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Social values reflections through the use of EFL storytelling: an action research with primary students/Reflexiones acerca de los valores sociales mediante el uso de la narracion de cuentos: investigacion accion con estudiantes de basica primaria.


Schools have always had a great influence in children's understanding of the world; and while it is important that children grow intellectually, the value of students becoming citizens who interact in the world with kindness, respect, integrity, and moral behavior is perhaps even more important.

Nowadays, most English teachers recognize the importance of developing linguistics skills during the English classes; nevertheless, when we analyze what we as teachers actually do to help students with personal and moral development we might find that sometimes we do very little to contribute to this essential aspect of students' life.

Consequently, teachers are called to evolve in their vision of education; that is to say, to go beyond the academic aspects of teaching and acknowledge the importance of character education. Concerned with the issues mentioned above, we developed this research project in order to gain insights about students' conceptions on social values through the use of storytelling sessions.

Theoretical Framework

The following is the discussion about the theoretical and research foundations that support the present study.


Storytelling is a technique that has been used by an increasing amount of teachers in the last few years; it allows both interaction and construction of knowledge at the same time. As Ellis and Brewster (1991) indicated: "Listening to stories develops the child's listening and concentrating skills, something which allows them to understand the overall meaning of a story and to relate it to their personal experience" (p. 2). In this respect we can add that storytelling is a valuable technique to implement in the English as foreign language (EFL) classrooms since it integrates content topics and language development. We believe that this methodology is appropriate for young children because it makes learning meaningful and fun. From Ellis and Brewster's conception: "Stories are a useful tool in linking fantasy and the imagination with the child's real world. They provide a way of enabling children to make sense of their everyday life and forge links between home and school" (p. 1). During the development of this project, storytelling provided students the opportunity to relate the ideal conceptions of life presented in the stories to their own personal experiences. Besides being a good way to promote the development of language skills (listening, reading, comprehension, vocabulary), it was also a catalyst that managed to encourage students' thoughts. It allowed them to question the form in which they developed their moral life with respect to the ideal and/or questionable behaviours presented in the stories.

Also according to Freire and Macedo (1987), "literacy is not only reading and writing words, but has to do with an active relationship between the words and the reader's reality, regarding her/his experience of the world" (p. 249). In response to Freire and Macedo's words, Ellis and Brewster (1991) stated, "listening to stories in class is a shared social experience, storytelling provokes a shared response of laughter, sadness, excitement, and anticipation which is not only enjoyable but can help building up the child's confidence and encourage social and emotional development" (p. 3).

Social Values

Social values are fundamental principles that are acquired from society which allow children to develop an integral personality and to construct their own conceptions of life depending on the interaction they have with their society. Because of their collective character, social values have an objective basis which is not directly dependent on the individual. Social values just emerge if the child is immersed in a constant social interaction (Silva, 2004).

Consequently, to understand the role of social values in children's lives it is necessary to explore the concept of moral reasoning which was defined by Sigelman and Rider (2009) as "the thinking process involved in deciding whether an act is right or wrong" (p. 425). This notion complements the social values conception because due to children's capacity of reflecting upon moral issues, they are able to understand social values. In the same trend of thought, Piaget (1934) stated that children's morality is based on an evaluation of actions that depends on the material consequences, since the child does not differentiate with clarity the physical area from the psychic one; that is to say, children are heteronymous moral thinkers because they judge their actions according to the rules imposed by an authority which, in most cases, is represented by parents or any adult that is in charge of them.

Similarly, Gomez (2004) affirmed that "the perception of morality depends on the authority personified in the paternal figure, for the child everything that provides paternal protection is considered positive, and everything that makes this parental protection disappear is considered negative" (p. 36). According to the author's perceptions, family plays a crucial role in children's conception of moral issues because it represents the source of rules that can be adopted by children. Additionally, Kohlberg (1969) established three levels of moral development. The first level is called preconvention morality, and a sub-stage of this level has a punishment and obedience basis; that is to say that the child responds to the rules imposed by an authority. The second stage responds to the hedonism tendency of children; in this stage, children evaluate their actions based on their personal satisfaction because they are regulated by the hope of benefit in return. However, it is important to highlight that the goal of moral reasoning is to achieve the post conventional morality level in which the individual assumes values because of conviction and because s/he is able to distinguish between what is morally correct or incorrect.


