Early Professionalization Of Gifted Schoolchildren In The Context Of Extended Education


Extended education as a component of the Russian education system today serves the mission of ensuring the human right for free choice of various types of activities in which the personal development and professional self-determination of adolescents takes place (Federal Law FZ 273, 2012). In order to address the tasks set in the Concept for the Development of Extended Education for Children, extended education institutions need to work on updating the content and methodologies of extended education since the old programs were aimed primarily at organizing schoolchildren’s leisure time, organizing their creative and recreational activities, however now the system of extended education offers opportunities for the implementation of programs aimed at their socio-professional self-determination. The aim of this research is to develop the system of gifted schoolchildren’s professionalization by introducing professional tests into the process of teaching costume design and creating artworks in the context of extended education. The study is based on the data obtained from experimental work; theoretical and practical materials are also analyzed and discussed. The study lays the foundation for the development of a new model for the early professionalization of schoolchildren. During the pilot experiment, it is proved that the pedagogical model can be implemented in the context of integration of higher and extended education. When the system of professional testing is available, it is possible for younger schoolchildren to master professional activities and tasks that encourage enthusiastic schoolchildren to make conscious choice to pursue a specific career.

Keywords: Early professionalizationprofessionalization of studentsgiftedness of school childrenprofessional tests


The space perspective design of personal education for individual’s self-realization is, first of all, associated with the development of programs and pedagogical technologies for the development of gifted schoolchildren, revealing their inclinations and supporting their interests associated with future professional self-realization (Bayborodova et al., 2014). The formation of individual educational trajectories through the organization of project activities related to the development of professional actions and the solution of professional tasks specific to a particular profession is one of the promising areas in improving extended education programs for children and adolescents.

Problem Statement

The problem of gifted children’s development attracts a lot of attention because these children are regarded as a valuable component of the "human capital" of society. However, the studies devoted to gifted children, mainly concentrate on the problems of diagnosing giftedness and the development of individual abilities. The children’s abilities from the perspective of their professional potential attract less attention in contemporary research. The importance of early professionalization of gifted schoolchildren in the context of extended education is not doubted, since this is a condition for the development of the intellectual and creative potential of society.

Today, in connection with the introduction of the Federal Education Standards of General Education, the requirements for the system of extended education have changed. These changes require a new approach to scientific, normative and methodological justification, primarily at the regional level. This approach will provide a preliminary idea of the interaction between general and extended education, of how this interaction will develop under the conditions of a regional center, which will help to avoid mistakes, and plan an individual trajectory of schoolchildren’s professionalization (Chistyakova, 2010). At the present period there is an active interaction between universities and educational institutions in the development of pedagogical models of the early professionalization of schoolchildren leading to an informed choice of profession.

Research Questions

The urgency of the problem determines a range of research questions:

1. What is the role of integration of higher and extended education in the early professionalization of schoolchildren?

2. Is it possible for early schoolchildren to take professional actions and carry out tasks that would encourage them to make a conscious choice of a professional career in a certain field?

3. What are the conditions for inclusion of the system of social and professional guidance into the project activity? What is the effectiveness of the professional testing system?

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the research is to develop a system of gifted schoolchildren’s professionalization by introducing professional tests into the process of teaching costume design and creating artistic images in the context of extended education.

Research Methods

In order to carry out this research the following methods were used: the analysis of normative documents, pedagogical, psychological Russian and international literature; interviews with teachers and schoolchildren, observations, statistical methods of processing experimental data.

The study was conducted in several stages.

At the first stage, the analysis of normative documents, state programs, Russian and international literature on pedagogy was carried out as well as interviewing teachers, observation of the educational process in the institutions of the extended education. All actions were aimed at evaluating the state of the research problem in theory and in pedagogical practice.

At the second stage, the plan of experimental work was formulated; documents on the integration interaction of the two educational institutions were prepared.

The third stage of the study involved analyzing schoolchildren’s project activities, identifying conditions for including a system of socio-vocational guidance in this process, in developing and implementing a system of professional tests. At the final stage, the interviews of teachers and schoolchildren were conducted, the results of experimental work were summarized, the conclusions and directions for further research were formulated.

