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Social Studies Teachers’ Perceptions of Tolerance

By Hatice Türe and Arife Figen Ersoy

Abstract

Problem: Tolerance is one of the values which citizens should have in today's multicultural and democratic society. Educational system should teach tolerance to the individuals in a democratic society. Tolerance can be given through curricula in educational process. Social studies is one of the courses for conducting tolerance education. Skills and perspectives of teachers are important for tolerance education in social studies. The purpose of this study is to understand social studies teachers' perceptions of tolerance. Method: In the study, qualitative research method and phenomenology that is one of the qualitative research designs was employed. The participants were determined using criterion sampling. 10 social studies teachers graduated from social studies education departments working at schools of Eskisehir Provincial Directorate of National Education participated in the study. The research process consisted of two phases. The data were gathered through semi-structured interviews. The interviews were conducted in two steps in order to make an in-depth analysis. In Phase I of the study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 teachers in December and January months during the 2012-2013 school year. The data obtained from the first interviews were also the base for the questions in the second interviews. In Phase II of the study, semi-structured interviews were again conducted with 10 teachers who participated in the first interviews in April and May months during the 2012-2013 school year. Teacher Interview Form-1 in the first interviews and Teacher Interview Form-2 in the second interviews were used for data collection. As for data analysis, thematic analysis technique was used. The data were analysed, the findings were defined and interpreted based on the research questions. Findings: The findings of the study revealed that the social studies teachers described tolerance as respecting ideas, values, beliefs and behaviors, accepting differences such as gender, race and developmental characteristics, being considerate, accepting one's faults, caring about people and being objective, and emphasized the religious aspect of tolerance. The social studies teachers described the limits of tolerance as damaging freedom, country and individuals. Most of them stated that tolerance was important to live together in a community. They also asserted that families were effective in their children's tolerance development. Besides, according to them, age, experience and reading habits could also affect tolerance. The findings also showed that the social studies teachers pointed out that prejudices, pressure and media such as television and Internet inhibited tolerance

Topics: Social studies, citizenship, values, tolerance, Education (General), L7-991, Social Sciences, H
Publisher: Journal of Social Studies Education Research
Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:30b39cd2657c4b498fc5ad12f47f8aa4
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