The third construct guiding this study was reflection, which was closely related to the main aim of this project: contributing to children's awareness about moral consciousness. In regard to this, Knapp (1992) asserts: "In the reflection process the learner is becoming aware of exploring and transforming parts of an experience to produce a new understanding or appreciation of the world" (p. 102). In this respect, Mezirow (1991) affirmed: "reflection can produce transformational learning, this type of learning involves the formation of new, more accurate mindsets that allow for a more open, discriminatory, and integrative understanding of one's experiences" (p. 107). Similarly, Kohlberg (1969) stated: "Reflection is a process that integrates two important steps: inquiry and the question of self. During the first step: inquiry, the person formulates questions in the quest for information and comprehension" (p. 79). We applied this theory in every session before starting to analyze the happenings of the story; also, we formulated questions regarding the story to ensure students' comprehension of it. We can affirm that we used the inquiry stage when we helped students to make a more complete reflection about the values they discovered in the stories. Children were able to assume a more reflective attitude.

Setting and Participants

This research study was conducted at a public school in Bogota. The participants were 17 students whose ages ranged from seven to nine years old, 12 boys and five girls. These students belonged to a lower middle social-economic status. They received English classes two times a week, two hours each day. The PEI (Proyecto Educativo Institutional [Institution Educational Project]) of the school seeks the improvement of the educational environment and its role in students' integral development. Also, the school's foundation fosters the harmonic and integral development of the student, and its objective is to form reflective, critical, and committed people that can contribute positively to society.


This research study was based on the action research paradigm which was defined by Mills (2007) as "any systematic inquiry conducted by teacher researchers, principals, school counselors, or other stakeholders in the teaching/learning environment to gather information about how their particular school operates, how they teach, and how well their students learn" (p. 6). From Nunan's (1992) conception, "action research is initiated by the practitioner and is derived from a real problem in the classroom which needs to be confronted" (p. 18). This methodology fit our research purpose since one of the objectives of our study was to reflect upon the way in which students constructed awareness about social values by using the storytelling strategy.

Based on the research paradigm, we proposed the following question to be answered along this study: What characterizes third graders' reflections upon their own social values in an EFL storytelling classroom?

With the purpose of collecting data that could answer our research question, we used the following instruments: preliminary group unstructured interviews, questionnaires, and semi-structured interviews. These instruments gave us the key aspects to analyze all the data collected. Through them, we contrasted and compared and found similarities among them. It is important to mention that all the instruments were applied every week for four months; these instruments were used taking into account the different settings in which students construct their values (school and home).

Preliminary Group Unstructured Interview

This instrument was used in order to understand the perspectives students had in relation to the social values presented in the stories. After each story reading, we started a process of ethical deliberation by asking students about their own interpretations of the story happenings. Students gave their insights about the story, expressed their opinions and feelings and evaluated the characters' behaviors, actions and decisions. They also made reflections about the consequences of characters' actions; often students related the characters' actions to their own life experiences by providing real life examples of situations they had experienced along their lives (see Appendix 1).


The second instrument selected for the data collection was written questionnaires. This instrument helped us to enhance students' reflections and opinions upon social issues or values. Questionnaires offered us the opportunity to validate the comprehension of the story and through the use of this instrument students were able to reflect and to give meaningful opinions that showed the impact each story had on their perception of their social contexts. Questionnaires were applied individually to all students after each storytelling session and before the interviews. The questions were designed in terms of inference, understanding and exemplification of the different situations faced by the characters along the development of the story; this instrument was analyzed taking into account students' views about each story, their understanding of the events presented in the story and their interpretation of particular aspects in relation to social values that appear in it (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Questionnaire Form


The boy who cried wolf

Name:__                                                         Date__

1. What type of values did you identify in the story?

2. Is it important to tell the truth?

3. Is there any consequence when you tell lies?

4. Describe one situation in which you have lied- How did you
feel? What happened after that?

Individual Semi-Structured Interview

From Elliot's (1993) perspective, the interview is a good way of finding out what the situation looks like from others' points of view. This perception was relevant for us since, as the author argues, interviews are a tangible evidence of our students' social values awareness. Semi-structured individual interviews were used in order to understand students' individual perspectives about the moral issues presented in the stories. Through the use of this instrument the participants emphasized certain topics by giving us meaningful insights that evidenced their reflections upon social values. Interviews were a rich source of data that permitted us to analyze and find particular issues about students' personal views on social values. They were done individually after the application of questionnaires in every storytelling class session.

