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HOW CAN WE GET THE INFORMATION ABOUT DEMOCRACY? THE EXAMPLE OF SOCIAL STUDIES PROSPECTIVE TEACHERS

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In this research, the information about democracy, which social studies prospective teachers have, and interpretation of the information sources are aimed. The research was planned as a survey research methodology and the participants were determined with criterion sampling method. The data were collected through developed open-ended questions from 192 social studies prospective teachers who continued 1. and 4. grades. According to obtained findings, the 1th and 4th grades participants' answers and their examples about democracy resemble to each other. It was concluded that, participants defined " democracy " with the concepts of " respect for human rights and freedoms " , " self government of the public " , and " equality ". It was determined that; portion of approximately 90% of the participants did not read any scientific publication or book about democracy. The most obvious difference between two groups has emerged through almost half of the 4th grade prospective teachers who indicated there was no democracy in the school. 4th grade students could not explain enough about democracy, although they had taken lesson about democracy directly or indirectly, and this is evaluated as the courses which are taken in college is not able to serve to the purpose.
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HOW CAN WE GET THE INFORMATION ABOUT DEMOCRACY?
THE EXAMPLE OF SOCIAL STUDIES PROSPECTIVE TEACHERS
Deniz TONGA
Abstract:
In this research, the information about democracy, which social studies
prospective teachers have, and interpretation of the information sources are aimed.
The research was planned as a survey research methodology and the participants
were determined with criterion sampling method. The data were collected through
developed open-ended questions from 192 social studies prospective teachers who
continued 1. and 4. grades. According to obtained findings, the 1th and 4th grades
participants’ answers and their examples about democracy resemble to each other. It
was concluded that, participants defined “democracy” with the concepts of “respect
for human rights and freedoms”, “self government of the public”, and “equality”. It
was determined that; portion of approximately 90% of the participants did not read
any scientific publication or book about democracy. The most obvious difference
between two groups has emerged through almost half of the 4th grade prospective
teachers who indicated there was no democracy in the school. 4th grade students
could not explain enough about democracy, although they had taken lesson about
democracy directly or indirectly, and this is evaluated as the courses which are taken
in college is not able to serve to the purpose.
Key words: Democracy, Source of Information, Social Studies, Social
Studies Prospective Teachers.
INTRODUCTION
After people had started to live together in large masses in the earth,
they tried to set up rules and brought a certain order. Until close to the
present time, while there were managements of monarchy, which was
generally dominated by one person, in process of time, the state regimes
which include self government of the public, have taken the place of
monarchy. Especially, when the 1. World War was over, the empires;
including Ottoman Empire, have taken place in the dusty pages of history
and instead of these empires, the forms of democratic governance, which
based on notion’s sovereignty, have emerged (Tonga, 2013).

Assist. Prof. Dr., Kırıkkale University Faculty of Education Department of Elementary Education
Social Science Teacher Training Program – Kırıkkale deniztonga@hotmail.com
Deniz Tonga
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When the topic of democracy comes to mind, firstly people try to
understand what the concept of democracy is. Democracy is a concept which
consists of two words in Greek; ‘demos’; it means ‘public’ and ‘kratos’ it
means ‘administration, rule’. Democracy is a regime, in which people
determine and apply the rules, unlike the monarchy and aristocracy (Held,
2006). In this sense, democracy may be called as the power of the people,
self government of the public. Hitherto, however many theories and
statements have been made about democracy, there is no unity on the
elements of democracy and common definition which is accepted by
everyone (Vanhanen, 1997). There may be many reasons for fail to reach a
unity of definition. Perhaps the most important of them is perceiving of the
concept of democracy as good and nice by people, because of people’s
defining good and nice according to themselves or their politics that they
have (Yeşil, 2002).
As a concept, democracy is the most commonly used concept in
public. At the present time, it is the most preferred regime by countries. In
this context, democracy may be defined as the regime which bases on
people’s sovereignty or ochlocracy which consists of proxies who
representing the nations as a result of elections (Doğan 2007). The definition
of the democracy as only self government of the public would be an
incomplete description. Additionally, democracy is defined as ‘a way of life’
(Kahne, Rodriguez, Smith and Thiede, 2000; Dewey, 1938, p. 368 cited in
Ferguson Patrick, 2012).
