“Three dimensional objects”
Accurate drawing of prism
but
incorrect
use
of
mathematical language
4
“Prism forms of a
square, triangle and
rectangle”
1
“A prism has three faces”
Accurate drawing of prism
but no definition
3
-
11
-
Totally incorrect or empty
answer
2
-
1
-
Total
19
16
17 of T1S students failed to define prism using a correct mathematical language although they
presented accurate drawings. While ten of these students provided a definition using an
inaccurate mathematical language, three of them did not give any definition at all. 15 of T2S
students drew prisms accurately, only one of them provided a nearly correct definition, two
used the mathematical language inaccurately and eleven did not give any definition at all.
Similar results were observed among students’ responses to KT2 (Define the concepts of
lateral face, edge, space diagonal, vertice, base and height; and show the elements of a prism
by drawing one in the boxes), and they are shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Categories and frequencies concerning students’ definitions of elements of
prism
Frequencies of T1S (f)
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Frequencies of T2S (f)
Accurate drawing
but inaccurate use
of
mathematical
language
6
Accurate drawing
but incorrect use of
mathematical
language
2
Accurate drawing
but no definition
0
Totally incorrect or
empty answer
2
16
3
2
4
2
2
1
(14%)
12
7
13
5
53
10
4
2
3
16
0
2
3
1
2
1
2
1
0
4
6
1
0
0
0
1
0
3
6
4
1
23
8
(20%)
4
(4%)
9
7
4
8
9
3
(5%)
2
11
(12%)
(14%)
0
14
(15%)
(47%)
5
Total and Percentage
0
Space diagonal
6
Vertice
Space diagonal
0
Height
Vertice
1
Lateral Face
Height
0
Edge
Lateral Face
9
Base
Edge
Accurate drawing
and correct use of
mathematical
language
Themes
Total and Percentage
Base
Elements of Prism
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 115-129, 1 April, 2015
40
(41%)
2
4
7
3
4
7
27
(28%)
As presented in Table 2, the mathematical language was used correctly in 14% of the
responses regarding the elements of prisms in T1’s classroom, whereas it was used
inaccurately in 47% of them and incorrectly in 14% of those responses. On the other hand,
20% of the responses did not include any definition at all. In the classroom of T2; while
defining the elements of prisms, 15% of students used the mathematical language correctly,
12% used it inaccurately, 4% used it incorrectly, 41% provided accurate drawings but no
definition, and 28% provided no definition at all.
The low percentages in terms of correctly using the mathematical language might have
stemmed from students’ previous learning. However, obtaining such low percentages after the
participants teachers had taught the subject is an unexpected result for this study. Besides, it is
notable that there was no student who provided a correct definition but no drawing. This
shows that students who are capable of correctly defining the concept are also capable of
drawing it. On the other hand, it could be stated based on the findings that every student who
can draw is not necessarily capable of providing a definition.
3. Findings related to the sub-problem “What kind of mistakes do students make in
mathematical language use while expressing mathematical concepts?: As was also presented
in the first sub-problem; parallelisms between the ways teachers taught the course and the
responses given by students to KT1 are indicators of the impacts of the communication during
classes upon students. However, it cannot be stated that there are parallelisms between the
responses that students gave to KT2 and the definitions provided by teachers in class. The
incorrect responses given by students to KT2 were group under the following headings:
●
●
●
Students coded only a part of the definition
Insufficiencies in students’ definition skills
Inability to use a mathematical terminology
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●
●
●
➢
Use of daily life examples as definitions
Students’ unawareness about the exact correspondence of their definitions
Use of a particular case introduced in the class as the definition
Students coded only a part of the definition:
While listening to teachers; some students perceived, selected or coded in mind only a portion
of the definition provided by the teacher. For example; T1S12, T1S13 and T2S10 gave the
following definitions.
T1S12: “An object whose all sides are closed.” (Prism)
T1S13: “Surface of a prism” (Lateral face)
T2S0: “Three-dimensional object” (Prism)
T1S12 heard the following definition in the class: “A prism is a closed object that is obtained by
bringing together the endpoints of equilaterals of two parallel polygons. However, s/he coded only the part about
“closed object”.
This may complicate for him/her to differentiate between a prism and other closed objects.
➢
Insufficiencies in students’ definition skills:
The finding that some students did not provide any definitions although they were asked to
indicates that they lack this skill. The following are relevant examples:
T1S5: “Space diagonal: Here is the prism’s line diagonal.”
T1S5: “Base: Base is the upper and lower sides of prisms. Base is here.”
T2S3: “Base: There are 2 bases.”
T2S5: “Vertice: It consists of six vertices.”
These examples are not proper definitions. It can be stated that this situation is a consequence
of students’ lack of command of the mathematical language.
➢
Inability to use a mathematical terminology:
In order for students to use the mathematical language, they firstly need to have a command
of the mathematical terminology and then they should internalize meaningful sentences using
these terms. The following are examples in this category:
T1S14: “Space diagonal: The line between its remotest vertices.”
T1S7: “Edge: The line that constitutes a prism.”
T1S8: “Vertice: The thing that connects lines.”
T1S9: “Edge: A plain side of a thing is called edge.”
T1S18: “Lateral face: Side of a figure.”
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 115-129, 1 April, 2015
Although students had learned the concept of “line segment”; they used concepts like “line”,
“thing” and “side”. Use of such words negatively influences the development of their
mathematical language skills.
➢
Use of daily life examples as definitions:
When teachers proceed in the class to the mathematical definition after giving examples from
daily life, some students perceive that concept only through the daily life example. For
example, T1S12 and T1S13 gave the following responses in KT2:
T1S12: “Vertice: Pointy place of a prism”
T1S13: “Prism: An empty box”
Students of T1 defined prism as “an empty box”, probably because T1 used the daily life
example of box in the beginning of the class. Moreover, T1 taught the concept of vertice by
telling a story of someone who hurt himself after running against the corner of a desk. After
asking the reason, students gave the response “because it is incisive”. This is why, students
explained vertice using a daily language.
➢
Students’ unawareness about the exact correspondence of their definitions:
Definitions made by most students actually involved different meanings, because they used
inaccurate mathematical expressions or they failed to fully express their opinions. Moreover,
students provide their definitions without being aware of this situation. The following are
some examples.
T1S10: “Edge: The line that connects vertices is called edge.”
T1S16: “Prism: A figure which is given a name according to its bases and which has volume.”
T1S18: “Space diagonal: It divides the object into two.”
T2S11: “Height: Length of the steep line”
T2S10: “Height: Edge that connects lower and upper bases”
For example, while stating that “the line that connects vertices is called edge”, students are
not aware of the fact that a face diagonal or a space diagonal could also be obtained by
connecting the vertices. Or, the definition "space diagonal divides the object into two"
indicates that the student is not aware of the fact that the object can also be divided into two
vertically or horizontally. It is necessary to raise awareness of students about these incorrect
definitions.
➢
Use of a case introduced in the class as the definition:
Teachers give examples in classes in order to enable students to understand the concept better
by generalizing a particular case and using it in the concept’s definition. The following are
relevant examples:
T2S6: “Space diagonal emerges when it comes from the upper left corner to the lower right corner.”
T2S5: “Lateral face generally has a rectangular shape”
Probably because it is easier for students to recall the example given by the teacher, students
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use such examples rather than developing their own definitions. This is likely to pave the way
for an incorrect internalization of the concept in mind.
Conclusion, Discussion and Suggestions
In this study, we traced the connection between mathematical language used by
teachers and their students when describing and defining prisms.
It was observed that the definitions that students made, the examples that students selected
and the paths that students followed somewhat paralleled to their teachers’ own classroom
practices. Students tended to use the examples of prisms that their teachers had illustrated
while introducing prisms in their lesson. Moreover, in light of course observation analyses, it
was observed that the participant teacher coded T1 spent more time in defining concepts than
T2, and thus, students of T1 provided more conceptual definitions in KT1 and KT2 than
students of T2. Therefore, it could be stated that the mathematical communication
environment, which consists of numerous elements such as materials used by teachers during
classes, order they follow while teaching concepts or examples they prefer, has a significant
impact upon learners.
Along with these similarities, some difference also emerged. For example, students did not
use the different types of prisms that teachers had shown during classes. Similar results were
reported in Tsamir, Tirosh and Levenson (2008). The authors found that students use certain
frequently-used geometrical objects while expressing their mathematical thoughts. Gökbulut
(2010) also reported that pre-service teachers failed to diversify prism examples while
teaching the topic. Although T2 explained oblique prism and right prism, none of his students
used these concepts.
Differences were observed between the mathematical languages used by the teachers and the
students. Although the teachers used correct mathematical language in their lecture, only 14%
of T1S students and 15% of T2S students adopted such approach when answering questions.
This shows that students of both groups struggled to express their idea using formal
mathematical language. This struggle was also reported by Woods (2009), Capraro and
Joffrion (2006) and Dur (2010) among elementary school students and by Korhonen,
Linnanmäki and Aunio (2011) among high school students. Çakmak and Bekdemir (2012)
also reported for university students.
Those students who geometrically provided a correct definition also managed to illustrate the
relevant concept. Woods (2009) noted a similar finding by outlining that some students
experience problems in expressing their mathematical knowledge despite their success in the
field of mathematics.
When the responses under the category “Students coded only a part of the definition” are
examined, it was observed that students only noticed and focused on a part of the definition.
For example, the concept of prism was named by some students as “a closed object” and “a
three-dimensional object”. A similar situation has also been reported by Gökbulut (2010). It is
thought that this situation might have stemmed from selective perception, which is defined as
a communication obstacle in which only certain parts of a message are received (Yazıcı and
Gündüz, 2010).
Some students preferred defining concepts by drawing arrows on their drawings rather than
verbal expressions. Since these illustrations were mathematically correct, it is interpreted that
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 115-129, 1 April, 2015
they did so not because they lacked knowledge on concepts but because they were unable to
express their opinions verbally, and thus these responses were addressed under the category of
“Insufficiencies in students’ definition skills”. Similarly, Gökbulut (2010) reports that preservice teachers do not possess necessary skills to provide definitions.
Students use terms such as “a thing” instead of a mathematical language, and this was
interpreted as students’ inability to use a mathematical terminology. A similar finding was
obtained by Yeşildere (2007), who conducted a study with pre-service teachers on
geometrical concepts.
It was observed that daily life examples were used as definitions (e.g. “prism: empty box”).
This finding is in parallel with the finding obtained in study carried out by Baş, Çakmak,
Bekdemir and Işık (2012).
In responses addressed under the category “Students’ unawareness about the exact
correspondence of their definitions”; students defined concepts through generalizations (e.g.
“edge: the line that connects vertices”) that could also be valid for other concepts. This
finding is in parallel with the finding of Gökbulut (2010) that students do not use the critical
features of the concept while defining the concept of prism.
Some students used a particular case introduced by their teachers in the class while defining
subjects (e.g. “space diagonal: it emerges when it comes from the upper left to the lower right
corner”), and such responses were addressed under the category of “Use of a particular case
introduced in the class as the definition”.
Departing from these findings, it is suggested that teachers’ awareness about the problems
identified in this study should be raised, and teachers should pay attention to their students’
correct use of the mathematical language. On the other hand, future studies should address
this issue from different perspectives in order to contribute to the elimination of these
problems for students.
In this context, it can be said that teachers’ language is influential on the students’ language
use but this effect is not in a direct way. Therefore, teachers should consider aforementioned
difficulties of students while they are using mathematical language in the classrooms.
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M evlana International Journal of Education (M IJE)
Vol. 5(1), pp. 130-140, 1 April, 2015
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.86.5.1
A Philosophical Analysis 1 On The Relationship Between The Problems Of
The Modern Era And Education
Mikail Söylemez
Dicle University Ziya Gökalp Edcation Faculty,Educational Sciences Department
Article history
Received:
16.12.2014
Received in
revised form:
30.03.2015
Accepted:
01.04.2015
Key words:
Education,
Problems of the
era, M oral values
Today there are many problems waiting for the support of education to be solved.
Some of them arise from social uncertainty, economic deficiency, the worldviews
of policy makers who lead societies, differences in faith and some from the
societies’ having an eye on other nations’ surface and underground resources.
When we consider today’s problems, we notice that the source and main cause of
poverty, unemployment, prejudice, environmental pollution, loss of respect for
humans, individual/state interests and falling away from the essence of being
human, is the wrong or poor education (Söylemez, 2010).
Is it limited to mentioned problems? The answer is simply no. When we examine
the underlying reasons of such problems, we come to understand that educated
people always play key roles.
The reason for that must be the fact that educational institutions do not sufficiently
nurture needed human capital who are hardworking, sophisticated and honest. The
desired and ideal person is the one who has a good court conscience, virtuous,
self-conscious, knowing the reason of his existence, respecting the universal
values; open to learning and always self-improving. If that is not the case so far,
the reason behind it should be sought in educational philosophies and curriculum
programs applied at schools. I do believe that what conveys the aim and dynamism
in a country is the need for individuals who improves and develops the country
without harming the social structure, discovering and knowing himself and
productive. I also believe that nobody has words to claim the opposite.
Some academicians presented their papers generally on raising perfect individuals
in terms of professional fields; such as a good medical doctor, a good engineer, a
good chemist and a good nurse. I believe that it would better if they also stress the
importance of a “good person” who respects human beings and human values
besides having a good content knowledge.
Considering the critical age, it is too late for changing the earlier acquired
character and personality structure of a young person who is about to attend a
university. The chances of changing the self, character, and personality, let us say
re-shaping and re-moulding him becomes significantly reduced. What is left to
higher education institutions is limited to offering such youths merely the
professional knowledge, skills and techniques. I suppose my fellow academicians
in that congress avoided the topic I stress here for the same reason.
The problems I am trying to draw attention here, is the underlying reason of
serious problems for individuals, societies and the globe in general. Modern
educational philosophies, institutions, and some educators either overlook or avoid
these issues, or they simply remain helpless.
This paper is limited to insensitivity of education in response to certain problems
of individuals, societies and the world facing as caused by the above mentioned
issues.
A part of this abstract is published on proceedings of IPALTE 2013 “International Perspectives on
New Aspect of Learning in Teacher Education” held by University of Dicle.

Correspondence: [email protected]
1
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 130-140, 1 April, 2015
Introduction
With the accumulation of knowledge and experiences of the past, humanity has
achieved a rapid development pace in many fields during the last few decades. One of the
most important areas of success is the exciting improvements in science and technology.
Considering the moral and humanistic values, have these advancements been useful to the
civilizations or not? This paper will try to find answer to this question.
If we leave aside the fact that the current technology provides people with great relief, nothing
else forms a basis for the burnout of people. Underestimating the negative outcomes of
science and technology such as environmental disasters drags the polluted mental interaction
alongside. This mental pollution changed the status of Mother Nature as being a holy mother
hug and filled with nuclear reactors which pollute both the human-nature relationship and the
environment with devastation and exploitation. The main reason of it is that scientific
information is used for profit purposes. Its reflection to the environment leads to the off
balance of the natural environment” (İnam, 1993).
Today’s societies on one hand losing their own cultural values through mass media and on the
other hand losing universal values which keeps the individual and society alive. During this
change a financial dissatisfaction has emerged among people. We face with this financial
dissatisfaction as humans’ consuming things ruthlessly in vain, wasting the earth’s resources
without thinking the future of humanity and as the greedy games of developed countries
which are played against under developed countries in order not to face difficulties in the
future.
People chose over-consuming the resources while they could survive with the less and they
were unable to afford the expanses with their income thus they headed for bribe and unearned
gain finally they disturbed public peace. As a result of this over consumption our civilization
is pushed towards chaos and universal values are violated. “Contrary to the expectations such
as peace, social justice, happiness and equality; hunger, poverty, exploitation, war, violence,
hatred and socio-economical injustice turned out to be modern civilization’s outcome values
all of which have nothing to do with being human. Now European scientists who are the
founders of the western civilization admit that the western civilization is in a very deep and
irrecoverable social crisis. The most distinguishing indicator of this case is the European
civilization’s using his power and energy more and more for eliminating the poor, sweeping
away those who struggle for life and justice, destroying the family and society, off balancing
the ecosystem thus finally moving through the extermination of the human race.” (Holland,
Henriot, 1983; cited in Köylü, 2004).
In the 19th century materialism and atheism spread to the world like a plague and ripped
humanity off its core and moral values. In the last quarter of this century the movements and
search of those who want to get rid of this moral disorder increased the return for religion.
This search generally ended up as comeback to Islam. Islam which is felt more and more in
Western societies, disturbed some circles. “Probably as a result of religious pluralism, on one
side the beliefs about the doctrines of religion were refused and “no religion is superior to the
other” principle was fostered. It was stated that the absolute religious reality was only
acceptable in individual and private aspect. But on the other side it is seen that there is
vigorous research and study on the accuracy of a specific religion. Apart from this a
missionary movement seems to have increased (Hempelmann, 2003; cited in Köylü, 2004).
In today’s society unfortunately we observe that belief-disbelief, classic-modern, science and
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ignorance are hand in hand. The co-existence of such discrepancies in society is a disorder for
humanity. The reason for this illness is that modernism and secularism are dominating the
societies. As a result of this dominance, incredible traumas occurred in moral issues.
Another outcome of secularism is that: “Secularism which exists as a result of separating the
religion from politics, provided a number of gains like religious freedom, compulsory
education and rights for women but excluded religion from almost all of the social life and
left no room for religion in individual’s life. It is possible to see that secularism’s effect in
many European countries. Many people spend their daily life and do jobs away from the
religion or ignoring it. From now on religion is ignored or treated like a personal issue, and
considerable declines in attending prayers are observed (Bosh, 1991; Conn, 1993; cited in,
Köylü, 2004).
After these explanations, global issues, the problems of the individual and society which the
education has been insensitive so far and need to be solved by education will be analyzed
respectively.
1. Insensitivities of Education for Individual’s Problems:
People living in the modern World are more educated and have more nutrition and
health opportunities when compared to the past. On the other hand it is clear that people are
exposed to violence, drugs and depression because of corruptions in faith and moral values.
Violence and violence related crimes are mostly seen among youths aged between 15 -25 and
especially in developed countries. Of course the reason for these is not only the corruptions in
faith and moral values. As stated earlier; unemployment, financial problems, internet,
television programs and many more can be counted among the reasons. We also should not
forget the fact that the faith is the most important factor compared to others.
Among the reasons of this process, is pushing the masses into crime because of
unemployment and poverty. Another important reason is constitution which facilitates putting
people in prison. Policies adopted worldwide since 1980’s are outstanding for
impoverishment and toughening in punishment policies (Özdek, 2002).
Probably sexuality is the most serious one among other problems that youths face today. Now
while youngsters are entering puberty at earlier ages, they prefer to get married at a later age
for various reasons. Thus sexually active teens wait for a longer period when compared to the
past. As a result of this change which modern world offers, today sexual relationship before
marriage is accepted as normal in many countries while marriage was a largely accepted
lifestyle and sex before marriage was not tolerated in many countries in the past. It is possible
to see dramatic increase of numbers in many countries for this problem. Contemporary teens
are of the opinion that sex before marriage is not a moral issue. Furthermore they adopt a
philosophy which they think it is a personal right to choose. In addition the characteristics
surrounding the modern life of individuals, both encourages the sex before marriage and have
more opportunities through mass media (Clouse, 1991; akt, Köylü, 2004).
