Scholarly article on topic '8th Grade Students’ Understanding Level and Misconceptions about Key Concepts of Citizenship (Sample of Kastamonu)'

8th Grade Students’ Understanding Level and Misconceptions about Key Concepts of Citizenship (Sample of Kastamonu) Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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{"Social Studies" / "the concept" / citizens / judiciary / law / legislature / election / constitution / independence / republic / democracy / government / governance / sovereignty / nation / "national sovereignty" / "and national culture"}

Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Melike Faiz, Esma Ergin

Abstract The purpose of this study is to find out eight grade (age 13-14) students understanding level and misconceptions about citizenship study concepts such as citizens, judiciary, law, legislature, election, constitution, independence, republic, democracy, government, governance, sovereignty, nation, national sovereignty, and national culture. Because of these concepts are in 7th grade curriculum concepts the study applied in 8th grade for assessing students understanding level and misconceptions about these key concepts which learned in advance. The sample is 150 eight grade students who are studying in a school which located in the centre of Kastomonu, in 2011-2012 educational term These students are studying in the same school but five different classes in the same level (eight grade). A semi-constructed survey which contains 15 open ended questions are used as a data collection. The survey is modified from Gülüm's (2010) study. The data’ from the study are analyzed by using descriptive survey model and interpreted by authors. The answers of 15 open ended question which created by researchers analyzed under four categories such as full understanding, some understanding, misconception and never understanding. The research constructed up on students ‘understanding level and differences’ between genres and classes. At the end of the research by analyzing the data we find out; Primary level eight grade students in Kastamonu have a low understanding and some misconceptions. There is no difference about understanding these concepts between genres and classes but in general all students have a low understanding and some misconceptions.

Academic research paper on topic "8th Grade Students’ Understanding Level and Misconceptions about Key Concepts of Citizenship (Sample of Kastamonu)"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 143 (2014) 669 - 673

CY-ICER 2014

8th Grade Students' Understanding Level and Misconceptions about Key Concepts of Citizenship (Sample of Kastamonu)

Melike FAIZ a *, Esma ERGIN b,

aFaculty of Education, Kastamonu University, Kastamonu, 37000, Turkey bFaculty of Education, Cumhuriyet University, Sivas, 58000, Turkey,

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to find out eight grade (age 13-14) students understanding level and misconceptions about citizenship study concepts such as citizens, judiciary, law, legislature, election, constitution, independence, republic, democracy, government, governance, sovereignty, nation, national sovereignty, and national culture. Because of these concepts are in 7th grade curriculum concepts the study applied in 8th grade for assessing students understanding level and misconceptions about these key concepts which learned in advance. The sample is 150 eight grade students who are studying in a school which located in the centre of Kastomonu, in 2011-2012 educational term These students are studying in the same school but five different classes in the same level (eight grade). A semi- constructed survey which contains 15 open ended questions are used as a data collection. The survey is modified from Gulum's (2010) study. The data' from the study are analyzed by using descriptive survey model and interpreted by authors. The answers of 15 open ended question which created by researchers analyzed under four categories such as full understanding, some understanding, misconception and never understanding. The research constructed up on students 'understanding level and differences' between genres and classes. At the end of the research by analyzing the data we find out; Primary level eight grade students in Kastamonu have a low understanding and some misconceptions. There is no difference about understanding these concepts between genres and classes but in general all students have a low understanding and some misconceptions.

© 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of the OrganizingCommittee ofCY-ICER 2014.

Keywords: Social Studies, the concept, citizens, judiciary, law, legislature, election, constitution, independence, republic, democracy, government, governance, sovereignty, nation, national sovereignty, and national culture

* Corresponding Author: Melike Faiz, +90 505 691 2474 E-mail: mfaiz@kastamonu.edu.tr

1877-0428 © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of CY-ICER 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.07.461

1. Introduction

Concepts help primary school children form the basic cognitive structures in their minds and learn new information significantly. It is thought that especially primary education level that an individual receives basic education is important in terms of forming a basis for learning concept (Oztuna, 2002, Sahin, 2004). Each science has its distinctive basic topics and concepts that must be taught in different education level (Sahin, 2004). Today having information is rapidly increasing and as it is impossible to transfer all of the information to the learners, people have begun to put emphasis on teaching at the level of concepts (Ozmen, 2005).

Primary school students have to understand the basic concepts comprehensively so that they can learn the disciplines related to Social Sciences and solve future possible questions. Concepts help primary school children form the basic cognitive structures in their minds and learn new information significantly. (Baki, 1999). Concepts are abstract and general designs of objects in human brain (Buyukkasap&Samanci, 1998). One of the main purposes of primary education Social Sciences class is to provide students to understand various social concepts related to units of the book. Students get acquainted with some social concepts for the first time in their lives after starting the primary education. Students experience difficulty in understanding these kinds of concepts, may confuse them or make mistakes about concepts.

