ERG SES H 07, Communities and Education
Values are defined as desired aims guiding individuals’ lives (Schwartz & Sagie, 2000). Aspin (2000) believed that values education is an introduction for youngsters to learn values and morality, and apply them intelligently. Therefore, the acquisition of values is highly important.
Since the new programs included values education in each course, students became better able to develop cultural and universal values. Moreover, teachers’ opinions on values education, competencies in the knowledge and implementation base, and attitudes towards values education became more important. Beldağ’s (2016) study revealed that educators give importance to values and help students by using programs. Being an important component of education, values have been given importance for years. As the inclination towards values education increases, so does the studies conducted to identify attitudes towards it. Lately, values education has been received more recognition and integrated in education programs. Although values education has always been associated with social-science courses, new education programs aimed to integrate it to other courses like mathematics, as well.
A teacher’s attitude has an important place in values education in that it has an influence on students’ acquisition of the values. Attitude is the intensity of positive or negative affect towards a psychological object (Thurstone, 1946) and consists of cognitive, affective and performance components (Aiken, 1980). Petty and Cacioppo (1996) stated that attitudes can be measured by direct and indirect procedures. According to Lemon (1973), the indirect procedures are found to be inferior to the direct procedures in terms of reliability and validity, and pointing small differences in attitudes. Considering these, direct measures are preferred more frequently in measuring attitudes towards values education.
The present study aims to develop and validate an attitude towards values education instrument for teachers. Since values education is an important component of each curriculum, this scale will not be subject-specific so that it could identify the attitudes of pre-teachers from different majors.
Participants The sample of this study consists of 144 pre-service teachers enrolled in teaching programs in a public university (110 females, 21 males, and 13 non-respondents). The sample was selected based on convenience sampling. The majors of the participants included elementary mathematics education (35.1%), English language teaching (33.5%), Early Childhood Education (25.2 %), computer education and instructional technologies (3.9%), physics education (0.7%), and chemistry education (1.5%). Instrument Development The Attitudes toward Value Education Scale (ATVES) was developed based on literature on on values education and attitude. While proposing dimensions, Aiken’s (1980) definition of attitude was considered and dimensions related to cognitive, affective and performance components of attitude were included in the scale. An initial item pool was developed with 40 items, corresponding to the three components of attitude stated by Aiken (1980), on a six-point rating scale ranging from (1) "strongly disagree" to (6) "strongly agree". After the item pool was constructed, cognitive interviews with two teacher candidates enrolled in teaching programs were conducted, and an academic specialized in measurement and assessment was consulted for expert opinion. Considering the recommendations, revisions were made and the final version of the scale was developed. The final version included 21 items on 3 dimensions. These dimensions and sample items for each dimension are presented as follows: 1. Valuing the values education (7 items): “Values education should be included in schools in order to support students’ affective development, too.” 2. Competency beliefs towards teaching values (5 items): “I can include values defined within the framework of values education in the class activities.” 3. Views regarding the values education (9 items): “Values education should be included in class activities.” Data Analysis Initially, multivariate normality assumption was checked. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted to identify the factor structure of the ATVES. Item analysis was utilized to determine the contribution of each item to the overall dimension, and internal consistency was estimated through Cronbach’s alpha coefficient.
Mardia’s test revealed that multivariate normality was violated (Mardia’s test= 572.42, p = .00). Therefore, principal axis factoring was utilized as estimation method (Fabrigar, Wegener, MacCallum & Strahan, 1999). The results of the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy (KMO) and the Barlett’s test of sphericity were checked before employing the analysis. The KMO value of .82 was meritorious according to the guideline suggested by Kaiser and Rice (1974). Similarly, Bartlett’s test was significant (= 1059.71, p= .00), indicating that correlation matrix is appropriate for EFA. A principal axis factoring with direct oblimin rotation resulted in a five-factor structure based on eigenvalue greather-than-one-rule. However, as the distribution of items among factors was not stable, the number of factors was restricted to three as proposed based on literature. More parsimonious three-factor model explained 48.74% of the total variance. Pattern coefficients were examined with the criteria of .27 or above. One of the items did not load on any of the factors and another item cross-loaded on both the first and second factors. Therefore, they were excluded from the scale. Item-total correlations confirmed that these two items did not contribute to the scale. The reliability coefficients were calculated for the first, second and third dimensions as .82, .65 and .78, respectively. In conclusion, although these findings provide some evidence of reliability and validity for ATVES, further validation evidence should be provided. In addition, the scale should be tested with teachers from different majors.
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