Social Studies Teacher Candidates’ Opinions about Digital Citizenship and its Place in Social Studies Teacher Training Program: A Comparison between the USA and Turkey*
This research aims to determine and compare what social studies teacher candidates living in two different countries think about digital citizenship and its place within social studies and social studies teacher training program and to produce suggestions concerning digital citizenship education. Having a descriptive design, this research has employed a data collection tool developed in accordance with qualitative research method and consisting of open and closed-end questions directed to figure out teacher candidates’ opinions about digital citizenship and its place in both social studies and social studies teacher training programs. The participants of the study are a total of 14 American (7 females-7 males) senior teacher candidates studying at Social Studies Teacher Training Program of a university located in East North Central region of the Midwestern United States and 51 Turkish (28 females-23 males) senior teacher candidates studying at Social Studies Teacher Training Porgram of a university located in the Central Anatolian Region of Turkey. Data collection took place in the spring term of 2012-2013 in both universities simultaneously. Research data has been analyzed through content analysis. Research findings have yielded that social studies teacher candidates participating from two different countries think that social studies course holds a major position with respect to digital citizensip education and that this course should be integrated with digital citizenship education. However, social studies teacher condidates in both countries have reported that either there are no topics or themes about digital citizenship within social studies course or they are insufficient and shallow. This study includes several suggestions concerning the incorporation of topics and themes about digital citizenship into social studies teacher training program.