STOP AT THE RED LIGHT! DETERMINANTS OF RESEARCH IN TEACHER EDUCATION: P.I.S. THEORY

Çağla Atmaca

Abstract


Growing body of studies has stressed the role of research in teacher education since conducting research informs both teachers and students, and contributes to professional skills. Therefore, this study aimed to find out and compare the perspectives of pre-service and in-service English teachers in an EFL context with regard to finding sufficient resources to conduct research, whether they are involved in research-related activities and find research findings applicable. Qualitative research method was used to get detailed responses from the participants and form a theory upon emerging themes and categories. The qualitative findings were further supported with numbers in the form of frequency and percentage tables to include both qualitative and quantitative means, utilize complementary purposes of words and numbers, and get the outmost profit from numerical and non-numerical data. There were 340 participants and it took more than about one year to collect the data. 290 pre-service English teachers from four different state universities and 50 in-service English teachers from 15 different cities participated in the study. The participants reflected their perspectives upon the importance of research in teacher education by answering questions in a written interview protocol (WIP). Statistical procedures were applied to form the frequency and percentage tables whereas constant comparison of grounded theory was used to code and categorize interview items, and form a theory summarizing the macro-level and micro-level factors affecting participant responses. The findings showed that there exist similarities and differences between pre-service and in-service English teachers. More than half of the pre-service participants (N: 147) and high majority of the in-service participants (N: 43) reflected unfavorable perspectives upon finding sufficient opportunities, following publications and feasibility of research findings. Additionally, the emerging categories of pre-service answers are more varied compared to in-service teachers. In general, the in-service participants were found to be more pessimistic about educational research more than the pre-service participants. At the end of the analysis P.I.S. Theory emerged to cover the determinants of research in teacher education. According to P.I.S. Theory, there exist three macro-level determinants namely Personal, Institutional and Stakeholder-related issues which shape the route of research in teacher education and include micro-level determinants. The findings point out the gap between university classrooms and school classrooms in terms of promoting research among teachers. Participant quotations also draw attention on their changing flow of teacher identity relating research in the course of trainings they go through in years. In light of the findings, it can be said that promoting research skills among students should go beyond integrating a compulsory course at graduate level, be handled with an across-the-curriculum understanding and further expand to bridge pre-service and in-service teacher education with a systematic approach through university-school collaboration and teacher-researcher collaboration.

 

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pre-service teacher education; in-service teacher education; action research; professional development; research skills; educational research

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejel.v0i0.697

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