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2016 > Letnik 6, št. 2


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This research is a part of the Erasmus+ project, Ethical values for preschool children. The paper intends to show how students of preschool education in Slovenia and in Turkey get acquainted with value education and how is value education presented in the kindergarten curricula. Analysis of BA programmes for preschool teachers proves that the students acquire rather poor knowledge of value education during their university studies. Analysis of the preschool curricula shows that these documents require that preschool teachers teach value education. However, values are included in preschool curricula only as aims and principles and not described as concrete activities as e.g. mathematics, languages, society etc. The research study is concluded with suggestions that value education should be included both in the BA programmes for preschool teachers as well as in the preschool curricula.

Keywords: ethics, values, preschool education, kindergarten teachers, university programmes, preschool curricula



Preschool children are able to understand a lot of values and they accept them especially by observing their parents and kindergarten teachers as role models. The below analyses of the Slovenian and Turkish BA programmes for preschool teachers show that there students of preschool education have a number of courses that develop their knowledge how to teach mathematics, arts, languages, movement/sports, society, nature etc. but just a few that acquaint them with ethics and/or even less about the ways of teaching values. Besides the courses on ethics, values, moral development, sustainable development etc. are electives and are thus not chosen by all students. Preschool curricula emphasize the importance of values and expose some of them as aims and principles of education. The curricula require that the teachers should acquaint children with values but they do not offer them any descriptions of activities as concrete tools how to introduce value education among children. To improve the situation it is necessary to include in BA programmes for preschool teachers more and/or obligatory courses on values, moral development, sustainable development, etc. and to enrich the kindergarten curricula with detailed descriptions of value education.

The first part of this chapter presents the main features of the Slovenian and Turkish BA programmes for preschool teachers and of the programme that educates the Montessori preschool teachers. It shows similarities and differences between BA studies in Slovenia and in Turkey  and/or similarities and differences between BA programmes and the Montessori programme for preschool teachers. The second part analyzes courses that acquaint students of preschool education with values, ethics, morals, sustainable development etc.

2.1 The structure of BA programmes for preschool education and of the Montessori programme for preschool teachers

The Slovenian BA programmes last 3 years, the Turkish 4 years and the Montessori education 1,5 and/or 3 years if students register both programmes (for younger and older preschool children). The admission criteria to all three programmes are completed secondary school and (in individual cases described below) some special conditions. In order to progress to the next study year students of all programmes have to continuously perform study obligations in individual subjects.  The students of the Slovenian and Turkish BA programmes acquire the professional title BA while the Montessori programme does not offer this title. The described BA programmes are carried out as full-time and part-time study. Among study methods and forms there are lectures, practical work, seminar work and project work.

To describe the Slovenian education of preschool teachers we chose the most important features of the BA programme for preschool teachers performed by the University of Maribor . It gives students the following general competences:
-    ability of analysis and synthesis and foreseeing of solutions and consequences,
-    ability to use knowledge in practice,
-    development of critical judgment,
-    ability to communicate and work in team,
-     initiative in life-long learning,
-    sensitivity for environment, cultural and national identity,
-    planning and performing activities,
-    understanding of individual persons, their values and value systems.

The students are acquainted with the following courses:
Methodology of pedagogical research
Theory of education
Preschool pedagogy
Development of motor skills
Developmental psychology
Music learning
Practice (22 ECTS)
Slovenian language
Natural science
Pedagogical psychology
Literature for young people
Didactics of sport education
Didactics of natural environment
Didactics of musical education
Didactics of dancing
Special pedagogy
Didactics of introduction in social environment
Didactics of language education
Education about puppet theatre
Didactics of technical education
Didactics of fine arts
Didactics of mathematics
Sociology of the family and preschool child
and several elective courses.
Among electives there is also one course on moral education and ethics that is described below.  

