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Delectus - Scientific Journal, Inicc-Perú - [ISSN: 2663-1148]




Vol. 4 No. 1 (2021): January-June [Edit closure: 01/01/2021]

RECEIVED: 14/10/2020 | ACCEPTED: 12/12/2020 | PUBLISHED: 01/01/2021

Suggested quote (APA, seventh edition)

Naranjo-Toro, M. E., & Guerra Reyes, F. E. (2020). Research Training for Undergraduate Students in the Elementary Education Bachelor’s Program. A Systematic Review . Delectus, 4(1), 39-49.

Research training for undergraduate students in Basic Education. A systematic review

Miguel Edmundo Naranjo-Toro


Frank Edison Guerra-Reyes


Undertaking processes for the implementation of formative research is currently an unavoidable requirement that must be faced by Higher Education Institutions. This article proposes a systematic review related to formative research implemented with students who are trained as teachers. The main purpose of this study was to systematize the main documentary sources related to formative research in university students of Basic Education careers. The study found that formative research, as a guide for teaching-learning, constitutes an academic response and solution to the problems of the social and professional life of students in training and the community where they are inserted. Likewise, it enables both students and teachers, motivation for research activity, reflection on ethical standards, preparation in knowledge, methodologies and development of superior cognitive processes and guided research.

Keywords:training research; teacher training; basic education; systematic review.

The primacy of the traditionalist model of teaching has been overcome by the demands of a globalized society and by the substantial changes in the way of learning in the digital society. Beyond a reproductive didactic model, which has not achieved the integral development of research processes, contemporary society needs to prepare new generations in productive didactic models that enable them to build and produce new learning.

Multiple investigations carried out worldwide have shown that the emblematic function of universities is the generation and dissemination of knowledge. Higher education institutions exist to try to discover new knowledge that allows us to understand natural, social and human phenomena; and, with thisto influence their development. In other words, the research function of the academy should be oriented towards understanding and solving the dilemmas and needs of the context in which it is inserted.

However, in the Ecuadorian context, in particular, there are insufficient proposals for research development directed at students that are based on teaching for understanding, the development of research processes and critical thinking, as well as the relevant use of new information and communication technologies.

In view of this demand for the improvement of research processes, this manuscript presents some conclusions related to the scientific relevance of formative research, which have been assigned to multiple studies conducted in Latin America, Brazil, and the United States (Blessinger and Carfora, 2014; Hernández et al, 2011; Oropeza, 2016; Ronquillo, 2017; Ruíz del Castillo and Rojas-Soriano, 2006; and, Torres, n.d.). The methodological process was carried out based on the proposals of Aguilera-Morales et al, 2018; Gómez-Luna, Fernando-Navas, Aponte-Mayor and Betancourt-Buitrago, 2014; Gough, Oliver and Thomas, 2012; Torres-Verdugo, 2016; and, UNAM, 2015.

The search for information in the specialized literature was fundamental to study the aspects related to formative research and its references. Therefore, first of all, in order to determine the words related to the systematic review, a question was posed to guide the searches, namely: What are the main documentary sources related to formative research with university students in basic education careers?

The search terms used were "formative research" or "inquiry-based learning"; "classroom research" or "inquiry-based learning"; "higher education", or "college" or "university". In order to find the information that supports this study, academic documents and information sources were reviewed, among which the following were prioritized: technical reports, scientific articles, theses and books, located in databases, search engines, platforms, digital repositories and university libraries, as shown in table 1:

Table 1.
Summary table ofsourcesconsulted
Searchengines Databases Platforms of publishing companies Digital Repositories Libraries
BASE Dialnet Taylor & Francis Online Open Access Repository Network of Ecuador UTN Library
Dimensions ProQuest Springer Link UTN digital repository Personallibrary
DOAJ Redalyc   Consortium of University LibrariesofEcuador  
Google Academic SciELO      
The Reference Scopus      

Source: Access databaseforresearchers

Type of studies selected: a search was made for research in Spanish, Portuguese and English, of the following types: descriptive, qualitative and quantitative.

