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Stojanova Biljana1 Nikoloska Ana2

VALUE ORIENTATION IN PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS

Abstract Value orientations are goals and beliefs with the help of which the individual directs his own activities. They are formed through the process of socialization. Education has an important role in the socialization process. Teachers, as creators of this process, determine to a large extent which value orientation will show up in the young persons personalities. Hence, it is here the importance of knowing the value orientation of teachers and their preferred life-styles stems from. This paper contains the result of a value orientation research in pre-service teachers manifested through the preference of a particular life styles. The primary goal was to examine which value orientations are preferred by pre-service teachers. The preference of the following life-styles was researched: family, altruistic, cognitive, utilitarian, popular, individualistic, hedonism, religious and power. Key words: value orientations, life-styles, pre-service teachers.

Introduction In the psychological literature, there is not a one single all-encompassing definition that defines the term value orientation. The attempts to define the meaning of value orientation usually bring it in relation to values and life-style. Values are “relatively stable general psychological dispositions, created by combined action of cognitive-emotional development, individual traits and interaction with the social surrounding, which direct our actions towards goals that we hold as desirable and towards which we incline with our actions” (Cekrljija, Turjacanin & Puhalо, 2004).

1

Master student, Faculty of Education- Stip, e-mail: stdete@gmail.com Master, e-mail: anik44@gmail.com

2

Value orientations are notion that is often used, sometimes as a synonym to values, and sometimes defined differently, and it is difficult to precisely define where they differ, but it can be said that value orientation are more general dispositions than the values and that the values could be combined and organized in such a way that they create system of values, that is value orientations. The values presuppose more articulated more determined conception about the desirable, and the value orientations more general, less articulated belief system, less “sharp” and less “conscious” conception about the desirable. There is great confusion in the literature regarding the notion of life-styles. More or less, many authors equal the notion of life-styles with that of values, value orientations, attitudes and similar. Nevertheless, in order to escape this confusion we will accept the distinction between the notion value orientations and life style given by Kuzmanović (1995), according to which the value orientations are understood as a general goal and the life style as a way to realize that goal. Joksimović (1992), while discussing the differences in the use of the notions value, value orientations and life-style, stresses that values and value orientations are examined indirectly, through determining the preference of different life styles as operationalized expressions for the values. Most of the research dealing with this problematic is conducted on the youth population, that is, the period of adolescence, so participants in those studies are students from higher grades of primary school and high school. Reason for this is the fact that this is a period when the youth searches for its values and develop their value system. However, as important period for researching values and value orientations is also the period of late adolescence as well as the period of early adulthood because this is the time when the value system forms according to the reached level of maturity of the personal functioning. This gives opportunity for researching this problematic in the student population. Taking into consideration that the choice of studies means also choice of future profession, research about the values in student population give valuable insights for the personal profiles of the young people who prepare themselves for a particular profession. In this paper, of primary interest are the pre-service teachers and the value orientations they prefer. The teachers, as a creator and carrier of the educational process, participate in the socialization and the development of the children. Among the more important

aspects of the teacher’s personality is his value system. Thus, knowing the values, value orientations, that is preferred life-styles of future teachers, has important pedagogical and societal importance. Thus, the main goal of our research is to examine which value orientations are preferred by the pre-service teachers. The following value orientations are encompassed in our research: family, altruistic, cognitive, utilitarian, popular, individualistic, Prometheus activity, hedonism, religiousness and power. We believe that those are the basic value orientations that determine the basic directions of value functioning of the individual in the domain of personal life and in the domain of his relation towards other people that are of great importance when the professional engagement of the teachers is in question. Bukvić, (Буквић,1984) in his research shows that the pre-service teachers most preferable life styles are: esthetic, then self-realization, utilitarian, cognitive, hedonistic, orientation towards power and respect and activist-revolutionary life style. Cvetković (1990) has researched the value orientations in primary school teachers and determined that dominant value orientations in their value system are: utilitarian, hedonistic and esthetic, while least preferred life styles are orientation towards power and respect, Prometheus activity and hedonistic. Petrović-Bjekić (1995) researched the relation of the teacher towards different life styles and determined that most preferred life styles for the teachers are: esthetic, active, cognitive and altruistic, while orientation towards power and respect, activerevolutionary and hedonistic style are those that the teacher prefer to a far lesser degree. Method The sample in this study consisted of students at all four years of study at the Pedagogical Faculty in Skopje and Pedagogical Faculty in Stip. In the research participated 299 students, 85 at the first year of study (59 from Skopje and 26 from Stip), 86 at the second year of study (59 from Skopje and 27 from Stip), 57 at third year of study (25 from Skopje and 31 from Stip, and 71 at the fourth year of study (46 from Skopje and 26 from Stip)

