This interpretative, cross-sectional study analysed the perceptions of students in their last year of their bachelor’s in primary school education with regard to educational inquiry. It explored their understanding of what this concept means and its benefits, as well as the procedures, stakeholders and competences involved in research. The data were collected using the TePi (Teacher Professional Identity) questionnaire and a focus group. The results indicate that overall the students did not view research as an integral part of their professional identity and established anecdotal relations between the usefulness of research in classrooms, its association with educational improvement processes and their own responsibilities. Furthermore, they had difficulties systematically defining the procedures associated with research and did not consider themselves fully competent to conduct research themselves. Based on the results, we can discern a need to revise training programmes to adopt a more research-based approach if we want future teachers to gain competence in and take responsibility for innovation processes at schools.