The BA programme for preschool teachers in Turkey, Dokuz eylül university, Turkey;, shows some differences between Slovenian and Turkish university education of preschool teachers. The Turkish programme namely lasts 4 years and the students are selected by the university entrance examination. The courses are as follows:
Principles of Ataturk and history of the Turkish revolution
Information technology
Introduction into educational science
Introduction into early childhood education
Human anatomy and physiology
Turkish language
Foreign languages: German, French, English
Educational philosophy
Maternal and child health and first aid
Educational psychology
History of Turkish education
Principles and methods of teaching
Maternal and child nutrition
Development in early childhood
Creativity and education
Play development in childhood
Educational sociology
Children’s literature
Education in mathematics
Child’s mental health
Teaching technologies and material design
Classroom management
Teaching physical education and games
Music education
Science education
Visual arts education
Special teaching methods
School experience
Scientific research methods
Measurement and evaluation
Material development
Effective communication
Social service practices
Special education
Parents’ education
Research project
In the described programme there are no special courses on ethics/moral education (but some other BA programmes have courses on ethics and/or values as described below).

Montessori education for preschool teachers from 0 – 3 years and from 2,5 – 6 years is organized by the Montessori Institute in cooperation with Seton Montessori Institute Chicago, U.S.A. The education lasts 18 months, there are 440 and/or contact pedagogical hours and 230 hours of individual seminary work. Admission criteria are more specific than those defined in the Slovenian and in the Turkish programme because Montessori education does not require only the secondary school education but also a short introductory Montessori course, interview, and portfolio.

Obligatory courses of the Montessori programme are:
Pedagogy and philosophy Montessori
Child's development
Designing and preparing the environment
Observing children
Managing the programme and the group
Child in the family and community
Personal growth and development
Areas of everyday life
Area of perception
Language area
Social and natural sciences
Arts and sport
Department management
Relationship between parents and teachers.
Individual courses contain some ethical themes (about 46 hours and/or 69 hours.).

The compared Slovenian and Turkish programmes both include courses like theory of education, pedagogy, psychology, didactics, music, national language, literature, science, development of motor skills, social environment, technology, mathematics, arts and special pedagogy. Besides, the Turkish programme includes foreign languages, child health, more research methods than the Slovenian programmes, effective communication, and parents’ education. Also the Montessori programme contains courses like pedagogy, psychology, didactics, languages, science, development of motor skills, social environment, technology and mathematics. The Montessori programme differs from the described Slovenian and Turskih programmes in that it contains a course on relationship between parents and teachers and a course on designing and preparing the environment. The Turkish BA and the Montessori programmes offer some courses on management while the Slovenian BA programme does not. All three programmes include also practical work and are finished by a longer or shorter written work (diploma, seminary paper, research project). After the conclusion of the Slovenian and of the Turkish programme the graduates are awarded the title BA which is not the case with the Montessori programme.

The Slovenian and Turkish programmes are easily comparable because they have similar concept, formal structure and themes. They belong to the educational sciences, last 3 – 4 years and at the end of their studies students acquire 180 ECTS. The Montessori programme is not a university programme and its courses are not evaluated by ECTS. Both Montessori programmes are much shorter than the Slovenian and Turkish BA programmes.

Table 1: Comparison of basic data, admission conditions, study methods and forms, and the possibilities of integration of the compared programmes into international cooperation


University of Maribor, Slovenia

University Dokuz eylül, Turkey

Montessori institute Ljubljana

Integration of the college into international cooperation




Tertiary education




Study duration

3 years

4 years

1,5 years + 1,5 years

Number of ECTS




Admission conditions

Secondary education

Secondary education

Secondary education

Study methods and forms

Full-time, part-time

Full-time, part-time





no data

Study completion


research project

seminary work

2.2 Courses on ethics/values (in 2015)

In Slovenia there are three public universities that educate preschool teachers and two of them have courses on ethics/morals and on social justice. Both courses are elective.

