Comparison of Elementary Social Studies Curricula of Turkey and the United States on Values Education*

By Merey, Zihni; Kus, Zafer et al. | Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri, Spring 2012 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Comparison of Elementary Social Studies Curricula of Turkey and the United States on Values Education*


Merey, Zihni, Kus, Zafer, Karatekin, Kadir, Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri


Abstract

The purpose of this study is to compare the social studies teaching curricula of Turkey and the United States in terms of values education. The study is a model case study that relies upon one of the qualitative research methods. The data come from the elementary social studies curricula of both countries through the documents analysis method. The results of the study demonstrate that the social studies' curriculum of Turkey has more emphasis on individual and social values such as sensitivity, responsibility, solidarity, science, philanthropy, and patriotism, etc. On the other hand, the social studies curricula of the United States lays more emphasis on individual and social values such as sensitivity, science, responsibility, solidarity, and respect for individual rights, as well as democratic values such as diversity (difference), public good, and prevention of conflict .

Key Words

Values, Social Studies, Social Studies Curricula, Turkey, the United States.

A value is a belief about whether or not something is desirable (Güngör, 1978). Values are the standards we use to judge human behavior (Chapin, 2009; NCSS Task Force, 1989; Van Cleaf, 1991; Zarrillo, 2004). It is required that some values should be gained by each individual to enter into educational system in order to maintain harmony in the society and to get the society focused on the same target by gathering the society around the same goal. Values education plays an important role in transmitting values and culture to future generations (Tezcan, 1991).

Based on these ideas, it is a fact that in our country, Turkey, special importance is given to values education, similar to many other countries. In social studies courses for first and second level (grades 4-5 and 6-7 respectively), in which an instructional curriculum has been implemented since 2005, values and values education have been discussed and values which must be instilled in students have been identified (Keskin, 2008; Milli Egitim Bakanligi [MEB], 2011a, 2011b; Yel & Aladag, 2009).

There is a very important place for values education in the United States, with the Center for Civic Education having established certain standards for values education. Several values have been treated as basic values in social studies teaching, and they have been recommended to be taught at the elementary level as basic values. These values are an individual's fundamental rights and freedoms (right to life, liberty ... etc.), including the pursuit of happiness, justice, equal opportunity, diversity, integrity, patriotism and responsibility (Chapin, 2009; Chapin & Messick, 2002; Hoge, Field, Foster, & Nickell, 2004; Parker, 2009; Seefeldt, 1997; Van Cleaf, 1991; Zarrillo, 2004). It is commonly believed that there is a consensus among Americans that these values should be considered important. The philosophical foundations of democratic values depend on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, the Seneca Falls Resolution, the speeches of Martin Luther King Jr., and Abraham Lincoln's statements (Parker).

In addition to the democratic values expressed above, in the United states some values and concepts related to the values education such as open- mindedness, fairness, justice, constitutionality, point of view, internationality, unity, freedom, pluralism, democracy, order, equity, effectiveness, privacy, faith, the government, co-operation, nationhood, participation in decisions, self-discipline (self-control, self-confidence) , authority, freedom, self-esteem, loyalty, respect, security, prevention of conflict, strength, tolerance, honor, leadership, civil society, reconciliation, and becoming a citizen are recommended as topics for teaching at different levels of education (Ellis, 2002; Sunal & Haas, 2005). Also, the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: A framework for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment prepared by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) recommends that all states teach four categories of values (NCSS, 1994, 2010).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Comparison of Elementary Social Studies Curricula of Turkey and the United States on Values Education*
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?