Opinions of Pre-Service Classroom Teachers about Academic Controversy Method

  •  Aşkın Baydar    


The aim of this study is to determine the opinions of pre-service classroom teachers about academic controversy, from the cooperative learning methods, implemented in social studies teaching course. Using the action research pattern from the qualitative research approaches, the study group for the research comprised 42 preservice teachers in third year attending the primary education department in a state university. Research data were collected from preservice teachers with an interview form asking open-ended questions Responses of preservice teachers to the questions included opinions about the positive and negative aspects of the academic controversy method; whether they would apply this method in future classes and why; and about the contribution of the method to social and individual development of students. Opinions of preservice teachers after implementing the method in the class environment were that the academic controversy method was fun and beneficial for peer teaching; increased in-class interaction, retention of knowledge and self-confidence; ensured effective participation in class, active learning and conflict management; provided democracy education, directed research, taught respect for differences, provided a multidimensional perspective, and reduced the need for authority; and that it developed self-control, self-expression, decision-making and problem-solving skills. Additionally, criticisms mentioned by preservice teachers included causing noise in the classroom, not being appropriate for all class levels, lessons or topics, being difficult to implement in crowded classrooms and that the duration was not sufficient for the implementation.

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