The concept of democracy has a structure that values people which
includes right, freedom, equality, justice, brotherhood and believes the
sanctity of human existence and human dignity (Duman, Yavuz and
Karakaya, 2011). As understood from these definitions, democracy relates to
moral values (Lipset and Lakin, 2004).
Unlike the authoritarian state, in democratic society, it is needed to
various institutions which provide social, cultural, politic and economic
participation for development of citizens, because the concept of democracy
doesn’t contain recession (Kovaks, 2009). Actually, this situation brings the
concept of citizen participants. Individual’ participation to the social issues
or citizenship issues on local or national level as active is evaluated within
democracy and citizenship (Westheimer and Kahne, 2002).
Many things which is accepted as important in human life starts in
family and goes on in school. School is an important institution for
children’s adopt to the society and to discover their ability. The great tasks
falls to the schools for the formation of democratic culture in the community
and applying it in daily life (Duman, Yavuz and Karakaya, 2011; Tupper,
2009).
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In Turkey, one of the Turkish National Education Ministry policy is
education of democracy. Generate of the stable, liberal and democratic
society and carry this society to the future with democracy is aimed. In the
school, it is tried to bring the sense of responsibility, thought of freedom,
respect for others and to be tolerant skills to the students. In addition, many
values which will be associated with democracy is tried to transfer to the
students in the schools (Çiftçi, 2008).
In elementary and secondary schools, the head of the contributory
lessons to the education of democracy is social studies in Turkey. Social
studies lesson has taken its place at training program from 4th grade to 8th
grade in the elementary schools. The most common definition of social
studies, it is accepted that the aim of educating of good citizens (Barth, Barr
and Shermis, 1978; Savage and Armstrong, 2000; Garcia and Michaelis,
2001; Dönmez, 2003). Here, it is seen to be emphasized to the students who
have used their democratic rights and have embraced democracy in the
concept of citizen. In some definitions, it is emphasized to the purpose of
social studies aims educated citizens effectively ‘democratic’ (Ochoa-Becker
and Engle, 2007), because generally the concepts which related to
democracy takes part where at the place if citizenship education (Tupper,
2009). For this purpose, it is given place to various concepts, gains, values
and skills in the social studies lesson for rooting of democracy in society and
schools (MEB, 2005).
The topics, which are given to the students in various levels of
education, related to the citizenship education can be summarized under
these headlines; local and national government, election and politic
institutions, judicial system, courts, providing security, education,
democracy and participation, rights and responsibilities of citizens,
pluralism, multiculturalism, diversity and social cohesion, national identity
and patriotism, multiple citizenship; local, national and international
citizenship, equality of opportunity, values, civic virtues and principles;
prepare individuals for an unknown future (Halstead and Pike, 2006).
Considering of these topics, the education of citizenship and the education of
democracy are seen as complementary elements.
The cause of the perching of the various lessons into the training
program for providing grip of democracy is, making principles of democracy
livable communities. In Turkey, social studies lesson relates to democracy
directly, with regard to the aims and values which are wanted to bring to the
students. In this context, a large role falls to the teachers about democracy
and internalization of the democratic values. Therefore, social studies
prospective teacher’s training that they have received from the university
and their attitudes about democracy are important for students getting these
values (Boyte and Fretz, 2010; Davis, 2010). Social studies prospective
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teachers’, who will do democracy or citizenship education activities, realistic
data about democracy and their perspective of democracy will influence
students adopting of democratic values. Both in Turkey and in international
area, when the literature is examined, it is seed that; works about democracy
is more the form of perceptions of democracy, the attitudes toward
democracy and recognition of democracy. In terms of questioning sources of
information related to democracy, it is thought that this study will close a
lack in literature. Because of emergence of desired behavior about
democracy, primarily, infrastructure of theoretical foundation requires
stability.
1. METHOD
In this research, the answer have been sought to the question of ‘What
is the information about democracy which social studies prospective teachers
have?
Sub problems have been defined as follows:
1) How do social studies prospective teachers define the democracy?
2) What are the social studies prospective teacher’s sources of the
knowledge about democracy?
3) What are the examples of social studies prospective teachers’ about
democracy in their schools?
4) What are the given examples about democracy of social studies
prospective teachers in their family?
5) How the social studies prospective teachers evaluate the importance
of democracy in people’s lives?
