INVESTIGATING FOURTH GRADE PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS ABOUT ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP THROUGH THEIR DRAWINGS

Ceren ÇEVİK KANSU, Yücel ÖKSÜZ

Abstract


There are some citizenship knowledge, skills and values that need to be hold by primary school 4th grade students. There are many methods or techniques for revealing active citizenship perception of students studying in this class. In this study, student drawings and explanation they have made regarding these drawings have been considered. The aim of this study is to determine the perceptions of 4th grade primary students about active citizenship through their drawings. This study was conducted in the spring semester of the 2012-2013 academic year. A total of 48 4th grade students attending primary school at Bayburt city in Turkey were observed. The interpretive content analysis method was used in the study and the study data were collected by means of draw-and-explain task. During data collection, the students drew pictures of active citizenship and explained their drawings. As a result of this study, the primary students' pictures mostly included humans, buildings like houses and schools, and nature items such as trees. In addition, it was observed that their drawings were grouped around environmental awareness, helpfulness, responsibility and patriotism. Pictures drawn by students showed that they were aware of examples of active citizenship behaviors in their environment. Research data were treated according to three themes determined in the content analysis: Environmental sensibility, cooperation and social responsibility. Although the students had studied different subjects related to active citizenship in the primary school curriculums, the pictures drawn by the students were limited to only one or two concepts. Primary school curriculums should include social skill education, character education and learning activities in order for students at younger ages to gain more active citizenship awareness. In future researches, how the gender, class level, parent education level, social and cultural differences affect the senses of the students regarding active citizenship can be investigated. Repeat of similar studies with different samplings and comparison of the results have been suggested.

Keywords: The 4th grade of primary student, active citizenship perception.


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