Problem Statement: The ability to say no when faced with demands with possible moral consequences becomes a problem that must be addressed in terms of morality in all of its dimensions, including in terms of the concept of character. Character can be defined from different perspectives, and within the framework of moral anatomy. For class teacher candidates, an additional consideration is that they will be professionally required to be models of character to students in critical periods of character development, as well as to promote the skill of saying no among students. In that regard, class teacher candidates‘ skills of saying no when faced with moral dilemmas that they experience in their professional lives are essential to investigate, particularly in relation to the components of moral anatomy.
Purpose of the Study: The purpose of the study was to investigate class teacher candidates‘ skill of saying no in relation to components of moral anatomy. Method: Following a phenomenological design, this study‘s sample included 25 volunteer class teacher candidates who have experienced the phenomenon of saying no as education faculty in Turkey. Research data were collected via semi structured interviews conducted with case study texts containing moral dilemmas related to the ability of saying no. Data obtained in line with the case studies were analyzed according to thematic analysis.
Findings: Class teacher candidates can generally say no when it comes to personal interests. The demand that they accept most concerns changing roles, and the only dilemmas that they fail to resolve are moral ones related to close relationships. A basic result of this study is that class teacher candidates think that they might have more difficulty with saying no in terms of having to change roles. Participants said that they would not have any difficulty with saying no due to their ideology, even when concerning their personal interests. It might thus be suggested that the most basic factor affecting class teacher candidates‘ reactions to saying no when faced with moral dilemmas, at least within the scope of this study, is moral anatomy-that is, the person‘s character structure.
Conclusion and Recommendations: Results suggest that class teacher candidates need to distinguish evaluations of their morality according to moral anatomy characteristics that they possess and the codes of ethics of the teaching profession.
Keywords: Character, character education, moral anatomy, moral identity, skill of saying no.