Personal Psychological Culture as a Condition for Psychological Health Preservation of Lecturers, in the Context of Education

Abstract

The article is devoted to the problem of modern society – the preservation of mental health of individuals. It is noted that in the conditions of modernization of higher education special requirements for high school teacher, which should have a new set of competencies and a certain set of psychological characteristics that characterize the level of its professional and psychological culture. The article describes the concept: the psychological health of the individual, psychological culture, its structural components. The results of empirical study of psychological culture and mental health of high school teachers. The study showed that in some of the teachers there is an insufficient level of development of the intellectual component of psychological culture – teachers are not well aware of the psychology students, the high level of young people knowledge of psychology was marked by the teachers who have special (mental) training; study of regulatory and practical (behavioral), and value-semantic components of psychological culture revealed that most of the teachers have high and medium level of development of these indicators, however, part of the teachers is not enough ability to rapidly establish deep and rapid establishment, to subject-subject communication. It has been established that there is a close correlation indicators of psychological health and psychological culture of personality of high school teacher. The article noted that the findings are important for the further development of preventive measures, as well as to develop guidelines aimed at the preservation and development of the psychological health of the individual university teachers, on the alignment of the university system of improving their psychological culture.

Keywords: psychological culture, personality, intellectual (cognitive) component of psychological culture, regulatory and practical (behavioural) component of psychological culture, axiological and semantic (spiritual and moral) component of psychological culture, psychological health, higher education teacher

1. Introduction

The entry of Russian Federation into the Bologna Declaration allows our country to carry out

educational reform in higher vocational schools according to European standards.

Modernization tendencies of the 21st century set essentially new tasks for professional education.

Some of these inclinations are listed below:

-acceleration of societal development rates which results to the need for training people to adapt to fast changing life conditions;

-transition to post-industrial, information society, significant increase of cross-cultural interaction, and, in this light, communicative skills and tolerance are deemed important;

-the rise and expansion of global problems, which can be solved only through cooperation within the world community, and a general demand for modern thinking patterns;

-democratization of the society, growing political and social choice opportunities assume the need for raising the level of readiness of citizens for such choices;

-dynamic development of economy, growth of competition, reduction of the sphere of unskilled and low-skill work, and profound structural changes in the sphere of employment will define constant

need for professional upgrading and retraining, as well as increasing of professional mobility;

-growth in the value of human capital assets (in the developed countries it makes up for 70-80% of national wealth) causes an intensive advancement of education of both the young and adult

population.

Additionally, conformance to international standards, orientation of educational programmes

contents, development of the key capabilities, changes in job markets, education continuity during

human life, and transition from subject teaching to inter-subject modular training leading to the

flexibility of professional education are the tendencies of modern education development (The Bologna

Process and its Implications for Russia: Integration of Higher Education in Europe, 2005).

Currently, in the Russian Federation, a formulation of strategic tasks aimed at the development of

education is being worked out. In recent years, these problems are being solved by means of

implementation of the programme of pedagogical education modernization, the main objective of

which is the improvement of preparation quality of the teaching staff, making the system of

pedagogical education consistent with the standards of teachers’ professional activity (Margolis, 2014;

Vinokourova, G.A., 2015).

The key figure of higher education modernization, is the higher education teacher possessing a new

set of competences, for the purpose of transforming the society possessing a certain set of

psychological traits characterizing the level of his/her professional and psychological culture. Absence

or insufficient completeness of these personal competences and properties, on one hand, can obstruct

the performance of the teacher's professional duties, interfere with the realization of tasks set for each

member of the professional community, and on the other hand, can be the reason for dissatisfaction

with professional activities, which becomes a source of emotional imbalance and increased anxiety.

2.Problem Statement

Researches in previous years have shown noticeable deterioration of teachers’ health, especially

teachers within the productive ages of 35-45. Psychological researches also confirm that this age can be

associated with factors leading to destructive changes in the functional condition of organisms of

people who are actively trying to actualize themselves in their professions, especially lecturing related

professions (Khusainova, R. M., 2006; Petanova E., 2011). It was also discovered that this age

accompanies a syndrome of «professional burnout», which demands special measures of psychological

prophylaxis and correction (Mitina, L. M., 2005;Maklakov, A. G., 2006). In conditions of education

modernization, the problem of preservation of higher education teachers’ psychological health is

particularly important, as the main function of psychological health lies in the maintenance of active

dynamic balance between the person and environments demanding the mobilization of personal

resources (Hukhlayeva, O. V., 2003; Shuvalov, A. G., 2004; Vasilyeva OS., 2007).

Nowadays, the concurrent resource of teachers' activities is not only special knowledge, possession

of information, mastering the technologies of training and education, but also the cultivation of

professional and psychological cultures, which leads to the professional success of higher education

teachers (Mukhametzyanova, F. Sh., 1995; Psychological culture as a basic competence in teacher

training in the conditions of modernization of Russian education: Proceedings of the IV Inter-regional

scientific-practical, 2005; Lezhenina, A. А., 2007; Belousova, A. K., 2010). Research of psychological

health and psychological culture of higher education teachers is especially important in the conditions

of higher education modernization happening in Russia.

