“As the Twig is Bent, so is the Tree Inclined”
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Keywords

teacher research; pre-service teacher; research engagement; teacher education

Abstract

The aim of this descriptive study is twofold: (1) to explore pre-service English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers’ attitudes towards research in relation to self-efficacious, affective, cognitive, and behavioural aspects of their attitudes towards research engagement, and (2) to explore the perceived benefits and difficulties in relation to their engagement in (i.e., reading or using) and with (i.e., conducting) research. To this end, pre-service English teachers (PSTs) enrolled in a state university in Turkey participated in this study. For the purposes of the study which adopted a mixed-method research design, the data were triangulated: Quantitative data came from a  survey whereas the qualitative data came from an open-ended survey and semi-structured focus-group interviews. Findings illustrated PSTs’ attitudes towards research from self-efficacious, behavioural, cognitive, and affective perspectives, as well as the perceived benefits and challenges they experienced throughout the process. Findings indicated that PSTs had overall positive views toward research. Findings also showed research engagement helped PSTs feel more self-efficacious and overcome their research anxiety and empower their future teaching practices and professional competencies, contributing to their self-improvement, fostering their inquisitiveness as well as the feelings of self-worth and accomplishment. The study concludes by discussing the implications for pre-service teacher education programs. 

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