Organization and synthesis of the information: first, it was determined that formative research constitutes a current object of study, as evidenced by the diagram generated in the Scopus database (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Scientific articles published on formative research in the last ten years
Source: Researchers' database

Article identification process

  1. Identification phase

In an approach to the study theme, 408 results were located through the systematic search. In figures 2 and 3, an example of the syntax table of two databases is shown: Scielo and Scopus, namely:

22 documents found: (formative research at the university) AND in:("scl" OR "mex" OR "col" OR "chl" OR "arg" OR "ecu") AND la:("es" OR "pt") AND year_cluster:("2018" OR "2016" OR "2017" OR "2019" OR "2020") AND type:("research-article") AND subject_area:("Human Sciences" OR "Applied Social Sciences")
Figure 2. SciELO syntax table
Source: SciELO database

218 document results 
TÍTULO-ABS-KEY-AUTH ( formative research ) Y ( LIMITE DE-A ( PUBSTAGE , "final" ) ) Y ( LIMITE DE-A ( accessType (OA) ) ) Y ( LIMITE DE-A ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Estados Unidos" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Reino Unido" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "España" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Brasil" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Colombia" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Mexico" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Chile" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Argentina" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Cuba" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Peru" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Ecuador" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Puerto Rico" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Venezuela" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Costa Rica" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , " RepúblicaDominicana " ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , " Haití " ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , " Jamaica " ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Panamá" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Uruguay" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Bolivia" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "El Salvador" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Honduras" ) O LIMIT-TO ( AFFILCOUNTRY , "Nicaragua" ) ) Y ( LIMIT-TO ( PUBYEAR , 2020 ) O LIMIT-TO ( PUBYEAR , 2019 ) O LIMIT-TO ( PUBYEAR , 2018 ) O LIMIT-TO ( PUBYEAR , 2017 ) O LIMIT-TO ( PUBYEAR , 2016 ) ) Y ( LIMIT-TO ( DOCTYPE , "ar " ) ) Y ( LIMIT-TO ( SUBJAREA , " SOCI " ) O LIMIT-TO ( SUBJAREA , "ARTES" ) ) Y ( LIMIT-TO ( IDIOMA , "Inglés" ) O LIMIT-TO ( IDIOMA , "Español" ) O LIMIT-TO ( IDIOMA , "Portugués" )) 
Figure 3. Scopus syntax table
Source: Scopus Database
  1. Selection phase

Articles that did not have the key words: "formative research" or "inquiry-based learning" or "classroom research" or "inquiry-based learning" or "higher education" or "college" or "university" in the title and/or abstract were removed.

  1. Inclusion phase (establish inclusion and exclusion criteria)

The articles that met the following criteria were included in the current research: descriptive, qualitative and quantitative research, in Spanish, English or Portuguese, a sample of undergraduate university students and the fact that the central theme is Formative Research. Studies with a different sample of undergraduate and graduate university students were excluded.

  1. Bias Phase

Two research professors were involved in the search and selection process of the studies and the analysis process of the included studies. These reviewers carried out their analyses independently from each other.

  1. Process of information analysis

After the execution of the searches in the various academic information sources, referred to above, 76 documents were determined.

  1. Theme: Formative research at the higher level

With regard to training research, there are nine studies carried out at the national level in Ecuador:

  1. Technical University ofthe North digital repository. Ecuador
  • An undergraduate project:it consists of a descriptive research using a questionnaire as a data collection instrument. At the end, the results are analyzed based on the opinion of the student informants. Therefore, the possibility of generalizing the findings is limited.
  1. Network of Open Access Repositories of Ecuador (NOARE) and Consortium of University Libraries of Ecuador (CULE)
  • Four master's theses:in these research works, the results of the teaching-learning processes supported by formative research are determined. Although after their review it was determined that they contain limitations in their research procedures, most of them do not adequately use research methodology.
  • Four scientific articles:examples of how this methodology made possible the development of research at the graduate level These documents are referenced in open access digital repositories and pose a basic perspective related to the situation and the formative research projects implemented in four Ecuadorian universities
  1. UTN Bibliographic Databases

In relation to formative research, 67 studies were found that were carried out at an international level, of which 61 correspond to scientific articles, three doctoral theses and three books:

  1. Scientific articles:
  • Scopus. Eight articles
  • SciELO. Ten articles
  • Dialnet. An article
  • DOAJ. 30 articles
  • Redalyc. 12 articles
  1. Three doctoral theses
  2. Three books
  1. Reflection on web sites and tools

It is important to emphasize the advantages that, for the research processes, are generated by having a wide availability of the academic databases, mentioned above. However, for the object of research proposed, the University's affordable and paid databases are more useful, namely Scopus, SciELO and Dialnet. On the other hand, those of high academic level are also those of free access such as: The reference, DOAJ and Redalyc.

