Purpose of Study: The purpose of this paper is to describe Turkish Language and History Candidate teachers’ use of metaphors in their perception of a computer and to explore the meanings attached to this concept, as well as to collect data related to the nature of a computer.
Problem Statement: According to literature review, in Turkey and North Cyprus, teachers’ positive attitude towards computer and computerassisted teaching indicates teachers cannot use but want to use computers, which is an important problem deserving further researches. In-depth studies on this topic have to be conducted to reveal the meanings attached by teachers to computers. So, the problem sentence of this study was determined as “What are the mental images of Turkish and history candidate teachers related to the concept of a computer?”
Method: In this qualitative study, phenomenology design has been taken as the basis. Results are presented in a descriptive exposition and direct citations are made frequently. The participants of the study were determined with purposive sampling method and convenient case sampling was taken as the basis. Thus, the participants of the study are 128 students studying at departments of Turkish Language Teaching and History Teaching at 2011-2012 spring semester at Near East University. The data was analyzed through content analysis and in 4 stages: coding and elimination, sample metaphor compilation, category development and validation and verification stages.
Findings and Results: Participants used 47 different mental images related to the concept of a computer. The two most frequently used mental images are “brain” and “human”, respectively. Findings of the study revealed that the mental images of a computer are grouped under 3 categories with 81 of the participants (65.3%) choosing the function of a computer as its basis, 41 (33%) describing its value, and 2 (1.7%) its physical structure. Evaluating subcategories, it can be seen that emphasis on the “function” category was the computer providing access to information (30.6%), giving assistance and making life easier (23.3%), and providing socialemotional support (11.4%). When the “value” category is considered, it is demonstrated that a computer is a risky tool with troublemaking potential (14.5%), is open to change (7.2%), has a range from powerful-weak (5.6%), is a vital need (4%), and also has a range from endless-infinite (1.7%). Finally, 2 participants (1.7%) described the computer as a physical structure dimension.
Conclusions and Recommendations: The negative values developed by teachers and candidate teachers must be turned into positive so that computers can be used in education. What has to be done is display all problems such as copy-paste, ready-made, pornography and misleading information etc., informing pedagogues about these issues and educating them on how to deal with these problems. Teachers mentioned about the existence of wrong information on computers and on the internet media. In this case it can be recommended that technology-assisted history and Turkish language courses be added to the undergraduate curriculum. Thus, critical examination of web sites related to each lecture, evaluation of education CDs and preparation of new and qualified education CDs with projects must be supported.
Keywords: candidate teachers, computer metaphors, history teaching, Turkish teaching.