The Development of Student Teachers’ Research Knowledge, Beliefs and Attitude

Feb. 21, 2015

Source: Journal of Education for Teaching, Vol. 41, No. 1, p. 4-18, 2015.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study investigated the development of second-year student teachers’ research knowledge and changes in their beliefs and attitude towards research during an introductory research course at an institute for primary teacher education.

This article reports on a study carried out in a Dutch university of applied sciences, in an institute for primary teacher education.

The participants were second-year student teachers of the primary teacher education institute participated in the introductory course.
Questionnaires and concept maps were administered before and after the course. 


Remarkably the student teachers’ initial beliefs towards research were already quite positive. The results showed that student teachers’ knowledge about research grew during the introductory course and that their positive beliefs about research became more positive, while their negative beliefs about research decreased.
A positive change was found concerning the attractiveness of research to student teachers.

Furthermore, student teachers’ self-efficacy regarding research appeared related to their beliefs and attitude: the more the student teachers were convinced of their abilities to conduct and use the results of research after the course, the more positive their beliefs and their attitude regarding research were.
Regarding student teachers’ development of research knowledge, they already reported some research concepts before they attended the introductory course, especially on research topics.
The students reported significantly more research concepts in their concept map after the introductory course, compared with their concept maps in the pre-test.
Only the number of concepts in the clusters ‘research topics’ and ‘goals and benefits’ of research by primary school teachers did not increase significantly during the introductory course.

This study provides guidelines for institutes for teacher education on integrating research activities into their curricula, so that their student teachers develop research knowledge and positive beliefs and attitudes towards research.

Updated: Feb. 21, 2016