Okul Öncesi Öğretmenlerinin Vygotsky'nin Sosyokültürel Kuramının Uygulanabilirliğine İlişkin Görüş, Bilgi ve Kendi Raporladıkları Uygulamalarının İncelenmesi

Akcabağ, Esra
Peker, Canan
Tonga, Funda Eda
Problem Durumu Vygotsky is one of the theorists who is known for his studies on the cognitive development of children with his "Sociocultural" theory. Although Vygotsky gave a central role to social history in his work, he also included a genetic background (Wertsch, 1990). In other words, Vygotsky's Socio-cultural theory is composed of different factors such as genetic factors and biological growth. According to Vygotsky (1978), "Vygotskian psychology …stated that the human mind is constructed through a subject's interactions with the world and is an attribute of the relationship between subject and object” (as cited in Verenikina, 2010, p. 17). Therefore, it can be said that society and history are important components of Socio-cultural theory. The socio-cultural theory of Vygotsky focuses on children's learning process and explains important aspects of their learning. In addition to understanding children's learning with socio-cultural theory, it can also be used to develop children's learning process. Edwards (2003) stated that "the sociocultural explanation of learning as a true alternative to the criticisms raised against the more traditional cognitive developmental explanations employed as an informant to the early childhood curriculum in the past" (p. 263). In other words, Vygotsky's sociocultural theory is being applied in education because there is a need for it in supporting the early childhood curriculum in the context of criticisms of Piaget's theory. As a result, this can show us one aspect of why applying Vygotsky’s theory of sociocultural learning is necessary. There are studies indicating how teachers perceive the theory of Vygotsky. As Steele (2001) stated, “even though Mrs. Clark did not know she was using sociocultural theory in her teaching, she clearly demonstrated this theory during her teaching and in her explanations about why she emphasized communication (p. 414). That is, as Mrs. Clark is the teacher in the study, we can conclude that the teacher can use sociocultural theory without initially knowing that they use its concepts in their teaching experiences. In this case, Mrs. Clark gave importance to communication, like in Vygotsky’s Theory. On the contrary, implementing the sociocultural theory of Vygotsky with knowing its implications and benefits can be more effective and practical in children’s development and learning in early childhood settings. Thus, the aim of the current study was to investigate early childhood teachers’ views, knowledge, and self-reported practices of Vygotsky's sociocultural theory. The study seeks to answer the following research questions. ● What are the views and knowledge of early childhood teachers on Vygotsky’s Sociocultural theory? ● What are the self-reported practices of early childhood teachers on Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory? ● How are early childhood teachers’ views and knowledge of Vygotsky reflected in their self-reported practices? Concluding this information in the Turkish context, our aim in this study is to identify how early childhood teachers understand Vygotsky's theory and how they use it in their practice. Furthermore, given the uniqueness of Vygotsky's theory, its benefits on children's development and learning, and its' place in education is critical. Consequently, we believe that if there is a misunderstanding of the theory or lack of information about its practicability, we need to support the early childhood teachers with practical educations or conferences about the Sociocultural Theory. In sum, by identifying clues about what early childhood teachers’ beliefs are about the applicability of Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory, the results of this study will help teacher educators and policy makers to make informed decisions about supporting teachers' practical use of Vygotsky's theory. Ultimately, we hope to better understand teachers' perspectives on socio-cultural theory and contribute to the use of socio-cultural theory in early childhood education settings, as we believe the theory will have a great impact on the minds of young children. Yöntem This is a qualitative study which is designed as a phenomenological study. The sample of the research are early childhood teachers who work in private schools in the Ankara region in Türkiye. The researchers conducted convenience sampling in this study, which saves time and effort due to access and geographical proximity (Creswell, 2007). Seven female and one male early childhood teachers participated in the current study. The data for this study was collected in December 2022. As a data collection instrument, a semi-structured interview protocol was used. The interview questions were developed by the two researchers following a review of the related literature and updated after expert opinion. In the semi-structured interview, there were four main parts. The first parts included the questions aimed to gain demographic information about the participant. The second part of the questions was designed to reach the participants' views about socio-cultural theory. In the third part, questions related to the participant’s knowledge about socio-cultural theory were asked. In the last part, a question about participant’s self-reported practice was arranged to reach the practice of the teachers in regard to socio-cultural theory. Within the scope of this study, interviews were conducted with early childhood teachers depending on their available time and opportunities. The interview with the participant lasted approximately 15-20 minutes. The first two researchers of the study, two graduate students from the Elementary and Early Childhood Education Department and doing their Master’s in the Middle East Technical University, Department of Early Childhood Education, analyzed all interviews separately. Intercoder agreement was conducted. According to Creswell (2007), “… reliability here will be on the intercoder agreement based on the use of multiple coders to analyze to transcript data” (p. 210). In this process, the answers of the participants coded based on the certain concepts that are expressed in socio-cultural theory and literature. In the analysis process, the steps suggested by Creswell (2007) were used. Firstly, the researchers read the transcripts of the answers independently for several times, and they coded. Secondly, they met and examined their codes, which led them to develop major codes. After that, they again independently coded the transcripts. Then, they get together to compare the codes and finalize the codes. The final version of the codes was used to create categories and evaluate the results (Creswell, 2007). Based on the existing categories, the intercoder agreement reliability was calculated as .91. As 575 Miles and Huberman (1994) claims, to provide intercoder reliability, the intercoder agreement should be closer to 80 % and can approach 90 % based on the size and range of the coding scheme. Beklenen/Geçici Sonuçlar The current study found that although teachers were carrying out some applications of Socio-cultural theory, most of them lacked explicit knowledge about the content of the applications, especially scaffolding and peer learning. First, the study reported that teachers lacked knowledge about scaffolding in both theory and practice. It was also concluded that teachers used peer learning in their teaching practice but lacked a deep understanding of peer learning from Vygotsky's perspective. In terms of teachers' knowledge and use of cognitive and language development integrated activities, most of the teachers reported having sufficient knowledge and teaching practices. Based on the results, although peer learning and scaffolding are important terms in early childhood education, the result shows that the teacher does not fulfill them appropriately. Consequently, more support can be offered to teachers on peer learning and scaffolding.
Citation Formats
E. Akcabağ, C. Peker, and F. E. Tonga, “Okul Öncesi Öğretmenlerinin Vygotsky’nin Sosyokültürel Kuramının Uygulanabilirliğine İlişkin Görüş, Bilgi ve Kendi Raporladıkları Uygulamalarının İncelenmesi,” presented at the 10. INTERNATIONAL EURASIAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH CONGRESS, Ankara, Türkiye, 2023, Accessed: 00, 2023. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/105056.