The University of Maribor offers the course on Moral education and ethics ( The course deals with various moral implications for educational theory and practice. The structure and the content of the course is dedicated to the following issues: (a) The moral character of teaching: different conceptions of teaching as an activity would seem to have diverse implications for moral education, both in the professional role of the teacher and in moral education of children; (b) Ethical theory: the great  moral philosophers diversly attempted to grapple with the problem of the objectivity or otherwise of moral values; (c) Contemporary moral theories attempt to trace the main contours of current moral and social debate with specific reference to such conceptions as emotivism, utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics, liberalism and communitarianism; (d) Values education: what are values and are they objective or subjective ? What kinds of values are of educational significance? (e)  Morality and moral education: what are moral values? Are teachers in kindergarten moral educators? If so, what is the proper form of moral education? The stress is given on character education and virtue ethics; (f) What are the implications of the normative character of education for questions of order and discipline in kindergarten and wider society, concerning authority and responsibility? Various approaches in relation to authoritarian, paternalist, liberal, libertarian and other conceptions of discipline and freedom will be presented.

The University of Primorska has the course Learning for diversity and social justice  ( It is elective and acquaints students with:
-    Aims and principles of multicultural and social justice curriculum:
-    Development of democratic principles and encouraging cultural pluralism
-    Development of multicultural and multilingual education
-    Strategies of developmentally, individually and culturally appropriate child’s development and education
-    Social diversity and equity (gender, race, social-economic status, religion)
-    Diversity and social exclusion
-    Context and problems of the social power with regard to social exclusion
-    Levels of work and engagement within multicultural education
-    Role of the teacher and his/her subjective theories
-    Recognizing mechanisms of the hidden curriculum in the context of social exclusion and inclusion
-    Critical evaluation of discrimination in individuals and in larger society
-    Critical evaluation of discrimination within educational process
-    Teacher’s principles of encouraging interactions with children
-    Principles of successful communication with children, development of positive group atmosphere and good relations with and among children
-    Social skills, ways and principles of advising and working  with children
-    Principles of developmentally-, individually- and culturally appropriate learning environment
-    Strategies to face unappropriate behaviour, opposition and conflicts
-    Defining ethical frames of professional work etc.

Turkish courses on ethics/values

In Turkey there are 53 public universities that offer  BA programmes on preschool education. Among them there are 10 courses on ethics that are electives (except one). Some courses are described more in detail while some universities do not present their contents.

Uludağ University offers the course Values in Preschool but its contents are not available.

Yıldız Technical University offers the course Values Education In Preschool. The course has the following contents: Determination and identification of basic universal values, Basic universal values education, Moral development,  Personality development, Universal values education in early childhood, The role of educators in the education of basic universal values, Parents and universal values, Values applied in the World, Personality, Character training programs.

Mersin University offers the course Values Education The contents are described in a very short way and contain the topics: Values, Values Education, Character, Approaches to teaching values and character.

Marmara University offers the course Introduction to Values Education but its contents are inaccessible.

Mayıs University offers obligatory course Ethical Values Education. The course contains the following topics:
Moral development in early childhood
Different approaches to teaching values
Basic Moral Values:
1. Integrity: Being reliable and faithful. Not being involved in theft, deception, fraud, failure
2. Justice: Following the rules, getting into the queue, sharing
3. Citizenship: Courage, patience, open-mindedness and critical thinking, autonomy and independence, commitment to human rights and democracy, acceptance of diversity, determination and effort
4. Caring for others: Charity, kindness, gratitude, forgiveness, thoughtfulness, love, empathy.
5. Respect: Courtesy, respect, effective communication skills
6. Responsibility: Fulfilling one's task, self-control, having responsibility for the consequences of one's behavior
Basic Moral Capacities
1. Adopting  moral values
2. Dealing with destructive emotions (shame, jealousy, egocentrism, thinking that  he has the right to do anything , dissatisfaction, etc.)
3. Moral reasoning
4. Not having the critical social and emotional skills
5. Strong self-perception.

Abant İzzet Baysal University offers the course Values Education that contains the following themes: What are the basic universal values? Which values should be taught? Universal Values and Moral Development of Basic Education. Basic Universal Value and Personality Development. Basic Universal Values of trainers. Parents and universal values. Values are applied in the world. Personality, Character Education Program. Methods Used in Universal Values Education Programme. Examples of activities for universal values.

