Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Developing a Teacher Trainees' Democratic Values Scale: Validity and Reliability Analyses

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Developing a Teacher Trainees' Democratic Values Scale: Validity and Reliability Analyses

Article excerpt

The purpose of this study was to develop a Teacher Trainees' Democratic Values Scale (TTDVS) related to educational life. The TTDVS was determined by using factor analysis, which was conducted with 979 participants. The scale is composed of 24 items grouped into three subscales, which can be combined into a main scale. The results of the study showed that the TTDVS has an identifiable factor structure and it is a reliable and valid scale.

Keywords: teacher trainees, democratic values, scale, education, values, behavior, democracy.

Values are defined as descriptive trans-situational goals that serve as guiding principles in people's lives (Shechtman, 2002). Value is a distinctively intellectual and desirable action which involves an operation of comparing and judging that guides behaviors (Dewey, 1944; Halstead & Taylor, 2002). Values are an individual's mental judgment and represent many things such as the person's belief in God, democracy and so on (Simadi & Kamali, 2004). According to Jahorik (1978, p. 668), "a value can be thought of as something which is good or desirable or preferable". There are several definitions of value, defining it as mental and emotional judgment which represent an individual's aims in life, attitudes and interests on the abstract level. In the educational context, "Valuing is concerned with the worth or value a student attaches to a particular object, phenomenon or behaviors" (Gronlund, 1995, p. 104). A value is mostly permanent and difficult to change. It affects one's way of thinking and behaviors and can be measured in various ways.

The question in this study was about what democratic values mean. According to Büyükdüvenci (1990), Levin (1998), Öhrn (2001), Kincal and Isik (2003) and Puolimatka (as cited in Worsfold, 1997), the concept of democratic values includes individual freedom, right, justice, caring, equality, respect for life, role of authority, questioning, dialogue, tolerance, diversity, divergent views, active participation, solidarity, ability to make contributions in support of others, sovereignty of mind, integrity, responsibility, dignity, truth, liberty, honesty, searching well, cooperation, self-confidence, sensitivity, acceptance of differences, security, peace, development, perfection and effectiveness. It is clear that the content of the concept of democratic values is very extensive.

Value development is the main and fundamental element of education. If we analyze the aims of education in many countries, it is clear that the primary aims are related to education in democracy and democratic value acquisition for all students from preschool to postgraduate. A lot of research about democracy, human rights and citizenship education has stressed the importance of democratic value acquisition in the educational system. Some studies have examined value acquisition in the institutional learning process in which an individual absorbs values and norms (Arweck & Nesbitt, 2004; Simadi & Kamali, 2004).

There is an assumption that the student's democratic values are influenced by his/her teachers' democratic values and behaviors, teaching styles and teaching methods. The results of the limited number of studies available (Butroyd, 1997; Carr, 1993; Davies, 1994; Halstead & Taylor, 2002; Hansen, 1993; Kelly, 2002; Meyer, 1990) have confirmed this assumption.

Teachers put their democratic values, which play a central role in defining, choosing, organizing and supporting learning and teaching, into practice in school. The democratic values of teachers ensure the sharing of ideas, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and values among students. If the teacher has democratic values, the students easily learn democratic values because the teacher's democratic values are shaping his/her own life and the students' lives at the same time. Thus, teachers must have stronger democratic ideas, values and behaviors.

In the present study, a scale was developed to determine the democratic values of primary school teacher trainees on issues related to educational life. …

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