In this context, research is thought to be related to the problem
statement, so it is designed as a survey research methodology.
Participants
The participants group of the study consists of 1th and 4th grade social
studies prospective teachers, who get in thanks to the way of criterion
sampling among purposive sampling methods. The purpose of selection of
1th and 4th grade by criterion sampling is trying to define the effect of
university education to the acquired knowledge of democracy.
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Table 1. Information Related to Participations
Class
Gender
Total
Male Female
1 35 57 92
4 44 56 100
Total 79 113 192
The participants group of the research consists of total 192 social
studies prospective teachers; 35 males and 57 females from 1st grade social
studies prospective teachers and 44 males and 56 females from 4th grade
social studies prospective teachers. The prospective teachers that contributed
to the research were selected from state universities in four different cities in
Turkey.
Data Collection Tool
Using of the open-ended question form was preferred in terms of
prospective teacher’s comfortable responds and collecting data about sub-
objectives and problem statement of the research. Open-ended questions
have been created in accordance with problem statement of the scope of the
research, and then, opinions have been taken from two field experts and one
assessment and evaluation expert to getting valid and reliable information.
The final shape was given to the questions in accordance of the feedbacks
from the experts.
Data Analyses
The tools which was developed, primarily applied to a pilot group of
30 people and the responses were evaluated. After the filling of the forms by
prospective teachers as required, bases practice was adopted. Before
applying the study, the objectives of the study were distributed to those, who
wanted to contribute on a voluntary basis. The data of this study were
collected from social studies prospective teachers in 2012-2013 academic
year. Descriptive analysis were given out on the obtained data. Firstly, the
forms, which were obtained from the application were tested and 20 paper
which apparently filled haphazardly were excluded from the analysis.
Answers for each question were written on the table, and then the answers
which were thought to be related to each other were combined into the
themes. Created themes have been presented to the expert opinions, with
consideration of the feedback from experts. Some parts of the study have
been presented to the social studies educators in the International
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Symposium II (Aksaray-Turkey, 24-26 April 2013), for validity and
reliability, and considering of the contribution from educators, final shape
was given to the analysis.
2. RESULTS
The Answer of the Students Studying at the 1th Grade
Table2. Participants’ Definitions of Democracy
Category f %
1. Respecting the human
rights and freedoms
50 45,9
2. Equality 27 24,8
3. Self government of the
public
23 21,1
4. Decision of the
majority
9 8,2
The questions of: “What is democracy for you? What comes to your
mind when you hear the word of democracy?” are asked to the prospective
teachers. Participants have answered that the notion of democracy is more
about human rights and freedoms. Among these rights and freedoms,
freedom of thought and expression are included in most of the answers. The
other answers are about equality and self government of the public. Finally,
it is pointed out by the participants that definition of democracy is about the
decisions that the majority must take.
Table 3. The Information Resources about the Participants’ Knowledge on
Democracy
Category f %
1. Participants who read
scientific publication or
book
3 3,3
2. Participants who read no
publication
89 96,7
3. What I learned before 90
The questions of: “How did you obtain the information that you
presented on democracy? Have you read any book or scientific journal about
democracy?” are asked to the participants. Except three prospective teachers,
the rest of the participants expressed that they haven’t read any book or
scientific publication about democracy. The prospective teachers stated that
their knowledge on democracy is based on the courses they have taken in the
school and hearsay information. These answers are collected under the
theme of “What I learned before” which has been stated frequently.
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Table 4. The Example of the Participants Related to Democracy in Family
Category f %
1. Co-decision 49 51
2. Respecting the human
rights
24 25
3. Equality 11 11,5
4. There is no democracy in
my family
12 12,5
The question of: “What examples can you give regarding democracy in
your family? is asked to the participants. The prospective teachers’ answers
about democracy are mostly based on the theme of “co-decision”. For
example, they have stated that if something is going to be bought for the
house or they will go on a holiday, they take the decision all together and for
them, this could be an example of democracy. In the other answers, 24
prospective teachers have emphasized that respecting the human rights is
mostly about democracy under the titles of freedom of thought and
expression. It’s also stated that regarding all of the family members as equals
is about democracy, too. In addition, 12 of the participants stated that there is
no democracy in their families.