Individuals form concepts from their own ideas that they use to understand natural phenomena which they observe from their environments during their daily life experiences. However, these ideas may be quite different from the accepted scientific opinion in many cases. These wrong ideas are usually called misconceptions or alternative concepts (Selvi & Yakisan, 2004). In other words, misconceptions can be described as the information contrary to the scientific facts that students acquire before or during the education (Atilboz, 2004). Misconceptions are challenging for both students and teachers (Aydogan; Gunes & Gulcicek, 2003). Because misconceptions forming in the minds of the students influences dramatically the meaningful learning by preventing healthy correlating with new concepts (Atilboz, 2004). Furthermore, the other way of this problems is that students are usually unable to change their misconceptions and show resistance to the change (Ekiz & Akbas, 2005).

The problems related to concept teaching must be solved in order to achieve success in Social Sciences teaching. Because, in Social Sciences, like in the other sciences, the concepts form the basis of this area. In Social Sciences teaching, the concepts and terms constitute phrases, that is, the keystone of the information, which will be taught to the students both in transferring and during in giving the class to them and the phenomena and the events linger strongly in students' memories only thanks to concepts and terms.

2. Method

The Study Model: This research was carried out in screening model that aims to describe a past or present event as they are (Balci, 2005; Karasar, 2005). Our aim was to reveal 8th grade students' level of understanding the 7th grade citizenship concepts in enhancement level such as citizen, jurisdiction, law, legislation, election, constitution, declaration of independence, republic democracy, state, management, sovereignty, nation, national sovereignty and national culture and to reveal their misconceptions about these concepts.

Data Collection and Analysis: Misconception detection test consists of 15 questions with an instruction in the entry. This test was applied to a group of 150 people and 138 of them were processed for the analysis. The questions of the research were created in accordance with Abraham-Williamson's (27) 5 level understanding scale and repeated expressions were analysed by coding. The results were indicated as frequency and percentage. The used scale is:

1. Totally Correct Answer: The answers containing the whole elements of the correct answer

2. Partly Correct Answer: The answers containing some of the correct answers

3. Partly Correct/Has Misconception: The answers having expressions for misconception but showing the understanding of the concept

4. Has Misconception: The answers being not correct and containing irrelevant information

5. No Answer: Irrelevant or unclear answer, no answer, or 'I don't know' answer

3. Findings

Table 1 was prepared in accordance with data in the gender title in student survey.

Table 1. Gender Status of Study Group

Frequency Percentage

Female 75 %45.7

Male 63 %54.3

The numbers 1-2-3-4-5 in Table 2 are the numbers of Abraham-Williamson's (27) 5 level scale and the explanations after these numbers are the sample sentences from students' surveys.

Table 2. Misconceptions of the concepts in interview questions

Citizen Concept f %

1 / Each individual sharing the same motherland and depending on the state politically 2 /Citizen 3 /Individual from the same state 4 /It means a part of the institutions, usually that is a country 5/........ 38 83 15 2 %27.6 %60.2 %10.8 %1.4

Jurisdiction Concept f %

1 Providing to solve the conflicts fairly occurring in society among the individuals or against the state 2 Distinguishing the fair and unfair or guilty and innocent by a court or similar institutions. 3 Decisions according to laws by independent courts 4 Person's evaluating a topic by criticizing 5 No answer 32 51 51 2 2 %23.2 %37 %37 %1.4 %1.4

Law Concept f %

1/ Law is body of rules put into force by the legislative organs of the state and they must be obeyed. Changelessness and obligation, no abnormality in the process of events 2 /Rules of states that must be obeyed by everyone 3 /The rule obeyed by individuals obligatorily 4/.................. 5/................... 62 73 3 %45 %53 %2

Legislation Concept f %

1/ An objective and continuous legislation job to arrange the society by Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT) 2 /Making law. The GNAT makes law in our country. 3 /Enacting the laws. 4/.................. 5/.................. 111 11 6 10 %80.4 %8 %4.3 %7.3

Election Concept f %

1/ Selecting a candidate among one or more candidates to make law and govern a country in accordance with regulations and laws 2 /Individual's preferring a statesman who will govern themselves 3 /Choosing a candidate among one or more candidates 4 /Opting, electing 5/................. 53 50 32 1 %38.4 %36.2 %23.2 %0.7

Constitution Concept f %

1 /The basic law identifying the governing way of a country, showing how to use the judgement powers and telling citizens' public rights 2 /The law ensuring individuals' basic rights and independence 3 /The main law of the state 4/................... 5/................... 61 57 20 %44.2 %41.3 %14.5