Instrument and procedure. In this research a scale of judgment was used. The scale consists of 10 value orientations operationalized as a description of 10 ways of leaving. Each participant is asked to carefully read each question and to determine the degree to which she would like to live as described. The minimal value they could indicate was 1 “I wound not like that at all” and maximal value 7 “I would like that a lot”. The scale consists of the following 10 value orientations: family, altruistic, cognitive, utilitarian, popular, individualistic, Prometheus activity, hedonism, religiousness and power.
Family: to meet a person that I will love and which will love me, together to create a family and totally to dedicate to my family. To find the purpose of life in the family. Altruistic: to do something that is of value to the people. To help to those who are sad or in danger, even at the cost of personal denial. Cognitive: to conduct research, to create new things. To gain as much knowledge as I can. To constantly find out knew things about the world, the nature and the mankind. Utilitarian: to have a well paid job which will bring me a good pay and complete material security. To provide myself with reach and comfortable life. Popularity: to become popular, to be famous, in the sport, music or entertainment. To show up frequently at TV and in newspapers, to have many fans. Individuality: to lead my life in such a way as not to depend on others and I would not care for other’s problems. To take care of myself and my wellbeing. Prometheus activity: to fight for better and fairer relations in the society. To fight for long term goals and ideas, even when I encounter resistance in the environment. Hedonistic: to live my life with out worries and easily. To have a good fun, to enjoy in the pleasures that the life offers. To spend the money I earn on fun and enjoyment and not to save them too much. Religious: to believe in God and to live as my faith teachers me. To find peace and truth in religion. To be a good believer, to respect the holidays and the customs. Power: To take a leading place in the society. To have great power, so that I do not have to listen to others, but others to listen to me.

The research was conducted at the beginning of the summer semester (March 2010) at the Pedagogical faculty in Skopje and the Pedagogical Faculty in Stip. Results and analysis. The results for the preference of the value orientation in pre-service teachers are given in the table below.

Table 1. Results for the value orientations that are preferred by the pre-service teachers.
I М Family 6,52 Altruistic 5,15 Cognitive 4,75 Utilitarian 5,08 Popularity 3,35 Individuality 5,13 Prometheus activity 4,92 Hedonistic 4,82 Religious 5,78 Power 3,80 N 85 Value orientations SD 1,23 2,00 2,10 2,08 2,24 2,24 2,08 2,04 1,66 2,18 II M 6,28 5,16 4,90 5,79 3,17 5,35 4,93 5,20 5,65 3,83 86 III M 6,74 4,82 5,40 5,82 3,70 5,19 5,40 4,82 1,84 5,40 2,13 4,16 57 SD 1,52 1,68 1,97 1,76 2,22 1,98 1,92 SD 0,81 1,72 1,70 1,56 2,31 2,13 1,75 2,14 2,07 2,32 IV M 6,31 5,01 5,35 5,69 2,92 4,92 4,92 4,86 5,52 3,73 71 SD 1,34 1,89 1,86 1,49 2,18 2,03 1,76 2,13 1,66 2,06 Σ M 6,44 5,06 5,06 5,57 3,26 5,15 5,01 4,95 5,61 3,86 299 SD 1,29 1,83 1,95 1,78 2,24 2,09 1,90 2,08 1,79 2,16

