SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING AT THE PRIMARY EDUCATION LEVEL OF THE CYPRUS TURKISH EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM

Salih SARPTEN

Abstract


Social and emotional development is a prerequisite field of development for the individual to get to know life and become successful. Taking this unification and development as a basis, social and emotional learning studies assert the importance of the personality and behavior of individuals, their fields of interest, and their emotional and social skills, besides their academic successes.  According to the social learning theory, which takes place among the social interaction theories, human behaviors can be explained not only through reinforcement, but also with the interaction of behavioral and environmental factors.  It is clear that people learn many complex behaviors just by observing, without long term reinforcements.  Babies learn talking by imitating people around them.  Sexual roles are learned from parents and from siblings.  Teenagers shape and develop behaviors in their fields of interest by taking famous people as role models. It is of great importance to integrate social and emotional learning into the educational systems.  Hence, the aim of this study is to establish at what point the Cyprus Turkish Educational System primary education level stands, in relation to social and emotional learning, and propose restructuring of the Cyprus Turkish Educational System, based on the findings.  Opinions of school administrators at the primary education level in the TRNC were gathered within this scope.  In addition, daily lives of students in these schools were observed in order to collect data. Qualitative state pattern was used in the study.  Data was collected using a structured interview form and an observation form, developed by the researchers.  Data collected will be analyzed using the ‘content analysis’ technique, which contains establishing basic patterns, coding, and categorizing processes. Within this scope data were struggled to be collected by observing the opinions of school administrators, teachers and inspectors who work in the schools as part of basic education, and by observing the daily life of the students in these schools. These findings can be interpreted as that social and emotional learning in the basic education level of Cyprus Turkish Education System is below the medium level according to "academic attitudes and values", “decision making” and “coping with the problems” dimensions. It has been concluded that pre-school, first years of the primary education and private schools are at a level close to the medium level; secondary schools and the last grades of the state primary schools are below the medium level. It has emerged that the emergence of this basic result stems from the fact that a curriculum oriented education approach is predominantly used. For law makers and ministry of education senior administrators depending on the results of the research: Necessary regulations for integration of social and emotional learning skill to Cyprus Turkish Education System with a vision that will be determined within a framework of a new education paradigm including a human oriented education system.

Keywords: Social and emotional learning, violence, social adaptation, development.

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