Essential qualities for elementary teachers of the 21st century: Voices of key stakeholders

Akin S., Ok A.

Elementary Education Online, vol.20, no.1, pp.532-552, 2021 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.17051/ilkonline.2021.01.045
  • Journal Name: Elementary Education Online
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, EBSCO Education Source
  • Page Numbers: pp.532-552
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2021, Ankara University. All rights reserved.This study aimed to explore the essential qualities for elementary teachers specifically in the 21st century based on the perspectives of teacher educators, pre-service and in-service elementary teachers, and the authorities of the Ministry of National Education and the Council of Higher Education in Turkey. Designed as phenomenological research, the participants included 58 teacher educators, 29 pre-service elementary teachers, 28 in-service elementary teachers, four authorities from the Ministry of National Education and one authority from the Council of Higher Education, who were selected through criterion sampling, maximum variation sampling, and snowball sampling strategies. The data were collected through semi-structured face-to-face interviews, and analyzed by content analysis method. The participants reported that elementary teachers needed to possess certain qualities that include the essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes in the following domains: (1) information and communication technologies, (2) higher-order thinking skills, (3) autonomy and collaboration, (4) flexibility, (5) adaptation, (6) culturally responsiveness, (7) local and universal issues, (8) personal and professional development, (9) students with special needs, (10) differentiation, and (11) effective communication. The study does not only reflect the evolving needs of elementary teachers along with the changing characteristics of the societies in the 21st century, but it also offers a ground for the future directions of elementary teacher admission, preparation, certification, evaluation, and appointment policies.