Table 5. The Examples of the Participants Related to Democracy at Schools
Category f %
1. Respecting the human
rights and freedoms
39 39
2. Vote 30 30
3. I am beginner, I have not
seen anything yet
14 14
4. Equality 10 10
5. There is no democracy at
the school
7 7
The question of: “What examples can you give regarding democracy in
your school? is asked to the participants. The prospective teachers said that
there is respect for human rights and freedoms in their schools. The freedom
of expression is again among the most common answers in this part of the
conversation, too. Moreover, the elections of the school representative can
serve as an example of democratic attitude for the participants. While 14
prospective teachers are emphasizing their inexperience at school as they are
newcomers, 10 prospective teachers stated that regarding students as equals
at the school can be an example of democracy. 7 prospective teachers said
that there is no democracy at the school because they couldn’t sufficiently
exercise their rights and freedoms.
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Table 6. The Ideas of the Participants Related to the Importance of Democracy
Category f %
1. Protection of human rights 44 42,7
2. Social order 37 35,9
3. Principles of democracy are
not adequately adopted in life.
14
13,6
4. Decision of the majority 8 7,8
Finally, the questions of: “Is democracy important according to you?
Can you explain it by providing the reasons?” are asked to the prospective
teachers going on studying at the first grade. The prospective teachers stated
that democracy is important because it enables the ideas of the majority to
come forward about the protection and development of the human rights and
social order. It is also stated by 14 prospective teachers that the democracy is
important but the principles of democracy are not adequately adopted in life.
The Answer of the Students Studying at the 4th Grade
Table7. Participants’ Definitions of Democracy
Category f %
1. Respecting the human
rights and freedoms
41 35
2. Self government of the
public
36 30,8
3. Equality 25 21,4
4. Co-decision 9 7,7
5. Election 6 5,1
The questions of: “What is democracy for you? What comes to your
mind when you hear the word of democracy?” are asked to the prospective
teachers. The prospective teachers studying at the fourth grade described the
notion of democracy in the framework of respecting the human rights and
freedoms. 36 prospective teachers have emphasized the self-government of
the public and stated that in the other definitions, democracy is about
equality, co-decision and election notions.
Table 8. The Information Resources about the Participants’ Knowledge on
Democracy
Category f %
1. Participants who read
scientific publication or
book
17 17
2. Participants who read no
publication
83 83
3. What I learned before 80
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The questions of: “How did you obtain the information that you
presented on democracy? Have you read any book or scientific journal about
democracy?” are asked to the 4th grade prospective teachers of social
studies. When the answers have been examined, 17 prospective teachers
have read books about democracy as it stated in their answers. 9 of these 17
prospective teachers stated that the books they have read about democracy
were the common course books used in the class. In addition, it is clearly
stated that 83 percent of the prospective teachers haven’t read books related
to democracy. That’s why; the resource of the definition of prospective
teachers about democracy, are formed by newspapers, internet and education
received at the school. Consequently, this category is called as “What I
learned before” too.
Table 9. The Examples of the Participants Related to Democracy in Family
Category f %
1. Co-decision 45 45
2. Freedom of thought 24 24
3. There is no democracy in
my family
22
22
4. Equality 9 9
The question of: “What examples can you give regarding democracy in
your family? is asked to the 4th grade social studies prospective teachers.
The participants’ answers about democracy are mostly based on the theme of
“co-decision”. They have stated that there is democracy in their houses
thanks to freedom of thought. Moreover, 9 participants have emphasized that
regarding all of the family members as equals would be an example of
democracy. 22 participants stated that they haven’t experienced democracy
in their houses adequately.
Table 10. The Examples of the Participants Related to Democracy at Schools
Category f %
1. There is no democracy at
my school
42 42
2. Respecting the human
rights and freedoms
24 24
3. Vote 20 20
4. Equality
7
7
5. Co-decision 7 7
The question of: “What examples can you give regarding democracy in
your school?” is asked to the 4th grade social studies prospective teachers.
43 participants have stated that there is not enough democracy in their
schools. The examples given by the participants about democracy at schools
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are collected under the framework of respecting human rights, voting,
equality and co-decision.
Table 11. The Ideas of the Participants Related to the Importance of Democracy
Category f %
1. Protection of human rights 41 41
2. Social order 24 24
3. Principles of democracy are not
adequately adopted in life.