At the end of the out of marriage relationships, girls are heading for abortion or leaving the
baby after birth. Some of them go under serious depression and try to commit suicide. People
who have no faith consider suicide as an escape or exit. However, according to the Islamic
faith those who commit suicide are supposed to go to the hell forever. Diseases caused by out
of marriage sexual relationships are the most important health problems.
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Alcohol and drugs are associated with modernism and secularism, pushing individuals into a
chaos and threatening the social life. Some individuals use alcohol and drugs as they find it as
a way out from loneliness or isolation.
These alarming problem rates indicate that current young generation is in a serious crisis.
What is even worse there is no serious effort to alleviate this case. The problems that seem
trivial today may cause more serious problems in the future. Among them are; loneliness,
depression, hopelessness, boredom, school problems and troubles within the family which are
increasing day by day.
Individuals within the society lose their self-respect and have severe dilemma about their
personality and character. These people’s soul is far from the harmony and dynamism to
survive. Their self-esteem and the intimidating manners of the soul turned them into a
walking dead. Educational institutions cannot overcome these problems and accept them as
normal.
İkbal clearly explains this issue: “It is such an education that is like an acid which melts a
person who stands out full of life then moulds him into a shape as it wishes. This acid has
such power and influence that no other element in the nature has.” And he describes a man
who had that kind of education as: “The teens look like a grown up man, but they are not.
They denied their existence and expect help from others… Their hope and purpose of life is
lost even in their cradle. They do not know to think on liberty.” (Nedvi, 1979; cited in, Tozlu,
2012)
“’While in the early 1950’s 12% of teenagers between 14 and 16 agree that “I’m an important
person”, in 1980’s 80% of teenagers perceive themselves as important. Today this rate is even
higher. The following sentences important statements of “I generation” “I believe that I am a
special person. I live my life freely anywhere I want. This body belongs to me. I use my body
according to my own will. If I managed the world, it would be a better place to live…” This
generation is far from altruism and empathy and is behave in a narcist way. Curriculums and
programs under the title of “Personal Development” embitter this selfishness (Tozlu, 2012).
Another important problem that individuals have is violence. Many people perceive violence
as beating or fighting. According to the Violence Workshop report held by University of
Dicle in Turkey in 2013; violence is harming people physically, sexually, psychologically or
financially. Violence is defined also as all of the actions and attitudes of an individual which
cause other people suffer by threatening them or preventing their freedom. Based on this
definition the kinds of violence are verbal, physical, financial, psychological and social
violence. According to this information violence is at alarming rates within the society. There
are many factors increasing the violence within society. Among them are misconceptions
about violence, mass media, people who grow up without values and faith, psychological,
social and financial problems.
The claims that in the modern educated man’s world violence will decrease, he will be more
empathic, welcoming to others thus peace will prevail are still delusions. The World War,
Gulf War, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Bosnia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Syria and Egypt’s agonies
and chemical weapons… The discrepancies in educational philosophies are ignoring the
universal values in education and corruptions in social norms.
“Computers, internet, satellites and other mass media are fostering the violence and cause
people to perceive it as “normal”. In computer games both the child and father are proud with
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the number of deaths the child scored. Children are experiencing many kinds of violence
everywhere including the books and cartoons. According to the studies a child experiences
almost 8000 suicides until finishing the primary school. Today children say “"By the power of
Grayskull..." "...I have the power!”
Apart from this many artists and politicians prefer a language which spreads hatred and
grudge instead of peace and respect for others. In our songs we have a discourse which
increases the violence more. In the songs we come across such lyrics: “I gouge out your eye,
tear your hair, I shoot a bullet into my head. God damn you!” In movies main characters have
utterances as “I cut your head” The language of violence in sports, art and politics triggers the
desires to obliterate so spreads violence subconsciously.
Violence is perceived as if normal in that way. A rich family’s son cut his girlfriend’s head
and threw the head into the dustbin in Istanbul. A surgeon was killed while working in
Gaziantep. A little school child was screaming as “I am fed up with violence at home, at
school in the streets, everywhere. A bus was set to the fire and a girl was burned to death in
İstanbul. Many women in Turkey who wants a divorce and applies to the court are exposed to
maltreatment of their husbands.” (Eyigün, 2013)
The above mentioned problems are not limited to Turkey sample; these events are observed in
any society worldwide. The reason for that, educational philosophies are not consistent and
universal. More informed and religion integrated moral approach is not examined seriously in
educational philosophies.
2. Insensitivities of Education for Society’s Problems:
The family which is the milestone of the nation is being demolished. The source of our
happiness and inner peace is in serious danger. The divorce rates are increasing day by day.
The couples who states that we are happy to get married now says that “We are not meant for
each other, we should get divorced” Many people have problems in their marriage life. But
why?
Moral problems that humanity faces today are threatening the families. No one can deny the
significance of the verbal communication’s quality which creates the harmony within family
and society. I am going to stress “sensory communication” which pedagogue Adem GÜNEŞ
refers to as the cause of moral destruction within family and society.
“Sensory communication is a kind of connection between people which is carried out through
the senses. In other words, we can define “sensory” or “emotional” communication as
communicating with others using all verbal or non-verbal delivery items based mainly on
senses (Güneş, 2012; cited in, Söylemez, 2012). For example a woman holding an item left
from her dead father and remembering the old days burst into tears… At that moment her
husband looking her in the eye and says “I see you”. The woman tries to understand
subconsciously whether he told this sentence by heart. If the sentence is really meant for her
and the woman perceives it to be so; this sentence is really important for her. But if we
consider the opposite scenario, the feelings of the husband is not included within this sentence
and if the woman realizes the formality the words of the husband may not be consoling for
her. The woman in our example prefers husband’s the utterances which are said by heart with
emotions rather than talking for hours far from the wife’s emotional world. If the husband
says “I see you” and keeps enjoying around, his wife thinks that “he is cheating her” thus the
trust is broken. We come across with the character’s dilemma here. We witness double
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dealers in all layers of the society as well as the family.
Marriages are built on mistakes. Marriage is one of the most important phases of life and it is
a long journey. The couples who are going for this journey either make it fun or turn it into a
nightmare.
It is for sure that people marry to be happy and try to find the happiness they have always
dreamt for. How much do you think the marriages today satisfy this expectation? Can we
really fulfill our expectations within the family or marriage? Why do the families break up?
Actually the answers for these questions lay in pre-marriage term. Marriages are built on
mistakes and the outcome is breaking up soon.
There are many mistakes which are made before marriage. Couples get married without
knowing each other very well. Couples have such logic as: “Let’s get married first then we
decide on what is right and what is wrong.” Men and women choose who to marry before
knowing what sharing the life means. Then trial and error phase starts. Then they decide to
end the marriage. What is the role of education here?
Newlyweds do not pay attention to mutual ideas. Marriage is not just about satisfying the
pleasures of the couple. According to our faith and culture individuals marry for gains that are
both for life and afterlife. In other words people be happy with the life they lead and the
children they raise. For this reason it is important that the partner in a marriage have morals
and faith. Once people would mean that with the words “presentable or as straight as a die” I
ask how many people care about it now. I wonder how much do families value and try to live
with respect, love, loyalty, manners, empathy, sincerity, obedience and honor?
At first what unites the couples together is the similarities between them. But what sticks
them together for years is their differences. We should treat the differences as an opportunity
to learn instead of a reason for divorce or fight. A smart couple tries to learn each other’s
differences in a short time. They search ways to use these differences for their benefit
(Söylemez, 2012).
Values are the most powerful tools to foster motivation. The best way to change the undesired
behavior is to make an explanation based on main values. To tie the family members to the
family one should address his or her feelings. If two people are connected each other with
common values their relationship lasts forever. But if their values are different their
relationship lasts shorter and they have more problems with their marriage. Thus the couples
should have common values to have a bridge that connects them. Understanding the
individual’s values means to know what is important for him.
Values are the beliefs that guide people in their decisions and show what people care about.
Our world image is a combination of our values. We respond to the world according to our
values. To understand a family we need to understand the kinds of responses they give in
their daily life. The decisions are based on values and exist within the subconscious of the
family members (Söylemez, 2011).
In societies in which values education is ignored, the booming of psychological,
pedagogical, social and faith oriented problems. The destruction of the values demolishes
the family and the society. The family is the cornerstone of the society.
In the past if a member of the family has improper behavior the head of the family would
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imply that with a glance and that member would change his behavior in desired way. No
expert of pedagogy can question that glance. If he does so, he faces the moral enforcement of
the society which roots in the culture of the past. While this fact is crystal clear, modern
educational philosophies stress that “Transferring the culture is among the duties of
education.” We should question why education is ignoring that task.
Alienation is another important problem that many people suffer from today. Although the
rates show that many teens can adapt to the society they live in, there are studies which
indicates the adaptation problems of teenagers for the society and their own self. These
members of the society try to overcome the stress of social exclusion and suffer from
behavioral alienation. Now the young looks for his own identity and searches the ways to be
accepted and approved as an individual (Davies, 1991; cited in, Köylü, 2004).
Social isolation is another problematic area of modern education and civilization. The change
in the structure of the family forced the members to live in an isolated world within the
family. This change brought many important moral problems along. Industry based working
life ended large families and formed a basis for small families. This led to the increase in
divorce rates. The children are the most adversely affected ones in this change. The children
whose parents are divorced generally have problems. Among them are showing misbehavior
and emotional abnormalities. In addition if the parents refuse them they are isolated from the
society with the feeling of loneliness. We can name this as social phobia.
In the last quarter of the previous century some feminist movements were against the
marriage and continuity of it. They argued that the marriage was a shackle which deprives
women of their freedom. They proposed part-time marriage instead. Furthermore marriage
against payment (A rich woman’s getting married with a moderate or poor man till she has a
child) (Söylemez, 2012) was another devastating factor for the values which the family is
built on.
Another issue which has outcomes for the society is abortion of the illegitimate child. There is
no need to discuss the moral aspect of abortion. Women who had an abortion face
psychological problems as, guilt, shame, escape from the society and even committing
suicide. But how sensitive is the educational institutions for these depressions.
3. Insensitivities of Education for Global Problems:
Problems and depressions are modern civilization’s bitter fruit gift for humanity.
These problems are at serious levels for the individual, society and globe in general. Science
and technology offers many facilities to teenagers in many fields, but made them face serious
troubles in terms of morals and ethics. In my opinion the most threatening of these problems
is the global one. If we look analyze the World we see socio-economical inequalities and the
increase in conflicts and violence in developing and Muslim countries. Especially we do
witness revolutionary rebellions under the title of democracy and civil wars in countries
which are rich in underground resources. Egypt is outstanding example of it. The western
countries did not even call it as “overthrow”. To prevent that kind of events it is essential to
discuss the principles and messages of Abrahamic religions, morals and universal values as
well as universal integrity through educational institutions. Those principles should be
analyzed carefully and then they should be turned into an educational philosophy in the
curriculums. If pedagogues and educational institutions are insensitive to this issue the results
I think will be more devastating.
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Turning the science into an ideological tool, preferring the minority’s welfare to other
people’s health, not respecting to the developing countries for the last two centuries, leaving a
polluted world for the next generations is a desperate situation. For the sake of modern
science, thousands of cultural and civilization elements are being destroyed. Vital resources
are plundered. Ideologized science is trying to resemble everything to it. On the other side it is
giving harm to the nature and ecosystem.
Interfering with the ecosystem is so much that, we come across with ecological pollution
which threatens human life and the next generations. Some chances occurred in the genetic
codes of the all animals because of various radiations, chemical substances and other
environmental factors. Although improved noticeably, industrialized countries are at great
risk for environmental pollution. As chemical industry provides many kinds of products and
determining the harm of synthetic materials to the nature takes time, the earth turned into a
trial and error laboratory and the environmental activists cannot do much about it. Mental
pollution has appalled moral values too. If we define the moral only as our responsibility for
the society, what about the nature? How much is the moral responsibility of a farmer who sets
on fire the margins of his field. We face with the moral pollution as the sinking oil tankers in
the oceans, nuclear waste that are sent to the underdeveloped countries, explosion of nuclear
power plants, computer viruses or internet crimes don’t we?
Not only the trouble of refining the industrial waste which includes mercury but also
agricultural or atmospheric contaminators and accidents which happen in chemical industries
depends on legal arrangements and technological development. The quality of the city
atmosphere is neither a research nor a scientific methodology issue. It is all about politic
decisions and investment preferences. The accumulation of these problems is caused by one
day thought and precaution, the decision makers’ choice to deal with them in a way that
provides political, personal or easy prestige rather than making huge investments which
affects the whole country finally (Ulugbay, 2008; cited in, Köylü, 2004).
The destruction of the rain forests, causing global warming via emitting various gases into the
atmosphere is the insensitivity of positivist educational philosophy which is destitute of
universal or moral values, isn’t it?
“Hasan Ali Yücel also denotes that setting a bridge between the materialistic and moral values
is the most vital and most important duty which to be thought on and grasped by humanity at
the first place. This duty needs to be reviewed in today’s world in which millions of children
die of hunger, nearly a half billion people suffer from malnutrition and have insufficient
health services while developing countries spend much more money on weapons than they do
for education and health services.” (Kenan, 2004)
It is easy to realize that those who are active in polluting the environments except for their
own, are the ones who cause the violation of financial sharing balance. Moral problems are
not only individual or national. Moral problems are turning into a “universal moral problems”
some time later.
Industries produce 36 chemical waste weighting more than two billion kilograms each year
which mainly induce cancer and other chronic disorders. As a result more than half of the
water we drink contains toxic chemicals. The consequence of these events is expected to be
severe problems in the ecosystem because of the warming in the atmosphere (Colaw, 1991;
cited in, Köylü, 2004).
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We can guess the size of global social crisis in case of facing military based sickness, war,
tension and conflicts as well as socio-economical injustice.
The egoist frameworks that are based on peer benefits which roots in modern educated
peoples’ minds. As a consequence of sacrificing moral values and respecting the nature, many
manners which affect the society’s harmony and health are ignored. Perspectives to the
environment and value weakened nature is deprived of the moral aspect and just considered
for financial benefit thus it started to be misused. Because the contents of moral education
lacks themes as protecting the moral values, genesis of human beings, earning without
harming others and respect for the nature
The role of education is to save people from this mind pollution and soul shift thus leave a
better world for the next generations. That depends on raising self-conscious and self
discovering people via education. People looked for happiness at the sky in medieval ages.
Today’s humanity is doing so in the nature. These two partisan pursuits are wrong. The
people should look for their happiness with a metaphysical approach in their clear soul’s
depth and in the future promising environment that they live.
Conclusion
As
is ruining
destruction
easy. The
imitate the
discussed before, the main reason for both individual and social-cultural problems
the human honor as a result of cultural aggravation. We cannot ignore the
of life, human and nature as the restriction of joy and pleasure madness is not
case is the same both for the western civilization and the other countries which
Europe.
Talking about the problems of the era, the issues as poverty, unemployment, prejudice,
pollution, absence of respect for humanity, individual/national benefits and people’s
migration from their essence are well known by everyone.
It is evident that today’s technology facilitates human life but if misused it causes a lot more
tragedy. Modern societies lose their cultural values as well as universal values which unite
and keep the people and society together. During this change financial dissatisfaction arises in
developed countries at global scale.
Secularism which existed as a result of separating the religion from politics played an
important role in the problems as it ignored the religious values in social life. The coexistence of belief and disbelief, classic and modern, science and irrationality within the
society created a character dilemma of the individuals. As an outcome moral disruption and
unbelievable calamities existed. In the end sexual problems which threaten both the family
and health are increasing.
Unemployment, financial problems, internet, television shows created the violence which is
the biggest problem of the era.
The problems of the era are not limited to the society and individual. We face socioeconomical inequalities around the world, wars at developing countries, faith and partisan
conflicts (especially in the Muslim world). Analyzing this case more carefully, it is known
that developed countries have a role in this case.
The ideas which root in positivist educational philosophies are also another reason for the
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 130-140, 1 April, 2015
destruction and the loss of nature’s holiness.
In order to end forever the mentioned problems above, modern education needs to solve the
problems fundamentally.
Values that are kept out of modern education, especially the moral ones are handed in a
manner that they are judged and decided on subjectively. The reason is that positivism fosters
modern education. Positivism cannot guide people to find what is right. As a consequence
there is a need for an approach to education which fosters main moral values such as justice,
mercy, responsibility and philanthropy.
According to the Cartesian view developed by Rene Descartes (1591-1650), the failure to
balance the soul and body relationship taking a step further misinterpretation of physics and
metaphysics dualism led to the “Cogito, er go sum” and created the term “self” and had
devastating results. If an individual attaches importance to that term too much it creates the
emotions such as pride, arrogance and egocentrism. Considering the social scale, the thesis as
“the society think all the other societies are smaller than us and they should be exploited for
the good of us” has destroyed all the universal values.
As explained above, modern educational philosophies’ closing their doors for universal moral
values as a result of Auguste Comte’s positivism which is based on Descartes’ dualistcartesian view and Newton’s mechanical world view; induced insensitivity of the individual
and society for global problems. Considering the criticisms, I think it would be unfair to say
that modern educational philosophies are at the end of the road. I want to tell that undesirable
results overshadow the positive outcomes thus it is insensitive to many modern problems.
As Professor Necmettin Tozlu states “It seems that our educational philosophy is not the one
which can foster the feelings of responsible liberty to the individuals that we raise.” For this
reason people do not feel responsible for their actions and always blaming others. But it is
important to place the feeling of conscience thus improving self criticism among people.
Now it is only possible to shape the minds which are conscious to accept the guilt, responsible
and thoughtful.” I think that his finding is valid both for us and for the societies around the
world. What is meant by education here is “… the one which ensures grace and prepares
individuals to watch willingly the idea of perfect citizen and teaches how to obey and govern
within justice.”
It is clear that the views which aim to raise individuals who judge the good and the bad based
on benefits instead of Godly virtual values, letting to explain ideas approved by politics and
accepts information as it is without questioning are desperate for finding solutions for today’s
problems.
It is necessary to build a new system which installs accountability for the God and ethic rules
-rather than the mere rules- into the hearts and conscience of those educated within
educational institutions.
There are many reasons for the changes which occur in societies both socially and
individually. But it is stressed by many pedagogues and crucial to develop educational
philosophies which try to solve above mentioned problems sincerely.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE)
Vol. 5(1), pp. 141-164, 1 April, 2015
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.69.5.1
Evaluating the Teacher’s Guides of a Recently Published Course Book
Series for Young Learners in Turkey
Seyit Omer Gok
Foreign Languages School, Gediz University, Izmir, Turkey
It is acknowledged that Teachers’ Guides (TGs) are
indispensable component of course book packages today;
however, there is little research on their evaluation in the
Received in revised form:
literature. It goes without saying that TGs are of a great
03.04.2015
support to teachers, especially to the novice ones, in the sense
that they provide instructions essential for the accurate and
Accepted:
04.04.2015
successful use of the materials. Therefore, the studies reporting
the findings of TGs evaluations can help develop more
Key words:
effective TGs in the future. The aim of this study is to evaluate
Teachers’ Guides, Materials
the TGs of a recently published course book series for young
Evaluation, Materials Design
and Development
learners (YLs) in Turkey. First, it shares the results of an
objective analysis carried out by the researcher with the help of
a checklist designed based on the checklists already in the
literature. Then, it reports the findings obtained through a
questionnaire conducted among forty-four teachers using this
course book series. Finally, it discusses the findings in relation
to the context and suggests some future implications. In
general, both the analysis and evaluation results have revealed
that there are some deficiencies in the TG which should be
addressed so that it can be more effective for the teachers in
this context.
