The kindergartens La Petite Academy and Angela’s Kindergarten from Slovenia and Gulten ve Omer Unlukahraman Anaokulu from Turkey started to work on the project about ethics for preschool children in 2014. Although the kindergartens use different preschool curricula (La Petite Academy works on the basis of the Slovenian Curriculum for kindergartens, Angela’s Kindergarten uses the programme Montessori and the Turkish kindergarten follows the aims and principles of the Turkish national curriculum) we have noticed that preschool teachers and parents miss materials that would help them introduce values among preschool children. Therefore we made a research which values preschool children understand, what parents and teachers think about values; we analysed how values are present in the curricula of the three participating kindergartens and what courses of ethics are offered to preschool teachers during their BA studies.
The survey of relevant authors showed that the family and the kindergarten are the most important social institutions that can acquaint children with ethics. A number of researchers think that preschool children should receive value education and they also mention which values young children understand. The literature overview also showed which values are appreciated by parents, in what ways parents acquaint children with values and trainings that help parents improve their value education. Relevant researchers also claim that teachers are very important for development of values among preschool children therefore they should work on their ethics and contribute to cooperation with parents.
Analysis of three different preschool curricula shows that they contain aims, principles and activities that mention also values. However all three curricula deal mainly with activities in the areas of movement, language, arts, society, science, mathematics (and others). The curricula rarely mention activities in the area of ethics. None of the investigated curricula includes a special area of ethics and/or lists activities that teachers could use to systematically acquaint children with values. The curricula express the opinion that preschool teachers should introduce children into ethics within all the activities. The teachers might be able to do this if they were acquainted with ethics during their university studies but the majority were not. Our investigation of the BA programmes for preschool teachers in Slovenia and in Turkey showed that in Slovenia two BA programmes contain one course on ethics (each); in Turkey there are 53 public BA programmes for preschool teachers and only 10 courses on values. All the courses except one are elective and not obligatory.
With the regard to these data we produced a handbook with cases of different activities that can help preschool teachers and parents acquaint children with values. The handbook is the result of people with different culture who use different preschool curricula. Therefore the kindergartens will not be able to accept and/or use all the activities described in the handbook. But the handbook still represents the beginning of work and we hope that we will be able to increase the number of the activities every year.
The project includes also video training for preschool teachers and parents that shows how it is possible to develop values like responsibility, respect, understanding what is right and what is wrong, self-confidence, politeness, helping others, cooperation, friendship, imagination, honesty, love, gratitude etc. The video training is open to parents and kindergarten teachers in Slovenia, Turkey and in other parts of the world.