Data Analysis and Findings

Recognizing the importance of the data analysis in the systematic research process and taking into account that this project was developed under the principles of qualitative paradigm and action research, it is pertinent to note Hubbard and Miller's (1993) assertion "data analysis is the process of bringing order, structure and meaning to the data, to discover what is underneath the surface of the classroom" (p. 65). In order to do this, grounded theory was the method which guided the analysis process giving it validity and strong theoretical support because it is designed, according to Charmaz (2000), to "build middle-range theoretical frameworks that explain the collected data" (p. 509). Taking into account the above aspects concerning the data analysis, we decided to reach a suitable data interpretation through three different instruments such as unstructured interviews, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Each one of us took the stored data gathered by each instrument and reduced the information to a manageable chart grouping together the data that looked alike, then we read through the data and tried to find relevant patterns that would allow us to build the themes that were mentioned the most by the children in the different instruments. After finishing the systematic analysis, we came out with two categories, which are presented below.

Children's Reflections Are Framed Into Home and School Settings

This category emerged because participants tended to show answers that evidenced the importance of the environments where they construct their social values. Most students mentioned the family as the most relevant setting in which they have learned social values; in addition to that, some students expressed school as being the setting where they have acquired their notions about social values. According to Dunn and Cutting (1999), "when children experience these emotionally-charged encounters (justifying their own and others' actions, protecting self-interests, offering sympathy, negotiating their position, etc.) they acquire the capacity for social understanding" (p. 217). This perception was important for us because we consider that it is through the environment that children build their social basis; that is to say, children develop their values by the socio-cultural input they receive from their surroundings.

After we listened to students' opinions about social and moral issues discussed during the interviews, we noticed that the participants were constantly mentioning the settings in which they had acquired their notions about social values. According to the responses, pupils defined values using as a reference the people they share with at school and in their houses. Students mentioned how they understood and practiced the social values presented in the stories with their family members and their classmates. The following excerpts exemplify this concern:

What is friendship?

S4: (1) Friendship is to respect my classmates. (GI)

S6: It is when you help your friend in the good and bad moments of life. (GI) What is respect?

S 14: It is when you don't say rude words to your classmates. (II)

Why even though Scrooge had a lot of money he was not happy with his life?

S16: He was not happy with the money, because he wanted to have a normal life, but the money ruined his life and now he doesn't have family and he does not want to continue living like that. (Q1, Q4) (2)

As is shown in these excerpts, students consider that the most relevant aspect of life is family; they mentioned that the existence of a family is a key aspect for everybody's happiness. Besides that, we noticed that the understanding of social values was evidenced by their mentioning examples of the daily experiences they have had with their families rather that constructing a definition.

When children reflected on the values in the short stories, they were engaged in a process of social values awareness, self-interpretation, and self-conceptualization. This is supported by Knapp (1992) when he stated, "in reflection the learner is becoming aware of exploring and transforming parts of an experience to produce a new understanding or appreciation" (p. 25). In this sense, we consider that through the reflections carried out in the storytelling sessions, students were learning about the importance of practicing social values as one crucial step toward building social behaviors. The following excerpts reveal the significance of living in society; here we can notice how the children constantly showed concern about being part of a community.

Why do you think that Scrooge, despite having plenty of money, was not happy with his life?

S12: He was not happy because he doesn't have a wife or children and that is something you cannot buy with money. (Q4, Q1)

Why do you think Geppeto wanted to have a child?

S14: Because he wanted company because he did not like to be alone, without family. (Q1)

If you could change the ending of the story of Lambert the sheepish lion, what would be a good way to end the story?