Article history
Received:
28.08.2014
Introduction
Since the Education Reform in 1997, English has been taught as the compulsory
foreign language from grade-4 (age 10) upwards in Turkey. However, in the private schools,
which are highly popular and great in number, English has intensively been taught from
kindergarten upwards. Today, English lessons in private schools range between 6 hours and
20 hours per week (much more than state schools) depending on the language policy of a
school. Since there are neither curriculums nor materials designed by Ministry of Education
for the students who are younger than 10, most of the private schools have to use the course
books and materials produced by well-known international publishers.
The schools, which the course book series in focus has been created for, are a chain of private
primary schools spread across Turkey. Since their opening, these schools have been applying
the same policy and system, e.g. they have the same aims, the same number of lesson hours,
the same tests, the same classroom size etc. English language teaching materials, especially
the ones for YLs, used to be a problem for these schools. The main reasons were that the

e-mail: [email protected]
Mobile: +90 505 672 97 65
Evaluating the Teacher’s Guides of a Recently Published Course Book Series…S. O. Gok
materials chosen did not fit the needs, wants, interests and cultural values of both the teachers
and students. In addition, the course books chosen did not fit the number of the hours of
English lessons and they needed to be supplemented by other extra materials, which was
causing additional cost for the parents. For these reasons and others, the materials chosen used
to stay in use no more than a year; a trial and error process was experienced repeatedly for
years. Consequently, seven years ago it was unanimously agreed that a series of course books
for the primary level had to be created to eliminate these problems. A local publishing house
commissioned two award-winning authors to write this series. As a result, a five-levelled
course book series was created and it has been in use for about six years now.
Literature Review
Materials Evaluation in General
It is widely agreed that materials, especially course books, play the central role in
many language teaching and learning contexts across the world. This may mean that they
have an enormous influence on language teaching and learning worldwide. It is also
suggested that evaluation of the materials has a great potential to influence the way teachers
operate (Hutchinson, 1987). Tomlinson (2003, p. 15) defines materials evaluation as ‘a
procedure that involves measuring the value (or potential value) of a set of learning
materials’. However, there are various views on materials evaluation in the literature.
It is widely acknowledged that evaluation is mainly carried out to choose an appropriate
course book, which fits a particular context best, before starting to run a particular language
course. This stage is called ‘pre-use evaluation’ (McGrath, 2002, p. 14). It is obviously seen
that more attention has been paid to predictive evaluation (pre-use evaluation) in the
literature. However, pre-use evaluation has been criticised for being impressionistic
(Tomlinson, 2003). This type of evaluation can only give ideas about the potential value of
materials rather than their ‘actual value’, which can only be understood after they are put into
use (Tomlinson 2003). It is agreed that the evaluation process should continue even after the
material has been chosen because some evaluation questions can only be answered once the
materials are in use: ‘in-use evaluation’ (McGrath, 2002, p. 15). Besides, Daoud and CelceMurcia (1979, p. 306) point out that ‘the ultimate evaluation of a text comes with actual
classroom use.’ Similarly, McDonough and Shaw (1993, p. 62) note that the material’s
‘ultimate success or failure may only be determined after a certain amount of classroom use.’
Moreover, Tomlinson (2003, p. 24) writes that, although in-use evaluation is given little
importance in the literature, ‘it can be more objective and reliable than pre-use evaluation as it
makes use of measurement rather than prediction.’
In addition to pre-use and in-use evaluations, McGrath (2002), Tomlinson (2003) and Ellis
(1997) suggest ‘post-use/retrospective evaluation’ to weigh the effects and outcomes of the
materials. Tomlinson (2003) appreciates post-use evaluation as ‘the most valuable’ type of
evaluation. Besides, Ellis (1998) states that the evaluation guides used previously as a pre-use
evaluation can also be used as post-use evaluation. Skierso (1991, p. 441) agrees that ‘a reevaluation of the selected text, perhaps using the identical checklist both times, would help
the teacher to decide whether to continue using the adopted text or to look for a new one’.
However, although this idea may be very beneficial, only a few teachers are willing to do that
(Ellis, 1998).
McDonough and Shaw (1993, p. 61) approach the evaluation in two stages; ‘external
evaluation that offers a brief ‘overview’ of the materials from the outside (cover, introduction,
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 141-164, 1 April, 2015
table of contents), which is then followed by a closer and more detailed internal evaluation’.
Similarly, Cunningsworth (1995, p. 1) coins the idea of ‘impressionistic overview’ and ‘indepth evaluation’. However, Tomlinson (2003) suggests approaching materials evaluation in a
principled, systematic and rigorous ways and explains how to develop criteria for materials
evaluation in detail.
Besides, McGrath (2002, p. 13) defines the evaluations, which are carried out without any
feedback or pre-use trial, as ‘armchair evaluations’. In addition, McGrath (2002, p. 14) views
materials evaluation as a cyclical process and he believes that there are two dimensions to a
systematic approach to materials evaluation: ‘macro’ (the approach, in a broad sense) and
‘micro’ (the steps or set of techniques employed) evaluation. However, Ellis (1998) reports
that the main focus has always been on macro evaluation and there are only a few micro
evaluation examples. Littlejohn (1998, p. 191) mentions a three-levelled framework approach
to examine the materials and look inside the ‘Trojan Horse’: ‘Level 1, what is physically there
in the materials? ; Level 2, what is required of users (teachers and students)? ; Level 3, what is
implied (underlying principles and roles proposed for teachers and students?’ McGrath (2002,
p. 17-56) also approaches the materials evaluation by narrowing it from ‘first-glance
evaluation’ to ‘close evaluation’. McGrath (2002, p. 25-29) reveals the methods of analysis
and evaluation in the literature, which are namely ‘the impressionistic method, the checklist
method, the in depth method’.
It is obvious from the literature that ‘the checklist method’ is the most common and practical
one as most of the writers mentioned in this paper and the others have suggested one
(Cunningsworth, 1984, 1995; Daoud&Celce-Murcia, 1979; Ellis, 1995, 1998; Littlejohn,
1998; McDonough, 1998; McDonough & Shaw, 1993; Richards, 2001; Sheldon, 1987, 1988;
Skierso, 1991; Dougill, 1987; Tomlinson, 1999; Williams, 1983; Tucker, 1975; Harmer,
1991; Breen &Candlin 1987). However, Tomlinson (2003) finds some of these checklists
impressionistic and biased, which leads to subjectivity. Therefore, McGrath (2002, p. 29)
suggests that there should be an ‘integrated approach’ (of the methods mentioned above) and
this approach should ‘involve at least two stages’ (pre/in/post-use evaluation). On the other
hand, Hutchinson (1987, p. 44) sees materials evaluation as ‘an interactive process’ and he
points out that ‘materials evaluation also need to be approached as a matching process, in
which the values and assumptions of the teaching/learning situation are matched to the values
and assumptions of the available materials’. He further shows the stages of the matching
process:
‘(1) Define the criteria on which the evaluation will be based.
(2) Analyse the nature and underlying principles of the particular teaching/learning
situation
(3) Analyse the nature and underlying principles of the available materials and test the
analysis in the classroom.
(4)Compare the findings of the two analyses.’ (Hutchinson, 1987, p. 41)
Besides, Tomlinson (2003) illustrates the difference between analysis and evaluation by
saying that their objectives and procedures are not the same. An evaluation, which is
subjective, focuses on users and context together with the materials, whereas analysis focuses
only on materials, which makes it more objective (Tomlinson, 2003, p. 16). In addition,
Sheldon (1988, p. 245) notes that course book evaluation is essentially subjective and ‘no neat
formula, grid or system will ever provide a definite yardstick’. In addition, Cunningsworth
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Evaluating the Teacher’s Guides of a Recently Published Course Book Series…S. O. Gok
(1995, p. 5) suggests that ‘it is important to limit the number of the criteria used, the number
of the questions asked, to manageable portions. Otherwise, we risk being swamped in a sea of
detail.’ However, Hutchinson (1987, p. 41) claims that ‘the more information the evaluator
can gather about the nature of a textbook, the better will be the choice’. In my opinion, every
single aspect of a course book -by keeping the context in mind- should be questioned no
matter how much detail it reveals; because once a course book is chosen it is impossible to
replace it until the following year, which means a waste of time and money.
Teachers’ Guides Evaluation
TGs are probably one of the most important components of course books, especially
for teachers. ‘The detailed resources, guidance, suggestions, and instructions which they
provide are crucial to the successful use of the materials, and teachers using the course must
understand the TGs and relate to them effectively if their use of the course material is to be
productive’ (Cunningsworth&Kusel 1991, p. 128). There is no need to discuss the importance
of TGs in detail here as it is not the focus of this paper. However, it is worth mentioning here
that in the context previously mentioned, TGs play a vital role mainly because an unfamiliar
approach has been introduced through the course book series. Also, there are many teachers
who are inexperienced in teaching English to young learners, and thus very dependent on
TGs. As Williams (1983, p. 252) says ‘the textbook should provide appropriate guidance for
the teacher of English who is not a native speaker of English’.
Cunningsworth&Kusel (1991, p. 128) notes that TGs evaluation ‘is a neglected area in the
literature’. Among the innumerable evaluation checklists, only a few take TGs evaluation into
account (Gearing, p. 1999). For example, Harmer (1991, p. 284) makes only brief reference to
TGs evaluation at the end of his evaluation checklist. Breen and Candlin (1987) offer a large
number of questions for general evaluation, which include only five questions related to
evaluation of TGs. Sheldon’s (1988) comprehensive course book evaluation criteria include
six TGs evaluation questions under ‘Guidance’. However, all of these criteria should be
updated and expanded because recently TGs have been improved and changed considerably
and therefore they deserve more attention.
In the literature, Coleman (1985), Cunningsworth&Kusel (1991), Skierso (1991),
Cunningsworth (1995), Hemsley (1997) and Gearing (1999) have done the most
comprehensive coverage of TGs evaluation. My aim here is to create ‘more accurate and
revealing criteria’ (Hutchinson, 1987, p. 37) to evaluate the TGs. ‘The only reasonable way to
evaluate is to ask your own questions about the assumptions underlying the materials’
(Hutchinson, 1987, p. 37). Therefore, I prefer to create my own evaluation checklist based on
the suggestions made so far by all of the writers mentioned previously.
Methodology
Tomlinson (2003) draws attention to the differences between an analysis and an
evaluation. First, ‘an analysis focuses on the materials and it aims to provide an objective
analysis of them’ (Tomlinson 2003, p. 16). However, ‘an evaluation focuses on the users of
the materials and makes judgements about their effects’ and therefore ‘no matter how
structured, criterion referenced and rigorous and evaluation is, it will be essentially
subjective’ (Tomlinson 2003, p. 16). Secondly, ‘an analysis questions can be answered by
either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; otherwise, they can be answered ‘factually’’ (Tomlinson, 2003, p. 16).
However, evaluation questions can be answered on a cline between ‘Strongly Agree’, ‘Agree’
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 141-164, 1 April, 2015
and ‘Strongly Disagree’, ‘Disagree’ and also given scores for calculation (Tomlinson 2003);
this will show the effect of the materials in a particular context.
As mentioned earlier, this is a five-levelled course book series, which has separate TG for
each level. However, the researcher thought that the results would be more reliable if he
focused only on the TG of one level of the series; as a result of this, only the TG of the level 3
of the series was scrutinized. First of all, in the light of Tomlinson’s (2003) suggestions, an
analysis of the TG was conducted with the help of the checklist created by the researcher. The
checklist and the results of the analysis can be seen in Appendix-A. Soon after the analysis, a
questionnaire was designed mainly based on the analysis questionsto be completed by the
teachers using these materials (See Appendix-B). The questionnaire with an explanation and a
consent letter were sent to the heads of the English (HoEs) of the schools via e-mail. The
HoEs were requested to share these questionnaires with their teachers teaching the level 3 of
the series. Consequently, forty-four teachers in twenty-one different schools have responded
to the questionnaire. The results of the questionnaire can be seen in Appendix-C.
Discussion
As the analysis and the questionnaire both show, the rationale, methodology,
objectives and syllabus of the course book, have been presented explicitly and clearly
throughout the first thirteen pages of the TG. However, the TG does not provide the correct or
suggested answers for the exercises and tasks in the student’s book. This might be because it
is assumed that the teachers’ level is relatively high. In my opinion, teachers would save time
if they were given the answers in the TG, which does not seem to be a big issue for a
publishing house.
Besides, the TG does not provide any methodological and/or pedagogical explanations for the
procedures it is suggesting throughout the book. This might have been very useful for novice
and incompetent teachers. As Nunan (1991) and Edge & Wharton (1998) point out, clear
explanations on methodology in a course book, especially when introducing a new approach,
can be very useful in terms of professional development. However, whether a TG should
undertake this role or not is open to debate, except for the situations in which teacher have
limited access to methods manuals and training courses(Cunningsworth and Kusel, 1991).
At the very beginning of the book, TG gives information about YLs and their learning styles.
Furthermore, throughout the book the suggested procedures and activities support this
information. Nevertheless, there is no explicit guidance about how to develop students’
learning strategies and foster learning; this guidance can normally be very useful, especially
for novice teachers, as it is something that requires both knowledge and experience. As
Cunningsworth and Kusel (1991, p. 129) say ‘TGs seldom provide explicit statements
concerning their function or use, but where these are provided, they help the teacher to form a
clearer perception of the role and potential of the TG, allowing it to be employed more
effectively’.
Throughout the TG there is no guidance about the teacher’s role. There seem to be some
activities or situations in which the teacher’s role should be explained explicitly. For example,
at page 37 of the TG, it is not made clear what the teacher should do while the students are
reading the story in silence and underlining any words they do not understand? (See
Appendix-D) On the other hand, Richards (1993) warns that the decisions generally taken
based on TG may lower and reduce the teachers’ cognitive skills and abilities, which may
result in ‘deskilling’.
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Evaluating the Teacher’s Guides of a Recently Published Course Book Series…S. O. Gok
‘If textbooks and teachers’ manuals teach, what do teachers do? The answer is that the
teacher’s role is trivialized and marginalized to that of little more than a technician. His or her
job is to study the teacher’s manual and follow the procedures laid out there. Rather than
viewing teaching as a cognitive process which is highly interactional in nature, teaching is
seen as something that can be pre-planned by others, leaving the teacher to do little more than
act out predetermined procedures.’ (Richards 1993, 48)
Nevertheless, in my opinion, there should be some detailed information about a teacher’s role,
at least in general at the first pages where methodology is explained. This is because not every
teacher has the same kind of perception in the same circumstances, which sometimes leads to
misinterpretations; thus, the expected roles ought to be made explicit to the teacher in the TG.
However, there is no question that a teacher will eventually have the opportunity to make
her/his own choice after s/he has read what s/he is expected to do.
Another point is that the TG does not provide specific anticipated teaching or learning
problems related to the targeted language items and how to handle them at the beginning of a
lesson (Appendix-E). Moreover, throughout the book there is no specific information about
the language items the students struggle most in this particular context although these series
have been created specifically for these learners. Indeed, grammar teaching is the most
sensitive and controversial issue while teaching to YLs in this context. Even very experienced
teachers can sometimes struggle to handle grammar with YLs. More importantly, if a teacher
takes a wrong step at this stage, this may lead to bigger problems such as reluctance,
discouragement and fossilization. Therefore, based on the previous experiences, there should
be guidance in the TG about probable difficulties the students in this context are likely to
confront.
In the TG, lesson plans are given with their objectives and teachers are told what to do stepby-step for each lesson, which seems useful and beneficial for the teachers at first glance.
However, as questionnaire results also revealed, none of these plans takes unpredictable
problems into account and provides optional routes, or suggests how to deal with the activities
that do not go according to the plan. In addition, the TG does not advise how to present the
lessons in various ways, which makes it too prescriptive. Nonetheless, the TG encourages
extra activities and notes by giving a space under ‘My Notes & Extra Activities’ nearly on
every page (See Appendix-F).
Besides, although these course book series are for YLs, it gives big importance to explicit
pronunciation teaching. In the TG there is detailed information about how to produce sounds,
which may be very beneficial unless the teachers take it for granted (See Appendix-F).
As for the assessment, there is information in the introduction part of TG which is explaining
how to assess the students’ progress. Also, after every two units there is a review unit
containing a lot of activities and exercises, which may help teachersto assess her/his students.
Besides, there is a separate book in teacher’s pack, which has many quizzes and worksheets
for assessment. However, there is no explicit encouragement or suggestion for the teacher to
reflect on each lesson. It may be very useful to have a short guideline after each lesson for the
teacher to follow and consider how well the lesson has gone. Nevertheless, the teachers
already teach over twenty-five hours per week to more than three classes at different levels
and I think this idea would be perceived as an extra burden for them, which they would never
approach to do.
Although this course book series has technological aids such as Interactive DVD and
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 141-164, 1 April, 2015
Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) application, TG does not give any guidance about them
throughout the book. In the introduction part of the TG, it is said ‘the DVD encourages
independent learning, co-ordination and computer skills’. However, both teachers and
students should be reminded about the DVD throughout the course. TG does not even
mention IWB application; however, this may be because the IWB application was launched
long after the TG was created. Perhaps, IWB application will be integrated into the TG in the
near future.
Questionnaire results also show that most of the teachers think that the TG helps them keep
the students’ motivation high, whereas some of the teachers do not agree with that. This result
shows us that no material can meet the needs, wants and interests of all the teachers and
students even if it is designed after careful needs analysis conducted with the end-users. It is
also a fact that ‘no textbook or set of materials is likely to be perfect’ (McDonough & Shaw,
1993, p. 61).
TG provides letters, both in Turkish and in English, to be sent to the parents after every two
unit (Appendix-G). In my opinion, this application may help teachers not only to inform the
parents about their children’s progress but also to get them to involve in their children’s
language learning process.
Finally, it is obviously seen that the TG gives cultural background information when
necessary (Appendix-H). Though this information is highly required for a teacher to be able to
explain cultural issue to her/his students, not many TGs contain it. It is likely that teachers
will omit the texts, activities etc. that require them to obtain further background information
from outside.
Conclusion
This paper has shared the findings of the evaluation of a TG, which belongs to the
Level-3 of a course book series designed specifically for a chain of private primary schools
across Turkey. ‘The textbook is a tool, and the teacher must know not only how to use it, but
how useful it can be’ (Williams 1983, 254). TGs can be of a great help for teachers to
accomplish this and understand the materials and their objectives clearly – if only sufficient
importance is given for their design and development. ‘If a TG is deficient, through omission,
inaccuracy, or whatever other reason, the quality of teaching is likely to suffer. A TG
carefully attuned to its readership, on the other hand, can enhance teaching quality at
remarkably low cost’ (Cunningsworth&Kusel, 1991, p. 129). Therefore, evaluation of a TG
may be as important as evaluation of a course book, especially in particular situations and
contexts.