Mart University offers the course Love Education The contents of the course are: Basic information about the role and importance of love in all human interaction and communication process, particularly in the educational process. Human love, honor and value, love of nature and the environment. Intended learning outcomes are: being able to explain the concept of love, being able to explain the concept of values, learning the relation between love and values, increasing the awareness of human dignity and value, can the value of  love and  natural and environmental awareness be related, improving love-based interaction and communication awareness, improving reflective/thinking skills, being able to develop critical thinking skills, being able to define and adopt universal values, gaining skills for questioning with a critical approach, developing the skills to manage emotions with a conscious approach.

Sıtkı Koçman University offers the course Ethics In Preschool Education with the following contents: Basic concepts, definitions (professional concept, ethics ...), Professional ethics and codes of ethics to be judged in terms of ethical behavior, Ethics in Education, Teaching professional ethics, Training managers and ethics, education inspectors and ethics, Ethical rights and responsibilities of the student, Ethical rights and responsibilities of parents, School of social responsibility, Pre-school education in ethics, core values in pre-school education, Ethical duties and responsibilities of pre-school educators to the children, Ethical duties and responsibilities of the parents of pre-school educators, Ethical duties and responsibilities of the preschool teacher towards his colleagues, Ethical duties and responsibilities of the preschool teacher towards the society, Pre-school teachers often encounter ethical problems and solutions. At the end of the course student knows the concepts of ethics,  professional ethics; knows ethics in education, training; teacher knows the ethical dimensions of the profession; distinguishes ethical and unethical behavior.

Erzincan University offers the course Values Education. Its contents are: The training of universal values, Moral development, Personality, Issues that teachers should pay attention to while teaching universal values, Universal Values, Values Applied İn The World, Personality, Character education programs, Methods  used in universal values educational programs, Activities related to basic values such as cooperation, honesty, respect, responsibility and tolerance. The course aims are to have information about universal values.
Sinop University offers the course Ethics in Education and Training. Its contents are: Relationship between ethics and the teaching profession, Basic principles of ethics in teaching profession, Ethical foundations of the relations of teacher with his colleagues, students, students' parents and their relationship with the public. Objectives and competences: General culture, knowledge and acquisition of basic theoretical and practical knowledge. Develops basic assumptions, principles, generalizations, theoretical perspectives, a personal philosophy of education in line with empirical research. Adopts the principle of lifelong learning, develops individual knowledge and skills for the job. Volunteers to work effectively with school, family; organizes and applies projects and activities for the social environment with social responsibility. Uses the scientific knowledge and skills with children, colleagues and families. Organizes appropriate training environment to the needs children's development. Intended learning outcomes: Recognizing and knowing  the teaching profession ethics and principles; Teacher candidates know the ethical contents and characteristics of the relationship that he has with his students, collegues and the environment and gain skills to exhibit behavior accordingly; Having general knowledge of ethics and culture.

We can conclude that only a certain number of universities perform courses on values/ethics/moral education  and that they are almost all electives.

The two Slovenian courses are rather different while Turkish courses are more similar. All the described courses on values, morals, ethics contain a number of useful themes that can help to acquaint preschool teachers with values. In the framework of this project we investigated also many other courses on values, ethics, morals, sustainable development etc. that are performed by universities in developed countries. Some of them are interesting for both Slovenia and for Turkey because they offer something new. They are described more in detail among university courses of ethics for preschool teachers:


Slovenian, Turkish and Montessori curriculum and also preschool curricula of other countries mention values as important goal of the preschool education. Values in the curricula are expressed explicitly (they are defined) and implicitly (included in aims, activities and topics). The below analyses of the preschool curricula try to list detailed examples of values in the curricula of three organizations and the last part contains the comparison of values.

3.1 Slovenian Curriculum for kindergartens

Slovenian Curriculum for kindergartens was accepted by the Professional Council of the Republic of Slovenia for public education in 1999. It is published on This Curriculum  is used by the majority of the Slovenian public kindergartens that follow high standards of Slovenian preschool education. This curriculum is the basis for the work of the participating organization Leila d.o.o and/or its kindergarten La petite academy.

