Turkish preschool teachers’ beliefs about children’s conception about social conventional and moral events

Karaduman, Muhammet Ali
This phenomenological study investigates the beliefs of Turkish preschool teachers regarding young children’s conception of moral and social conventional events. To serve for this purpose, participants’ definitions and categorizations of young children’s in-class behaviors have been identified first and then participant teachers own conceptions have been examined before analyzing their beliefs. The data has been conducted from 26 Turkish preschool teachers working in 5 different provinces in Turkey. Primary method for data collection is three-interview-series which is a type of in-depth interview. Findings suggests that participants categorize in-class behaviors into two groups: desired and undesired behaviors. Findings also reveals that participants categorize events or transgressions into three categories: Moral, Social conventional and Mixed, which are also mentioned in previous social domain research. Teachers’ beliefs about children’s conceptions provide similar results for social conventional and mixed domain events. However, in terms of moral events, findings are totally different from both the teachers’ own conceptions and previous social domain research. Participants emphasized social conventional influences, especially obedience to authority, when they mention children’s conceptions for moral events. A conclusion to be drawn based on the findings is that participant teachers of the current study can differentiate social conventions from morality but they lack sufficient understanding of the moral capabilities of children. Given that the findings of the current study indicate that both pre-service and in-service trainings are required to help teachers understand moral development of children and its application to the classroom settings, recommendations are offered for the CHE and MoNE.