References
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(pp13-30) in Sheldon, L. E. (ed.). ELT Textbooks and Materials: Problems in
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APPENDIX-A
TEACHER’S GUIDE ANALYSIS CHECKLIST
NO GENERAL FEATURES
Are the rationale of the course book and views of the writers explicit
1
(text’s objective, methodology etc.? [1],[2]
Does the TG guide the teacher to any set syllabus for that level? [1]
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Does the TG guide the teachers to the contents, location of the new
vocabulary, structures, and topics found in the text via indexes? [1]
Does the TG provide correct or suggested answers for the exercises or
tasks in the student’s text? [1]
Does the TG provide information for the new and non-native Englishspeaking teachers? [1]
Does the TG provide detailed information on language and methods? [2]
Is the advice given on teaching procedures explicit? [2]
Is there cultural information to enable teachers to interpret appropriately
the situations represented in the teaching material? [2]
THE NATURE OF LANGUAGE AND OF THE NATURE OF THE LANGUAGELEARNING PROCESS
Which aspects of language are covered in the TG? [2]
a. Form:
∎ grammar
∎ vocabulary
∎ pronunciation
b. Use :
□ skills
9
YES NO
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
∎appropriateness (style, etc.),
□ pragmatics (i.e. how utterances acquire meaning
in specific situations)
10
11
12
13
14
15
Is there reference to different learning styles and strategies, and are there
suggestions for using and developing them? [2]
Is the role of the teacher considered, possibly with reference to changing
roles according to the nature of the learning activity? [2]
TEACHER DEVELOPMENT
Does the TG assume a teacher-development rule, by providing a rationale
for the information and guidance it provides? [2]
Does the TG help users to gain more understanding of the languageteaching principles involved, in addition to helping them to develop their
practical teaching skills? [2]
Does the TG give information on how people learn languages? [3]
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Does the TG help teachers to understand why it uses certain activities and
methods? [3]
x
x
x
x
x
x
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 141-164, 1 April, 2015
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
Does the TG help teachers to become more confident about developing
their teaching skills?
LANGUAGE ITEMS TO BE TAUGHT
Are there any information given about the language items to be taught
and how to handle them? [2]
Are learning difficulties predicted and appropriate advice given? [4] Are
there any helpful notes about possible problems? [2]
Does the TG offer a variety of techniques for teaching structural units in
meaningful situations (in context)? [1]
CULTURAL LOADING
Does the TG adequately predict difficulties in understanding the cultural
setting or background? [2]
Does the TG deal with cultural understanding difficulties by providing
sufficient information and explanation? [2]
Does the TG provide guidance for the teacher in the presentation of
figurative language, idiomatic expressions, and words and expressions
similar to ones in his/her native language? [1]
PROCEDURAL GUIDANCE
Does TG provide guidance in selecting and sequencing units, planning
them into a scheme of work, and thereby integrating them into the overall
learning programme? [2]
Does the TG suggest procedures for the planning, preparation and
conduct of lessons?
ADVICE ABOUT THE UNPREDICTABLE
Does the TG assist the teacher in dealing with the unpredictable, for
example in selecting optional routes through the lesson, or in handling
activities that do not go according to plan? [2]
CORRECTION
Is the teacher advised when and how to correct students' language? [2]
Does the TG contain suggestions for ways students might respond to
correction? [2]
MOTIVATION
Does the TG make a positive contribution to heightening and sustaining
learner motivation? [2]
PRESENTATION AND USE
Does the TG suggest how it can best be used? [2]
Do the organization and layout of the contents make the TG easy to use?
[2]
Is there advice about how to supplement the course book, or to present
the lessons in different ways? [5]
LANGUAGE OF THE TEACHER’S GUIDE
If the TG is in English, is the style direct and comprehensible to non-native
speakers? [2]
Is the language in the teachers’ guide easy to understand? Is the TG free of
the use of confusing met language? [2]
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x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
Evaluating the Teacher’s Guides of a Recently Published Course Book Series…S. O. Gok
34
35
36
37
38
LESSON PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION
Does the TG provide a plan for every lesson? [3]
Are the objectives of each lesson clear? [3]
Are the instructions for each lesson plan clear? [3]
Does the TG suggest alternative activities or plans? [3]
Does the TG suggest ways to explain difficult parts? [3]
40
Does the TG give ideas for classroom management? [3]
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
x
x
x
x
x
x
Does the TG tell the teacher which parts students may find difficult? [3]
39
41
x
x
x
Does the TG provide lesson summaries and suggestions to help the
teacher review old lessons and introduce new lessons? [1]
Does the TG advise about how to present the lesson in different ways
(Flexibility)? [1]
EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT
Is the teacher encouraged to evaluate each lesson, and if so are there any
suggestions how this might be done? [2] Are there guidelines for
evaluating how well lessons went? [4]
Are there regular progress tests? [4]
Is there adequate guidance in the checking of learning both informally,
through practice activities, and more formally, through revision units and
achievement tests? [2]
COMPONENTS, SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS AND TEACHER AIDS
Are there any photocopiable additional materials? [4]
Does the TG help the teacher with the use of the technological
components, such as DVD, IWB applications?
Does the TG advise the teacher on the use of audio-visual aids, and
suggest creative substitutions for situations where audio-visual equipment
is unavailable? [1]
Does the TG provide teacher’s aids such as tape scripts and suggestions for
their effective use, technical notes, vocabulary lists, and structural
functional inventories? [1]
TEACHING PRONUNCIATION AND SOUND SYSTEM
Does the TG provide practical suggestions for teaching pronunciation and
intonation? [1]
Does TG provide guidance on the distinctions between British and
American English with regard to pronunciation, vocabulary, and
grammatical structures? [1]
Does the TG provide guidance to the teacher in presenting punctuation
and how changes in stress and intonation may alter meanings? [1]
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x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 141-164, 1 April, 2015
53
54
55
Does the TG present a contrastive analysis of sound system and word
usage of English and the native language? [1]
CONTEXT FLEXIBILITY
Does the TG conform to the methodological requirements determined to
be suitable by the administrators or the teachers themselves; and, if not,
can the material be exploited or modified as required by local
circumstances? [1]
Is the TG meaningful and helpful to the teacher without being too
confining? Is it eclectic in approach? (Flexibility in approach) [1]
TOTAL (except question 9)
1. Skierso, 1991;
2. Cunningsworth&Kusel , 1991;
3. Gearing, 1999;
4. Coleman, 1985;
5. Sheldon, 1988.
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x
x
x
30
24
Evaluating the Teacher’s Guides of a Recently Published Course Book Series…S. O. Gok
APPENDIX-B
POINTS:
0 = NOT IN THE BOOK
1 = STRONGLY DISAGREE
QUESTIONNAIRE FOR TEACHERS’
GUIDES
2 = DISAGREE
3 = NOT SURE/NO IDEA
4 = AGREE
5 = STRONGLY AGREE
1
2
GENERAL FEATURES
The rationale of the course book and views of the
writers are explicit (text’s objective, methodology
etc.).
The TG guides the teacher to any set syllabus for
that level.
3
The TG guides the teachers to the contents, location
of the new vocabulary, structures, and topics found
in the text via indexes.
4
The TG provides correct or suggested answers for
the exercises or tasks in the student’s text.
5
The TG provides information for the new and nonnative English-speaking teachers.
6
The TG provides detailed information on language
and methods.
7
The advice given on teaching procedures is explicit.
8
There is cultural information to enable teachers to
interpret appropriately the situations represented in
the teaching material.
THE NATURE OF LANGUAGE AND OF THE
NATURE OF THE LANGUAGE-LEARNING
PROCESS
Which aspects of language are covered in the TG?
(TICK AS NECESSARY)
a. Form:
9
b. Use :
□ grammar
□vocabulary
□ pronunciation
□ skills
□ appropriateness (style, etc.),
□ pragmatics (i.e. how utterances
acquire meaning in specific situations)
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POINT
COMMENTS
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 141-164, 1 April, 2015
10
There is reference to different learning styles and
strategies, and there are suggestions for using and
developing them.
11
The role of the teacher is considered, possibly with
reference to changing roles according to the nature
of the learning activity.
12
13
14
15
16
TEACHER DEVELOPMENT
The TG assumes a teacher-development rule, by
providing a rationale for the information and
guidance it provides.
TG helps users to gain more understanding of the
language-teaching principles involved, in addition
to helping them to develop their practical teaching
skills.
The TG gives information on how people learn
languages.
The TG helps teachers to understand why it uses
certain activities and methods.
The TG helps teachers to become more confident
about developing their teaching skills.
LANGUAGE ITEMS TO BE TAUGHT
There is information given about the language
17
items to be taught and how to handle them.
Learning difficulties are predicted and appropriate
18 advice given. There are helpful notes about possible
problems.
The TG offers a variety of techniques for teaching
19
structural units in meaningful situations.
CULTURAL LOADING
The TG adequately predicts difficulties in
understanding the cultural setting or background.
The TG deals with cultural understanding
21 difficulties by providing sufficient information and
explanation.
The TG provides guidance for the teacher in the
presentation of figurative language, idiomatic
22
expressions, and words and expressions similar to
ones in his/her native language.
PROCEDURAL GUIDANCE
The TG provides guidance in selecting and
sequencing units, planning them into a scheme of
23
work, and thereby integrating them into the overall
learning programme.
The TG suggests procedures for the planning,
24
preparation and conduct of lessons.
20
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25
ADVICE ABOUT THE UNPREDICTABLE
The TG assists the teacher in dealing with the
unpredictable, for example in selecting optional
routes through the lesson, or in handling activities
that do not go according to plan?
CORRECTION
26
The teacher is advised when and how to correct
students' language.
27
The TG contains suggestions for ways students
might respond to correction.
MOTIVATION
28
The TG makes a positive contribution to
heightening and sustaining learner motivation.
PRESENTATION AND USE
29 The TG suggests how it can best be used.
The organization and layout of the contents make
30
the TG easy to use.
31
There is advice about how to supplement the course
book, or to present the lessons in different ways.
LANGUAGE OF THE TG
32
The TG’s language style is direct and
comprehensible to non-native speakers.
34
35
36
The TG’s language is easy to understand? The TG
is free of the use of confusing metalanguage?
LESSON PLANNING AND
IMPLEMENTATION
The TG provides a plan for every lesson?
The objectives of each lesson are clear.
The instructions for each lesson plan are clear.
37
The TG suggests alternative activities or plans.
38
The TG tells the teacher which parts students may
find difficult.
39
The TG suggests ways to explain difficult parts.
40
The TG gives ideas for classroom management.
33
41
42
The TG provides lesson summaries and suggestions
to help the teacher review old lessons and introduce
new lessons.
The TG advises about how to present the lesson in
different ways (Flexibility).
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 141-164, 1 April, 2015
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
LESSON EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT
The teacher is encouraged to evaluate each lesson,
and there are suggestions how this might be done.
There are guidelines for evaluating how well
lessons went.
There are regular progress tests.
There is adequate guidance in the checking of
learning both informally, through practice
activities, and more formally, through revision units
and achievement tests.
COMPONENTS, SUPPLEMENTARY
MATERIALS AND TEACHER AIDS
There are photocopiable additional materials.
The TG helps the teacher with the use of the
technological components, such as interactive
DVDs, videos, Interactive Whiteboard (IWB)
applications.
The TG advises the teacher on the use of audiovisual aids, and suggests creative substitutions for
situations where audio-visual equipment is
unavailable.
The TG provides teacher’s aids such as tape scripts
and suggestions for their effective use, technical
notes, vocabulary lists, and structural functional
inventories.
TEACHING PRONUNCIATION AND SOUND
SYSTEM
The TG provides practical suggestions for teaching
pronunciation and intonation.
The TG provides guidance on the distinctions
between British and American English with regard
to pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammatical
structures.
The TG provides guidance to the teacher in
presenting punctuation and how changes in stress
and intonation may alter meanings.
The TG presents a contrastive analysis of sound
system and word usage of English and the native
language.
CONTEXT FLEXIBILITY
The TG conforms to the methodological
requirements determined to be suitable by the
administrators or the teachers themselves; and, if
not, the material can be exploited or modified as
required by local circumstances.
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Evaluating the Teacher’s Guides of a Recently Published Course Book Series…S. O. Gok
55
The TG is meaningful and helpful to the teacher
without being too confining. It is eclectic in
approach? (Flexibility in approach)
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 141-164, 1 April, 2015
APPENDIX-C
QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS
NUMBER OF THE PEOPLE
Q NO
NO T IN
THE
BO O K
NO T
STRO NGLY
DISAGREE SURE/NO
DISAGREE
IDEA
1
X
X
1
2
X
X
3
X
4
AGREE
STRO NGLY
AGREE
2
10
31
X
6
15
23
X
X
X
18
26
32
9
3
X
X
X
5
11
5
4
24
X
X
6
38
4
X
2
X
X
7
X
X
X
8
15
21
8
3
X
6
7
15
13
9
GRA:41
VOC:42
PRO: 33
SKILLS: 3
APP:32
PRAG: X
10
5
X
1
15
21
2
11
23
2
1
14
3
1
12
11
1
3
22
5
2
13
X
X
X
2
11
31
14
9
7
7
4
12
5
15
X
X
X
4
5
35
16
X
1
6
5
21
11
17
32
8
2
2
X
X
18
13
8
17
6
X
X
19
1
X
1
2
16
24
20
7
1
5
10
12
9
21
1
4
6
5
19
9
22
8
7
11
10
5
3
23
2
X
1
7
12
22
24
1
1
2
4
19
17
25
13
10
12
7
1
X
26
27
9
5
3
X
X
27
31
7
5
1
X
X
28
X
6
9
X
16
13
29
6
1
3
2
20
12
30
X
2
7
3
15
17
31
14
15
9
3
1
2
32
X
X
2
1
12
29
33
1
X
2
2
8
31
34
X
X
X
X
11
33
35
X
X
X
2
3
39
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Evaluating the Teacher’s Guides of a Recently Published Course Book Series…S. O. Gok
36
X
X
1
3
8
32
37
16
19
7
2
X
X
38
9
13
15
4
2
1
39
17
12
10
3
1
1
40
23
10
9
2
X
X
41
31
9
3
1
X
X
42
19
18
7
X
X
X
43
15
13
8
4
2
2
44
13
X
3
x
15
13
45
7
5
11
3
13
5
46
19
X
5
X
11
9
47
27
8
5
X
3
1
48
25
5
9
3
1
1
49
23
7
10
4
X
X
50
9
3
8
12
7
5
51
35
5
4
X
X
X
52
31
9
2
2
X
X
53
26
12
5
1
X
X
54
3
8
9
11
9
4
55
6
8
11
8
6
5
APPENDIX-D
(From LL-3 TG, p. 37)
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 141-164, 1 April, 2015
APPENDIX-E
(From LL-3 TG, p. 39)
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APPENDIX-F
(From LL-3 TG, p. 71)
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 141-164, 1 April, 2015
APPENDIX-G
(From LL-3 TG, p. 66)
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APPENDIX-H
(From LL-3 TG, p. 64)
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE)
Vol. 5(1), pp. 165-172, 1 April, 2015
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.12.5.1
Short Turkish Version of Proactive Scale: A Study of Validity and
Reliability
Ahmet Akın
Counseling and Psychology Department, Sakarya University, Sakarya, Turkey
Neslihan Arıcı Özcan
Psychology Department, Istanbul Medipol University, Istanbul, Turkey
Article history
Proactivity is the most popular concept of positive psychology
Received:
in industrial and psychological area. Thus the aim of this
24.01.2014
research is to adapt the Short Version of Proactive Personality
Received in revised form:
Scale with 10–item (Claes, Beheydt, & Lemmens, 2005) into
05.04.2015
Turkish and to examine its psychometric properties. The
research was conducted on 332 university students. Results of
Accepted:
06.04.2015
language equivalency showed that the correlations between
Turkish and English forms were ranged from .74 to .90. The
Key words:
corrected item-total correlations ranged from .52 to .66.
Proactive personality,
Results of confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated that the
reliability, validity
ten items loaded on one factor and the uni-dimensional model
was well fit (x2= 47.91, df= 29, x2/df= 1,65, RMSEA= .044,
NFI= .99, CFI= .99, IFI= .99, RFI= .97, GFI= .97, AGFI= .95,
SRMR= .033). The internal consistency reliability coefficient
of the scale was found as .86. Thus this scale is a valid and
reliable instrument.
Introduction
In today’s world rapidly improvements in technology, increasing ambiguity,
confusions, and dynamism lead many organizations to prefer a person with having long and
permanent goals (Crant, 2000; Friedman, 2005; Grant & Ashford, 2008). In parallel to these
changes many employers in industry and researchers recently have focused on proactivity
concept (Campbell, 2000; Van Dyne, Ang, & Botero, 2003). Moreover proactive personality
is seen as necessary characteristic rather than luxury in today’s changing and competitive
world (Prabhu, 2007).
In literature the concept of proactive personality is mentioned in many theories. Existential
theorist Bonner (1967) has defined proactivity as the interactions with the environment that an
individual uses his/her potentials and creativity, gives importance on future orientation, makes
choices and takes his/her responsibilities. And also Bonner (1967) has suggested that
proactive personality characteristics reduces the uncertainty and possibilities by planned
efforts, bold fantasy, and moral courage. In terms of the choice theory it is indicated that a
person provides his/her 5 basic needs (survival, love, belongings, power and freedom) with

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[email protected]

Short Turkish Version of Proactive Scale…A. Akın & N. Arıcı Özcan
choosing behaviors in freedom ways and following 10 axioms (Glasser, 1988). The examples
of 10 axioms are stated that a person is only creature to control his/her, the problematic
relationship is a part of his/her life, a person only gives another person information. The
proactive personality characteristics are emphasized in all these axioms (Glasser, 1988). In
parallel with two mentioned theories, the interdependence theory explains that people have
two areas such as interest areas (humans, animals, hobbies) and effect areas. Effect areas that
control the interest areas enable people to show their proactive personality (Covey, 1998). In
all these above mentioned theories proactive personality is not operationally defined.
Positive psychology focuses on modern life opportunities for individuals, and well being of
individuals rather than individuals’ failure, pathologies, burnouts and helplessness behaviors
(Caprara & Cervone, 2003). Positive psychology researchers examine procedures and
conditions that contribute the functions and improvements of individuals and organizations
(Gable & Haidt, 2005). Thus positive psychology proposes the proactive personality
characteristic such as being responsible, hopeful, brave, perseverance and having work ethic
(Crant, 2000).
Proactivity has been generally defined as one being relatively unconstrained by situational
forces and changes the environment intentionally and directly (Bateman & Crant, 1993; Grant
& Ashford, 2008; Griffin, Neal, & Parker, 2007). Proactivity includes proactive personality
and proactive behaviors. Individuals with proactive personality are entrepreneurs, responsible,
determined, make risk analysis, and take appropriate risk (Bateman & Crant, 1993; Grant &
Ashford, 2008). Proactive behaviors contain intentional decisions, (Morrison & Phelps, 1999)
and taking risk rather than accepting the conditions (Crant, 2000; Crant & Bateman 2000). As
it is stated, proactive personality and behaviors are permanent characteristic that affect
situations and activities (Seibert, Crant, & Kraimer, 1999; Seibert, Kraimer, & Crant, 2001).
Furthermore there is a positive relationship among extraneous, successfulness, leadership and
proactivity (Bateman & Crant, 1993; Crant, 1996; Crant & Bateman, 2000). Henceforth many
researchers in career (Claes & Ruiz-Quintanilla, 1998; Sturges, Conway, Guest, & Liefooghe,
2005; Sturges, Guest, Conway, & Davey, 2002) and in business context (Campbell, 2000;
Van Dyne, et al., 2003; Parker, Williams, & Turner, 2006) examined proactive personality
features.