Experimental work was carried out in two years, starting in 2015, by the Department of Theory and Methods of Professional Education of Elabuga Institute of Kazan Federal University and the Department of Methodology of Teaching Technology of Vyatka State University. Two scientific and creative teams developed a program of interaction on the topic "Project Activities as a Means of Professionalization in the System of Children's Extended Education Institutions" (approved by the order of the Ministry of Education of the Kirov Region No. 5-177 of February 17, 2016). The work of the two pedagogical teams is carried out within the framework of an innovative site, supervised by the University and the Ministry of Education of the Kirov region. All activities take place at the school of young fashion designers "Kudesnitsa", which is a structural subdivision of the Centre for Children’s Creativity "Inspiration". The experimental work involves 12 teachers of the university, 10 teachers of extended education, and about fifty teenagers (age 11-16). In addition, experimental work is also carried out with temporary groups of more than 70 schoolchildren.


The concept of the topic of the experimental research is related to the possibility of early professionalization of gifted and enthusiastic schoolchildren in the context of their extended education and in the interaction of the university and the establishment of extended education (Nekrasova et al., 2015). It should be noted that professionalization is understood as the process of preparation bringing the learner to a high level of mastering professional tasks; therefore, it may be considered to be the process of training a professional. This process includes: the choice of a profession in accordance with the person’s capabilities and abilities; mastering the rules and norms of the profession; the formation of one’s self-awareness as a professional; enriching the professional experience through personal contribution, the development of one's personality through professional means. Professionalization is one of the aspects of socialization, and of personality development that can be successfully implemented in the process of creative design, in the organization of seasonal profile shifts implemented jointly by the university and the center for creativity.

How does the process of professionalization begin? Most often, through the hobby at a school age, a certain type of activity (music, sports, technical and artistic creativity) that schoolchildren master in the centres for creativity, studios, and music and art schools. In the institutions of extended education there are conditions for the successful professionalization of schoolchildren at the initial stage of entering the profession. What are the chances of modern schoolchildren to build an effective career? What skills need to be developed and mastered by the schoolchildren to be successful in future professional activities? The answers to these questions became the basis for experimental search for teachers in designing programs for the children’s creative development. It is no doubt that when developing the content of extended education programs, it is necessary to set developmental goals for the formation of such personal qualities as the need to learn to do something professionally, productively represent oneself, formalize and promote ideas in the form of projects, learn the best, the newest. At the same time, effective forms of work that are interactive are used, such as professional tests, trainings, contests, Olympiads, round tables, etc. The study focuses attention on the potential of professional tests.

Professional tests that introduce the professional tasks of a particular profession, allow modeling the elements of a particular type of professional activity, ultimately contributing to an informed choice of a future profession. The study differentiates between the acquisition of vocational training programs and the system of professional tests. In our case, schoolchildren are immersed in the conditions for performing professional activities or tasks, as a result of which they will be able to "assess themselves in the context of a profession" (Blinov and Sergeev, 2015).

In the educational organizations of the system of children’s extended education, where artistic and creative direction is actively developing, these are the professions associated with artistic activity (Akhmetov et al., 2013). In the system of university training in this direction, directions for the training of designers, art teachers, teachers of extended education, clothing designers are being implemented. These are the professions in which the basis of activity is the creative process. In our case, the implementation of professional probation is directed at the development of figurative perception of the visual world and the development of professional ways of artistic, personal creative self-expression; at the development of abilities for artistic and creative cognition of the world and oneself in the world of creative professions, at the preparation of the learner for an informed choice of a professional trajectory in this direction.

The joint work of the social partners of Kazan Federal University, Vyatka State University and Centre for Children’s Creativity "Inspiration" made it possible to create and test within two years a new form of work with gifted and enthusiastic schoolchildren on their early professionalization. The social partnership allowed creating a system of professional tests and the seasonal profile shift program for organizing meaningful activities in summer with an orientation toward the profession "costume designer", "designer of light industry products", "sewing production technologist". The pilot project activity reveals the development stages of professional tests. Initially, an analysis of professional activities characteristic of a particular profession is carried out. Professional tasks and professional actions are singled out, which in future will become a meaningful and activity-based basis for professional tests. Creative professional tasks taking into consideration the psychological and physiological characteristics of schoolchildren (degree of creative participation, interest, age characteristics) are developed. The success of the implementation of the professional testing system depends on the creation of certain conditions, the most important of which is the imitation of professional actions in an environment as close to the professional sphere as possible (Table 01 ).

