Metaphorical attitudes of social studies teacher candidatestowards the concept of “university”
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Educational process is one of the most crucial periods of human life. In this process, university life holds particular importance as universities are among the first places that set ground for individual and social progress. They can be also defined as distinctive environments that involve pre-professional preparation period. Universities are institutions that fulfill three fundamental functions as required by the mission they undertake. The first is “research”, the second is “education” and the third is putting the generated knowledge and experience at the disposal of society. In this respect, universities are regarded as exceptional institutions, that function differently from others on scientific grounds with their own autonomous and independent structure to fulfill these duties through providing people with the knowledge they generate. From this aspect, students’ attitudes towards universities hold particular importance as they are one of the stakeholders in determination of whether a university fulfillsthese duties. In this regard, this research was carried out with 186 3rd and 4th grade teacher candidates receiving education in the faculty of education, social studies department of three different universities. Qualitative research pattern was used to determine social studies teacher candidates’ attitudes towards the concept of “university”, and content analysis was used to evaluate the obtained data. Teacher candidates were given 7 different concepts regarding “university” and they were asked to write down a metaphor, accordingly. As a result of the research, 355 different metaphors were developed by the participants. These metaphors were basically established with positive-negative points of view, dominated by the factors of life, fear, anxiety, success, failure, happiness and support.