Some studies indicated that proactive personality is seen as a most crucial factor in career
performance (Crant, 1995; Fuller, Hester, & Cox, 2010; Gerhardt, Ashenbaum, & Newman,
2003; Pitt, Ewing, & Berthonc, 2002; Thompson, 2005), in work adjustment (KammeyerMueller, & Wanberg, 2003), external and internal career success (Seibert et al., 1999; Seibert
et al., 2001), transformational and charismatic leadership (Crant & Bateman, 2000),and
successful job search (Brown, Cober, Kane, Levy, & Shalhoop, 2006). Moreover proactive
personality encompasses not only an individual but also an organization achievement
(Ashford & Black, 1996; Chan & Schmitt, 2000). With this regard, the person with proactive
personality characteristic is beneficial in his/her organizations, cultures, community, and even
global world (Covey, 1998).
All perspectives mentioned above explained proactive personality features and proactive
behaviors in terms of individual differences. On the other hand the influences of recent
cognitive and social perspectives lead researchers to examine proactive personality
characteristic with individual and environmental factors (work autonomy, trusting
relationship among co-worker). In this regard, to elicit which factors or antecedents lead an
individual to show proactive personality with proactive behaviors it is necessary to measure
proactive personality. The first proactive scale was developed by Bateman and Crant (1993).
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 165-172, 1 April, 2015
The first original scale was 17 –item with 7 Likert type (1: definitely disagree, 7: definitely
agree) and had one factor. The high score of the scale means that an individual has high level
of proactive features. The internal consistency of the scale was found as between .87 and .89
but construct validity of the scale was not examined (Bateman & Crant, 1993). Moreover
abbreviated forms of the PPS with 10 -tem (Claes, 2002; Kammeyer-Mueller &Wanberg,
2003; Seibert et al., 1999, 2001); 6 -item, ( Parker, 1998), 5- item ( Kickul & Grundy, 2002)
and 4-item (Parker & Spring, 1998 ) were developed and especially 10 item version was
found the highest average factor loading in the original PPS as provided by Bateman and
Crant (1993). But all abbreviated forms were not tested beyond American and British culture.
Henceforth Claes and his colleagues (2005) used short version forms (10 -item, 6 -item, 5 item and 4 –item) and applied 3 different countries (Belgium, N=882, Finland, N=100,
Spanish, N=100) to increase their validity and reliability on different culture. All three short
forms were 7 Likert type and had one factor as similar to original form. The internal
consistency of 10-item version (Belgium .83; Finland .79; Spanish .85) and 6 item version
(Belgium .79; Finland .78; Spanish .86) were found reliable.
As a result of the exploratory factor analysis, the amount of total variance of 10-item version
form for Belgium sample explained 34.7 % (factor loadings ranged from .38 to .69); for
Finland sample explained 30.2 % (factor loadings ranged from .32 to .76) and for Spain
sample explained 41.2 % (factor loadings ranged from .24 to .84). The amount of total
variance of 6 –item version form for Belgium sample explained 39% (factor loadings ranged
from .52 to .71); for Finland sample explained 40.7 % (factor loadings ranged from .44 to .83)
and for Spain sample explained 52.2 %, (factor loadings ranged from .54 to .84). Within this
context the amount of total variance of 10-item version explained optimal level, the amount of
total variance of 6-item version explained sufficiently. As the result of the validity and the
reliability it was found that 10 item version and 6 –item version are reliable scales to use.
Furthermore 10 item version scale was used in many career and job performance studies.
Kim, Hon and Crant (2009) examined the relationship between proactive personality,
employee creativity, and newcomer outcomes with 146 Chinese employee and found that
employee creativity fully mediated the relationships between proactive personality and career
satisfaction and perceived insider status. With parallel to this study Joo and Lim (2009)
investigated the effect of personal characteristics (proactive personality) and contextual
characteristics (organizational learning culture and job complexity) on employees’ intrinsic
motivation and organizational commitment with 283 employees. And they found that
employees were more intrinsically motivated when they showed higher proactive personality
and perceived higher job complexity and proactive personality moderated the relationship
between organizational learning culture and organizational commitment. Thompson (2005)
examined the mediated model of the relationship between proactive personality and job
performance with 126 employees and found that the relationship between proactive
personality and job performance is mediated by network building and initiative taking on the
part of the employee. With parallel to this research Fuller, Hoster and Cox (2010) found that
proactive personality is positively correlated with job performance and job autonomy serves
as a significant workplace constraint for people with proactive personalities. In Turkey there
is not any study about the short version of Proactive Personality Scales with 6-item and 10item and it was decided to make study with 10-item. Therefore aim of this research is to adapt
Short Version of Proactive Personality with 10- item into Turkish and to examine its
psychometric properties.
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Short Turkish Version of Proactive Scale…A. Akın & N. Arıcı Özcan
Method
Participants
This study was executed 332 university students from different programs of Sakarya
University Educational Faculty in Turkey. Of the participants, 150 were male (45.1%) and
182 were female (54.9%) and the mean age of the participants was 20.8 years. The
participants’ age was ranged from 18 to 22 and the mean age of the participants was 20.8
year.
Procedure
Primarily Short Version of Proactive Personality Scale with 10-item was translated
into Turkish by five academicians from English Language and Literature department. Before
validity and reliability studies, to examine the language equivalency of the scale the
correlations between Turkish and English forms were calculated.
In this study exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was performed to examine the factor structure
of the scale according to the data obtained from the Turkish students and confirmatory factor
analysis (CFA) was executed to confirm the original scale’s structure in Turkish culture. As
reliability analysis; internal consistency coefficients and the item-total correlations were
calculated. Data were analyzed using LISREL 8.54 and SPSS 11.5 package programs.
Results
Language Equivalency
The results of language equivalency showed that the correlations between Turkish and
English forms were ranged from .74 to .90. The correlations coefficient between items of
Turkish and the original version were shown in Table 1.
Table 1
The Correlation Coefficient between Items of Turkish and the
Original Version of Primarily Short Version of Proactive Personality
Scale
Item No
r
Item No
r
1
.74
6
.88
2
.80
7
.86
3
.80
8
.78
4
.86
9
.87
5
.79
10
.90
Item Analysis and Reliability
To examine discrimination power of items item analysis was done. As a result of the
item analysis the corrected item –total correlation coefficient ranged from .52 to .66.
Cronbach alpha internal consistency reliability coefficient was found .86. The results were
seen in Table 2.
Table 2
Item Total Correlation Coefficient of Primarily Short Version of Proactive
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 165-172, 1 April, 2015
Item No
rjx
1
2
3
4
5
.518
.587
.590
.497
.662
Personality Scale
α (if item
Item No
deleted)
.851
6
.846
7
.845
8
.853
9
.839
10
rjx
.526
.527
.551
.641
.589
α (if item
deleted)
.851
.851
.849
.841
.846
Construct Validity
Confirmatory Factor Analysis: Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of Primarily Short
Version of Proactive Personality Scale was executed to confirm the original scale’s structure
in Turkish culture As a result of DFA, the confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the
model was well fit and Chi-Square value (x2= 47.91, N= 332, df= 29, x2/df= 1,65, p=
0.01502) which was calculated for the adaptation of the model was found to be significant.
The goodness of fit index values of the model were RMSEA= .044, NFI= .99, CFI= .99, IFI=
.99, RFI= .97, GFI= .97, AGFI= .95, SRMR= .033.
Figure 1: Path Diagram for Short Version of Proactive Personality Scale
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Short Turkish Version of Proactive Scale…A. Akın & N. Arıcı Özcan
Discussion
This study is aim to adapt to The Short Version of Proactive Personality with 10- item
into Turkish and to examine its psychometric properties. The participant’s number is enough
to examine validity and reliability of the test (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2007). The language
equivalency of the correlations between Turkish and English forms were calculated and found
high level consistency. This result showed that the translation of original form into Turkish
was successful process. To examine the construct validity of the Short Version of Proactive
Personality with 10- item CFA were done. The results of confirmatory factor analysis
demonstrated that the 10-item loaded on one factor and the factor structure was well
harmonized with the factor structure of the original scale. Similarly, confirmatory factor
analysis indicated that the model was well fit and the structural model of Short Turkish
Version of Proactive Personality Scale with 10-item which consists of one factor was well fit
to the Turkish culture. The reliability coefficients were found high. This result indicated that
the reliability level in terms of reference of .70 level (Sipahi, Yurtkoru, & Çinko, 2008). Itemtotal correlation coefficients satisfied .30 criteria. When taking the consideration of the 30 and
above .30 criteria for item total correlation coefficients that are enough to differentiate
individuals about measured features (Özdamar, 2004), item-total correlation coefficients of
the Short Version of Proactive Personality with 10- item are high. Overall findings
demonstrated that this scale had high validity and reliability scores and that it may be used as
a valid and reliable instrument in order to assess proactive personality in career and job
related studies. Last not but least with this scale may be used in any organization to assign the
personnel to appropriate position.
Conclusions
According to the results of the study of validity and reliability of Short Turkish
Version of Proactive with 10-item, this scale is used as a valid and reliable instrument in order
to assess proactive personality. When the results of the scale are considered there are some
suggestions. Primarily to designate the convergent validity of the Short Turkish Version of
Proactive with 10-item the correlation between the Short Turkish Version of Proactive with
10-item and valid/ reliable scales might be examined. The participant of this study was
university students. Also it is vital to the different samples might be taken for the validity and
reliability of this scale. Furthermore to compare Short Turkish Version of Proactive with 10item with Short Turkish Version of Proactive with 6-item, the adaptation of Short Turkish
Version of Proactive with 6-item might be taken. Last but not least, further studies which will
use this scale will make significant contributions.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE)
Vol. 5(1), pp. 173-180, 1 April, 2015
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.14.77.5.1
A Brief Review of Literature on Using Technology to Help Language
Learners to Improve Their Language Skills
Eyup Bayram Guzel
Institute of Education, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
People have been fairly interested in what technology offers to
them around a scope of human necessities and it has become a
part of human life. In this study, experimental studies were
Received in revised form:
reviewed for the purpose of how technology helps language
06.04.2015
learners improve their phonemic awareness, reading
comprehension and vocabulary development skills. As a
Accepted:
07.04.2015
conclusion, experimental studies demonstrated that students
showed significant improvements up to 70% in phonological
Key words:
awareness, while they demonstrated up to 76% of
technology, phonemic
improvements in reading comprehension and up to 77% in
awareness, reading
comprehension, vocabulary
vocabulary development. The use of computer-assisted
development
technologies and its positive outcomes were encouraged to be
used more widely in order to meet the diverse needs of
students.
Article history
Received:
04.07.2014
Introduction
Over the last few decades, technology has become a part of human life. People have
been fairly interested in what technology offers to them around a scope of human necessities
.In order to meet these necessities and the challenges of fast-paced globalization and a more
demanding high-tech environment of the future, it is necessary to educate and equip students
with relevant abilities, especially in the process of improving communication skills and in
literacy. Also, Ming-Mu (2008) states that it is important to assist them to advance authentic
technology attitude and belief. In education, the technology is being used by many students,
schools, colleges, and universities, and a lot of money has been spent for integrating the latest
technological advancements into their subject areas (Calderon &Young, 1999). The language
learning process is a long road and requires a great deal of language support and study.
Therefore, in this strained process, several difficulties might occur such as phonemic
awareness issues, reading, writing, comprehension, vocabulary development, listening, and
speaking. Studies have consistently found that one of the biggest issues in language learning
process stems from the issue of educating students with high phonemic awareness (Bryant &
Hoswami, 1990, Leong, Tan, 2005). Another important difficulty of learning language is
reading comprehension development. Burgoyne & Kelly (2009) stated that the absence of
identifying comprehension difficulties and providing appropriate support for the development
of comprehension will lead to reduced access to the curriculum and an inability to reach the
individual’s full potential. The difficulties of learning language have crucial and chaining
effects on each other in terms of academic, quality of life, and functional performance. For
example, a large body of research identifies phonological awareness as critical for the

[email protected]
A Brief Review of Literature on Using Technology to Help Language Learners…E. B. Guzel
development of word reading skills (e.g. Bryant, Maclean, Bradley, & Crosslands, 1990).
Also, Hatcher and And (1994) documented the efficacy of phonics teaching in boosting
reading skills. The primary purpose of reading is defined as to understand the text you read
(Nation & Angell, 2006). Therefore, successful reading requires the development of
comprehension skills and word reading (Oakhill, Cain, &Bryant, 2003). In this chain of
phonemic awareness, reading and understanding (comprehension), if there is an absence of
any of these components, the development of academic performance will be affected
negatively and students might fail in order to reach their full potential. The difficulties would
lead the teachers and researchers in the way of training themselves better. And, by doing so,
as Calderon-Young (1999) assume, instructors will be able to implement new programs to
boost the learning process in obtaining language. Calderon-Young, 1999 describes that “the
presence of technological advances indicates that educators are interested in the benefit
gained from the technology such as computers, LAN’s, CD-ROM’s, scanners, file servers,
laserdiscs, computer peripherals, instructor-designed multimedia programs such as language
tools, multimedia toolbooks, hypercard, and software program”. The development process of
technology is quicker than our educational institutions and Norman (1993) states that the
critical issue to address is seeking the right path for the purpose of incorporating concern for
learning into the functional specifications of the new devices. In order to integrate new
technology into English language classes, according to Calderon and Young (1999), one of
the most used technological items for educators has been the use of computers for practice,
and some of software packages today contain problem solving and simulations, practice and
drill, trivia games, videotape lessons, computer-assisted books and digitized images of foreign
cities and countries accompanied by text in the target language. The three important
components of English are studied in this article. The first one is phonemic awareness, which
is described as an important metalinguistic skill which can let students more effectively
acquire reading and spelling abilities (Mehta, Foorman, Branum, & Taylor, 2005). Rayner at
al. (2001) describes reading comprehension as the level of understanding of books. The third
one is vocabulary development, which is a set of words that the basic building blocks used in
the generation and understanding of sentences (Miller, 1991). The purpose of this study is to
provide a brief literature review on the benefits of using technology to help language learners
to improve their phonemic awareness, reading comprehension and vocabulary skills.
Implications and suggestions for future research will be provided.
Review of Selected Literature
Using technology to help language learners can be an important way in order to create
independent and collaborative learning environments and also help students with language
experiences as they move through the various stages of language acquisition (Rost, 2002). In
this language acquisition process, there are several ways in which technology can be used by
researchers. In this section, nine articles were reviewed for the purpose of using technology to
help language learners improve their phonemic awareness, reading comprehension and
vocabulary development skills.
Phonemic Awareness
The use of technology can be a very beneficial material in order to teach phonemic
awareness in the process of language acquisition. Carreker (2005) emphasizes that phonemic
awareness training is a helpful way to rectify the problems of poor spelling at any age while
Treiman & Baron (1983) reports learners with high capability of phonemic awareness,
perform better competences in pronunciation-recognition, spelling, and reading. For example
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 173-180, 1 April, 2015
a number of research studies have shown the positive effects of using technology to help
language learners containing ICT effectiveness (Felix, 2005), CALL (computer assisted
language learning) as an academic research (Hubbard, 2005), developments in technology
(Zhao, 2003).
In one study, Lai and Tsai (2009) studied with 120 third-graders, aged 9-10 years, from an
elementary school in Yunlin County in Taiwan for the purpose of improving their English
phonetic awareness by using multimedia English learning (MEL) system which is based on
Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) to enhance their language skills. MEL system is designed
for analyzing phonetic structures, identifying and capturing pronunciation errors. Then, the
educators could provide appropriate advice in pronunciation, rhythm, volume and intonation
based on students’ needs. The researchers randomly assigned the students to a control and
experimental group. The experimental group was taught by the MEL system while the control
group was given conventional English teaching. The phonemic awareness test and the English
achievement test were used for collecting data. The results demonstrated that the experimental
group who had low phonemic awareness displayed significantly better scores than the control
group in the English academic test.
In another study using technology to teach phonemic awareness, Flexer et al. 2002, conducted
a study with 53 regular education students, 34 girls and 19 boys, from three city pre-school
classrooms. The main purpose of this study was enhancing phonemic awareness of pre-school
students by using sound field amplifications in classrooms. The Yopp-Singer test was
conducted for all students to pretest measure. The Yopp-Singer test is a test phonemic
segmentation that measures a child’s ability to separately articulate the sounds of a spoken
word in order and includes 22 items (Flexer at al., 2002). Then, the same test was
administered at the end of first semester as a post-test measure. The researchers categorized
students into three groups, group A, B and C and each group received different early
phonological and phonemic awareness interventions. In group A, students were in the control
group and given standard district pre-school and kindergarten curriculum. In group B
(phonological awareness group) students received direct phonological awareness instruction
15 minutes every week four times starting the second semester of their pre-school year and
continuing to the end of their first semester of their kindergarten year. Finally in group C,
(phonological awareness group), students received the same instruction that group B students
had and additionally received classroom sound-field system daily where the teachers wore
wireless microphone transmitters, and their speech was transmitted by using light waves to an
amplifier connected by wires to four loudspeakers to create a clear sound in the classroom. As
a result, both groups B and C showed significantly higher scores than the control group
(group A) on the posttest. Also, differences between group B and group C were not
statistically different than each other because of the small group size of students, however,
group C students received extra sound-field instruction than group B student, 78% of students
scored above the mean for the test, while 57% percent of group B students scored above the
mean. The results suggested that phonological and phonemic awareness training was more
effective when sound field amplifications were used.
Finally, Chera and Wood (2003) studied the effectiveness of using computer-based reading
materials to improve phonological awareness skills of young children who were beginning to
read. Seventy-five students ranging from 3-6 years old were enrolled in this study and 15
students were put in a control group. Sixty students were given an access to the computer
software program while the control group was not. This software included six animated
multimedia talking books taken from UK (United Kingdom) phonic reading scheme Bangers
and Mash. Pre-test and post-test were administered and the results were assessed according to
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A Brief Review of Literature on Using Technology to Help Language Learners…E. B. Guzel
British ability scales word reading test (Elliot, 1983), Auditory onset awareness (Wilson,
1993) and Verbal onset awareness (Wilson, 1993). As a result, student in the intervention
group demonstrated significantly higher scores in phonological awareness (70%) than the
control group (45%) did between pre-test and post-test scores.
Reading Comprehension
Reading comprehension has of crucial importance in the academic learning of all
subject areas, and is essential to professional success and to lifelong learning (Pritchard et al.,
1999). Furthermore, Durkin (1993) describes reading comprehension as “essence of reading”.
In this crucial learning process, use of technology might be useful in expanding the
opportunities for students in engaging in reading of text (Meyer & Rose, 1998).
In a study done by Lange at al., (1999) enhancing reading strategies through the use of
technology in order to improve reading comprehension was studied. Seven hundred fourth
grade students (group A) and 457 seventh grade students (group B) participated in this study.
The researchers were evidenced declining of reading scores of students in data gathered by
Illinois State University, Illinois State Board of Education and teacher observational
checklists. The intervention used in this article were the incorporation of appropriate software
programs including power point presentations, the software Inspiration for outlining content
from reading subject areas, software on CD-ROM’s were Reading Blaster, Critical Concepts
and Decisions- The Environment for enhancing reading for meaning, finding details and
comprehension and Venn diagrams for visualizing comprehensions of two or more concepts.
The researchers conducted pre and post-standardized tests (the school district’s criterion test)
to both group. As a result, group A students showed 11% in overall reading comprehension
skills and group B displayed 40% increase in reading comprehension. The researchers
concluded that the use of technological tools improved students’ reading comprehension and
also provided skills to transfer these developments to other areas of their studies.
