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Research engagement in and beyond pre-service teacher education: a case study of an english language teacher education program in Turkey

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2019
Tanış, Selin
This case study aims to explore how pre-service EFL teachers and teacher educators conceive research engagement in pre-service teachers’ professional development in an English language teacher education program in Turkey. The data in this case study were collected through questionnaire administered to pre-service teachers, focus group interviews with pre-service teachers, and individual interviews with teacher educators. Also, document review of syllabi and course descriptions of the formal research course provided by Higher Education Council (HEC) and the English language teacher education program was conducted in order to explore to what extent perceived outcomes and program’s goals are congruent. The results revealed that the English language teacher education program makes significant contribution to pre-service teachers’ academic research skills, conceptions of academic research, and researcher identities in terms of encouragement for postgraduate studies. However, the findings suggested research engagement in the professional development is mostly conceptualized over academic research due to the perceived irrelevancy of research to practice by the participants. Although senior pre-service teachers and teacher educators value research engagement in the professional development of pre-service teachers, pre-service teachers might not have a comprehensive understanding of teacher research. Drawing on the findings, the present study has some implications for the English language teacher education program and stakeholders such vamping the formal research course and highlightling overt relationship between practice and teaching through a more inclusive curriculum mapping.