3.Research Questions

The major concern of this research is the question of the existence of interrelations between

indicators of psychological health, and psychological culture of higher education teachers, and also

possibilities of treating personal psychological culture as a condition of preservation and development

of psychological health.

4.Purpose of Study

The purpose of this research is to study the features of psychological health and psychological

culture of the modern higher education teacher, stating the existence and the nature of interrelation

between these indicators.

The first research problem consisted in studying theoretical methodological approaches in

psychology for the separation of the main components of personal psychological culture.

The main indicators of higher education teachers’ psychological culture were considered to be the

following: intellectual (cognitive) component of psychological culture, namely, knowledge of

adolescent psychology; regulatory practical (behavioural) component of psychological culture, the

indicators of which include ways of reaction to conflict, flexibility of behaviour, and sociability;

valuable semantic or spiritual moral component of psychological culture, the indicators of this

component are self-esteem, self-acceptance and ideas of human nature were.

As a result of the theoretical analysis of the objectives of this research, an indicator of personal

psychological health was noted: personal anxiety and aggression, the high level of which can be seen in

disturbances of psychological health.

5. Research Methods

Methods of theoretical analysis and empirical methods were used in the research.

Theoretical and methodological base of this research was made by conceptual statements of

humanistic psychologists on the study of personality as a self-developing and self-improving system

(Maslow, A. , Rogers, C. etc.); scientific works on the problem of psychological culture

(Bodalev, A. A., Kolmogorova, L. S., Romanov, K. M., Semikin, V. V. etc.) and also works of

domestic and foreign researchers on the problem of personal psychological health (Dubrovina, I. V.,

Frankl, V., Hukhlayeva, O. V. , Lynch, M., Slobodchikov, V. I. & Shuvalov, A. V. etc.).

The empirical methods included: studying psychological culture indicators of intellectual

(cognitive), regulatory and practical (behavioural), axiological and semantic (spiritual) components and

indicators of psychological health (anxiety and aggression); according to the named indicators the

following techniques were picked up: “Assessment of knowledge of adolescent psychology”

(N. I. Andrianov), K. Thomas behaviour description test (adaptation by N. V. Grishina), Technique of

measurement of personal self-updating level (modification of L. Ya. Gozman and M. V. Kroz),

Anxiety level self-rating Scale (Ch. D. Spilberger, Yu. L. Khanin), questionnaire «Determination of

aggression and hostility» (A. Bass & A. Darki, 2001);   processing the results (description of

psychological health and psychological culture features of higher education teachers, stating the

existence and nature of psychological culture and psychological health indicators interrelation by

means of mathematical processing methods (Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient).

160 teachers of the Mordovia M. E. Evseviev State Pedagogical Institute acted as subjects of

research. The age of the participants varied from 30 to 56.

5.Findings

At the first stage of the research, the study of intellectual (cognitive) component of teachers’

psychological culture was carried out. For this purpose we used the technique “Assessment of

knowledge of adolescent psychology which allows defining the level of formation of teachers’

psychological knowledge.

According to the technique three levels of knowledge were determined: low, medium and high.

Analysis of the data showed that most teachers 85 (53%) had medium levels of knowledge of

adolescent psychology, 35 (22%) had high levels of knowledge, and 40 (25%), showed low levels of

knowledge of adolescent psychology. Low level of knowledge is was as a result of teachers’ false

theoretical ideas about students’ age peculiarities. Medium level of teachers’ knowledge showed that

teachers based professional activities on common sense - that is the knowledge is received from their

own experience, there is no scientific basis in them. High standard of knowledge is based on scientific

data. High level of knowledge of adolescent psychology was shown by teachers having special

(psychological) preparation.

Further we studied indicators of psychological culture by means of personal self-updating research

technique (SUT). By means of this technique, the valuable data confirming the level of formation of

indicators of psychological culture such as “Regulatory and practical (behavioural)”, and “Valuable

and semantic” were obtained.

Research of psychological culture of higher education teachers by means of Measurement

Technique of Personal Self-updating Level showed that the highest rates are received on Self-esteem

scale (SE) and Ideas of human nature scale (N). According to the contents of these scales teachers are

capable of estimating their advantages, positive features, they respect themselves because of that. Also

it is typical of them to perceive human nature as positive in general. Most of respondents showed

medium results, within the ranges of 45-55 points on Self-acceptance scale (SA). These results are

indicators of mental and statistical norm of examinees. However, the received results on this scale

mean that not all participants of the research accept themselves as they are, with all the disadvantages

and weaknesses, it is sometimes more difficult for them to get self-acceptance than self-esteem.