In another study, Ray and Belden (2007) evaluated strategies provided by an artificially
intelligent adaptive tutoring and testing software system designed to teach reading
comprehension skills to college students. Twenty-four college students enrolled in this study
and they were evaluated according to pre and post-test which were specially constructed
SAT/GRE type reading comprehension tests. Two equivalent forms (A and B) of reading
comprehension tests were implemented for the purpose of exposing students to different
content on pretest and posttests. The software system called MediaMatrix offers internet
delivery of relatively traditional textbook content using highly individualized and adaptive
tutorial and assessment procedures (Ray & Belden, 2007) were used including video based
lectures with pauses to highlight via lecture, commentaries and question/answers, online
textbook reading. Also, the use of settings, and other relevant variables was designated by an
A/N process developed to parallel the process implemented within MediaMatrix for
improving reading text comprehension (Ray, 2000). As a result of this study, a statistically
significant (17%) gain between pre-to-post reading comprehension scores was found and the
importance of using MediaMatrix strategies for shaping and improving students reading
comprehension skills discussed by the researchers.
In Vince Gaudio’s study (in 2003), an intensive vocabulary- building program for improving
reading skills of ESL (English as a second language) students was implemented. Nineteen
ESL students ranging from 7-10 years old in Illinois were enrolled for this study. The poor
reading ability of students were documented by using the Star Computer Adaptive Reading
Test. The vocabulary-building program used during the intervention included computerized
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 173-180, 1 April, 2015
vocabulary programs (95 vocabulary words recorded on CD accompanied with photos, mini
picture dictionaries), vocabulary software (Rosetta Stone), and vocabulary based games
(modern curriculum press picture vocabulary cards). For analyzing results, pretest and posttest measures were used based on the Star Computer Adaptive Reading Test, which was
conducted during the first week (pre) and at the last (post) week of this study. As a
conclusion, 76% of students demonstrated an increase in their reading abilities and the
greatest improvement was from those who scored lowest on the pretest.
Vocabulary Development
According to Pearson et al., 2007, we can decrease the academic gap of students’
when we actively and systematically teach vocabulary. One of the ways to do so might be use
of technology as Green (2005) establishes that technology can play an integral part in
improving students’ language learning abilities and in providing additional language learning
opportunities beyond normal classroom environment.
In one study, Yeh and Wang (2003) investigated the effectiveness of three types of
vocabulary annotations which are text annotation only, text plus picture and text plus picture
and sound on vocabulary learning for 82 ESL (English as a second language) college students
who had already completed 6 years of formal English instruction at secondary education level
in Taiwan. The students were randomly assigned to use one of these three versions then they
were given a pretest focused on some of the new vocabularies that they will see during the
intervention. After that, the researchers conducted a posttest to evaluate the results. The
results have been found that a text plus picture annotation was the most effective for
vocabulary learning and the students’ visual tendencies were stronger than their auditory
tendencies.
In another study, Coll (2002) studied the benefits of a hypermedia-enhanced learning
environment for English for Specific Purposes (ESP) students. “The hypermedia-enhanced
learning environment provides a rich environment where learners gain exposure to foreign
language texts by listening and reading in the target language” (Coll, 2002). Forty students
(18 males and 22 females) participated. All of the students had a lower intermediate level
proficiency in English, which was the target language in this study. Chemistry-related videos
(The World of Chemistry), comprehension tools (HyperCard), video lessons and selected
demonstrations and animations were used to teach vocabulary development in the Chemistry
field. Students were randomly assigned to a control group and an experimental group and
were given a vocabulary achievement pretest and posttest. For assessment, a technical and
subtechnical vocabulary achievement test based on the material covered in the hypermediaenhanced lessons was developed and conducted. As a result, the hypermedia-learning
environment provided experimental subjects with exposure to new vocabularies to the
students who were in experimental group and they accomplished a greater improvement in
terms of overall vocabulary achievement test than those in the control group.
Horst, Cobb and Nicolae (2005) investigated a set of existing and purpose-built-online tools
in their experimental study for vocabulary learning. The participants were university ESL
(English as a second language) students at Canada. A total of 33 students, 14 of the students
spoke Asian languages, 12 spoke Romance language background (Spanish, France, or
Portuguese) and 7 spoke Arabic, Farsi, and Russian. All the students were intermediate-level
English learners. The technological resources used were cloze-builder, concordance,
hypertext, and a database with interactive self-quizzing feature. Coxhead’s (2000) Academic
Word List was used as targeted vocabulary learning. The participants were given specific
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A Brief Review of Literature on Using Technology to Help Language Learners…E. B. Guzel
reading passages and enter the words into the Word Bank as test targets on a pretest. Then,
posttest was conducted to compare the students’ entry words into the Word Bank for
comparison purposes. For assessment, a survey focused how often the students used each
technological tool and their answers were categorized. The results were concluded that
vocabulary knowledge of the participants increased substantially from 39% (pretest) to 77%
(posttest) in terms of entered and un-entered vocabularies into the Word Bank program.
Summary of Selected Literature
In summary, the selected literature has shown that phonemic awareness (Lai, et al.,
2009; , Carol & Kate et al ., 2002;, Chera &Wood, 2003 ), reading comprehension (Lange et
al., (1999), Ray and Belden (2007) Vince Gaudio (2003) ), and vocabulary development (Yeh
and Wang 2003, Coll 2002, Cobb and Nicolae 2005) ) are effective when combined with
technology and implemented in teaching language to language learners.
Implications for Practice
The reviewed articles demonstrated that English language learners may significantly
improve their language skills when technology is implemented in their native language
learning process. In the study of Lai et al. (2009), using multimedia English learning system
(MEL), in the study done by Chera and Wood (2003), using the software included six
animated multimedia talking books, in the study of Ray and Belden (2007), using
MediaMatrix system and In Vince Gaudio’s study in 2003, using the vocabulary building
program included computerized vocabulary programs (95 vocabulary words recorded on CD
accompanied with photos, mini picture dictionaries), vocabulary software (Rosetta Stone) and
vocabulary based games (modern curriculum press picture vocabulary cards) have proved that
using technology to teach phonemic awareness, developing reading comprehension and
enhancing vocabulary development is an effective way in the language learning process of
language learners.
An additional implication for practice in the process of language learning is that students who
are exposed to technology may use technological strategies that they learned in their other
learning areas such as math, geometry, geography, biology and the list goes on. In the study
done by Coll 2002, Chemistry-related videos (The World of Chemistry), comprehension tools
(HyperCard), video lessons and selected demonstrations and animations were used to teach
vocabulary development in chemistry field.
Recommendation for Future Research
Future research should examine computer based interventions in a more controlled
environment (Ray and Belden, 2007). Next, Lange et al., (1999) recommended that the school
administrations must be sure that the teachers are familiar and educated in terms of using
technological software systems and should have a plan for integrating them into the content
areas. In the study done by Horst, Cobb and Nicolae (2005) recommended that the researchers
should investigate better developed vocabulary tests to assess the gains of students. They
claim that there is not a well-developed vocabulary development assessment test for advanced
level English learners.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 173-180, 1 April, 2015
Conclusion
In conclusion, the purpose of this paper was to provide a brief review of literature on
the benefits of using technology to help language learners to improve their phonemic
awareness, reading comprehension and vocabulary skills, review the implications for practice
and provide recommendations for future research. In the studies reviewed, the researchers
concluded that using technology to help language learners to improve their language skills is
an effective way according to their results from experimental studies. These experiments in
this study concluded that students showed significant improvements up to 70% in
phonological awareness, while they demonstrated up to 76% of improvements in reading
comprehension and up to 77% in vocabulary development. The use of computer-assisted
technologies and its positive outcomes were encouraged to be used more widely by
researchers and teachers by combining it to the curriculum in order to meet the diverse needs
of students.
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Mehta, P. D., Foorman, B. R., Branum-Martin, L., & Taylor, W. (2005).
Miller, D. (2011). ESL Reading Textbooks vs. University Textbooks: Are We Giving Our
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Text Comprehension: Evidence from Component Skills. Language and Cognitive
Processes. 18(4), 443-68.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE)
Vol. 5(1), pp. 181-188, 1 April, 2015
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.15.04.5.1
The Effect of Drama in Education on Language and Communication Skills
of Children Between 48-60 Month-Old
Filiz Erbay
Mevlana University, Education Faculty, Department of Preschool Education, Konya, Turkey
Kezban Tepeli
Selcuk University, Health Science Faculty, Department of Child Development, Konya, Turkey
Özden Kuşcu
Selcuk University, Health Science Faculty, Department of Child Development, Konya, Turkey
Article history
The purpose of present research is to explore the effect of
Received:
drama on language and communication skills of preschool
26.01.2015
children between 48-60 months. In this study pre-test, post-test
Received in revised form:
control grouped experimental design has been utilized on
07.04.2015
collectively 64 children; 32 children from test group and 32
children are from control group. Research data have been
Accepted:
07.04.2015
compiled via Language and Communication subtest of
“Psychological Observation Form for Preschool Children”. In
Key words:
data analysis descriptive statistics, independent samples t test,
Drama in education, language
two-way ANOVA form mixed measures have been used.
skills, communication skills,
preschool education
Research findings have manifested that drama education
improves language and communication skills of children.
Introduction
Language and communication skills are the kinds of abilities that improve human
mental faculties such as learning, thinking, comprehending, questioning, problem-solving and
faculties that enable the expression of feelings and thoughts, social interaction through
communicating with others, integration with outer world and transmission of culture to the
next generations. Furthermore it has great contribution on the fulfillment of needs and desires,
betterment of social relations, building cooperation and handling conflicts (Aşıcı, 2003; Atay,
2009;Güneş, 2010). On accounts of all these reasons, starting from early ages language and
communication skills need to be improved and supported via various educational programs
(Ergin, 2003). That is related to the fact that language and communication skills, when treated
collectively with other developmental fields, shall assist in raising healthy individuals. It can
reasonably be argued that one of the most salient functions of preschool education institutions
is developing language and communication skills of children. Parallel to this aim it is required
to select the best methods that appeal to the nature of child, enable face-to-face interaction
and create real-to-life teaching and learning environments (Görgülü, 2009).
Drama activities are amongst these environments that might contribute to acquisition of
language and communication skills during preschool period (Alber and Foil, 2003; Bulut,

corresponding author: [email protected]
The Effect of Drama in Education on Language and Communication Skills…F. Erbay, K. Tepeli & Ö. Kuşçu
2011; Erkoca Akköse, 2008; Furman, 2000; Maden, 2010;Mages, 2008;Maley, &Duff, 2010;
Ormancı and Şaşmaz Ören, 2010; Tutuman, 2011). Drama in education might assist children
in using language with all its aspects such as speaking, listening and establishing verbal and
nonverbal communication (Toye and Prendville, 2000).
While teaching, drama activities encourage children to experience emotions actively. Children
are in need of language to create imaginary situations, animate and terminate these situations
and put their feelings into words throughout this process (Toye and Prendiville, 2000). In
busy class environments, children most of the time miss the opportunity to express
themselves. Drama experience in education enables the children to use their language skills
through integrating with games, stories, role-plays and drama activities and verbal selfexpression. Through drama the child can be in any place of drama activity as any person
within different time periods and events and by manipulating a variety of speaking styles, s/he
can grasp the chance for self- expression and social communication (Çömertpay, 2007).
In education drama activities also play vital role in word acquisition and gain in children.
Throughout this process it is likely that children meet a new subject they have not
encountered before. This experience may enable the children to learn new words by repeating
the words they encounter for the very first time (McCaslin, 2006). In the next stages these
skills continue to improve as children imitate the people around, participate in other children’s
games and establish communication. The acquisition of those skills are further strenghened
while children use language and gain the awareness of words, sound and language structures
(Alber and Foil, 2003).
When participating in drama activities children also gain speaking, thinking, listening,
narrating skills and abilities to build verbal and physical communication with one another.
During these activities children learn how to express themselves freely since through learning
new words and making sentences, they discover novel ways to establish communication. The
child can attain all these skills while making plans within drama activity, solving dramatic
problems, forming and playing the roles and trourugh natural reactions while interacting with
the group. The child can also learn nonverbal communication thanks to drama activities. For
instance during body movements, the child discovers how to establish communication by
moving different parts of the body like head, face, eyes and arms (Adıgüzel, 2010;
Rooyackers, 2009).
Acquisition of communication skills before age six is greatly linked to the development of
language. On that account it is vital that these skills be supported collectively or individually
via a bunch of methods and techniques as well as structured and tailored programs. That is
because a child capable of listening and speaking effectually takes one step ahead in
developing effective learning strategies and acquisition of reading-writing skill just as s/he
develops healthy social relations (Sevinç, 2003).
As relevant literature is analyzed it is detected that the number of studies on the effects of
drama activities over language development or skills or the impact of drama education on
communication skills is rather limited. Thus it is considered that present research shall render
contribution towards this aim. In a few studies in relevant literature the effects of drama
education on children’s receptive and expressive language development, the quantity of words
used by children and their use of nouns, verbs and conjunctions and their communication
skills have been examined (Akoğuz, 2002;Arnas Aktaş, Çömertpay and Sofu, 2007;
Çömertpay, 2006; Gönen and Dalkılıç, 2000;Görgülü, 2009; Solmaz, 1997, Uyar 1995). Since
in this study language and communication skills are two variables analyzed as a unity it
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 181-188, 1 April, 2015
differs from the rest of studies in literature. It is believed that present research shall assist in
spreading drama activities amidst preschool institutions; suggestions formed in line with
research findings shall guide preschool teachers and constitute the subject of new studies that
shall be presented to develop communication and language skills.
Based on all these aspects, the purpose of current research is to analyze the effect of preschool
drama activities on language and communication skills of 48-60 month-old children.
Method
Research model
Dependent variable of this research is children’s language and communication skills
and independent variable is drama education provided to children. In order to determine the
effect of preschool drama program on language and communication skills of children pre-test,
post-test control grouped experimental design has been utilized.
Participants
64 children aged between 48 and 60 months old have been recruited from two
preschool Education instutions which have smilar qualişties in terms of physical and facilities.
Simple random sampling method has been used in selection process. 32 children attending to
one of these preschool institutions have constituted test group while the remaining 32 children
formed control group.
In test group 47% of children (n= 15) are girls, 53% are (n= 17) boys. Their age varies
between 50 to 60 months. Age average is 57.47, standard deviation is 5.56. In control group
%50 of children (n= 16) are girls, 50% are (n= 16) boys. Their age varies between 52 to 60
months. Age average is 58.11, standard deviation is 5.25.
It has been reported that of the research participants, 35.8% of children’s mothers are college
graduates, 60.5% of children’s fathers are college graduates; 54.4% of children’s mothers are
housewives, 26.2% of children’s fathers are workers; 86.3% of children come from nuclear
families, 42.7% of children are without sisters/brothers; of all the children in test group 38.5%
and of all the children in control group 35.6% have attended a preschool institution one year
earlier.
Instrument
In this research “General Information Form” developed by researchers have been
employed in order to gather certain information on the child and family (gender of the child,
date of birth, education of parents, profession, family structure, number of children in family,
having received preschool education or not). So as to measure children’s language and
communication skills Language and Communication subtest of “Psychological Observation
Form for Preschool Children” has been utilized.
Psychological Observation Form for Preschool Children is a developmental observation form
prepared by Turkish Psychological Association Preschool Education Commission (2000) to
examine 36-78 month-old children. Composed of eight subtests (enrollment to preschool
institution, basic habits, behaviors while playing, social-emotional behaviors, behaviors in
educational activities, language and communication, drawing, challenging/problematic
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The Effect of Drama in Education on Language and Communication Skills…F. Erbay, K. Tepeli & Ö. Kuşçu
behaviors) and 137 items, this form not only contains items that describe current behavioral
and emotional status of the child but also items that exemplify behavioral and communication
patterns s/he develops.
Observation form is completed by psychologists, trainers and teachers who have direct
connection with the children in preschool care and education centers and the items reflect
their personal observations. “Language and Communication” subtest of this form is made up
of items related to the language development of the child, the way language is used in social
communication and the way child expresses himself/herself. In “Language and
Communication” subtest there are 12 positive and 2 negative items amounting to total 14
items. In this form behaviors to be observed are evaluated in a 5-point scale composed of
categories, “Never (1) – Rarely (2) – Occasionally (3) –Often (4) – Always (5)”. In this test,
negative behaviors are graded reversely. The lowest score to receive from Language and
Communication subtest is 14, the highest score is 70. In this 5-grade Likert test the highness
of scores indicates positivity whilst the lowness of scores indicates negativity.
To calculate the sum of observation form, Cronbach-Alpha coefficient is .89, for Language
and Communication subtest it is .92.
Procedure
For the children composing study group, measurement instrument has been applied as
pre-test and post-test. Subsequent to pretest application, Education program prepared by
researchers have been applied to children in test group for 14 weeks twice a week. Before the
application of this program children have been met in the presence of their teachers, informed
about the education to be provided and it has been attempted to comfort them about this
application. Prior to preparing this program, literature analysis has been performed on the
language and communication skills of 48-60 month-old children, next, the kind of objectives
and acquisitions parallel to their developmental level have been designated and learning
conditions for the activities have been presented. Education program involves movement
activities, pandomime, role playing, improvisation and creation of story based plays. Due to
the youngness of children and objectives of the applications, these activities have been
performed in children’s own classrooms by dividing the whole group in two seperate small
groups consisting of 16 children. In the aftermath of each activity, an evaluation has been
made to allow students to make their own statements on their opinions and feelings regarding
role plays. Considering the concentration length of children each session has lasted
approximately 30 minutes. In the execution of drama activities story cards, photographs,
pictures, masks, puppets, objects and similar materials have been utilized with the aim of
increasing children’s attention span, providing visual enrichment in activities and concretizing
abstract subjects. Particularly in movement activities, nonverbal music CDs and rhythm
instruments have been employed.
Data Analyses
Pretest and post-test data obtained via Language and Communication subtest of
Psychological Observation Form for Preschool Children from the sample consituted of
experimental and control group have been analyzed by employing descriptive and parametric
statistics. In order to detect if there is a meaningful difference between Language and
Communication pretest average scores of the test and control group children constituting
sampling group, independent samples t test has been used. To the end of detecting if language
and communication skills of test and control group children varied with respect to receiving
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 181-188, 1 April, 2015
drama education program, two-way ANOVA for mixed measures have been employed
(Büyüköztürk, 2011).
Results
The findings related to the research conducted to analyze if language and
communication skills of children varied with respect to receiving or not receiving drama
program in preschool education have been presented in following tables. In Table 1, t test
results of pretest score averages obtained by test and control group children from Language
and Communication subtest of Psychological Observation Form for Preschool Children have
been provided.
Table 1. t Test findings of language and communication pretest scores of children in test and
control groups
Variable
Language and
Communication
Skill
Test Group
M
SD
53.75
6.40
Control Group
M
SD
54.41
5.68
t
df
p
Cohen’s d
0.43
62
.666
0.11
Table 1 manifests that the difference between Language and Communication pretest score
averages of children in test and control groups is statistically insignificant, t(62)= 0.43, p>.05,
d= 0.11. This finding proves that with respect to their language and communication skills,
children in test and control group are the same before and after the application.
