Fourth Grade Students’ Cognitive Structures Regarding “Values”: Application of the Word Association Test*
Keywords:Word Association Test; Social Studies; Elementary School; Value Education; Cognitive Structure
With the help of the Word Association Test (WAT), the present study aimed to reveal elementary school fourth grade students’ cognitive structures regarding the values to be taught in relation to the learning areas within the scope of the course of social studies. The participants in the study were elementary school fourth grade students. In the research process, seven values such as respect, tolerance, love, responsibility, solidarity, benevolence and patriotism, which were all determined as the values to be taught to the students within the scope of the curriculum of the elementary school fourth grade course of social studies, were presented to the students at the end of the teaching process. The students were asked to write down the words that they associated at once with the seven key concepts in 1-minute. The data collected were recorded in a table of frequencies including the key concepts and words, and in the light of the data in this frequency table, mind maps showing the students’ cognitive structures were formed. The results obtained via the examination of the connections and associations between the words and the key concepts in these mental maps demonstrated that the students produced the most words regarding the values of respect and tolerance and the least words regarding the value of solidarity. In addition, the students with a cut-off point of 50+ were found to associate the values of love, respect and tolerance with each other and the value of responsibility with the “job-duty”.