Values in the Curricula of Religious Education and Social Studies in Primary Schools in the Context of Local-Universal Dilemma*

By Kaymakcan, Recep; Meydan, Hasan | Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri, Spring 2012 | Go to article overview

Values in the Curricula of Religious Education and Social Studies in Primary Schools in the Context of Local-Universal Dilemma*


Kaymakcan, Recep, Meydan, Hasan, Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri


Abstract

This study aims to identify the approach of teaching curricula of primary courses of religious education and social studies values and to determine the weight of values found in these programs with regard to various aspects such as being open to novelty-conservatism, individualism-being social, nationalism-universalism, self-expansion-self transcendentalism. To do this, the general approach of these curricula to values has been identified based on the relevant literature and programs, values categories have been established based on Schwartz's values theory and the programs have been scanned with categorical contents analysis technique. The reason why Schwartz's values theory was taken as the basis of category formation is that this theory offers many resources to analyze the relationships between local and global values that are known to have taken place in recent years in our education. As a result, both of the curricula were found to indicate a tendency from local values towards universal values with the changes made in recent years, and social studies were found to be ahead of religious education in terms of reflecting these tendencies in the content of the program.

Key Words

Local-Universal Values in Education, Religious Education, Social Studies Programs, Schwartz's Values Theory.

In order to set up a healthy future and for individual and society's happiness, the values that the individual has and the content of the values education that the individual has been subject to since childhood are very important. As a result of the appreciation of values in individual and society's life, The Ministry of Education has given a place to values education openly and systematically since 2003 (Milli Egitim Bakanligi (MEB), 2010a). In the 18th National Educational Council, various suggestions were offered as to what can be done regarding values on school basis and on a more general framework (MEB, 2010c).

This study aims to identify the approach of teaching curricula of primary religious education and social studies to values and to determine the weight of values found in these programs with regard to various aspects such as being open to novelty-conservatism, individualism - being social, nationalism-universalism, self-expansion-self transcendentalism. Towards this end, values categories, formed based on Schwartz's (1992) values theory, were used. The reason why we used Schwartz's scale is that national-universal values that came out with the improvements in values field as a result of the effects of globalization in our education and society-oriented-individual-oriented values perceptions overlap to great extent with Schwartz's values categorization of being open to novelty-conservatism, individualism-being social self-expansion-self transcendentalism. Analysis of the programs based on Schwartz's theory will enable us to determine how should the arguments that have been experienced in our education with globalization such as "What values should be taught?" be reflected on programs.

Values in Primary Curricula for Religious Education and Social Studies

With globalization value relations in the modern society gain some new dimensions (Dogan, 2007). Education too gets its share from this situation with great intensity and education system in our country, like in many places in the world, becomes the focus of globalization-locality arguments (Arslan, 2007). Considering globalization and its effects on values, what kind of a values education should be given? How is it going to be possible to establish a balanced values education without sacrificing the society for the individual, or without sacrificing the individual for the society? The problems that emerged as a result of the inability to find a balance between the individual's freedom and the society have been criticized harshly in recent years (Lickona, 1991). The approach that has been suggested to provide this balance is the approach that argues for the need to combine global and local values in conformity (Keskin, 2008). …

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