THE OPINIONS OF TEACHERS ABOUT THE 4TH AND 5TH GRADE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM IN TURKEY
, M. Demirel2
1Ankara University Private Elementary School (TURKEY)
2Hacettepe University (TURKEY)
The principles of constructivism, student-centeredness, theme approach and active learning were taken as basics in the primary education Mathematics, Turkish, Science and Technology, Life Sciences, and Social Sciences curricula, which went into effect in 2005-2006 academic year. The new curricula are different from traditional ones as they put the students more in the center of education. Skills like critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, problem solving, research, decision making, using information technologies, entrepreneurship, and giving importance to individual and social values are highlighted in every curriculum. The vision of Science and Technology curriculum is determined as “regardless of individual differences all students are going to be competent in Science and Technology.”
The purpose of this research is to determine the opinions of teachers about the 4th and 5th grade Science and Technology curriculum in Turkey and to find out whether or not their opinions differed significantly in terms of their teaching experience and attendance in-service training. 40 elementary schools in Ankara (capital of Turkey) were randomly chosen and included in the sample. A questionnaire was conducted with 308 4th and 5th grade teachers in those schools, whereas interviews were made with 20 teachers. In this study, in order to collect data, a questionnaire which has 60 items about the curriculum and an interview form were developed by the researchers. The Cronbach alfa coefficient of the questionnaire was calculated as .97. In the analyzing of the data frequency, percentage, arithmetic mean, standart deviation, Kruskall-Wallis and t-test were used.
According to the results, the teachers expressed their opinions concerning the objectives, content, teaching and learning process and evaluation dimensions of the curriculum on the level of “agree”. The difference between the teaching experiences and in-service training levels of teachers and their opinions about all the dimensions of the curriculum was not found meaningful. According to the results of the interview with teachers, it was understood that the main problem lied in the application. It was observed that the students and teachers had some difficulties in the application of the curriculum.