After the execution of the previous process, the 76 selected documents are listed, namely

  1. An undergraduate work:
  • Analysis of formative research and its relationship with the development of skills of students in the sixth semester of the Chemical Biology and Laboratory career at the National University of Chimborazo October 2015-February 2016-Fuela Pérez María Belén- National University of Chimborazo-School of Biology, Chemistry and Laboratory- 2016.
  1. Four master's theses:
  • Didactic strategies for formative research that will encourage the development of research projects for students of the Faculty of Finance and Computer Science of the Technical University of Babahoyo-GonzálesValero, María Isabel-Technical University of Babahoyo-Master's Degree in teaching and curriculum -2013.
  • Applied formative research as a didactic methodology for the learning of parasitology in the students of the seventh semester of the Clinical Laboratory Career of the UNACH. Period May-November 2016-Balladares Saltos, Aida Mercedes-ChimborazoNational University -Master's degree in educational sciences, mention in biology-2017.
  • System of actions to promote formative research at the José Rodríguez Labandera-Vargas Flores Agricultural Technical College, Mildred Marlene - Autonomous Regional University of the Andes - Master's Degree in Educational Management-2013.
  • System of action to promote formative research in the food career at the Technical University of Quevedo-Llerena Guevara, Teresa-Autonomous Regional University of the Andes - Master's Degree in Educational Management-2013.
  1. Four scientific articles:
  • Undergraduate formative research at the Catholic University of Cuenca. Los Semilleros de Investigación-Vanegas Quizhpi, Oscar Santiago; Curay Banegas, Edgar Rigoberto; García Guevara, Wilson- YACHANA Scientific Magazine, vol. 6, no. 2 (November 2017), pp. 76-83
  • The training process in research: a case study in Ecuador-Val, Pablo del, Suárez, Rafael, Sánchez, Francisco, Bravo-Sánchez, Santiago - Pontificia Católica del EcuadorUniversity- Santo Domingo- 2017


