Analysis of Teachers’ Views on The Configuration of First Reading and Writing Process with Games
Authors: Gizem Saygılı
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Problem Statement: Moving schooling age to an earlier time as a result of the transition to the practice of 12-year non-continuous compulsory education in 2012-2013 academic year has brought the discussions on whether students’ readiness is sufficient or not. However, the teachers’ readiness is also an issue as important as a student’s readiness and has to be questioned. Considering the children’s developmental characteristics, personal differences, their interests and needs, the first 12 weeks of the first grade in primary school are spared for adaptation and preparation practices. These game-based practices are supportive in all areas for the students who start to school at an earlier age and they ease the adaptation process for them. Nevertheless, it has not been considered in detail what primary school teachers, who are responsible for designing, implementing and carrying out these game-based practices, think about game-based education, and how they feel about it.
Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to identify the teachers’ opinions on configuring primary school first grade practices with games as proposed in the new program after reorganization of Turkish Education System as “4+4+4”.
Methods: This is a descriptive survey model study aiming to find out the attitudes of 157 (106 female, 51 male) primary school teachers towards the construction of primary school first grade practices with games in terms of various variables. These teachers are working at schools connected to Isparta Provincial Directorate of National Education. According to the reliability analysis on the data obtained by personal information form and teacher questionnaire, Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient is found out as .81.
Findings and Results: The data obtained from this research were analyzed with SPSS 15.0 Windows package program. In the analysis of data, independent t test, One Way ANOVA, frequency analysis and descriptive statistics were used. The predetermined level of (p<0,05) was taken as basis for significance. Research findings show that there is a significant difference between the participants’ level of attitudes towards teaching first reading and writing with games according to their gender. Moreover, no significant difference found between teachers’ attitude levels towards game-based education according to their professional seniority, the schools’ socio-economic levels, their students’ pre-schooling backgrounds and the number of students in the classroom.
Conclusions and Recommendations: The results show that the attitudes of primary school teachers towards game-based education in teaching first reading and writing are lower than the average. The reason for this can be interpreted as the teachers’ lack of experience on game-based education, since the research findings show that teachers, in fact, believe in the importance of game-based teaching and need games in all phases of first reading and writing. Therefore, books that enrich the first reading and writing process, show guidance and have sample applications can be suggested to the primary school teachers. Especially, hands-on trainings to enhance knowledge and skills on game-based education can also be very fruitful.