S11: that the lion became a baby again so that he could go back to his house and he could live in a beautiful house with a family. (Q3, Q1)

S15: That the lion returned home with his parents. (Q3, Q1) But what is a family? Who is part of a family?

S8: Who is part? Siblings, parents.

And if there is only a mom and son or father and son, are they a family?

S8: Yes, everything that is permitted is considered a family: a mom, a dad, a son and a dog, are part of a family or if it is just a mom and son they are a family too, for example in my house there is only my mom and me because my dad abandoned us.

The excerpts above still show how the participants reflected on the importance of family. This was seen in the class discussions after reading the adaptation of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, which was implemented to analyze students' views about the role of family in a person's life. When one of the students affirmed that Scrooge was not happy with his life because he did not have a family, and his money did not give him the happiness that a family can give, he is affirming the meaningful role that family plays in our lives. Also in the excerpts shown above, one of the students expressed that what is important in a family is not the way it is composed but the love that is felt and everything that each family member does for the others.

Additionally, concerning the concept of family union in life, it was found that pupils related the social values practiced by the characters of the story to the social values students practiced at school with their friends, classmates, and teachers. Consequently we can affirm that stories can contribute to generate children's awareness of the importance of practicing social values in their daily lives and with the members of their community. This idea is supported by Ellis and Brewster (1991) when they affirmed, "stories exercise the imagination as children become personally involved in a story when they identify themselves with the characters" (p. 23). Students' perceptions show how they identified the practice of the social value presented in each story by telling a personal experience where they have practiced that value.

Furthermore, in a study made by Hunter and Eder (2010), children related the values found in the stories to their own experiences. Their moral judgments are framed in their everyday actions. The authors concluded that storytelling evoked students' own stories and promoted the description of their own ethical decisions. In the current study it was also discovered that students involved their everyday actions at school and home in their reflections as is shown in the following excerpts.

Describe a time when you helped your friend to solve a problem. How did you feel when helping her or him?

S15: I have helped Santiago to do his homework and he has helped me sometimes because he defends me. I feel good because I feel I have true a friend at school. (Q2, Q4)

S17: I helped my mom once to wash the dishes because she cut his hand and she could not do it. I was happy to help her, because it makes me sad to see her having pain and because she is my mom and I had to help her. (Q2, Q4)

S13: I helped my friend because a child spit and hit him, so I went to defend my friend. (Q2, Q4)

S8: I help a friend to find her cat that had escaped from her house, I felt sad when she told me that the cat was lost and I was happy when we found him. (Q2, Q4)

What are the consequences of telling lies?

S2: For me, lies have bad consequences, I used to take strawberries from the store without paying, but one day I grabbed one strawberry and my sister told my dad that I was doing that, she said "Daddy, Jefferson was eating something." My dad told me "why are you taking those strawberries?, that is not yours!" And he slapped me. (II2: 83-89)

As shown above, students remembered with pride and satisfaction the events in which they had done a good deed. Most of them were concerned about their peers. In the case of Student 8, he expressed the satisfaction he felt after seeing the result of his good deed. Meanwhile, Student 17 emphasized that the good deeds should be done by conviction and not as an obligation. This student was making progress in his moral development, considering good acting as a source of joy. On the other hand, Student 2 decided to share a real life experience in order to describe the consequences of telling lies. Furthermore, it was found that students included the existence of the family as an important aspect in their lives. This was exemplified in the story of Lambert, the Sheepish Lion when students gave their insights about the family unit. The following excerpts of students' questionnaires show these concerns:

If you could change the end of the story of Lambert the Sheepish Lion, what would be a good ending for you?

S11: That Lambert met a lioness; they had children and lived happily ever because they made a family. (Q1, Q2)

S2: My ending would be that the lion was happy with his dad and her mom forever (Q1, Q2).

In the excerpts shown above, we can see how most of the children continued including the importance of the family unit in their answers. Additionally, students often mentioned the family as a necessity for the character of the story. These students' insights invited us to reflect on the importance of our role as educators and how we can help parents refocus on the concept of family and on the values they practice within it.

