Psychological predispositions of teachers for encouraging the pluralist cognitive style in teaching
Keywordsplurality of ideas
weak and strong ego
pluralist cognitive style
Theory and practice of education
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AbstractThe aim of the presented research was to determine in which measure teachers possess the psychological predispositions for democratic functioning as a condition for education for democracy. Two groups of personal characteristics were singled out: (a) predispositions for anti-democratic behavior, arbitrarily labeled weak ego characteristics, and (b) strong ego characteristics as predispositions for democratic behavior. The readiness of teachers to develop the democratic style of teaching was tested via their readiness to accept plurality of ideas, as the acceptance of legitimacy of the existence of different explanations of many phenomena and readiness to consider the argumentation for disagreeing or opposed views within controversial issues. The research was conducted on the purposeful, convenient sample during the school year 2006/2007 in primary and secondary schools in several towns in Serbia (N=158). The scales in accordance with Likert's procedure were applied for each individual characteristic. The results show that the majority of teachers have a positive attitude towards the acceptance of plurality of ideas. The assumptions about a significant negative correlation between the acceptance of plurality of ideas and weak ego characteristics were confirmed, as well as about a significant positive correlation with strong ego characteristics. This paper discusses the pedagogical implications of the obtained findings.