Declaration of Independence Concept f %

1/ The document showing that a state is not under rule of another state, e.g. U.S. Declaration of Independence 2 /The document showing that a state is not under rule of another state 3 /It means public governs itself 4 /Document of Independence 5 /No answer 2 38 88 8 2 %1.4 %27.5 %63.7 %6 %1.4

Republic Concept f %

1 /A system of government in which prime minister is selected by public with particular power for a particular period 55 %40

2 /A system of government in which nation has the sovereignty power and elects their governors themselves 38 %27.5

3 /It means public governs itself 30 %21.7

4 /A person who has the power 5/................. 15 %10.8

Democracy Concept f %

1/ A system of government depending on public sovereignty 29 %21

2 /A system of government in which everyone has equal rights 36 %26

3 /A lifestyle. Everyone is equal. It complements Republic 67 %48.5

4 /People from different countries govern each other 5/..................... 6 %4.5

State Concept f %

1/ A nation politically organized depending on territorial integrity, or a corporate entity formed by commonwealth 60 %43.4

2 /Organization established by public to live together and in an order 14 %10

3 /A way of life in which land, nation and public live peacefully 8 %5.8

4 /It is the living of the society on land 5/.................... 23 %10.8

Government concept f %

1/ Management job, looking after, administration 97 %70.3

2 /Hierarchic structure in a country's organizations 27 %19.5

3 /A body regulates the public's decisions 10 %7.3

4 /A regime determining the state's way of life 5/......................... 4 %2.7

Sovereignty Concept f %

1/ All of the power of nation and its corporate entity 'state', empery, hegemony 78 %56.5

2/ Hegemony 24 %17.4

3/ Power of law making in a place. Power of governing 22 %16

4/ The total independence of a country from the other countries 12 %8.7

5/ No answer 2 %1.4

Nation Concept f %

1/ Community mostly living the same lands, having the unity of language, emotions, ideals, customs and traditions 80 %58

between each other; nation

2/ Community living in the same lands, having the same religion, language and emotions 54 %39.3

3/ Community sharing the same feelings and emotions 4/................... 5/................... 4 %2.7

National Culture Concept f %

1/ All material and spiritual values such as traditions, beliefs, history, foods and clothing particular to a nation 64 %46.2

2/ National culture is all of the material and spiritual values that a nation has formed throughout the history 61 %44.2

3/ The culture reflecting traditions of a country 8 %5.8

4 /Continuation of our traditions 2 %1.4

5/................. 2 %1.4

National Sovereignty Concept f %

1/ A nation's having its power and fate and keeping the power of its future 73 %53

2/ Sovereignty belongs, without any restrictions or conditions, to nation 12 %8.7

3/ Public has a voice. They elect their ministers by voting 35 %25.3

4/ Public has a voice over nation 10 %7.3

5/ No answer 2 %1.4

4. Results And Suggestions

Teaching the concept is important for the Social Sciences class that prepares people to the life. There is an expansion from concepts to phenomena, from phenomena to the generalization. We can say this situation forms the basis of social sciences. A good teaching of concept eases a person's life because social science prepares a person to the life.

It is likely to reach a set of results after carefully analysing this study. When looked at the students' learning status of concepts in 7th grade enhancement level, it was observed that students fall misconceptions in the declaration of independence concept. In accordance with the students' answers, we can say that 53% and above of the students do not experience misconceptions about law, legislation, state, government, sovereignty, nation, national culture and national sovereignty concepts and they have exact knowledge about these concepts (The answers containing some of the correct answers and the answers containing the whole elements of the correct

answer). There are some misconceptions about the other concepts; however it is not at significant level.

When considering students' misconceptions, some techniques such as concept maps and concept analysis schemas should be used. The concept of social sciences should be concreted and explained with examples. The drama method can be applied in order to understand the concept of declaration of independence. As an effective person in teaching the abstract concepts, the teacher should deal with the whole elements of the concept while teaching.

5. References

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Aydogan, S., Güne§, B., &Gül9i£ek,Q. (2003). Isi ve sicaklik konusunda kavram yanilgilari. Gazi Egitim FakültesiDergisi, 23(2), 111-124.

Atilboz, N. G. (2004). Lise 1. Sinif ögrencilerinin mitoz ve mayoz bölünme konulari ile ilgili anlama düzeyleri ve kavram yanilgilari. Gazi Egitim Fakültesi Dergisi,24(3). 147-157.

Baki, A. ( 1999, Semptember). Cebirle ilgili i§lem yanilgilarinin degerlendirilmesi, III. Ulusal Fen Bilimleri Egitimi Sempozyumu , Karadeniz Technical University, Ankara: Milli Egitim Basim Evi.

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