Rang 1 5-6 5-6 3 10 4 7 8 2 9

From the table, one can see the value orientations that are most and least preferred by the pre-service teachers at each of the four years of study. The students at the first year of study prefer the following value orientations: family (М= 6,52), religious (М= 5,78) and altruistic (М= 5,15), while least preferred are the following value orientations popularity (М= 3,35), power (М= 3,80) and cognitive (М= 4,75). The students at the second year of study most prefer the following value orientations: family (М= 6,28), utilitarian (М= 5,79), religious (М= 5,65), while least preferred are the following value orientations : popularity (М= 3,17), power (М= 3,83) and cognitive (М= 4,90). The students at the third year of study prefer the most the following value orientations : family (М= 6,74), utilitarian (М= 5,82), Prometheus activity (М= 5,40) and religious (М= 5,40), while least prefer the following value orientations: popularity (М= 3,70), power (М= 4,16), altruistic (М= 4,82) and hedonistic (М= 4,82). The students at the fourth year of study prefer the most the following value orientations: family (М= 6,31), utilitarian (М= 5,69) and religious (М= 5,52), while least prefer the following value orientations: popularity (М= 2,92), power (М= 3,73) and hedonistic (М= 4,86). The summed results for all the participants show that most preferred value orientations in pre-service teachers are: family (М= 6,44), religious (М= 5,61) and utilitarian (М= 5,57), and least preferred value orientations are: popularity (М= 3,26), power (М= 3,86) and hedonistic (М= 4,95).

From the obtained results one can see that the pre-service teachers are oriented towards finding a person with which they would create family and would dedicate to the family completely and in which they would find the meaning of life, while living according to the rules of their fate, respecting the religious holidays and customs and would like to have a well paid job which would enable them to have complete material security. The results by Bukvić (Буквић, 1984), and Cvetković (1990) also speak of the fact that the utilitarian style is one of the most preferred lifestyles in teachers and pre-service teachers. The preference of the family and religious orientations in pre service teachers might be a consequence of the traditional upbringing of the young, that is obviously still dominant in our society, and in which a great meaning is given to the family and religion. The high preference of the family and utilitarian orientation is indicator of the need of security, the family orientations enables emotional security, while the utilitarian orientation enables economic security. The domination of the need for security in the participants probably stems from the uncertainty which is present in our everyday living as a result of the transition that our society is going through. It is interesting to mention that, according to the results of this research, the cognitive and altruistic orientations are not among the most preferred orientations of the pre-service teachers. This result is in contrast with the fact that the basis of the teaching profession is gaining knowledge, finding new things about the world, the nature and the mankind, as well as transfer of that knowledge to the younger population. Also the teacher should be oriented towards helping and the wellbeing of others should be one of his goals. It can be noticed that the cognitive orientation in the participants at the first and second year of study are among the three least preferred orientations. This can be a consequence of the anomie of values, the individual sees that the education and knowledge are no longer powerful tools to reach his goals. But the question remains: how the future teachers would do one of their basic tasks of their profession, and that is transfer of knowledge, developing of intrinsic motivation and teaching students new things, when they themselves do not believe in the value of knowledge and learning about the world in which they live? Least preferred life-styles for future teachers, according to this research are: popularity, orientation towards power and hedonism. So, future teachers would least like to be popular, to have power over others and live careless and fun life. This data is in agreement with the data by Bukvić, (Буквић,1984), Cvetković (1990) and

Petrović-Bjekić (1995). The low acceptance of the orientation towards power might stem from the very nature of the teaching profession. On the one hand, the teaching profession does not presuppose popularity, showing up in the media and existence of fans. On the other hand, compared with the past when the teachers had high respect and were given a high value by the society, today teachers are less and less satisfied with the respect and the social status they receive. At the end, as a conclusion we can say that the pre-service teachers are characterized with a specific system of value orientations manifested through particular life styles. Namely, the future teachers as most preferred life styles chose the family, religious and utilitarian, while least preferred life styles are the popular, orientation towards power and hedonistic. The results obtained in this research point towards the need of further research. We suggest research that would continuously track the changes in value orientations of pre-service teachers in the context of the changes in the society. A research in which the differences between the value orientations in pre-service teachers and in-service teachers are examined would be also worthwhile.

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