Enhancing Teacher Trainees’ Capacity for Knowledge Creation through Undergraduate Research Projects
As a tool for discovering and creating knowledge, research is key to institutional and professional development. Hence, the teaching-research nexus has been driving academic activities in higher education, increasing pressure on academics to increase research productivity and develop students’ research capacity. This has informed the emphasis of undergraduate research projects, especially in colleges/ faculties of Education. However, there have been serious concerns for the quality and impact of these student research endeavors. It is against this background that this study focuses on efforts to expand teacher-trainees’ capacity to identify educational issues and generate research ideas from them using participatory research approaches. It reports that close links with schools spurred students’ ability to construct research ideas and that they expanded students’ experience of research; changed their perception of research; and improved their research skills. Recommendations arising out of these findings are discussed.