Table 1 -
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In the course of experimental work the main tasks of the innovation platform were solved:

  • An information and methodical model for teachers of extended education, teachers of fine arts, and technology in the field of developing a professional tests system for the learners who are trained in the framework of artistic and technological education are created;

  • A professional community of teachers of extended education and information space for organizing schoolchildren’s competitive, creative activity is created – https://kudesnica.jimdo.com/;

  • Generalization and dissemination of innovative pedagogical experience at various levels is fulfilled. Participation of teachers in two All-Russian competitions: The 7th All-Russian Competition of Innovative Educational Technologies "Modern School" https://e-koncept.ru/school/2016_2; V All-Russian Competition of Innovative Educational Technologies "Modern School" https://e-koncept.ru/school/2015.

The work of the innovation platform is realized in three directions.

In the field of information and analytical activities it is analysis, synthesis and formation of the bank of educational practice in the current areas of development of schoolchildren’s professionalization through project activities in conditions of extended education. In the field of scientific and methodological activity the direction is an applied research on the development of special methods of preparing schoolchildren for the choice of the profession of artistic and technological orientation in educational institutions, examination and approbation of scientific and methodological support of the educational process carried out by joint efforts. In the field of organizational and methodological activity, innovative pedagogical experience is generalized and distributed at various levels (the level of an educational institution, municipal, regional, Russian); rendering of educational-methodical and scientific support to all participants of the educational process; rendering assistance in development of creative and scientific potential of pedagogical workers. Scientific and practical and creative events of various levels such as competitions and festivals of children's fashion theaters for creatively gifted children "Fantasy and image", "Winter fun”, scientific and practical seminars and conferences for teachers are conducted jointly (https://e-koncept.ru/teleconf/tid_2/submitted.html; https://e-koncept.ru/2015/S18.htm).

The result of this innovative interaction between the two pedagogical teams is the creation of a system of professional tests, which, in the form of a pedagogical model, can be proposed for the introduction into the activities of other institutions of children’s extended education.

The practical significance of the research is that an effective mechanism is created for interaction between Kazan Federal University, Vyatka State University and Centre for Children’s Creativity "Inspiration" to solve the problems of training and supporting pedagogical personnel in the field of art and technology education; the joint professional practical activity of the community members on the development of project activities is organized with a view to schoolchildren’s professionalizing in the institutions of children’s extended education; Centre for Children’s Creativity "Inspiration" introduced a system of professional tests for schoolchildren in the context of their artistic and technological education in the educational process.

Project effectiveness evaluation was carried out on the basis of:

-monitoring the effectiveness of organization of professional testing in the framework of project activities with the goal of professionalizing schoolchildren in classes in institutions of extended education (monitoring the teachers’ activities);

- monitoring the success of educational process (schoolchildren’s creative development, their professional inclinations and interests);

- public examination of the results of joint research and experimental activities of Kazan Federal University, Vyatka State University and Centre for Children’s Creativity "Inspiration" (reports at the theoretical and practical sessions, innovative regional sites, publications in scientific and methodological magazine, presentation at the All-Russian contest).

Thus, the implementation of the project allowed building an effective model of network interaction between universities (Kazan Federal University, Vyatka State University) and the establishment of extended education for children (Centre for Children’s Creativity "Inspiration" in Kirov), thereby improving the schoolchildren’s vocational guidance in the system of extended education for the children of the city, region, and including it into the general integration processes of Russian education.


Today, in connection to the introduction of the Federal educational standards of the school, the system of extended education requires a revision of its place and significance in the school system, therefore research on this problem is in demand, primarily at the regional level. Such scientific developments make it possible to get a preliminary idea of the system, how it will develop in the conditions of a certain region to avoid mistakes, to plan more accurately the interaction of the basic, secondary and higher education in preparing schoolchildren for their future professional activity. In the present period there is an active interaction between universities and educational institutions in the development of pedagogical models of the early professionalization of schoolchildren, and in their conscious choice of a profession. This article shows but one example of such pedagogical systems.


The work is performed according to the Russian Government Program of Competitive Growth of Kazan Federal University.


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31 August 2017

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Akhmetov, L. G., Merzon, E. E., & Nekrasova, G. N. (2017). Early Professionalization Of Gifted Schoolchildren In The Context Of Extended Education. In R. Valeeva (Ed.), Teacher Education - IFTE 2017, vol 29. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 25-31). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2017.08.02.4