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A Study of preservice teachers perceptions of their preparedness levels on learning and innovation skills in a research university

Erer, Sercan
The purpose of the present study was to investigate preservice teachers’ perceptions of their preparedness levels on learning and innovation skills (creativity and innovation - CI, critical thinking and problem-solving - CP, collaboration - CL, and communication - CM). The study employed a survey design and was composed of two consecutive phases. Phase I aimed to find out indicators for the learning and innovation skills based on preservice teachers’ self-reports utilizing an open-ended survey, OHILIS, to develop the quantitative survey instrument, named PLeSLIS. Phase II aimed to estimate preservice teachers’ preparedness levels from their perspectives utilizing PLeSLIS. While the study included 54 junior students in Phase I, the sample size consisted of 205 senior students in Phase II from the faculty of education at an English-medium research university in Turkey. From Phase I, a cultural misconception on innovation and a lack of systematic approach to problem-solving were found. Additionally, limited knowledge of the terms innovation and critical thinking was reported by a few preservice teachers. From Phase II, insignificant interdepartmental differences on preparedness levels were found. Furthermore, it was found that senior female preservice teachers considered themselves significantly more prepared than males in terms of CI and CP. Ultimately, to prepare teachers for learning and innovation skills and minimalize the reported significant differences on preparedness levels, the teacher education programs might take action to provide their preservice teachers with informative seminars, workshops and events on 21st Century movement and competencies. In this manner, their knowledge and experiences might be enhanced.