For the children in test and control groups, pretest posttest score averages and standard
deviations received from Language and Communication subtest of Psychological Observation
Form for Preschool Children are as shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Language and communication pretest-posttest score averages and standard deviation
values received by children in test and control groups
Variable
Group
n
Language and
Communication Skill
Test
Control
32
32
Pre Test
M
SD
53.75
6.40
54.41
5.68
Post Test
M
SD
62.31
5.24
58.69
5.54
As Table 2 is analyzed it surfaces that Language and Communication pretest score average of
the children in test group is 53.75 and posttest score average of the children in test group is
62.31 (achievement score 8.56) whilst Language and Communication pretest score average of
the children in control group is 54.41 and posttest score average of the children in control
group is 58.69 (achievement score 4.28). As the averages of obtained scores are analyzed it is
detected that Language and Communication subtest achievement score of children in test
group is higher than students in control group; in another saying the increase in Language
and Communication scores of the children in test group after they receive drama education is
greater.
ANOVA findings pertaining to Language and Communication pretest-posttest score averages
of children in test and control groups are as presented in Table 3.
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The Effect of Drama in Education on Language and Communication Skills…F. Erbay, K. Tepeli & Ö. Kuşçu
Table 3. ANOVA findings pertaining to language and communication pretest-posttest scores
of children in test and control groups
Source
Group (Test/Control)
Measurement (PretestPosttest)
Group x Measurement
Error
df
1
MS
70.508
F
1.28
p
.263
η2
.020
1
1319.695
126.04
.000
.670
1
62
146.633
10.471
14.01
.000
.184
The difference in total averages of Language and Communication pretest-posttest scores
received by test and control groups is statistically insignificant, F(1,62)= 1.28, p>.05, η2= .020.
Regardless of the group of research participants there is a significant difference in Language
and Communication score averages after the application, F(1,62)= 126.04, p<.001, η2= .670. It
has also been detected that results of common effect (group x measurement) test conducted to
see if creative drama education has a significant effect on children’s language and
communication skills development are also found to be significant, F(1,62)= 14.01, p<.001, η2=
.184. It has also been found out that compared to the students in control group, the changes
from pretest to posttest indicating the development of language and communication skills
were significantly higher in children of test group and that drama education had a major effect
in improving language and communication skills of students.
Discussion
Present research has been conducted with the aim of detecting effect of drama
education on language and communication skills of 48-60 month- old children and obtained
findings have proved that drama activities improve such skills in children. This study showed
that children in test group showed greater improvement in language and communication skills
compared to control group children. This finding might be attributed to the facts that children
in test group received drama training in addition to preschool education and applied drama
education contained several activities directly supporting language and communication skills.
By means of these activities children acquire a chance to go through many experiences which
in return consolidate their knowledge levels and skills.
Thanks to its natural and real-like environments, drama education positively contributes to
children’s communication skills and language development.. While acting, children feel
required to listen to each other in order to be better understood and state their words more
attentively. This requirement might enable the children to acquire proper speaking habits by
naturally driving children to concentrate on their voice tone, diction and speaking speed
(Arnas Aktaş, Çömertpay and Sofu, 2007). Aside from that, in drama activities children’s
body language and active movement of their body may also affect their vocabulary and use of
drama activities in vocabulary teaching may act as a motivator factor for children’s learning
(Alber and Foil, 2003).
As relevant literature is analyzed it is possible to come across research findings indicating that
drama education improves children’s language development and communication skills. Arnas
Aktaş, Çömertpay and Sofu (2007) in their co-study have provided 8-week long creative
drama training to 6 year-old preschool children. They have found out that the number of
words, and employment of nouns, verbs and conjunctions used by children having received
creative drama education have increased. Çömertpay (2006) has similarly reported that as a
result of creative drama activities aiming at language acquisition, the number of words
children use in a sentence increased and children uttered longer sentences and that the number
of adjectives, nouns, noun phrases and verb phrases used by children has risen. Gönen and
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 181-188, 1 April, 2015
Dalkılıç (2000), via a 13-week long supplementary education program provided for 60-72
month-old children, have discovered that drama program in education leaves positive effect
on children’s language development. Uyar (1995) and Solmaz (1997) have also underlined
that receptive and expressive language development of children is emprowered by drama
education. Görgülü (2009) in his research has reported that during preschool period, dramaassisted cooperative learning activities constitute an effective approach in the development of
communication skills. Akoğuz (2002) has concluded that creative drama provides a
meaningful difference in the betterment of communication skills.
As manifested above findings of current research are supportive of results obtained from
previous literature studies.
Suggestions
It has been detected in current study that drama education provided for 48-60 monthold preschool children has positive effect on language and communication skills of children.
Based on the findings of this research following suggestions have been provided to increase
the effect of preschool drama education on the development of children’s language and
communication skills.
It may be suggested that when preschool teachers feel a need to improve children’s language
and communication skills, they can make use of activities that mix daily program activities
with educational drama activities
By identifying drama application competencies of preschool education teachers, education on
planning and application of drama activities can be provided via in-service training programs
for teachers demanding such assistance.
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Vol. 5(1), pp. 189-205, 1 April, 2015
Available online at http://mije.mevlana.edu.tr/
http://dx.doi.org/10.13054/mije.15.05.5.1
Creativity And Sense Of Humor Of Elementary School Principals
Bahar Şenol**
Dokuz Eylül University, Faculty of Education, İzmir
Ali Aksu***
Dokuz Eylül University, Faculty of Education, İzmir
The purpose of this study was to determine primary school
teachers’ perceptions of the extent of creativity behaviours and
sense of humor applications of the primary school principals;
Received in revised form:
to find out whether teachers’ perceptions of primary schools’
08.04.2015
principals’ creativity behaviour and sense of humor vary
according to certain variables and whether there was a
Accepted:
09.04.2015
significant relationship between the primary school teachers’
perceptions of creativity behaviours and their perceptions of
Key words:
humor styles of the primary school principles. The population
Creativity, humor, sense of
of the study consisted of teachers employed in primary schools
humor
located in İzmir Province in the 2011-2012 academic year. The
sample included 390 teachers chosen from different socioeconomic level of districts. Two different questionnaires
named “How Creative Are You?” and “Humor Styles
Questionnaire” were used to gather data. The results of the
study revealed that that there was a significant positive
correlation between the teachers’ perceptions of creativity
behaviours and their perceptions of sense of humor of the
primary school principals. As a proposition, some ice-breaking
activities should be held at schools in order to boost principals’
creativity and sense of humor.
Article history
Received:
02.02.2015
Introduction
Through the contributions of numerous authors such as Torrance and Rhodes, valuable
insights have been obtained regarding the concept of creativity. These insights led to
investigations upon the definition of creativity (Torrance, 1962), unearthing of its
characteristics (Rossman, 1931; Wallas, 1926; as cited in Aktamış and Ergin; 2007),
discovering the characteristics of creative individuals (Alder, 2004; Morris, 2006). Creativity
is recognized as coming up with a solution out beyond ordinary thinking by executing the
abilities of thinking with a different point of view and curiosity in the presence of numerous
alternatives in order to bring out new solutions for a problem (Orçan, 2013). The word of
creativity emphasizes the revelation of relationships others disregard, not the process of
creating out of nothing (Et Al, Cengiz; 2007). Everybody can have inborn creativity. Though

This studyis derived from the master thesis of Bahar Şenol
**
E-mail: [email protected]
***
E-mail: [email protected]
Creativity And Sense Of Humor Of Elementary School…B. Şenol & A.Aksu
most of the time it is beyond our consciousness and willpower, creativity differs in
sustainability, development, degree and emergence depending on individuals (Argun, 2004).
Information society is based on a perspective focusing on the individual. In this sense,
creativity and diversity of people arising simply from being individuals bear great
significance. Education, which develops creativity and is an indispensable element of
diversity, has an indispensable role in this regard (Yucaoglu, 2000). Creativity is product of
creative individual. Thus, creativity is primarily individualistic. On the other hand,
organizational creativity can only be delivered by promoting a supporting atmosphere, which
is quite friendly for members to perform their creativity (Çekmecelioğlu, 2002).
Competitive environment and innovational demand require working atmosphere promoting
creative abilities, though it appears as if workers’ did not matter for organizations (Mumford
Et Al., 2002: 705). One of the greatest challenges leaders face in our age is to be able to keep
up with the rapid changes in the environment.
As the globalized world requires the globalization of quality, we should intend to build new
strategies and perspective rather than simply embracing current administrative techniques
(Yurtseven, 2001). Contemporary principals need to adopt a creative standpoint in application
and development of administrative works in rapidly changing contexts. So as to optimize the
interaction of organization and environment, principals either display a creative and
innovative performance or encourage chiefs and other staff for creativity and innovation by
promoting an appropriate climate (Budak, 1998). Creative principals should build up an
ambiance in their organizations supporting innovation, discovery and originality. They need
to support creativity actively through role modeling as well as providing a creative
environment (Yildirim, 2007).
In order to carry out schooling in line with their goals, principals, teachers, and students are
needed to have certain qualities, first of which is creativity in terms of discovering new
concepts, techniques and ways of working (Akdağ and Güneş, 2003).
There appear certain duties a creative school principal should deliver, such as (Sungur, 1992:
38-39):
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




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

To make firstly other directors, heads, teacher, and school staff believe and respect
creative thinking.
To develop a regular system receiving the comments of teachers and school staff.
To promote the feeling of honour in school system
To put ideas into practice disregarding fatalism.
To provide opportunities and resources for research.
To settle school problems taking initiative setting aside school rules.
To pay special attention not to impose his thoughts.
To pay attention to different points of view in the system without ignoring them.
To provide financial prospects for teachers to give their ideas a try.
To make long term plans leading the programs.
To avoid announcing truly creative teachers not to demotivate other non-creative
teachers, though supporting the creative ones properly.
To spare some time for teachers to work on and try out their original ideas.
To have an attraction for every aspects of education and to improve himself in
different fields of interest.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 189-205, 1 April, 2015
In the literature, humor is described as the skill of looking into situations and events via
different perspectives, and regarded as a prominent product of art and literature for the
development of creativity (Savaş, 2013). Investigating the definitions of creativity and humor,
it reveals that humor can be taken as an outcome of creativity. As Kuiper and Martin (1993)
put forward, humor and psychological health concepts such as well-being and life satisfaction
have been associated throughout the recent research development. The results of the
investigations reveal that humor is related to positive concepts. Researchers also have found
out that people having high sense of humor could cope with stress more effectively and they
could construct more healthy relationships with others (Aslan, 2006). Furthermore, some
people can employ negative humor as a way of self-humiliation. Research findings have
shown that humor can bear certain harmful elements related to the individual’s psychological
status (Martin, 1998). Humor can be used as an invisible weapon in social interactions. For
instance, sometimes people can rely on humor during a dispute to insult and degrade their
opponents (Zelvys, 1990). One can relate to humor as a self-interest or an interpersonal
instrument. There are four kinds of styles categorized as coherent or incoherent. In terms of
psychological well-being, two of these styles are positive and healthy, and on the other hand
the other two are negative and unhealthy (Erickson and Feildstein, 2007: 259). These styles
are:
(1) Affiliative humor,
(2) Self-enhancing humor,
(3) Self-defeating humor,
(4) Aggressive humor
Research findings point out a significant correlation between humor and school context.
Proper utilization of humor can improve flexibility on personal thoughts, enhance
communication, provide alternative views and goodwill in feelings; and all of these factors
affect the leadership and school context positively (Ozdemir, 2002).
School principals play a crucial role in school wide communication. As long as the school
principals have a positive attitude, teachers, students and parents tend to be willing to
participate in instructional activities in schools, which consequently lead them to adopt
positive attitudes towards school environment. It is considered that adoption of a humorous in
communication by the school principal will help promote the idea of working together to
resolve some difficulties and create a positive environment (Sepetçi, 2010). Besides,
principals’ success in communication depends on having certain basic characteristics, such as
physical appearance, energy, speed of talking, pitch and tone of voice, reconstruction,
movements of arms and heads. Along with these synergetic traits, humor obviously occupies
a significant spot in organizational communication (Özdemir, 2002).
The function of humor in providing flexibility, communication, and alternative points of view
can lead to positive working atmosphere in school settings. Principals can contribute to their
organizations by assisting employees’ self-realizations. A study on this issue has revealed that
there is a positive correlation between school head’s appreciation of humor and school
atmosphere. Thus, any progress in school principals’ sense of humor can result in positive and
significant improvement in school environment (Çimen, 2011: 27). School principals’ use of
healthy humor in educational institutions could encourage teachers to deal with the stress in
their school environments effectively.
When national and international literatures are analysed, it’s recognized that teachers’ (Aslan,
2006) and school principals’ (Yılmaz, 2011) types of sense of humor are studied, and the
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Creativity And Sense Of Humor Of Elementary School…B. Şenol & A.Aksu
relationship among sense of humor and fatigue (Karagöz, 2009), job satisfaction (Recepoğlu,
2008, Hurren, 2006), coping with stress (Özdemir and et. al, 2011, Evans-Palmer, 2010),
instructional leadership (Recepoğlu & Özdemir, 2012), levels of motivation (Eroğlu, Akyol &
Gündüz, 2014), teacher leadership (Kılınç, Recepoğlu & Koşar, 2014) and management
success (Gürbüz, Erdem & Yıldırım, 2013) are examined. Sense of humor facilitates
acceptable solutions to social and individual problems as a consequence of stimulation of
creativity (Ay, Gökler, Koçak, 2013). Thus, the determination of how these sense of humor
and creativity levels of school principals to be perceived by teachers, and construction of
relationship between these levels are seen crucial in terms of contribution to the literature.
Purpose
The purpose of this study was to determine primary school principals’ creativity and
sense of humor level according to teachers’ perceptions; and whether these perceptions show
significant difference according to demographic such variables as gender, age and
professional seniority; and to investigate the relationship between creativity scores and sense
of humor scores. Therefore, the present study tried to shed light on the following questions:
1) What is the level of primary school principals’ creativity according to teachers’
perceptions?
2) Do teachers’ perceptions about creativity differ significantly according to their gender, age,
and professional seniority?
3)What is the level of primary school principals’ sense of humor according to teachers’
perception?
4) Do teachers’ senses of humor differ significantly according to their gender, age, and
professional seniority?
5) Are teachers’ perception of primary school principals’ creativity and of their sense of
humor correlated significantly?
Method
This study was designed in correlational research model. Correlational design is
defined as the investigation of relationships among variables, in a specific time period
(Fraenkel ve Wallen, 2010). In this study, the relationship between school principals’ sense of
humor and creativity levels are analysed in term of teachers’ perception.
Procedure and Participants
Teachers employed in primary schools located in the province of İzmir in 2011-2012
instructional year constituted the total field of this research. 30 districts in the province of
Izmir are divided into three groups as (upper, middle and lower) with stratified sampling
method depending on Socio-Economic Development Ranking research, made by State
Planning Department in 2004. A questionnaire with three or four parts was presented to 450
teachers to be answered voluntarily. Following the collection of the questionnaires, 390
(86.66%) of the questionnaires were taken into consideration and statistically processed.
63.30% of the participants were female, and 34.10% of them were over the 41 years old.
Furthermore, 81.50% of the participants had a bachelor's degree, and %24.87 of them had 21
years of service, 53.58% of the participants were primary school teachers (classroom
teachers) and %71.80 of them worked in socio-economically upper grade schools.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 189-205, 1 April, 2015
Data Collection
Data collecting tools used in this research are personal information forms, “How
creative are you?” scale which was developed by Eugene Raudsepp in order to determine
creativity level and adapted to Turkish language by Çoban (1999) and “Humor Experience
Scale” which was developed by Martin and Puhlik Doris (1999) and adapted to Turkish by
Yerlikaya. Data collecting instruments were combined into one form and applied together.
“How creative you are” scale is calculated by Çoban and found .42. (Çoban, 1999: 194).
Besides, the scale is applied to 120 teachers in two primary schools by the researcher and the
study of reliability and validity are repeated. The Cronbach Alpha coefficient is found .90 for
creativity. Types of sense of humor scale’s statistics of reliability and validity are carried out
by Ercüment Yerlikaya. In the work of the scale’s adaptation to Turkish, each sub-scale’s
internal reliability of Cronbach Alpha coefficient is calculated as follows: For participative
humor .74, self-enhancing humor .78, aggressive humor .69, self-defeating humor .67. The
reliability coefficient of sub-scales against time is as follows respectively .88, .82, .85, .85
(Yerlikaya, 2003: 38).
Results
Throughout this section, in connection with the purpose of this research, the results
derived from the questionnaires were analysed. Researchers utilized SPSS 15 software for the
necessary calculations. For the pair comparisons, t-test was executed, and then in the
comparison of more than two groups, one-way ANOVA analysis (F) was used. The relations
between primary school principals’ creativity and their sense of humor were solved with
Pearson Correlation Coefficient.
1. What is the level of primary school principals’ creativity according to teachers’
perception?
When we consider that the lowest score is -2 and the highest score +2 for the each item, the
item based average of teachers’ answers who participate the research range from -.26 to .83.
Primary school principals’ creativity behaviour according to teachers’ perception in the
overall scale evaluation was found “Neutral/Undecided” ( x = .35).
Table 1. The Highest Scored Scale Items of Teachers’ Perception about Primary School
Principals’ Creativity Behaviour
Item Number
Perception Level
N
Ss
x
40th Item
24th Item
1st Item
* p<.05
The highest
The highest
The highest
389
389
389
.83
.78
.74
.88
.93
.96
When we analyze Table 1, the highest perceived item is the 40th item with x = .83 “He/She
believes that the road to success requires to be hardworking”. The next highest item is the 24th
item with x = .78 “ Self-respect is more important than the respect which other people show
to you” The other highly perceived item is the 1st item with x = .74 “When he/she is trying to
solve a specific problem, he/she is quite sure about the way that he/she handles the problem.”
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Creativity And Sense Of Humor Of Elementary School…B. Şenol & A.Aksu
Table 2. The Lowest Scored Scale Items of Teachers’ Perception About Primary School
Principals’ Creativity Behaviour
Item Number
Perception Level
N
Ss
x
37th Item
The lowest
389
.26
1.00
th
The lowest
389
.15
1.09
th
The lowest
389
.15
1.01
39 Item
35 Item
* p<.05
When we analyze Table 2, the lowest perceived item is the 35th item with x =- .15 “It is waste
of time to analyze a person’s mistakes. The next lowest item is the 39th item with x = -.15
“He/She often forgets people’s, cities’ and roads’ names.” The other lowest perceived item is
the 37th item with x =- .26 “Unless they are arrested, he/she always admires the ingenuity of a
fraudulent.”
2. Do the perceptions of teachers’ about creativity show any significant difference
according to their gender, age and professional seniority?
Table 3. T-test Results of Teachers’ Perceptions About Primary School Principals’ Creativity
Behaviour According to Their Gender Variable
Scale
Scores
Gender
N
x
Ss
Sd
t
p
Female
247
17.53
20.00
388
.16
.87
Male
143
17.89
22.83
* p<.05
When Table 3 was analyzed, it is seen that there isn’t any significant difference in
teachers’ perception about primary school principals’ creativity behaviour according to their
gender (t=-.16, p=.87)
Table 4. One-Way ANOVA Results of Teachers’ Perceptions About Primary School
Principals’ Creativity Behaviour According to Their Age Variable
Age Group
Sum of Square
Sd
Mean Square
F
P
Sig.
Between Groups
Within Groups
Total
* p<.05
1999.85
170415.80
172415.60
4
385
389
499.96
442.64
1.13
.34
-
When the table 4 was analyzed, no statistically significant difference was found between the
groups according to the results of one-Way ANOVA analysis carried out to determine
whether there is a significant difference in teachers’ perceptions about primary school
principals’ creativity behaviour according to teachers’ age variable. Teachers in each age
group perceive the creativity exhibited by primary school principals at the same level.