In its introduction the Slovenian Curriculum claims that some activities like moral development, caring for health, safety etc. are involved in all the areas of preschool education and are a part of the way of life and work in the kindergarten (Kurikulum, 1999, 4).

The Curriculum for kindergartens lists aims and principles for realization of the aims and areas of activities in the kindergartens.

Among the aims there are:
-    Open and flexible curriculum in different programmes for preschool children
-    Diverse offer in all the areas of activities in kindergartens
-    Balanced offer of different areas and activities of preschool education
-    Enable individuality, diversity and choice
-    Formation of conditions for expressing differences (non-discrimination regarding the gender, social and cultural origin, religion, nationality, physical and mental constitution)
-    Respect of children's privacy and intimacy
-    Increase of the quality of interpersonal interactions
-    Reorganization of the time in the kindergarten
-    Reorganization of the place and equipment
-    Autonomy and professional responsibility of kindergartens
-    Increase of the role of evaluation in planning the life and work in the kindergarten
-    Improvement of information and cooperation with parents (Kurikulum za vrtce, 1999).
Among the aims Slovenian Curriculum explicitly mentions considering values like non-discrimination regarding the gender, social and cultural origin, religion, nationality, physical and mental constitution, respect of children's privacy and intimacy, increase of quality of interpersonal interactions and better information and cooperation with parents.

The principles of realization of aims list:
-    Principle of democracy and pluralism
-    Principle of the open curriculum, autonomy and professional responsibility of the kindergarten
-    Principle of equal possibilities and considering differences among children and the principle of multiculturalism
-    Principle of enabling choice and diversity
-    Principle of respecting privacy and intimacy
-    Principle of balance
-    Principle of professional basis
-    Principle of conditions for introduction of the curriculum
-    Principle of horizontal connection
-    Principle of vertical connection
-    Principle of cooperation with parents
-    Principle of cooperations with environment
-    Principle of teamwork
-    Principle of critical evaluation
-    Principle of the developmental – process approach
-    Principle of active learning (Kurikulum za vrtce, 1999, 5 – 9).
Also these principles emphasize values, especially respect of differences among children, respect of privacy and intimacy, respect of parents, their culture, language, religion, values, convictions, customs, habits etc.

Curriculum for kindergarten mentions values also within relations among children and among children and adults and/or social learning (Kurikulum za vrtce, 1999, 12): the preschool teacher should be a model for a nice and kind communication, attentive and respectful listening, and conflict-solving in a positive way.

Some values are included also in the areas of preschool activities such as:
Nature and

Within the movement activities the Slovenian curriculum mentions that children acquire values like self-confidence, considering the rules of the game, cooperation, respect, considering differences, persistence, learning about nature in connection with movement. Among examples of the activities there are many that develop movement skills but there is little emphasis of values. Kurikulum (pp. 18) recommends teachers to speak about appropriate behaviour, about success and failures in sports.

In the area of language education the Slovenian Kurikulum (1999, 19) mentions the values of the communication culture and politeness, development of moral-ethical dimensions when listening to and reading stories, positive relation to literature. The activities list listening to stories, songs and daily communication but they stress mainly verbal skills and not e.g. values in interpersonal communication.

The area of arts emphasizes the values of creativity and aesthetics (Kurikulum za vrtce, 1999, 23). The curriculum lists many activities, e.g. fine arts, moulding, music, dancing, drama etc. However also these activities do not explicitly present how the teacher can develop and stress values like responsibility or self-confidence.

The area of society speaks about development of tolerance, respect of differences, critical approach to advertising (Kurikulum za vrtce, 1999, 32), respect of basic human rights, democracy, privacy, polite behaviour  and communication, team work and individual decisions, problem-solving etc. Global aims in this area explicitly list the principles of democracy, non-discrimination (Kurikulum za vrtce, 33), diversity, safe and healthy life. Among the aims of this area there are experiences of democracy, helping each other, cooperation, accepting different gender, nationality, religion, development of friendship, rules in the kindergarten and development of a critical approach to commercial thems. Among examples of the possible activities (Kurikulum, 34 - 36) there are activities that should encourage understanding of rules (Kurikulum, 35), discussions of political and ethical questions in the society and about advertising (Kurikulum, 36). The Curriculum  emphasizes that teachers should develop appropriate behaviour of children, critical approach toward advertising and different ideological influences, and that they should prevent nationalism, racism and gender discrimination.

