Education Quarterly Reviews
Published: 15 December 2022
A Study on the Perception of Turkish and Syrian Children of Each Other in Preschool Period: "Tell Me About Your Friend"
Nalan Kuru, Nesrin Akbayrak, Demet Koç
Bursa Uludağ University (Turkey), Minister of National Education (Turkey)
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Keywords: Immigrant Children, Multiculturality, Respect for Differences
This paper aims on revealing the perceptions of 5-6-year-old Turkish and Syrian children sharing the same classroom environment in a preschool education institution by use of metaphors. The study was designed in the phenomenology pattern, one of the qualitative research methods, and conducted with 34 Turkish and 22 Syrian children in the 5-6 age group who receive education in the same kindergarten. The study data were obtained through a semi-structured open-ended form and the content analysis method was used in the assessment of the data. The examination of the study data indicates that Turkish and Syrian children expressed several common metaphors such as 'tree, mother, sky, game, toy, playing, cat, mirror, dog'. However, children attributed different meanings to the metaphors they expressed in common. On the other hand, the study determines that Syrian children created more metaphors with positive meanings compared to Turkish children. The study has a very significant purpose in terms of understanding how the preschool-age children of Syrian families living in Turkey perceive their friends in the schools they attend, and how Turkish children perceive these immigrant children in their classes from the perspectives of both sides. Understanding the perceptions of Syrian immigrant children and Turkish children about each other is critical in terms of guiding educators, decision-makers, and policymakers in order to prevent unfavourable behaviours in schools where children study together, create a positive classroom-school climate, and support an intercultural approach for social peace.
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