A story-based analysis of elementary fourth graders’ views on respecting differences

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International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, vol.11, no.4, pp.403-411, 2019 (Scopus) identifier


© 2018 Published by T& K Academic.Respecting differences involves showing respect to individuals just because they are human beings and seeing every difference as natural. It is among the values that children need to acquire at early ages. Thus, there has been a need to reveal students' views on this value. The primary aim of this study was to examine elementary school students' views on respecting differences. Qualitative research method was employed in the study, and the participants were elementary fourth graders. The data were gathered through a story formed by the researcher, and questions related to it in moral, intellectual and empathetic dimensions. The students were also asked to create a poster about respecting differences. Descriptive analysis was used in the analysis of the students’ answers, and content analysis was performed to examine their posters. The results showed that the students answered the questions in the moral dimension in a way that reflected their developmental characteristics. In addition, they perceived respecting differences mostly in the context of physical differences. In the empathetic dimension, the students stated how they would feel in the sample case provided. In their posters, they did not address universal values to a great extent. In this respect, sources such as current issues, sample cases and problems can be used in instructional processes to develop multiple perspectives regarding this value.