Students Evidence Values by Describing Them as Duties

This category emerged because after analyzing the data exhaustively, we discovered that children have a tendency to describe social values as duties, a phenomenon which is supported by several theoreticians beginning with Piaget (1934) who asserted that children relate the good actions and the values to their consequences (prize or punishment). Students also mentioned that in most cases parents are the ones who provide the prize or punishment as a crucial part of the process of upbringing. The way in which children justify their actions based on parents' reactions is evidenced in the following excerpts:

How do you demonstrate love?

S13: In my house I polish my dad's shoes, I help my sister to cook rice, I give her the ingredients and I help my mom to wash dishes. (II)

S8: Washing the dishes, sweeping, when we go to bed I remove the ridge-tiles, making the bed, and preparing my uniform. (II)

S4: Do not avoid housing duties. (GI)

S5: Do not speak with strangers and do not open the door to anybody. And If I am punished I won't be able to see TV or play. (GI)

Why is it important to tell the truth?

S4: Because then things can go wrong or get a punishment (Q6, Q1)

In the preceding examples the influence of parents and the importance of the rules in the recognition of values and good behaviors are evident. Kohlberg (1969) justified this situation in his theory about the development of morality; according to Kohlberg, the child up to nine years old is in the pre-conventional stage. In this stage, the emphasis is presented in the literal obedience of the rules; the child avoids hurting people or damaging property because children are motivated to avoid punishment. Kohlberg's theory can be applied to the participants' responses because they related good actions in terms of the fulfillment of rules. They defined themselves in terms of obedience when they mentioned that being obedient makes you a better person because that is a form of retribution to our parents for the gift of life.

In the initial stage of their moral development, children have a heteronymous morality because they are under the pressure that adults exert on them. According to Piaget (as cited in Gomez, 2004), "Children from four to ten years old do not doubt the rules and they often can infringe them because they do not understand them completely" (p. 31). Nevertheless, they are afraid of being disobedient because of the possible penalty. Children feel culpability depending on the magnitude of the damage their actions caused. In most cases, parents and teachers are the ones who determine the magnitude of children's actions and they decide whether or not to impose a punishment.

Children associate values such as love and discipline by assuming their responsibilities; they assimilate everything that parents teach them as good actions into their moral perceptions of life. This statement is supported by Gomez (2004) when he affirmed, "the perception of morality depends on the authority personified in the paternal figure: for the child everything that provides paternal protection is good and anything that makes the protection disappear is bad" (p. 36). In that sense, the center of children's lives is parents and for that reason, they relate every action to their parents' well-being. There is a feeling of protection that mediates the relation between the family and the child who does all that s/he can do to insure the protection mentioned above. The following excerpts show these concerns:

How do you feel when you sacrifice something for someone's well-being?

S13: I feel well because I am doing a favor to them, and they did a favor to us by creating us. (GI)

How do you demonstrate love?

S7: Making my mom's bed, embracing her, giving kisses to her. (II) What characteristics must a good child have?

S8: I make my bed, I wash the dishes from Tuesday to Thursday, three days per week, and I love mom too much.

S1: To respect mom, to follow rules, to organize my own bedroom, and to be a responsible person. (II)

S13: A good son must have the homework done before they come, in bed when parents arrive to home, to be obedient and do not disrespect them. (II)

S16: Helping them, doing everything that parents say, making the bed and walking the pet. (II)

In the foregoing excerpts, the good actions are presented as the consequence or the response of something i.e. in the first excerpt the student considered he should sacrifice everything for his family as a way of paying them for the gift of life. There is not a real conviction but a clear idea of the cause and effect phenomenon. It is to say that the child believes, "if I receive a favor, I should do something in response to that." This idea is explained by the second stage of moral development proposed by Kohlberg (1969) where children are regulated by the hope of benefit in return; in this stage children respond after receiving or in order to receive something: "If my parents give life, I should sacrifice myself to thank them." One of the values that children often reflected upon was honesty, which is associated with cause and consequence parameters given by children, generally in terms of truth and lies. Children classified lies as negative acts because they usually get punished if they lie. As was mentioned by Piaget (as cited in Gomez, 2004) for children frequently up to eight years old, "the lie is bad because it is punished" (p. 29).

