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Identifying essential qualities for elementary teachers of the 21st century and effectiveness of elementary teacher education program for developing these qualities

Akın, Sibel
The purpose of this study was, first, to investigate the essential qualities for elementary teachers of the 21st century based on the perceptions of the teacher educators, the pre-service and in-service elementary teachers, and the authorities of the MoNE and the CHE in Turkey. Drawing on this, the study further aimed to explore the effectiveness of the elementary teacher education program in Turkey for how well it develops those desired essential qualities, as perceived by the in-service elementary teachers. Using criterion, maximum variation, and snowball sampling strategies, the first step of the study included 58 teacher educators, 29 pre-service and 28 in-service elementary teachers, 4 authorities from the MoNE and 1 authority from the CHE. Through criterion and maximum variation sampling strategies, the second step of the study included 22 in-service elementary teachers. Employing phenomenological research design, both steps of the study were based on semi-structured interviews. Document analysis was also utilized in the second step of the study for the CHE’s curriculum of elementary teacher education. In both steps, the data were analyzed through content analysis method. The results of the study demonstrated that elementary teachers were expected to possess certain (1) personality traits, (2) domains of qualities, and (3) domains of qualities especially in the 21st century. Regarding the effectiveness of the program, the results revealed that the program was less adequate, somewhat adequate, or more adequate for developing different domains of qualities. Furthermore, it was found that there were certain sources influencing the effectiveness of the program.