15 15
4. Equality
11 11
5. Self-government of the public 9 9
Finally, the questions of: “Is democracy important according to you?
Can you explain it by providing the reasons?” are asked to the prospective
teachers going on studying social studies at the 4th grade. Participants have
assessed the importance of democracy from the perspectives of protecting
human rights, maintaining the social order, equality and self-government of
the public. Moreover, 15 prospective teachers said that democracy is
important but there are problems with the practices of it.
3. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
Nowadays, social studies teachers are the first ones who will teach and
introduce the importance of democracy to the children within the framework
of citizenship consciousness. In this study, the knowledge that social studies
prospective teachers have, resources of these knowledge, examples they
have given about democracy both at school and in family and their regard on
democracy are examined.
According to the results of the examination, the 1st and 4th grade
social studies prospective teachers have used the same expressions for
democracy and given similar examples. For example, both the 1st and 4th
grade prospective teachers defined democracy with the notions of respecting
human rights and freedoms, self-government of the public and equality. In
the research, Kuş (2012), it has been found out that: when democracy is
mentioned among students, they utter the notions of election, equality and
freedom. In addition, Thianthai (2012) has found out that the democracy
perception of students is mostly focused on election and voting, rights and
freedoms and notions of equality and justice. In Tonga’s (2013) research, it
is showed that the act of giving elections as an example when democracy is
mentioned among students; has got similar conclusions with the research.
On the other hand, it is confirmed that 90 percent of the participants
haven’t read any book or scientific journal about democracy. Even if these
classes have been taught with the help of some books, participants couldn’t
even give these books as an example. In a research, conducted by Sağlam,
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Suna and Çengelci (2008), prospective teachers have evaluated the activities,
made in Education Faculty during the education process under the topic of
getting students a reading habit, negatively. In addition, in the research
conducted by Kuş and Türkyılmaz (2010), it has been found out that the
social studies prospective teachers read so few books. It has been regarded as
a major problem as well in the other researches, conducted in different
universities in Turkey on reading habits, that the social studies prospective
teachers couldn’t have gained a reading habit (Demir, 2009).
Furthermore, the collecting of the answers of social studies prospective
teachers under the title of “What I learned before” is drawing attention of
people. The prospective teachers stated that they have defined democracy
thanks to the education gained from their teachers or lecturers in the high
school and at the university. The important point in this situation is: is the
education given either by teachers or lecturers is enough for democracy’s
definition? As it has been stated in the research conducted by Sarı and Sadık
(2011); in most of the schools of the prospective teachers, there were not any
activities about democracy and in schools of the prospective teachers saying
that there were activities about democracy; they were only conveying
information about democracy. However, Pass (2007) emphasized that in
order to support a democratic society, the activities made in schools are
really important for students.
In both the 1st and the 4th grade participants’ examples of democracy,
it is possible to see that they have come to an agreement on the themes of
“co-decision” and “freedom of thought”. It is possible to deduce from this
situation that families are important social institutions for children to
participate in democracy and adopt it (Coley and Sum, 2012).
In terms of the democracy examples at schools (at the universities),
almost half of the 4th grade participants have given the answer of there is no
democracy in schools. Whereas 1st grade classes think that the examples of
respecting human rights and freedoms and voting are democratic, the ones
from the 4th grade, stating that there is democracy, associate respecting
human rights and freedoms with democracy.
In the last question, prospective teachers, explained the importance of
democracy in people’s lives with the notions of protecting human rights and
social order. Although they have stated the importance of democracy, a few
of the participants, pointed out the problems about the practices of
democracy.
The answers given by Social Studies prospective teachers, especially
the ones received from the 4th grade prospective teachers were not as
expected. It can be accepted that the prospective teachers of the 1st grade
don’t have adequate knowledge of democracy. However, social studies
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prospective teachers, studying at 4th grade, take classes such as “Civics or
Democracy and Human Rights”, which are directly related to democracy, as
well as classes including democracy indirectly. Although prospective
teachers take so many classes, as mentioned above, they still don’t have
enough knowledge about democracy and this situation arouses questions
about; whether those classes achieve their objective or not.