Childhood is a stage that allows people to achieve an adaptation to the society; subsequently, the rules and good behaviors learned during this stage are essential in children's personality development. In the early years, human beings are the reflection of the paternal figures; children act through imitation and get an idea of morality based on the rules imposed by adults. Only through this initial process can the human being later construct in stages a subjective and independent conception of social values. Yarce (2004) supported the idea that people construct social values initially based on fundamental and universal principles which are enacted by an authority figure. He affirmed that the main source of morality is the family in which the child has the opportunity of growing up and then starts looking for his/her place in society.


The following are the conclusions that emerged after the analysis of the data gathered along this research path. The first conclusion we came up with about what characterizes children's reflections upon social values is that these reflections were related to the home and school settings. Children mentioned the importance of the environments where they construct their social values; they pointed out the family as the main setting and school as the secondary setting where they have acquired their notions about these values.

Regarding the home setting, students portrayed their personal family experiences as the mean of reflecting and constructing their own social values. Family became the most relevant aspect when building their own personalities. The interaction with their family members was a relevant aspect to establish the kind of social values children identified with, and how students evidenced their reflections on these values. Children identified themselves with the characters from the stories analyzed in class. Thus they could reflect upon their own acting as well as Ellis and Brewster (1991) affirm. Wright (1995) stated that "stories help children to understand their world and to share it with others. Children want to find meaning in stories, so they listen with a purpose" (p. 6).

With reference to the school context, children conveyed it as the place that helps them to evidence, reflect and build upon their social values since they learn how to interact with their classmates and understand how these interactions help them to redefine their own social values as well as improve on what they have learnt about these values at home. In this sense Douillard (2002) states that "reflective activities in the classroom help to make thinking more visible, enabling students to learn from one another and to gain insights into their own thinking and learning processes;" thus, teachers and classmates are a significant influence on children since their daily interactions reinforce the child's perception about social values.

The next conclusion we achieved about the characterization of children's reflections upon their own social values is that students evidence these values by giving examples of situations they have lived, instead of conceptualizing them. Children related the values presented in the stories to the experiences they have had along their lives by identifying the presence of social values in their contexts. In this regard, Knapp (1992) stated that "in reflection the learner is becoming aware of exploring and transforming parts of an experience to produce a new understanding or appreciation" (p. 25). We agree with this statement because students associate their personal experiences as a way of evidencing their own social values in terms of actions and duties.

An additional finding was related to the role of parents and teachers in students' moral development. Adults act as sources of morality; children learn the concept of values through the example and teachings received daily. Children up to nine or ten years old based their morality on obedience and they are constantly pleasing their parents who are sources of authority and protection. Thus, rules are assimilated by them as absolute and sacred principles which must be taken into account in assessing the actions as good or bad. Children referred to their family members or school members as one of the central points with which to start reflecting upon their own social values, since they considered adults' thought about their actions and behaviors the right thing and the best thing for them in order to be a good person in their community and society. Thus, adults' opinions became one of the main aspects to consider when reflecting on a specific social value.

Another fundamental reflection is that we as teachers should be aware of the importance of the role we play in children's morality process because their future autonomous perspective of morality depends on the social rules they acquire in the early stages of life. We should understand and internalize the idea expressed by Lubbock (2007): "Children are often over-anxious and acutely sensitive. Man ought to be a man and master of his fate, but children are at the mercy of those around them" (p. 13). The fact that adults represent the first contact and source of morality from children does not imply that adults can abuse them. On the contrary, we should be a good example and insure that our actions make us good models for children.

After the development of this research project, it was possible to reflect on the inclusion of social values in English teaching and to suggest pedagogical issues that should be considered for further pedagogical practice and research:

A relevant issue for a further pedagogical practice is reflective pedagogy. Teachers should be able to focus their teaching process not only on the way they teach but also on how meaningful their teaching is as concerns the child's personality development. Students need to start reflecting upon their behaviors and actions within the school and outside of it from the early stages of life. The need of transforming the teaching processes in aspects related to the social content of curriculums and its impact on the child's social development is evident.