Examinees showed low marks on the scale of Flexibility of behaviour (F) – 44 points – and Sociability

(S) – 44 points – that speaks about inability of teachers to react to changing situations quickly and

adequately, and the incapability of teachers to quickly establish deep and emotionally close contacts

with people.

Furthermore, in accordance with the plan of research we carried out a study on higher education

teachers’ behavioural styles in conflict. According to the Thomas Test, results showed that

«competition» as a behavioural strategy in conflict is chosen by 16 (10%) persons, “adaptation” – by

48 persons (30%), “avoidance” – 16 (10%), “cooperation” – 40 (25%), and “compromise” – 40 (25%).

It is necessary to notice that behavioural strategies chosen by participants of the research have

crucial importance for its subsequent development, for the resolutions of conflict. Psychological culture

helps the person understand how to achieve the desirable objectives, using his/her abilities and

opportunities, especially if it concerns behaviour in everyday conflict situations.

Thus, the analysis of the studied indicators of psychological culture confirms various levels of

higher education teachers’ psychological culture formalization that demands development of the

differentiated system of psychological and pedagogical maintenance.

Further, according to the set objectives, we investigated the psychological health of higher

education teachers by studying the levels of personal anxiety and aggression. Analysis of the data

showed thata high level of personal anxiety is shown by 40 (25%) of teachers, medium levels of

anxiety is demonstrated by 104 (65%) of examinees, and low levels of anxiety is established for 16

(10%) of higher education teachers. According to indicators of aggression and hostility it is established

that a high level of aggression is shown by 24 (15%) of examinees, an average level of aggression is

demonstrated by 80 (50%) of teachers, and a low level of aggression is established for 56 (35%)/. High

levels of hostility is shown by 96 (60 3%) of teachers, an average level of hostility – by 48 (30%) of

examinees, and a low level of hostility – by 16 (10%).

The obtained data were mathematically processed. For stating the interrelations between indicators

of psychological culture and psychological health we used Spearmen’s rank correlation coefficient. The

results of the correlation analysis are presented in Table 1.

Table 1 - Value and importance of correlation coefficient between indicators of teachers’ psychological culture and psychological health
See Full Size >

of personal psychological culture and psychological health. Negative interrelation (at p<0,05) was

stated between the following indicators: “aggression” and “sociability”, “aggression” and “self-

esteem”; “hostility” and “intellectual component”, “hostility” and “sociability”, “hostility” and “self-

esteem”; “anxiety” and “sociability”, “anxiety” and “self-esteem”. Accurately significant negative

interrelation of high significance value (at p<0,01) is found between the indicators: “aggression” and

“flexibility of behaviour”, “aggression” and “self-acceptance”, “aggression” and “idea of human

nature”; “hostility” and “flexibility of behaviour”, “hostility” and “self-acceptance“; ”anxiety“ and

”sociability“, ”anxiety“ and ”self-esteem“, ”anxiety“ and ”self-acceptance“, ”anxiety“ and ”idea of

human nature“.

There is no interrelation found between indicators of psychological health (”aggression“ and

”anxiety“) and intellectual component of psychological culture, and also between anxiety and

sociability as an indicator of regulatory practical components of psychological culture. Negative nature

of the available correlations allowed us to assume that the higher the indicators of psychological

culture, the lower the level of higher education teachers’ aggression and anxiety.

8.Conclusions

Through empirical research we received the following results:

-Most teachers possess medium level of manifestation of intellectual (cognitive), regulatory and practical (behavioural), valuable and semantic (spiritual) components of psychological culture. Along

with it, part of higher education teachers show low level display of psychological culture;-Higher education teachers more often demonstrate medium level of anxiety and aggression that

testifies to a safe condition of psychological health. Along with it, a number of higher education

teachers possess raised indicators of personal anxiety and aggression, and also high level of hostility

that can be signs of psychological trouble and disturbances of psychological health;

-Close interrelation between indicators of psychological health and psychological culture of the personalities of higher education teachers is stated; negative nature of the found correlation allows for

the assumption that the higher the indicators of psychological culture, the lower the level of higher

education teachers’ aggression and anxiety.

The received results confirmed the need for development of scientific and methodical bases of

preservation, and development of personal psychological health by means of the formation of

psychological culture.

Practical significance of this research is defined by the fact that the received results can be used for

activity projection, for organization of the work of psychological service in a higher education

institution. The results of the research are important for further development of preventive measures

and development of methodical recommendations directed to preservation and development of personal

psychological health of higher education teachers, and forming a system of psychological culture

improvement in institutions of higher learning.

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Vinokurovaa, G., Yashkovab, A., Alayevac, M., & Dementieva, E. (2016). Personal Psychological Culture as a Condition for Psychological Health Preservation of Lecturers, in the Context of Education. In & R. Valeeva (Ed.), Teacher Education - IFTE 2016, vol 12. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 424-431). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2016.07.67