In the area of the nature the Kurikulum (1999, 37) emphasizes development of joy and considering nature, plants and animals. The list of aims quotes that children can influence their environment (Kurikulum, 1999, 38), learn about rubbish, possibilities of their modification; the activities mention hygiene (Kurikulum, 1999, 39), organizing of the classroom and observing plants and animals (Kurikulum, 1999, 40) and rubbish sorting.

The area of mathematics lists most numerous possible activities but they do not include values.

On the basis of this survey it is difficult to say that the Slovenian curriculum for kindergartens does not include any moral-ethical dimensions. Values are present among aims, principles and within other areas of preschool activities, except mathematics. However, it is not exposed which values are developed by certain activities; the Curriculum does not list enough activities that would help teachers and parents develop values and there are no precise descriptions how to perform individual activities.
3.2 Analysis of the Montessori programme (Angela's kindergarten)

Angela's kindergarten and 5 other Montessori kindergartens use the Montessori programme which was checked and received a positive opinion of the Professional Council of the Republic of Slovenia for general education on 17 June 2004:

Other Montessori kindergartens in Slovenia use a slightly different Montessori curriculum which is also recognized by the Professional Council of the Republic of Slovenia for general education:

The main difference between the two curricula is that the Montessori curriculum of Angela's kindergarten as a catholic kindergarten enables children's development of religious abilities and education.

Introduction in the Curriculum of Angela's kindergarten claims that the Montessori education intends to respect children's dignity, freedom and rights as defined by the General Declaration of Human Righs (Program, 2004, 4).

Among the basic aims of the Montessori education are:
-    Encouraging children for self-discipline, self-learning and independence
-    Encouraging children's enthusiasm for learning
-    Encouraging children to respect themselves, other people and environment
-    Encouraging children for a systematic approach to solving difficulties
-    Encouraging children for peace (Program, 2004, 5).

Montessori teachers are required to have values like patience, humour, wide interests, to work without hurrying, move discretely and peacefully. The teacher should never shout, be angry, quarrel or hit somebody. Teachers should be pleasant, polite, sincere, open, clear, determined, develop team-work (Program, 2004, 23). He/she should accept unappropriate behaviour of children with understanding and not with punishment and never humiliate or mock a child (Program, 2004, 13).

In the Angela's Montessori programme there are the following areas: everyday life, perception, language, mathematics, movement, arts and science. Angela's kindergarten emphasizes also religious education (Program, 2004, 4, 24).

The direct and indirect aims of the area of everyday life speak about values like independence, sense for order, self-confidence, politeness, respect. Among the activities for children aged from 1 to 2/3 years the programme explicitly mentions e.g. hygiene, care for environment, learning of politeness and respect (greetings, eating with friends, quiet speaking etc.). Among the activities for older children there are descriptions of preparing the food, cleaning, working with plants inside the kindergarten and in the garden (Program, 2004, 26 - 27).

The areas of perception and mathematics do not speak about values – neither among aims nor within activities.

In the area of the languages the programme describes development of values like politeness and respect, moving with the music and the silence game (Program, 2004, 33).

The area of movement/sports (Program, 2004, 38) speaks about values like independence, self-confidence, respect of rules (respect of others, of the environment and safety), cooperation, accepting victories and failures. Among the activities the Programme mentions activities on the line, the silence game and exercise for persistence (Program, 2004, 39).

The area of arts contains aims that quote aesthetics (Program, 2004, 40). Although the Programme quotes a number of the possible artistic and music activities it does not mention values.

The area of science speaks about the values of understanding and tolerance (referring to the investigation of foreign cultures) which contributes to the larger aim of peace. In the frame of botany the programme mentions caring for plants (Program, 2004, 43 – 44).