The final issue is the creation of reading environments in state schools that encourage and motivate students to read in English. Thus, by using big books children start developing reading skills that will lead them to the growth of communicative skills. These books facilitate an environment that allows children to freely express their thoughts.

In relation to further research the promotion of an increase in the level of commitment schools and families have regarding how children enforce their social values within their immediate contexts and the society should be considered.

The second topic is the placing of supremacy, it is to say, parents and teachers sublimation. At the early stage of a child's development, parents and teachers have a big influence in a child's life; therefore, analyzing how this influence affects or reinforces the child's personality development would be a captivating study that could lead to the creation of strategies that help in the child's socio-affective development.

The third topic is the inclusion of ICTs (information and communications technologies) into the storytelling activities. We believe that as this technique allows students to have contact with the narration from a visual perspective it can make it more interesting for children. It would be worthwhile to promote values by showing them within stories done in digital formats. The inclusion of ICTs is an alternative to improve our teaching methods and in that sense create a pedagogical environment that fits students' needs.

The conclusive topic is the exploration of the other stages of moral development proposed by Kohlberg (1969) (conventional and post conventional stages), since this research explored only the pre-conventional stage in children. It would be worthwhile to explore the other stages in adolescents, considering that their level of social consciousness could permit deeper reflections upon social values awareness development.
Appendix 1: Transcription of Preliminary Unstructured Group
Interview (3)

                    Pinocchio Story

       What did you understand about the story?

S1:    The father was happy because Pinocchio was real.
S4:    Pinocchio's father's name was Geppeto.
S5:    Geppeto created Pinocchio and then the fairy became
       real Pinocchio and Geppeto was very happy.
S3:    The fairy became Pinocchio a real boy.
S6:    Geppeto to have a real boy.
S13:   When the fairy became Pinocchio, a wooden toy, into a
       person; Geppeto was very happy.
       Why did the fairy become Pinocchio, a real boy?
S7:    Because he was a good boy.
S2:    Because Geppeto wanted to have a child with the fairy
S13:   As the Reading says, Geppeto loved him so much.
       ?Why did Geppeto want to have a child?
S13:   Because he was alone.
       ?Is it a family only a father and his son, or not?
S14:   Sometimes it is, sometimes it's not.
S13:   No, because the mother was missing.
S16:   Yes, a family can be only with the mother.
       Why was Geppeto so happy when Pinocchio became a real
S13:   Because he had a son.
S6:    Because he wanted company.
S16:   Because now he had a family.
S13:   Because he wanted a real son.
       Why was it important for Geppeto to have a child?
S3:    Because he was not going to be alone anymore.
       How does it feel to be alone?
S8:    Terrible, because when someone is alone his heart is


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(1) Codes: GI= Group Interview, II= Individual Interview, Q= Questionnaire, S= Student

(2) The excerpts in this article have been translated from Spanish by the authors.

(3) The original transcription was in Spanish. It has been translated for the purposes of publication.

Claudia Milena Gomez Combariza

Maria Ximena Rodriguez Chapeton

Vanessa Alejandra Rojas Rincon

Universidad Distrital Francisco Jose de Caldas--Colombia

Claudia Milena Gomez Combariza studied for her B.A. in English at Universidad Distrital Francisco Jose de Caldas and is currently working in an outsourcing company for the United States. She is particularly interested in the teaching of young and adult learners.

Maria Ximena Rodriguez Chapeton studied for her B.A. in English teaching at Universidad Distrital Francisco Jose de Caldas, She is currently working as an English professor at Fundacion Universitaria Unipanamericana. Her research interests include literacy, bilingualism and learning materials.

Vanessa Alejandra Rojas Rincon recently earned two bachelor's degrees at the same time, one in English and the other in accounting. Her interests include the teaching and learning processes of a foreign language.

This article was received on September 15, 2012, and accepted on August 23, 2013.
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Author:Combariza, Claudia Milena Gomez; Chapeton, Maria Ximena Rodriguez; Rincon, Vanessa Alejandra Rojas
Publication:HOW - A Colombian Journal for Teachers of English
Date:Oct 1, 2013
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