University Students' "Education of Youth" Associations

Article excerpt

Abstract

Due to the frequent change in expectations from education/learning, youth, the educational system's most dynamic participants, are experiencing low-level motivation in education and learning, because of growth and psychological characteristics or sociological, economic, and other reasons. This negative process is pushing program-developers, educational administrators and particularly teachers to investigate its reasons. To get such data, "education of youth" associations were investigated among youths (N=283) of different countries (Turkey, America, Russia, Ukraine) and 464 valid associations in 6 categories were obtained. The data analysis determined that Turkish students produced mostly individual (71.84%) and critical/negative (34.16%) associations. Most positive associations had qualities of "expectations, hope, and advantage." Taking the associations into consideration, regulating educational environments can be used as a strong data in increasing motivation and developing educational policies.

Key Words

Youth, University, Association, Education, Motivation.

Symbols and the concepts represented by symbols play a significant role in communication among individuals. The creativity of the parties during this process, that is to say, their ability to establish association over the symbols provides that the communication is sustained more fluently and healthily. Each of the created associations adds on a new letter, a new concept and a new way of approach to the common language. By preferring the short cuts rather than the long discussions these kinds of intellectual symbols (associations; the subconscious perception, the qualities of the special concepts and their extent of comprehensiveness play an important role. The continuity of the communication and its advancement in the positive direction depends on what the conveyed message is, to what extent it speaks to the interests and the needs of the related parties, the attitudes of the parties towards the message and to their approaches (Kagitçibasi, 1988). During this process, the submitted messages having the same perception qualities (associations) according to the parties play the priority effect in the healthy progress of the process and in the realization of the goals. In learning, if the information derived from a source is described to have been perceived by the receiver the same as it is submitted, in the same magnitude and meaning; its perception, its comprehension is processed as submitted and thus resulting with a change in the behavior; in this case the components of this process gain significance in learning. In other words, the direction, quality and the sustainability of the learned behavior (reaction) is determined by the source and the similarities of the intellectual associations (conceptual codes= associations), their uniformity or their qualities. Therefore the students, whose approaches, opinions and the intellectual readiness are known by the teachers, can benefit more from the learning process. Yet the teacher determines the communication method in this way (the teaching method).

The relation between the stimulus-reaction, which is described as "reflexive" by I. Pavlov has led the way to the response by Skinner and Thorndike by means of "conscious gains and the meaning relations established between the previous informational gains" about "why and how the individual behaves" (Ulusoy, 2006). The plentitude of the relations, that is to say, the number of the relations established between the learning approaches in different fields, helps the speed and the positive development of learning (Köknel, Özugurlu, & Bahadir, 1993).

According to the approaches, which we know as the Gestalt Theory, the learning behavior is a result of a kind of intellectual organization. According to this opinion, the brain tends to complete and provide a meaning to the half finished experiences and perceptions (Ulusoy, 2006). …