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The Relationship between Student Teachers' Citizenship Skills and Critical

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Author(s): İsmail Acun | Metin Demir | Nur Leman Göz

Journal: Journal of Social Studies Education Research
ISSN 1309-9108

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 107;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: citizenship | critical thinking skills | citizenship skills | student teachers

ABSTRACT
The aim of the research is to investigate the relationship between student teachers’ citizenship skills and their critical thinking skills. The New Turkish Primary Curriculum aims at educating pupils with pre-requisite skills and knowledge that are necessary for operating efficiently in a knowledge based society. There is a strong emphasis on improving generic skills of students. The skills of critical thinking, reflective thinking, inquiry and working in groups are thought to be necessary skills for effective teaching and learning. When it comes to citizenship education those skills, especially critical thinking skills, become even more important.There has been a shift in policy with the curriculum both in terms of its structure and its philosophy from ‘creating good citizens’ to ‘empowerment’. The teachers will be the agents for the proposed shift to occur in schools and in pupils’ hearts and minds. That is why it is important that teachers themselves should be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge. In order to predict whether those aims will be realized or not, it is important to know whether teachers have those knowledge and skills. Thus, the question of whether there is relationship with citizenship qualifications and critical thinking skills will be investigated through student teachers.This study employs a survey research method. In order to collect data two different research tools are used. The data on student teachers’ citizenship skills were gathered through a ‘Citizenship Qualifications Scale’ developed by Yucel, Acun, Demirhan and Goz. The scale has to parts. First part contains questions on demographic information about teachers and teachers’ professional practice. Second part of the scale includes question/statements to determine teachers’ level of knowledge on citizenship themes, level of their behaviors and level of their importance attribution on the same themes. Those themes are categorized as ‘Active Citizenship’, ‘Enviromental Issues’, ‘Economy and Consumer Rights’, ‘Global Issues’, ‘Democracy: Equality and Respect’ and ‘Society and Individual’. In order to obtain information on their level of knowledge, behaviors and importance attribution on those 6 categories, 94 items were formulated. Likert type scale was used ranging from 1 to 5. The total reliability of the scale was ,89 Crombach’s Alpha.
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