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 189-205, 1 April, 2015
Table 5. One-Way ANOVA Results of Teachers’ Perceptions about Primary School
Principals’ Creativity Behaviour According to Their Professional Seniority Variable
Pro. Seniority
Between Groups
Within Groups
Total
* p<.06
Sum
Squares
4084.87
168330.80
172415.60
of Sd
4
385
389
Mean Square
F
P
Sig.
1021.22
437.22
2.34
.05
*
When the table 5 was analyzed, a statistically significant difference was found between the
groups according to the results of one-Way ANOVA analysis which was carried out to
determine whether or not there is a significant difference in teachers’ perception about
primary school principals’ creativity behaviour according to teachers’ professional seniority
variable. [F (4,385) =2.34; p<.06].
LSD test results obtained after ANOVA in order to determine between which professional
seniority groups the significant differences occur in teachers’ perception about primary school
principals’ creativity behaviour are shown in Table 6.
Table 6. LSD test results showing the significant difference in teachers’ perceptions about
primary school principals’ creativity behaviour according to professional seniority groups
Independent
Variable
Seniority Group
Seniority Group
1-5 years
6-10years
11-15years
16-20 years
over 21 years
11-15 years
16-20 years
over 21 years
16-20 years
over 21 years
over 21 years
6-10 years
11-15 years
16-20 years
Mean
Difference
.63
-4.79
4.67
-3.85
-5.42
4.04
-4.48
9.46
.94
-8.52
p
.86
.21
.26
.30
.07
.25
.13
.01*
.76
.02*
* p<.05
When the Table 6 analyzed, in creativity behaviours, there is a statistically significant
difference between the teachers having teaching experience between 11-15 years and the
teachers who have 16-20 years. (p = .01 < .05) and the difference is in favor of the teachers
having 11- 15 years of teaching experience. Besides, There is also statistically significant
difference between the teachers with 16 – 20 years of teaching experience and those with over
21 years (p=.02<.05), and this difference is in favour of the teachers with more than 21 years
of teaching experience. Considering the values in the table, it is seen that the teachers who
have professional experience between 11-15 years and the teachers who have experience
more than 21 years find the primary school principals more creative than the other seniority
groups.
3. “What is the degree of school principals’ sense of humor according to the perceptions of
teachers?”
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Creativity And Sense Of Humor Of Elementary School…B. Şenol & A.Aksu
It can be observed that the average of the teachers’ responses to the items fluctuates between
3-4.44, provided the minimum score is 1 and the maximum score is 7. The school principals’
sense of humor, according to the teachers’ perceptions, is observed at the level of
“Neutral/Undecided” ( x =3.73).
Table 7. The Scale Items Having the Highest Score About Teachers’ Opinions on the Primary
School principals’ Sense of Humor
Item Number
Level of Perception
N
x
Ss
1st Item
29thItem
13th Item
Highest
Highest
Highest
389
389
389
4.45
4.44
4.33
1.64
1.49
2.05
When the table 7 examined, the 1st item “S/he does not laugh generally or does not make
jokes with others” has the highest score x = 4.45. Item 29th “When among others s/he cannot
recall humorous things to tell” is the other item with a high score x = 4.44. The next item with
the high score, item 13th, “S/he makes lots of jokes with close friends often” has the score of
x = 4.43. The items - 1, 13 and 29- with the highest perception scores belong to the Affiliative
(Social) Humor sub- category. It has been observed that the perception of item 13 with the
highest perception score “Not Clear”, item 1 and 29 “Little Disagree” in the Humor
Experiences scale. It is taken into consideration that item 1 and 29 are scored in the opposite
direction.
Table 8. The Scale Items Having the Lowest Score About Teachers’ Opinions on the Primary
School principals’ Sense of Humor
Item No
Level
Perception
4th Item
27th Item
20th Item
Lowest
Lowest
Lowest
of N
389
389
389
x
Ss
2.77
2.97
3.34
1.71
1.58
1.51
When the table 8 examined, item 4 “S/he allows other people to make fun of her/him or laugh
at her/him more than necessary” has the lowest score of x = 2,77. The other lowest score, x
=2, 97, belongs to the item 27 “When s/he does not like a person, s/he makes jokes about that
person or makes fun of that person in order to humiliate him/her.” The next item with a low
score is item 20, x =3, 34, “While making jokes or trying to be funny, generally s/he criticizes
herself/himself more than necessary.” The lowest items 4 and 20 belong to the subcategory of
Self-defeating Humor and item 27 belong to the Aggressive Humor subcategory.
4. Do the teachers’ perceptions on the primary school principals’ sense of humor differ
according to their gender, age group or job experience variables?
Table 9. T-test Results of the Teachers’ Perceptions on the Primary School Principals’ Sense
of Humor According to their Gender Variable
Dimensions
n
x
Ss
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Sd
t
P
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 189-205, 1 April, 2015
Affiliative
Female
Male
247
143
33.63
33.05
8.26
8.48
388
.66
.51
Self-enhancing Humor
Female
Male
247
143
30.61
31.43
6.89
6.43
388
-1.17
.25
Aggressive Humor
Female
Male
247
143
27.98
28.50
6.79
6.74
388
-.74
.46
Self-defeating Humor
Female
Male
247
143
26.51
27.20
6.95
7.65
388
-.91
.36
247
143
118.72
120.19
18.30
18.29
388
-.76
.45
Total
Female
Male
*p<.05
When the table 9 examined, it has been observed that teachers’ perceptions on the primary
school principals’ sense of humor have no meaningful differences according to the gender
variable since the findings are as follow; for Affiliative Humor [t=.66; p>.05], for Selfenhancing Humor [t=-1.17; p>.05], for Aggressive Humor [t=-.74; p>.05], for Self-defeating
Humor [t=-.91; p>.05], and for the overall scale [t=-.76;p>.05].
Table 10. T-test Results of the Teachers’ Perceptions on the Primary School Principals’ Sense
of Humor According to Their Age Variable
Age Group
Affiliative
Humor
Between Groups
Within Groups
Total
Self-enhancing
Humor
Between Groups
Within Groups
Total
Aggressive
Humor
Between Groups
Within Groups
Total
Self-defeating
Humor
Between Groups
Sum
Square
of Sd
Mean
Square
of F
p
Meaningful
Difference
1306.41
25710.30
27016.71
4
385
389
326.60
66.78
4.89
.00
*
741.64
16857.40
17599.04
4
385
389
185.41
43.79
4.23
.00
*
57.63
17599.21
17836.83
4
385
389
14.41
46.18
.31
.87
-
873.46
4
218.37
4.35
.00
*
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Creativity And Sense Of Humor Of Elementary School…B. Şenol & A.Aksu
Within Groups
Total
19348.84
20222.30
385
389
50.26
Overall
Between Groups
Within Groups
Total
* p<.05
5962.35
124161.0
130123.3
4
385
389
1490.59
322.50
4.62
.00
*
When the table 10 examined, it has been observed that teachers’ perceptions on the primary
school principals’ sense of humor has no meaningful difference according to the age variable
for Aggressive Humor [F (4,385)=.31; p>.05]. However, since the findings for Affiliative
Humor [F (4,385) =4.89; p<.05], for Self-enhancing Humor [F (4,385) =4.23; p<.05], for
Aggressive Humor [t=-.74; p>.05], for Self-defeating Humor [F (4,385) =4.35; p<.05], and
for the overall scale [t=-.76; p>.05] are as seen, a meaningful difference can be observed
according to the age variable. In another words, teachers’ age variable is not a significant
determiner for the aggressive humor dimension; nevertheless, for affiliative humor dimension,
self-enhancing humor dimension, for self-defeating humor dimension and for the overall scale
the age variable is a determiner for the “principals’ sense of humor.”
Table 11. LSD test results showing the meaningful differences in the age groups according to
the teachers’ perceptions on primary school principals’ affiliative humor
Affiliative Humor
Independent
Variable
Age Group
Age Group
Difference
Between Means
p
20-25
26-30
8.97
.00*
31-35
36-40
41 and above
31-35
36-40
41 and above
36-40
41 and above
41 and above
8.59
10.55
9.70
-.38
1.58
.73
1.96
1.11
-.86
.00*
.00*
.00*
.77
.24
.54
.12
.31
.47
26-30
31-35
36-40
* p<.05
When the table 11 examined, for the Affiliative Humor subcategory, comparing the teachers
at the age group (20-25) to the (26-30) (p=.00<.05), to the (31-35) (p=.00<.05), to the (36-40)
(p=.00<.05), and to the (41 and above) (p=.00<.05), an advantageous meaningful difference
has been observed for the teachers at the age group (20-25).
Table 12. LSD test results showing the meaningful differences in the age groups according to
the teachers’ perceptions on primary school principals’ self-enhancing humor.
Selfenhancing
Humor
Independent
Variable
Age Group
Age Group
20-25
26-30
31-35
36-40
41 and above
31-35
26-30
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Difference
Between Means
3.76
3.92
6.14
2.74
.16
P
.06
.04*
.00*
.15
.89
Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 189-205, 1 April, 2015
31-35
36-40
36-40
41 and above
36-40
41 and above
41 and above
2.38
-1.02
2.22
-1.17
-3.39
.03*
.29
.03*
.18
.00*
* p<.05
When Table 12 is analyzed, at the "self-enhancing humor" subscale there is a significant
difference between the teachers in the age group of (20-25) and the teachers in the age group
of (31-35) according to the value (p=.04<.05) , and the teachers in the age group of (36-40)
according to the value (p=.00<.05). This difference is in favor of the teachers in the age group
of (20-25). Moreover, at the same subscale, between the teachers in the age group of (26-30)
and the teachers in the age group of (36-40) compared to the value (p = .03 <.05, there is a
significant difference in favor of the teachers in the age group of (26-30). At the same
subscale, between the teachers in the age group of (31-35) and the teachers in the age group in
the age of (36-40) compared to the value (p=.03<.05) a significant difference is observed in
favor of the teachers in the age group of (31-35). In addition, at the same subscale, between
the teachers in the age group of (36-40) and the teachers in the age group of (41 and over)
compared to the value (p = .00 <.05), there is a significant difference in favor of the teachers
in the age group of (41 and over).
Table 13. LSD test results showing the meaningful differences in the age groups according to
the teachers’ perceptions on primary school principals’ self-defeating humor
Self-defeating Humor
Independent
Variable
Age Group
Age Group
20-25
26-30
31-35
36-40
41and above
31-35
36-40
41and above
36-40
41and above
41and above
26-30
31-35
36-40
Difference Between
Means
3.49
.71
4.28
1.09
2.79
.79
-2.40
3.58
.39
3.19
P
.10
.74
.04*
.60
.01*
.50
.02*
.00*
.68
.00*
* p<.05
When Table 13 is analysed, at the “self-defeating humor” subscale there is a significant
difference between the teachers in the age group of (20-25) and the teachers in the age group of (3640) according to the value (p=.04<.05) ). This difference is in favor of the teachers in the age group of
(20-25). There is also a significant difference between the teachers at the age group of (31-35) and
the teachers in the age group of (26-30) according to the value (p=.01<.05), and the teachers
in the age group of (36-40) according to the value (p=.00<.05). This difference is in favor of
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Creativity And Sense Of Humor Of Elementary School…B. Şenol & A.Aksu
the teachers at the age group of (31-35). Moreover, at the same subscale, between the teachers
at the age group of (36-40) and the teachers at the age group of (41 and over) compared to the
value (p = .03 <.05, there is a significant difference in favor of the teachers in the age group of
(36-40).
Table 14. LSD test results showing the meaningful differences in the age groups according to
the teachers’ perceptions on the general scale of primary school principals’ humor
experiences
General
Independent
Variable
Age Group
Age Group
20-25
26-30
31-35
36-40
41 and above
31-35
36-40
41 and above
36-40
41 and above
41 and above
26-30
31-35
36-40
Difference
Between Means
17.33
14.21
21.04
14.37
-3.12
3.72
-2.96
6.84
.16
-6.68
P
.00*
.00*
.00*
.00*
.26
.21
.26
.01*
.94
.01*
* p<.05
When Table 14 is analysed, throughout the sense of humor, there is a significant difference
between the teachers at the age group of (20-25) and the teachers in the age group of (26-30)
according to the value (p=.00<.05) ;the teachers in the age group of (31-35) according to the
value (p=.00<.05); the teachers in the age group of (36-40) according to the value (p=.00<.05)
and the teachers in the age group of (41 and over) according to the value (p=.00<.05). This
difference is in favor of the teachers in the age group of (20-25). Moreover, at the same level,
between the teachers in the age group of (31-35) and the teachers in the age group of (36-40 )
compared to the value(p=.01<.05), there is a significant difference in favor of the teachers in
the age group of (31-35). There is also a significant difference between the teachers in the age
group of (36-40) and the teachers in the age group of (41 and over) according to the value
(p=.01<.05) in favor of the teachers in the age group of (41 and over).
Table 15. The results of One-way analysis of variance according to the variable of
occupational seniority of teachers' perceptions of primary school principals’ sense of humor
Seniority
Sum
Square
of Sd
Mean
square
of F
P
Significant
difference
Affiliative Humor
Between Groups
Within Groups
Total
473.91
26542.80
27016.71
4
385
389
118.48
68.94
1.72
.15
-
Self-enhancing
Humor
Between Groups
Within Groups
Total
445.14
17153.90
17599.04
4
385
389
111.28
44.56
2.50
.04
*
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 189-205, 1 April, 2015
Aggressive
Between Groups
Within Groups
Total
252.71
17584.13
17836.83
4
385
389
63.18
45.67
1.38
.24
-
Self-defeating
Humor
Between Groups
Within Groups
Total
118.09
20104.21
20222.30
4
385
389
29.52
52.22
.57
.69
-
General
Between Groups
Within Groups
Total
1836.62
128286.70
130123.30
4
385
389
459.15
333.21
1.38
.24
-
* p<.05
When table 15 is analysed, there is not a significant difference of the teachers’
perceptions participating in the research relating to the primary school principals’ sense of
humor according to the seniority variable as “the level of affiliative humor” is [F (4,385) =
1.72; p > .05], the level of aggressive humor is [F (4,385)=1.38; p>.05] , the level of Selfdefeating humor is [F (4,385)=.57; p>.05] and the whole research subject of sense of humor is
[F (4,385)=1.38; p>.05]. However, there is a significant difference according to the seniority
variable as the level of self-enhancing humor is [F (4,385) =2.50; p<.05]. In other words the
seniority of teachers is not a determining variable at the levels of affiliative humor, aggressive
humor self-defeating humor and the sense of humor of primary school principals. But it is a
determining variable at the level of self-enhancing humor.
Self-enhancing Humor
Independent
Variable
Seniority Group
Seniority Group
Year 1-5
Year 6-10
Year 11-15
Year 16-20
21 and above
Year 11-15
Year 16-20
21 and above
Year 16-20
21 and above
Year 6-10
Year 11-15
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Differences
of Means
1.79
2.24
3.32
.46
.45
1.53
-1.33
1.08
-1.78
P
.13
.07
.01*
.70
.65
.17
.16
.35
.07
Creativity And Sense Of Humor Of Elementary School…B. Şenol & A.Aksu
Year 16-20
21 and above
-2.86
.01*
Table 16. LSD test results showing the meaningful differences in the seniority groups
according to the teachers’ perceptions on primary school principals’ self-defeating humor
* p<.05
When table 16 is analysed, there is a significant difference between the teachers whose
seniority is (1-5 years) and the teachers whose seniority is (16-20) according to the value
(p=.01<.05) and this difference is in favor of the teachers whose seniority is (1-5 years).
Moreover at the same level, there is a significant difference between the teachers whose
seniority is (16-20 years) and the teachers whose seniority is (21 and more years) according to
the value (p=.01<.05) and this difference is in favor of the teachers whose seniority is (21 and
more years).
5. According to teachers’ perception, what is the relationship between the creative
behaviour and the sense of humor of primary school principals?
Table 17. The level of the creative behaviour and the principals’ sense of humor, n, Ss and x
Scores
Scales
N
Ss
x
Creative Behaviour Total Score
390
.42
Sense of Humor Total Score
390
.57
When Table 17 is analysed, the creative behaviour of primary school principals x =.35, and
their sense of humor x =3.73 are evaluated in neither agree nor disagree level.
The results of Pearson's Correlation Coefficient determining the relationship between the
creative behaviour and the sense of humor of primary school principals are presented in Table
18.
Table 18. The results of Pearson's Correlation Coefficient Determining the Relationship
Between the Creative Behaviour and the Sense of Humor of Primary School Principals
Total Score of
Creative Behaviour
Total Score of
Sense of
Humor
* p<.001
Total Score of
Creative
Behaviour
1
Pearson Correlation
Sig.(2-Toiled)
N
Pearson Correlation
Sig.(2-Toiled)
N
390
.219**
.000
390
Total Score of
Sense of
Humor
.219**
.000
390
1
390
When Table 18 is analysed, there is positive, significant relationship between the scores of
creative behaviour and sense of humor. (r=.219, p<.01). There exists moderate positive,
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Mevlana International Journal of Education (MIJE), 5(1); 189-205, 1 April, 2015
significant relationship at the level of 0.22 between creative behaviour and sense of humor. It
can be interpreted that as creative behaviour of primary school principals increases, their
sense of humor increases, too.
Discussion And Conclusion
In the light of the results of this study, it was revealed that teachers perceived school
principals’ creativity at the level of “not sure”. According to Ciftci (2011), the reason behind
the decisions made without utilizing individual creativity and variety of alternatives is
focusing on the result without even realizing the causes. It is understood that it requires more
creativity and attention to generate alternatives when the conflicts between possible decisions
increase at the time of solving a problem. In this context, it can be thought that teachers are
not sure in evaluating school principals’ creativity because they witness that principals behave
inconsistently while trying to solve a problem because of their (principals) limited capacity in
administrating duties and negative learning experiences.
It has been found out in this study that regarding teachers’ perceptions the most rated item for
principals in the questionnaire has turned out the item “she/he believes it needs working hard
to succeed something” Simontan emphasized that creative is the one who works very hard,
who focuses on success among everything, and who is ambitious, determined, persistent and
excited. During the process of creating, one performs extraordinary physical and
psychological energy (Sungur, 1992). Bearing this in mind, it is a necessity for principals not
to decide very quickly when come across a problem. They need to work hard on it and
generate alternative solutions for it.
Teachers’ perceptions have been revealed as “not sure” regarding school principals’ sense of
humor. Cetin (2009) puts forward that people with a sense of humor can not reveal this at a
strict and bureaucratic organizational atmosphere, though they can easily express their sense
of humor in at warmer and intimate organizational climate. In this context, strict and formal
atmosphere at schools is considered to have negative effects on school leadership and leaders’
communication skills with school personnel. Teachers, likewise, tend to have doubts about
leaders’ sense of humor at schools where strict atmosphere is prevalent.
Teachers’ high scores on the item “the principal does not smile and make jokes around” have
indicated that smiling and making jokes have positive effects on creating positive
organizational climate, and absence of smiling and joking can be considered to be among
negative leadership behaviours of the school principals.
As an outcome of this study, a noteworthy correlation has been revealed between school
principals’ creativity and their sense of humor. With this in mind, it is right to point out that
school principals’ creativity increase depending on the increase in their sense of humor.
Furthermore, as school principals’ capacity of humor raise, their level of creativity goes up as
well.
As a proposition, some ice-breaking activities should be held at schools in order to boost
principals’ creativity and sense of humor.
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