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M. Vargas Londoño1, E.O. Cardoso Espinosa1, M.E. Zepeda Hurtado2

1Instituto Politécnico Nacional, ESCA Santo Tomás (MEXICO)
2Instituto Politécnico Nacional, CECyT Wilfrido Massieu (MEXICO)
The main objective of the research was to assess the levels of development of the research competences of the initial teacher training students in Mexico. The type of study used was a quantitative methodology with an exploratory-descriptive cross-sectional design. The instrument that was designed to obtain the field information was a questionnaire based on a Likert scale. The items were measured through a scale with five response options ranging from 0 (undeveloped) to 4 (highly developed). The instrument was judged by experts to determine the validity of its content to then obtain its reliability and internal consistency using the Cronbach alpha coefficient which was 0.828 and is therefore interpreted as adequate. The sample was of a stratified type consisting of 344 students distributed in five programs taught in Mexico: Primary Education (26%), Preschool Education (24%), Pedagogy (23%), Education Sciences (15%), and Educative Intervention (12%). The participating institutions were: Autonomous University of Baja California, University of Colima, National Pedagogical University, Autonomous University of Tamaulipas, Autonomous University of Nayarit and Normal School No. 4 of Nezahualcóyotl. The sample presented the following distribution with respect to the gender: 76% corresponded to women and the remaining 24% to men. To organize the information, descriptive and inferential statistics were used to perform data analysis. The interpretation of the levels of development was carried out according to the following evaluation criteria: From 0.00 to 1.00 was considered a level of competence not developed; from 1.10 to 2.00 as an insufficient level of development; from 2.10 to 3.00 as a moderate level of development and from 3.10 to 4.00 as a consolidated level of development. The main results of the study were: For the first component related to the research design, it was presented that the students considered having a sufficient domain in terms of identifying situations in their professional environment that could be investigated and strategically formulate the objectives or questions. For the second component on the development of research, students have a moderate domain in relation to the determination of the type of study, to differentiate the types of sampling, to design the instruments, to organize and to interpret the results. For the third component on management for the dissemination of research results, it was determined that the students have an undeveloped domain in the elaboration and publication of academic products such as papers in congresses, articles in international or national journals, and formulation of book chapters. Also, differences were found between the educational programs evaluated in terms of the training of students' research competences (ANOVA, F = 18.55, p = 0.01 <0.05); there are differences between men and women in terms of their levels of development of research competences (t = 4.249, p = 0.01 <0.05).The main conclusion of the study was that the students have an insufficient level of development in their research competences, so it is a priority to incorporate research into the initial teacher training in three aspects: As an axis of training that enables the link between teachers and research combined with the formulation and implementation of studies by trainers of trainers to contribute to the improvement of education.