A number of values are described in the area of spiritual development/religion, e.g. ability of self-control, independence, self-confidence, love, order etc. (Program, 2004, 48).

Similarly as the Slovenian Curriculum for kindergarten, also The Montessori Programme contains a number of values, expressed within intentions, aims and activities etc. When speaking about activities, also the Montessori curriculum does not have detailed descriptions of activities that would help the kindergarten teachers and parents to develop these values. Therefore also the Montessori programme needs more precise descriptions of activities to develop responsibility, courtesy, respect, truthfulness, self-confidence, friendship, etc.
3.3 Analysis ot the Turkish preschool program

The "Turkish Preschool Program for 36-72 months children" was put into practice to be piloted and developed by The Ministry of National Education in 2006. The program development work was conducted in 2012-2013 taking into account the national and international research, the feedback coming from the implementation and analysis of the current situation based on Strengthening Preschool Education Project work. Program development work has been completed in this process taking into account the contribution of all the stakeholder establishments and institutions that provide pre-school education.

The programme cites that the general objectives of Turkish National Education are to train all individuals of Turkish nation as citizens who adopt, protect and improve the Turkish nation’s national, moral, humanitarian, spiritual and cultural values; who love and try to glorify their families, country and folks; who know their duties and responsibilities and behave accordingly as citizens of the Republic of Turkey that is a democratic, secular and social law state based on the human rights and the fundamental principles at the beginning of the Constitution.

The objectives of the pre-school education are:
- to ensure the children’s physical, mental and emotional development and acquire good habits,
- to prepare them for primary school,
- to create a joint training environment for children coming from disadvantaged environments and family
- to provide that the children speak Turkish accurately and well.

The basic principles of the preschool education:
- With the education provided in preschool, children’s feelings and behaviors such as sharing, love, respect, cooperation, responsibility, tolerance, solidarity must be improved.
- Education must ensure that children feel self-esteem and confidence and acquaint them with self-control.
- Children should not be treated as to damage their personality and teachers should not place any restrictions or pressure within the communication with them.
- Children must be encouraged to develop independent behavior; they  must be provided adult support, guidance and reassuring proximity when they need help.
- Children should be encouraged to recognize their and other people’s feelings (Preschool Education Programme, 2013, 11).

The preschool programme mentions 16 basic features, one of them also cultural and universal values.

In the curriculum there are activities for preschool education such as:
maths activities,
drama activites,
activities of preparation for literacy,
art activities,
Turkish language activities,
game activites,
music activities,
science acitivites,
movement- locomotor activites,
field trip activities.

Ethical values are not described as separate activities in the curriculum and in the above mentioned activities, teaching ethical values is not explicitly addressed. Ethical themes are supposed to be interwoven in the curriculum and may be taught in these activities in forms of games, songs, dramas etc. However the above mentioned activities and areas do not include ethical concerns.

Only in art activities it is mentioned that art activities help the children to respect the differences by allowing a better understanding of children's self, culture and other cultures. In music activities, it is higlighted that musical events (either individual or performed in community), enable that the children develop values like coooperation and collaboration and listening to others.

Science activities promote environmental awareness in children while acquainting them with life realities. It should be noted that the teacher's attitude should be true and they should behave correctly in order for children to develop the right attitude towards the children's environment and in order to do the right thing ( 2013, 48).

The Turkish Pre-school education programme says that pre-chool education programme takes into account the cultural and universal values. In terms of their growth as individuals with their responsibilities, it is important that the children recognize the values of the society in which they live, and embrace cultural and universal values. The program, in this respect, encourages the respect for differences and acquisition of experiences to coexist in harmony with individuals with different characteristics. In the programme, values education is not addressed as a separate area, but is highlighted in a holistic manner ( Preschool Education Program of Ministry of National Education, 2013, 17).

