Abstract


MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS’ COGNITIVE STRUCTURES REGARDING THE VALUES OF EQUALITY AND JUSTICE

Values are unwritten norms that maintain order in society and are accepted by most of the people belonging to that society. The values of justice and equality are values that are believed to be necessary by all societies and applied as a rule of law after being put in writing. The best application of these two values depends primarily on the correct understanding of these values. For this reason, it is very important to determine whether the future practitioners of the social order, i.e. the children, understand these values correctly. Based on this, the purpose of this study was to determine 7th grade students’ cognitive structures regarding the values of equality and justice. This study explored 7th grade students’ cognitive structures regarding the values of equality and justice. The study employed the survey design. The study group consisted of 97 7th grade students attending four middle schools in the city Erzurum during the spring semester of the 2019-2020 academic year. Word association test was used as the data collection tool in the study. The cut-off points were determined by taking into account the repetition frequencies of the words produced regarding the values of justice and equality, and starting from this concept networks were developed. The students repeated the word equality the most regarding the value of justice and the word justice regarding the value of equality. The words right, law, scales, and freedom were associated with the values of both justice and equality. Apart from these words, the students produced the words fairness, righteousness, honesty, law, and court following equality for the value of justice. Regarding the value of equality, they produced the words equality between women and men, and same. When the sentences made by the students regarding the values of justice and equality are examined, it is seen that the number of sentences containing scientific knowledge about the value of equality is higher. The number of sentences formed by students regarding the value of justice that did not contain scientific information was higher. It can be stated that students had more scientific knowledge about the value of equality.



Keywords

Justice, equality, value, cognitive structure.


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