Kursad YILMAZ, Yahya ALTINKURT* and Elif OZCIFTCI***
*Assoc. Prof. Dr., Dumlupinar University, Kutahya
**Assoc. Prof. Dr., Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Mugla
***Teacher, Ministry of National Education, Afyon
Problem Statement: Known as basic elements directing individuals’ lives, cultural values are hidden cultural elements that influence all evaluations and perceptions. Values, in that sense, are elements individuals are aware of and provide the answer to the “what should I do?” feeling (Schein, 1992). Critical pedagogy is a project based on defining what education basically is and questioning traditional education mentality (Yilmaz & Altinkurt, 2011). The purpose of critical pedagogy is to transform educational practices and school by creating an atmosphere where teachers and students develop common sense through theory, practice, and critical analysis and where they can question and discuss the effective relationships between learning and social transformation (Giroux, 2007; 2009).
Purpose of the Study: This study aims to assess the relationship between teachers’ opinions on cultural values and critical pedagogy.
Method: The study is in a survey model. The sampling of the study consists of 304 teachers working in Kutahya province centre. Data was collected through Cultural Values Index and The Principles of Critical Pedagogy Scale. Descriptive statistics, t-test, ANOVA and Pearson correlation analyses were used in the analysis of the collected data.
Findings: The findings suggest that teachers see the society with high power distance, above moderate level in terms of avoiding uncertainty and individualism and close to feminine values. It was also found out that teachers showed a moderate level agreement in critical pedagogy principles and its sub-dimensions. Participants’ total scores related to critical pedagogy principles and their opinions on educational system sub-dimension were revealed to differ based on gender variable. Participants’ opinions on cultural values and critical pedagogy principles do not differentiate according to tenure and fields of study. There are significant relationships between teachers’ opinions on cultural values and critical pedagogy principles.
Conclusion and Recommendations: This study considers teachers’ scores related to cultural values dimensions, which include Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Individualism versus Collectivism, and Masculinity versus Femininity. Teachers voted critical pedagogy principles in a medium-level. They showed the highest participation successively in functions of schools, education system and emancipator school levels amongst others. While the participants’ perception of the power distance, individualism versus collectivism, and masculinity versus femininity in the society increase, the positive views about the education system sub-dimension increase. Furthermore, while the participants’ perception of the power distance, individualism versus collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity versus femininity in the society increase, the positive views about the functions of schools decrease. While the participants’ perception of the power distance in the society increase, their participation in the views of the emancipator school sub-dimension decrease. While the participants’ perception related to the uncertainty avoidance increases the positive views about the Critical Pedagogy decrease.
Keywords: Critical pedagogy, cultural values, teachers.