It can be concluded that the general objectives and principles mention moral and ethical values that need to be addressed in preschool: sharing, love, respect, cooperation, responsibility, tolerance, solidarity. But Turkish kindergarten teachers do not have a clear and thorough explanation about how and when to explain these values to children. In the curriculum there are no specific activities, methods or techniques that would acquaint children with ethical values. Also the Turkish curriculum for kindergartens needs a detailed description of activities with which teachers could contribute to the development of values like responsibility, courtesy, respect, truthfulness, self-confidence, friendship, how to show children what is right and what is wrong, how they can help others, cooperate, etc.

3.4 Comparison of values in three preschool curricula

The above analyses of three kindergarten curricula show that the curricula include aims, principles and activities. All three curricula contain fairly detailed activities in the areas of movement, language, arts, society, science, mathematics and others. Values mentioned in the framework of aims and principles represent basic orientation for preschool teachers but concrete help is offered by activities. These activities are the tool that the teachers can use when transmitting themes to the children. If teachers have at their disposal only suggestions that they should include values in the activities of different areas, they can interpret each suggestion in their own way or do not include it at all because they do not know how to do it. If they had descriptions of activities they could include them in their  pedagogical work.

Values mentioned in the Slovenian Curriculum for Kindergartens, in the Montessori Programme and in the Turkish National Curriculum are as follows:

Slovenian Curriculum for Kindergartens (La petite Academy)

Programme Montessori (Angela's Kindergarten)

Turkish National Curriculum

Health, hygiene

Health, hygiene










Acceptance of success and failures

Acceptance of success and failures


Critical approach to commercial themes


Basic human rights

Children's rightss




Respect of privacy




Respecting diversity


Helping each other





Respecting rules

Respecting rules







Respect of nature

Caring for environment




Appreciation of literature








Problem solving


Discipline, order




Acquisition of knowledge

Preparing for school





Self- learning




Solving difficulties













Praying, meditation


Positive attitude








Do the right thing

The analysis of individual values shows that there are considerable differences between the three curricula.  All three curricula contain values like self-confidence, cooperation, responsibility and tolerance. Two of the above curricula mention values like politeness, health and/or hygiene, appreciation of nature, human/children's rights, respecting rules, aesthetics, acquiring knowledge, self-control, accepting success and failure, love. This means that some values seem to be important to more people: self-confidence, cooperation, reliability, tolerance, politeness, health/hygiene, apppreating nature, human/children's rights, respecting rules, aesthetics, acquiring knowledge, self-control, love.


Preschool teachers need a better support to perform moral development among preschool children. The teachers will be able to transmit values like caring for other people, responsibility, honesty, courage, justice, human and/or children's rights (democracy, active role of children), respect (also respect of different values), empathy (supporting and accepting others), peace etc. if they are acquainted with these values and with the ways how to teach children. The teachers must learn about values already during their university studies and should be further acquainted with ethical topics by literature, by short courses and by other ways of personal and/or career development. Syllabi for students of preschool education should contain more courses on ethics, morals, values, sustainable development and at least one of them should be obligatory. Preschool teachers who are already employed should be offered training on how to transmit values to children because many had no courses on moral development of children. In this way it would be possible to reduce the differences that exist between the the image of the preschool teacher described in literature, codes of ethics and personal values of each teacher.

Curricula and/or programmes for kindergartens should contain more concrete activities that would offer preschool teachers ideas about development of values among young children. The curricula described above contain aims, principles and activities in different areas e.g. language, arts, society, nature, mathematics etc. Some aims, principles and activities (these are not frequent) contain also certain values. Curricula expect that preschool teachers will include moral development in the activities of different areas but it is difficult to expect this from people (especially from beginners) who did not acquire any university education in values and do not have at their disposal ideas or descriptions of such activities.
The area of ethics, morals and values belongs to the most demanding tasks in each country because opinions about the priority of values are very different. Values are a popular theme of political parties during elections but they are often forgotten especially if it is necessary to accept such an important document as the national curriculum. However, curricula change or should be changed; it is also possible to confirm supplements of documents. Slovenia has been speaking about the necessary changes of the curriculum for quite some time therefore it is necessary to suggest that the Ministry of education, members of parliaments and other who can influence changes of the curriculum introduce the changes.


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This research was written as a part of the Erasmus+ project Ethical values for preschool children.