Refugee Parents' Preferential Values in Education

Refugee Parents' Preferential Values in Education

Sevda Kubilay (Ömer Halisdemir University, Turkey) and Nursel Yardibi (Hacettepe University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3325-2.ch004


The aim of the study was to find out the values prioritized by the refugee parents. Knowing the prioritized values and making arrangements about this issue might facilitate the integration process of the refugees. It is a qualitative research and data were gathered by interviews done with nineteen refugee participants. The participants chose the five values in education and put them in order considering their importance and priority. According to findings, self-confidence is the most important asset their children should have, the next ones are being hardworking, rational and intellectual. Being respectful to others' rights and advocating world peace followed those values. Then honesty and morality were emphasized by the participants. Lastly, patriotism and commitment to family were declared as important values. The participants valued personal and academic values most, secondly moral and thirdly cultural values however environmental values were seen as the least important.
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In today’s world, societies complain about the increase in violence, crime and apaty but values education is seen as the remedy to minimize negative actions and behaviours. Educators have responsibility to create a better society via values education (İşcan, 2011). Values are seen as principles that guide our behaviours so by means of the values, particular actions are judged as desirable and fine; some are judged as undesirable (Halstead and Taylor, 2000). Individuals start to attain values from an early age. The family, social network, school environment and media are influential in adopting a value or not. Values are so crucial that they affect a person’s preferences. In other words, choices are the reflections of the values (Harland and Pickering, 2011). The society shapes the value system of individuals, accordingly social problems, violence, negative behaviours and intolerance existing in the society affect individuals in a negative way. It is believed that the problems threatening the social order can be solved by means of values education (Deveci and Selanik, 2009). Via values education, children become aware of the values dignified in their society and they are supposed to understand and learn those values (Halstead and Taylor, 2000). Values education is required to improve children’s communicative skills, cooperation and participation. It also provides children with more favorable learning experiences (Toomey, 2010). To make children gain the desired values, families and schools should support each other. In values education, both parents and educators have responsibilities so they need to communicate and interact effectively (Adams and Christenson, 2000). They both contribute to the academic success, social and personal development of a child so that it is important to build cooperation between parents and educators (Özeke, 2006). Values education helps to raise a generation who values human beings, promotes democracy, peace and harmony in the society (Tonga, 2016). As a result, there is a growing awareness regard to values education (Demirel, 2009). Importance of values is also emphasized in the fundamental principles of the Turkish National Education. In accordance with the law no 1739 Basic Law of National Education, the fundamental principles of the Turkish National Education are universality and equality, meeting the needs of individuals and society, orientation, educational right, equality of opportunity and possibility, continuity, conformity with the reforms and principles of Ataturk, democracy education, secularity, scientific education, planning, co-education, cooperation of school and parents, and education in all places (Basic Law of National Education, 1973). The values are transfered through social sciences which aim to facilitate individuals’ adaptation to society. In the Turkish Educational System, values are explicitly included in the curriculum in 2005, before that date, values were taught more implicitly. Since 2005, values education has been considered as a specific subject area (Yazıcı and Koca, 2008).

The values education is getting more and more important in today’s world. And schools and families should collaborate in this respect. It is crucial to find out parents’ opinions about values education. There is no research on refugee parents’ view about values education in the literature. New findings in the field may promote the improvements in the educational system and the curriculum. Due to the fact that Turkey has nearly three million refugees from the Middle East Countries, the views of the refugee parents should be taken care to promote their integration. This study aims to find out the perspective of refugee parents in respect to values education. The following research questions quided the study:

  • Which values should be prioritized in education?

  • What is the rationale for the preferential values?

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