Bu çalışmanın amacı Eğitim Fakültesi Sınıf Öğretmenliği bölümünde öğrenim gören öğrencilerin ahlaki olgunluk düzeylerini tespit etmek ve buradan yola çıkarak ilgili bölümde yürütülen eğitim faaliyetlerine yönelik önerilerde bulunmaktır. Araştırmada veri toplama aracı olarak Şengün tarafından geliştirilen “Ahlaki Olgunluk Ölçeği” kullanılmış ve araştırma verileri Bolu Abant İzzet Baysal, Yıldız Teknik, Marmara, Kastamonu, Gazi ve Afyon Kocatepe Üniversitelerinin Eğitim Fakültelerinde öğrenim gören 482 öğrenciden elde edilmiştir. Araştırma sonucunda ilgili bölüm öğrencilerinin ahlaki olgunluk puan ortalaması x̄=279, 89 olarak tespit edilmiştir. Ayrıca ölçekten elde edilen puanın farklı değişkenler arasından anlamlı farklılaşma durumunu test etmek için ilişkisel analizler yapılmıştır. Neticede cinsiyet, yaş ve dinî yönden kendini tanımlama biçimi değişkenlerinin ölçek ortalamasına anlamlı farklılaşmaya sebep olduğu tespit edilmiştir. Sonuç itibariyle araştırma verileri şunu göstermiştir ki yarının sınıf öğretmenleri olacak olan eğitim fakültesi sınıf öğretmenliği bölümü öğrencilerinin ahlaki olgunluk düzeyleri nispeten yüksek çıkmış olsa bile bu alanda halen iyileştirmeye ihtiyaç duyulan hususlar bulunmaktadır. Ayrıca dinin ahlaki bir yaşantıyı teşvik ettiği ve kendini “dindar” olarak tanımlayanların ahlaki olgunluk düzeylerinin kendilerini “az dindar” olarak tanımlayanlardan daha yüksek olduğu dikkate alındığında en azından bu yönde talebi olan sınıf öğretmenliği bölümü öğrencilerinin dinî bilgi ve birikimlerini arttırmak noktasında İlahiyat Fakülteleriyle iş birliği yapılarak onlara sunulacak seçmeli dersler üzerinden destekleyici bir din eğitimi imkânı sunulmalıdır.
This study was carried out to identify the level of moral maturity of students studying in Departments of Elementary Education at Faculties of Education, and thus, to make recommendations for the educational activities carried out in the relevant departments. In this study, descriptive and relational survey models were used together, and the survey technique was employed to collect the needed data. The “Moral Maturity Scale” developed by Şengün was used as a data collection instrument. Research data were collected from 482 students studying at the Faculties of Education of the following universities: Bolu Abant İzzet Baysal, Yıldız Technical, Marmara, Kastamonu, Gazi, and Afyon Kocatepe. During data analysis, the mean scale score was calculated first, and then relational analyses were carried out using t-tests and analyses of variance.
Based on the study, the mean moral maturity score of the students of the departments of elementary education at the faculties of education was M = 279.89. Given that the maximum value one could score on the scale was M = 330.00, it is possible to accept the result as a positive result. However, when the mean value was examined by taking into account the values that were a standard deviation below and above the mean, it was seen that 64.7% of the participants had a “moderate,” 19.1% had a “high,” and 16.2% had a “low” level of moral maturity. Especially the 16.2% of the students who were found to have a low level of moral maturity signals a risk in terms of the character development of students who will be directly influenced by teachers’ world of values.
Relational analyses, however, show that the participants’ levels of moral maturity differed significantly in terms of the gender and age variables. In terms of the gender variable, in line with the findings obtained from previous studies conducted by Şengün (2008), Kaya and Aydın (2011), Çelebi and Sezgin (2015) and Namlı (2017), the level of moral maturity of females (M = 281.36) was positively differentiated from that of males (M = 273.45) at p< .01 significance level. There is no doubt that the determination of how much this perception is compatible with practice is beyond the limits of this study. However, it may suffice to say that the results of such research directly estimating one’s self-perception, such as moral maturity, are influenced by the way people evaluate themselves.
Considering the age variable, it was seen that moral maturity levels differed between the people aged 18–19 and the people aged 24 or older at p< .05 significance level, and the mean moral maturity level of the students aged 24 or older (M = 287.29) was relatively higher than that of the other group (M = 274.29). It should be taken into account that there may be other factors influencing the difference other than the age variable. For example, when these two groups are examined in terms of the gender variable, there is an effect opposite of the effect of the gender variable on the mean score of the overall scale. This is because a cross-table was created and, in that table, 95.5% of the people aged 18–19 were female and 9.5% were male, and 62.7% of the people aged 24 or older were female and 37.3% were male. It is noteworthy that while females had a higher moral maturity level than males, the mean value of the people aged 24 or older was higher, even though the proportion of males among the people aged 24 or older was about 26% higher than that among the people aged 18–19.
In conclusion, the data of the study have shown that there are still issues that need to be improved in this field, even though the moral maturity levels of the students of the department of elementary education at the faculty of education, who will be the elementary school teachers of tomorrow, are relatively high. Especially the group with a mean score that is a standard deviation below the overall mean score points to the most problematic segment in the context of this study. Even minor omissions in the field of morality that leave permanent marks on little minds should be regarded as a problem that cannot be taken lightly. Elementary school teachers who, in a sense, shape the new generation need to embody a model of the ideal human being in the moral sense. Based on this point of view, the following recommendations can be made with regard to elementary education:
1. When students are accepted to elementary education programs, instruments that can measure the moral maturity and characteristics of candidates should be utilized. This dimension should be considered as a criterion in addition to exam success.
To the best of our knowledge, there is no course related to ethics and values other than the Religious Culture and Moral Knowledge course among the compulsory courses in the curricula of faculties of education. It should be considered that a course or courses related to this field should be added to the curriculum in order to help candidates improve their own moral and values development as well as acquiring knowledge and experience on how these subjects can be taught to students.