It is thought that this negative situation will constitute negation for the
students as well in the future because the prospective teachers become
teachers without interiorising democracy. Also, it has been seen that the
education taught in the universities: are not enough, especially, in terms of
reading books and scientific journals. The prospective teachers, who hasn’t
gained a reading habit and doesn’t like reading, cannot possibly help the
students to gain a reading habit. Turkish Republic which is on the way of
becoming a democratic state needs social studies teachers in these issues in
order to reach the intended level. It’s thought that, with well-educated
teachers, who have interiorised democracy, democracy will take place faster.
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... In a democratic system, all citizens are entitled to their basic rights and efficiently follow their duties. Democracies always demand people's participation at the maximum level (Dundar, 2012;Tonga's, 2014). A democratic environment makes it possible for people to have access to liberty, equality and justice and grow in an environment where they can improve themselves (Mohanty 1986;Mathe, 2016). ...
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The purpose of this research study is to comprehend secondary school students’ and teachers’ sentiments concerning democracy in the state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). The key intention was to explore how school education plays a major role in infusing the ideas and values of democracy among students and teachers of J&K. To scrutinize the understanding of this concept, an exploratory study has been conducted. A total of 512 students and 84 teachers from 10 schools in 5 different districts of J&K have been selected as samples by using the purposive sampling method. The researcher applied a self-developed questionnaire with semi-structured interviews, focused group discussions, and classroom observation as a part of the required fieldwork. The findings of the study indicate that the conceptualization of the term ‘democracy’ amongst students is most commonly associated with some facets of liberal democracy through a general focus on elections and voting, majority rule, and individual civil liberties. An aspect of a consciously idealistic conception of democracy has been also found. Democracy is understood as a utopia that maintains equality, liberty, unity, and constitutional rights. Overall, democracy, in reasonable terms, appears more common than what we might have initially presumed. Moreover, although the evidence is mixed, it appears that interpretations are more prevalent based on ideas of freedom and liberty. One central implication of the study will be fruitful to present curriculum and pedagogical practices to develop democratic classroom processes which can help to heal conflict-hit society and instill hope for a better future.
... Thus, the implicit and explicit need to stress democratic values and engagement in education in order to sustain democracy becomes imperative. Over the years, the democratic classrooms have been used for various purposes such as civic education, character education, group learning and moral development and so on (Tonga, 2014). Young people learn the way to contribute to their society through formal and informal learning experiences in schools (F Reichert & Print, 2018). ...
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Democratic classroom practices are all strategies adopted by classroom teachers to actively engage students in the learning processes. Considerable literature assessing influence of Civic Education on youths’ active participation in a democratic society exists. Not much have reported an empirically conducted study on classroom best practices adopted by Civic Education teachers in the Global South. This paper examines classroom democratization by Civic Education teachers in South East Nigeria, students’ and teachers’ perceptions of democratic classroom, and challenges confronting classroom democratization. Focus Group Discussion and Democratic classroom questionnaire were used to elicit information from 151 civic education teachers and 1400 senior secondary school one (SS1) students. Findings revealed that Civic Education teachers in South East Nigeria adopted democratic classroom practices marginally. Recommendation includes more adoption of democratic classroom best practices for development of students’ critical thinking abilities, preparing them to become participatory in their civic duties and reducing crimes among today’s youths.
... In a democratic system, all citizens are entitled to their basic rights and efficiently follow their duties. Democracies always demand people's participation at the maximum level (Dundar, 2012;Tonga's, 2014). A democratic environment makes it possible for people to have access to liberty, equality and justice and grow in an environment where they can improve themselves (Mohanty 1986;Mathe, 2016). ...
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The purpose of this research study is to comprehend secondary school students' and teachers' sentiments concerning democracy in the state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). The key intention was to explore how school education plays a major role in infusing the ideas and values of democracy among students and teachers of J&K. To scrutinize the understanding of this concept, an exploratory study has been conducted. A total of 512 students and 84 teachers from 10 schools in 5 different districts of J&K have been selected as samples by using purposive/ convenience sampling method. The researcher applied a self-developed questionnaire with semi-structured interviews, focused group discussions and classroom observation as a part of the required field work. The findings of the study indicate that conceptualization of the term 'democracy' amongst students is most commonly associated with some facets of liberal democracy through a general focus on elections and voting, majority rule and individual civil liberties. An aspect of consciously idealistic conception of democracy has been also found. Democracy is understood as a utopia that maintains equality, liberty, unity, and the constitutional rights. Overall, democracy, in reasonable terms, appears more common than what we might have initially presumed. Moreover, although the evidence is mixed, it appears that interpretations are more prevalent based on ideas of freedom and liberty. One central implication of the study will be fruitful to present curriculum and pedagogical practices to develop democratic classroom processes which can help to heal conflict hit society and instill hope for better future.
