University of Tartu
Abstract. This study examines the representation of collectivist and individualistic values in Estonian ABC-books, published between 1900 and 1997, in the context of societal transformations. Grounded theory analysis and pragmatics were used as initial models to develop a method for analysing the pattern of values in ABC-books. The open coding of the text and illustrations revealed preliminary value categories. The next phase of coding involved comparison of preliminary codes with value indicators developed by Schwartz (1990, 1996). On the principle of semantic proximity, all codes were associated with Schwartzian value clusters. Estonian ABC-books were found to convey collectivist rather than individualist values. The ABC-books of the 1990s, however, pay slightly more attention to individualistic values. The individualism-collectivism construct was found to be applicable in textbook research, provided that the specificity of the educational media is taken into account. Some options in the education of values are also discussed.
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