Problem Statement Acquisition of research qualifications are one of the most demanded learning outcomes of education faculties. There is great emphasis on building a research identity by developing the skills of students in the department of education faculties. However, very few surveys analyze the current situation of university students in the department of Early Childhood Education concerning research qualifications and anxiety level towards research.
Purpose of Study This paper attempts to reveal the relationship between research qualifications of preschool teacher candidates and their anxiety towards research and whether or not the research qualifications of preschool teacher candidates and their anxiety level differ according to numerous variables.
Methods A correlational survey model is used. One hundred and eighty teacher candidates were reached during their education as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the department of early childhood education at Mersin University. “The Anxiety towards Research Scale” and “The Research Qualifications Scale” were implemented. Descriptive statistics, Pearson Correlation Coefficient and difference of means tests were implemented in order to determine findings.
Findings and Results This study indicates preschool teacher candidates possess high research qualifications and low levels of anxiety towards research. The results show gender makes no significant difference in their research qualifications and their level of anxiety towards research. When analyzed at class level, preschool teacher candidates in the 4th year of study possessed the highest research qualifications and fairly low research anxiety. In terms of research anxiety, undergraduates in the 3rd year of study possessed the highest level of anxiety towards research, and 2nd year undergraduates possessed the lowest level of anxiety. Also, individuals who had research experience were aware of the scientific research process.
Conclusions and Recommendations It is suggested that instructors of these courses should identify the current knowledge of undergraduates about the class topic and should attempt to correct student misconceptions about research. The scientific research methods course is suggested to be taken in the first year of the early childhood education program. Also, for research experience, undergraduates should be given more opportunities to participate in research environments, spend more time there, have easy access to necessary materials, and be given guidance. Also, undergraduates should be supplied with previous research project samples so they can examine them in detail, which will probably decrease their anxiety and apprehension levels. Lastly, it is a good idea to create a web portal about their own authentic research projects.
Keywords:Research qualifications, anxiety toward research