... Levin'e (1998, ss.64-65) (Apple ve Beane, 1995;Biesta, 2007;Crick, 1998;Edward, Giacomo ve Andrei, 2006;Farrell, 1998, Gerzon, 1997Lipset, 1959;Torney-Purta, Lehmann, Oswald ve Schulz, 2001). Benzer şekilde Türkiye'de de yapılan pek çok çalışma ve yasal düzenlemeler demokrasi eğitiminin gerekliliğini vurgulamaktadır (Büyükdüvenci, 1990;Büyükkaragöz, 1990;Demirbolat, 1997;Gülmez, 1994;Kepenekçi, 2003;Kıncal ve Işık, 2003;Kuş, 2012;MEB, 1973 (Doğanay, 2010;Dündar, 2012;Günel ve Pehlivan, 2015;Kuş ve Çetin, 2014;Oral, 2008;Şeker ve Topsakal, 2011) ve Sosyal Bilgiler (Çiftçi, 2013;Eker ve İncirci, 2016;Ersoy, 2014;Kıroğlu, 2013;Tonga, 2014) (Kuş, 2014). Bu yönüyle değerlendirildiğinde, incelenen çalışmalarda veli ve toplumun diğer unsurlarının çok fazla örneklem grubu olarak kullanılmaması, üzerinde düşünülmesi gereken bir konudur. ...
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... Bu noktada öğretmen adaylarının eğitim fakültelerine yeterli donanımla gelmemeleri de büyük bir sorundur. Öğretmen adaylarının pek çoğu kitap okumayı ve ders çalışmayı sevmeyerek üniversitelere yerleşiyorlar ve bu tutumlarına üniversitede de devam ediyorlar (Demir Atalay, 2009;Tonga, 2014). Öğretmenlik eğitimi, okumadan, araştırmadan ve ders çalışmadan hakkı ile yerine getirilebilecek bir eğitim ve meslek değildir. ...
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The recent social studies curriculum of 2005 has revealed new working fields for academicians and trainers. In addition to this, it is observed that some of the problems encountered in social studies education are still unsolved although it has been 12 years since they were encountered. In this context, the aim of this study is to present an evaluation on problems encountered in social studies education today. Problems are presented under the following titles: Problem of teacher’s education, dimension of social studies curriculum, dimension of lifelong education for teacher and failure of sufficiently filling the content of the target of being a good person and a good citizen. As a consequence, it is very important to radically solve these problems for the achievement of social studies education, which would contribute to raising a greater number of citizens who dignify human values and increasing the social peace.
... Over the years, the democratic classrooms have been used for various purposes such as civic education, character education, group learning and moral development and so on (Tonga, 2014). However, little research exists on its use for the development of social skills among students (Spencer-Waterman, 2013). ...
