10 SES 09 D, Research on Values, Beliefs & Understandings in Teacher Education
Human rights are not an abstract paradigmatic concept; they are the birthright of all humans regardless of religious, social, cultural and economic differences (Donnelley, 2003). Human rights are also equated to rights to certain specific freedoms, and the public debate traditionally converged on what others can do to safeguard and expand these liberties (Sen, 2005). Perceptions that derive from rights and freedoms belong to the ‘psychological milieu’ of individuals or, in other words, the picture of the external reality as the actors see it (Jervis, 1976). Understandings of human rights worth to be studied since they are as “mental pictures composed of our cumulated experience-based knowledge about the surrounding world and beliefs about desirable behavior” (Vertzberger 1990, p. 118).
As a part of a more extensive research project (Education for social justice: equality and equity for the new generations), the present contribution explored perceptions of pre-service and in-service teachers (Beijaard, 1995; Beijaard, Verloop & Vermunt, 2000) about children and adolescent rights in the Italian context. Scrutinizing external perceptions is an essential endeavor for two main rationales: first, external perceptions influence teacher’s educational practices. Second, individual perceptions were by definition shaped both by an actor’s own role conception and by other actors’ expectations. In other words, what teachers think about children’s and adolescent’s human rights is a significant factor in facilitating or opposing student’s active role in their own education
We adopted a convenience sample design, resulting in a set of three focus groups composed of 12 participants each (N=36). The sample was balanced between in-service primary teachers and pre-service primary teacher. Focus groups lasted from one hour to one hour and 45 minutes. Narrative materials from the focus groups were recorded, transcripted and analyses through quantitative textual analysis (QTA, Bolden & Moscarola, 2000). QTA (i.e., lexicometric) derives from textual linguistics and adopts quantitative, software-aided tools of analysis to identify large-scale structures of speech, semantic patterns and deep multivariate structures of a given set is, patterns of language in a society or a part of it (Veronese, Pepe & Afana, 2016). More specifically, the strategy of analysis includes co-occurrence association analysis (chi-square analysis) and multi-dimensional scaling (Cox & Cox, 2001). In-depth interviews were conducted after the analysis of the focus group with a subsample of the in-service and pre-service teacher who had participated to the focus group sessions. Verbal data were recorded, transcripted and analysed through thematic content analysis following a constructivist grounded approach (Creswell, 2013; Charmaz, 2014).
By the end of May 2019 we will finalize the analysis of focus groups and interviews. Our expected outcomes will be based on co-occurrences analysis (focus on that the most frequently co-occurring lemmas connected to the target word “right”). The analysis of focus group will highlight how semantic profiles used by the respondent can be summarized in different axis in relation to the teacher’s profile (in-service or pre-service). The analysis of interviews will outline the relationship between teachers’ perceptions about children and adolescent rights and the role of teaching practice to promote them.
Bolden, R. & Moscarola, J. (2000) Bridging the Quantitative-Qualitative Divide. Social Science Computer Review. 18, 450–60. Cox, T.F. & Cox, M.A.A. (2001). Multidimensional Scaling. Chapman and Hall. Donnelly, J. (2005) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 2nd. Ithaca: Cornell University Press Jervis, R. (1976) Perception and Misperception in International Politics. Princeton: Princeton Press. Sen, A. (2005) Human Rights and Capabilities. Journal of Human Development, 66(2), 151-166. Veronese, G., Pepe, A., & Afana, A. (2016) Conceptualizing the wellbeing of helpers living and working in war-like conditions: a mixed-method approach. International social work, 59(6), 938-952 Vertzberger, Y.Y. (1990) The world in their minds: information processing, cognition and perception in foreign policy decision-making. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
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