  • Limits and advantages in the teaching and learning process of formative research-Ruano Ibarra, Luis Eduardo-San Gregorio de PortoviejoUniversity -San GregorioMagazine, 2017, no.16, special edition, June, (142-153), ISSN 2528-7907
  • The teaching-learning process and formative research, a necessary relationship in the university of the 21st century-Menéndez Padrón, Adalberto; Pérez Mato, Daisy de la Caridad-Laica Vicente RocafuerteUniversity-YACHANA Scientific Magazine, vol. 5, no. 3 (November 2016), pp. 70-75- 2018.
  1. Scientific articles:
  • Scopus. Eight articles, two in Spanish and six in English, as follows
    • How non-university teachers perceive educational research.
    • The subjective dispositions of teachers in overcoming resistance to change in the face of cyclical processes of research-based education.
    • Evaluation of a pedagogical model for student engagement in learning activities.
    • Learning from each other. The design and implementation of a crosscultural research and professional development model in Italian and U.S. toddler classrooms
    • Mentoring partnerships in science education.
    • Teachers use of research evidence in practice. a pilot study of feedback to enhance learning.
    • Understanding student behavioral engagement. Importance of student interaction with peers and teachers.
    • Variables affecting positive faculty-student relationships in an Ecuadorian university.
  • SciELO. Ten articles in Spanish, namely:
    • Opening the classrooms. The link between teaching, research and community outreach.
    • Contributions to the formation of the constructivist teaching staff. Results in two countries.
    • Causes of desertion in formative research teams.
    • Professional development in nursery school teachers. Analysis of a training experience from action-research and mediated interaction.
    • Training experiences as educational researchers of students from a doctoral program in education.
    • Impact on the scientific production of an experiential research preparation program for university teachers.
    • University teacher training. Key training issues in Spanish universities.
    • Formative research and training for research in undergraduate programs.
    • A look at research-on-research training in Latin American universities. State of the art 2010-2017.
    • Academic tutoring. Another way of teaching.
  • Dialnet. An article, namely:
    • Formative research in the assumed research processes.
  • DOAJ. 30 articles, namely:
    • The role of research in university education.
    • Teaching research and epistemology of teachers.
    • Ethnographic study in teachers of the national training program in mechanics.
    • Training experiences as educational researchers of students from a doctoral program in education.
    • Training of researchers in the social and human sciences in the hermeneutic phenomenological approach (de Van Manen) in the Spanish-American context.
    • Research training of undergraduate students through mobile learning environments with APPS.
    • Towards a development of teachers' personal and professional histories
    • Influence on the integral formation of the students by carrying out research work from the first year of the degree. University Pedagogy.
    • Student-researcher interaction. Pedagogical and professional relationship that supports the formation in the postgraduate course.
    • Educational research or pedagogical research. The case of research in the Capital District.
    • Formative research and productive research of knowledge in the university.
    • o Formative research and scientific culture in the faculties of education in Nariño.
    • Self-managed teacher training through action-research.
    • The investigative formation in the superior education in Latin America and the Caribbean. an approach to its state of the art.
    • Formative research in ubiquitous and virtual environments in Higher Education.
    • Formative research in the curricular activity.
    • Formative research in the Ecuadorian university. A personal experience.
    • Formative research in the research processes assumed in the university.
    • Formative research. An experience of the academic body studies in education.
    • Scientific articles as a learning tool in schools of architecture.
    • Recognition and professional development of teachers. An experience with teachers who participate in specialization programs for teachers of basic education.
    • Research seedlings. A strategy for the training of researchers.
    • Supervisors' Perceptions of Research Competencies in the Final Year Project.
    • Scientific-student work. History and projection. The case of a faculty of the University of Guayaquil.
  • Redalyc. 12 articles, namely:
    • Expanded classroom. An experience of formative research.
    • Speeches, practices and perspectives of teacher trainers.
    • Teaching and research. Link under construction.
    • Generation XX. Theories on youth in the contemporary era.
    • Imagination, cognitive tools and reluctant students.
    • Curricular research and professional development.
    • Formative research and productive research of knowledge in the university.
    • Imagination. a forgotten toolbox of learning.
    • Action research. A heuristic methodological tool for the understanding and transformation of realities and socio-educational practices
    • Formative research and research based on design. Two perspectives of scope.
    • The link between teaching and research as a pedagogical strategy.
    • Educational research development program.
  1. Three doctoral theses:
  • Formation of the research competence in teachers of Higher Secondary Education.
  • Pedagogical research competence in the biology/geography degree.
  • The formation of the research competence in the students of the degree in Educational Sciences, physico-mathematical mentions
  1. Three books:
  • Educational Research in Mexico and Brazil.
  • Social research from educational practice.
  • Teaching-research link for an integral formation

With the support of the Mendeley and Endnote programs, authors with more citations were identified and their articles were read to select those that contribute most to the topic of study. Among the main findings, it was determined that:

  • With the implementation of the formative research, both teachers and students participate in the academic work. This participation allows them, especially the students, in order to acquire research knowledge and a cultural and scientific representation of the world.
  • It motivates students to understand and aspire to the values of the researcher, such as: objectivity, respect for evidence, honesty, academic rigor, among others. Likewise, a variant of learning through oral communication is developed, an aspect that prepares learners for the development of communicative skills.
  • The students are committed to the execution of more productive activities that allow them to develop superior cognitive processes. From the necessary understanding, analysis, synthesis, problem solving, decision making, evaluation and creation of content and procedures. In addition, by engaging students in collaborative learning processes, interaction between students and teachers is promoted.
  • Undertaking processes of formative researchwill enable research to be seen by educational actors as a tool that provides academic rigor, but does not constitute a sacred truth or dogma.
  • The development and implementation in the classroom of didactic processes based on research also prepares students and teachers to assume the criteria of provisional science, very appropriate in the postmodern era. This generates theoretical explanations and formulations with scientific foundation and evidence, within the framework of a hypothesis in continuous revision.
  • It supports the educational actors in the knowledge, preparation and use of didactic and research strategies, as well as the development of guided and autonomous research processes. With this, it strengthens, in addition to scientific production in the student body, critical and dialogical thinking, through the structuring of ideas and criteria based on both academic reasoning and justification and on the experience accumulated by scientific communities.
  • While analysis and discussion constitute the center of academic activity, it prepares students to formulate arguments and statements that can be demonstrated. Likewise, it helps them to respect points of view different from their own.


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