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The concept of democratic classroom is controversial for being vague and idealistic. It has been termed more rhetorical than a realistic. Despite of this, the role of democratic classroom in socialization of students has well recognized in every age. Therefore, a noticeable need exists to assess the degree and direction of relationship between democratic classroom and students’ social skill development. Previous studies have reported that classroom environment is a good predictor of social development of students. However, little research has explored the perspectives of students about their social skill development in a classroom environment, particularly focusing the three social skills such as listening to others carefully, waiting for turn and raising hands to ask questions. The present study fills this gap in the current literature on the relationship between democracy and education. The aim of this paper is to examine the effect of democratic classroom environment on social skills development of students. Based on causal comparative design, the study used a self-developed questionnaire to examine the perceptions of 80 male and female students selected on random sampling basis from 20 secondary schools in one district of Khyber Pkahtunkwa, Pakistan. For data analysis, Chi-square test was applied. Results of the study showed that there was no significant difference in the perceptions of male versus female secondary school students regarding the effect of classroom environment on social skills of students. Both equally considered democratic classroom environment important for social skills development. The study concludes that democratic classroom has a positive effect on all the three social skills development of students. DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n2s1p18
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We believe that higher education has a significant role to play in the reinvigoration of American democracy. We also believe that narrow specialization of academic interests and technocratic practices throughout colleges and universities cramps the work and learning within them, while dramatically limiting the contributions of higher education to the work of democracy and the collective redress of the challenges of a new century. Overspecialization and technocracy thwart our institutions' capacities to interact in fluid and respectful ways with citizens and civic institutions outside higher education in generating the knowledge needed in a flourishing democratic society. Others outside the civic engagement movement in higher education make some similar points. For instance, in her collection of essays, The Death of Adam (1998), the novelist Marilyn Robinson notes that while we depend on universities to produce knowledge and teach future generations, "it was never intended that the universities should do the thinking, or the knowing, for the rest of us. Yet this seems to be the view that prevails now inside and outside the academy" (p. 7). Robinson goes on to accuse universities of becoming simultaneously "hermetic" and lacking in "confidence and definition," describing the issue as "something about the way we teach and learn [emphasis added] that makes it seem naïve to us to talk about these things outside of a classroom, and pointless to return to them in the course of actual life" (p. 8). We believe that the civic engagement movement has something very important to say about "the way we teach and learn" in higher education, because it seeks to redress patterns of narrow specialization and technocratic practices, especially in the humanities and social sciences, where these practices have resulted in a drift away from humanistic inquiry, understanding, and democratic engagement. The civic engagement movement has the potential to return higher education to its roots of preparing people to work with others to solve problems and build thriving communities in ways that enhance democratic capacity. In the process, those in higher education may also relearn to work with others in the broader society to generate useful and usable knowledge. Other scholars also argue for changing faculty (and sometimes staff) roles in order to realize higher education's commitment to civic engagement (Bringle, Hatcher, and Clayton 2006; Rice and O'Meara 2005; Saltmarsh 2010; Ward 2005). Our argument adds a focus on the ways that theories and practices of community organizing and attention to the public meanings and qualities of work will be central to reshaping faculty roles and identities and to infusing a robust, transformative civic mission throughout higher education.
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This study examined the “opportunities to learn” related to the democratic purposes of schooling that students receive in eighth, ninth, and tenth grade social studies classrooms. We identified five prominent frameworks linking curricular strategies to the preparation of citizens for a democratic society. We then created rubrics that reflected these conceptions and used these rubrics to code observations of 135 social studies classrooms in Chicago. We found that students in this representative sample of social studies classrooms received an alarming lack of opportunities to develop the kinds of capacities democratic theorists believe are important. We also found that when teachers provided students with more and varied opportunities to develop as citizens, that they simultaneously provided significantly more opportunities for higher order thinking and for deep and disciplined inquiry. Finally, we found that when eighth grade teachers were preparing students for the State-mandated constitution test (the state requirement most explicitly linked to civic goals), they provided significantly fewer opportunities related to developing citizens than when they focused on other eighth grade curriculum.
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Moral and citizenship education are again at the forefront of educational attention with the recent governmental announcements about revisions to the National Curriculum frameworks to 2000 and beyond. This book addresses some of the central issues in moral and citizenship education facing teachers today, embedding practical considerations in a theoretical context and reviewing teaching, learning and assessment strategies. It draws extensively on research but is written in a clear, accessible style. Citizenship and Moral Education examines the key concepts and provides an up-to-date overview of policy, particularly addressing: theoretical issues, aims and approaches in relation to moral and citizenship education in a pluralist society the contributions of the curriculum, extra-curricular activities and the school ethos to citizenship and moral education in school teaching strategies, materials, pupil assessment and school evaluation. The book also focuses on key professional and personal issues for teachers in undertaking moral citizenship education.
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To provide the best learning environment for their students, teachers need to have good classroom management skills. Teaching future teachers how to infuse democracy into student discipline offers them a way to improve such skills. Sixty secondary social studies education candidates engaged in such a process in their social studies methods class. This article reviews the literature on the need to bring more practical knowledge of democracy into American classrooms, states the conceptual framework for teaching democracy within a classroom discipline program, explains the program as it was created for both college seniors and their future high school students, and describes through the data collected the effects of teaching this program had on the college seniors. (Contains 4 tables.)
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