Relationship Between Religiosity, Ethnic Identity And The Educational Activities Of Kindergarten Teachers

Abstract

The relevance of the problem under study depends on the necessity to investigate the process of religious identity of different ethnic groups, traditionally resident in Tatarstan, Russian Federation. The study of religiosity and ethnic identity in connection with the work of kindergarten teachers is becoming more significant in modern conditions, but neither in science nor in preschool teachers’ practice, has this problem has been studied. This article aims to identify the differences and trends of religiosity and ethnic identity manifestations among teachers of Russian and Tatar ethnic groups in kindergartens in the city of Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan. Socio-cultural approach was the leading research approach in our study, because it reveals the features of manifestation and development of ethno-confessional interactions in the professional group of kindergarten teachers. The study revealed trends in the development of religious consciousness and world view, in conjunction with the ethnic identity of teachers, educating young children in kindergartens. The obtained results are the basis for working out a complex of disciplines aimed at developing religious and ethnic tolerance, preventing latent ethnic and religious aggression among pre-school teaching staff, as well as designing technologies to form ethnic and conventional competences essential for future teachers of preschool education in teachers training colleges and universities. The materials in this article can be useful for specialists in pre-school education, for college and university teachers, and as career development courses.

Keywords: Religiosityreligious toleranceethnic identitypre-school institutions teaching staff

Introduction

The largest ethnic groups in the Republic of Tatarstan, the Volga region of Russia, are Tatars and Russians. Tatarstan laws constitute Russian and Tatar as the two state languages. Education in kindergartens is carried out in the two official languages, in a dialogue of two cultures. According to National Population Census, 48.6% of Kazan citizens are Russians and 47.6% are Tatars. (Statistical abstract of the results of the National Population Census, 2010).

The rise of religiosity among the population of the republic, both among the Tatars professing Islam, and among the Russians professing Orthodoxy, can be registered according to studies conducted in Tatarstan in the 90s, at the beginning of the year 2000, and in 2010.

According to our data, from 300 of the respondents in 2010, 38% (114 people) were preschool teachers, identifying themselves as religious; the irresolute, doubting the existence of God were 40% (120 people); and nonreligious - 22% (66 people).

Polling kindergarten teachers in 2015 showed a significant increase in religiosity among teachers: religious- 58% (173 people); irresolute - 35% (106 people) and nonreligious - 7% (22 people). This was due to the fact that “Men and women look for groups to which they can belong, certainly and forever, in a world in which everything is moving and shifting, in which nothing else is certain” (Hobsbawm, 2004).

Our observations and research data of this problem in Russia and in Tatarstan (Sabirova, 2008) indicate that more external signs of religiosity are revealed. Islamization of women is eminent in religious education, changing their style and way of life, their relationships with the immediate circle, namaz, and ritual tying of hijab.

In the Orthodox, self-identification, external and internal changes, which are expressed through the concept of “churching”, are also observed. This phenomenon is considered as a person’s voluntary recognizing the Church influence through assimilating the standard way of life and way of thinking (Chesnokova, 2005); as the integration process of an individual into the church community (Bezrogov, 2002). It can be stated that in the religious traditions of Islam and Orthodoxy, internal changes of the religious occur through external manifestations of religiosity (Musina, 2009).

However, researchers noted the inconsistency of Russian religious consciousness, its uncertainty and absence of pattern, lack of invincibility between the religious and the nonreligious (Chumakova, 2014), (Gustova, 2014).

Sociologists, political scientists, psychologists and other specialists study religiosity in various regions of Russia. Manifestations of latent potential risks of religious conflicts, religious intolerance, aggression, violence, etc. are possible in multiethnic, multi-religious societies. At the same time, there is a lack of empirical data relating to the consideration of interconnection between religiosity and ethnic identity in the professional pedagogical activity of teachers, educating young children in kindergartens. There are no studies that have investigated these phenomena in terms of their effect on teaching activity and kindergarten teachers’ training in colleges and universities.

Pre-school education in kindergartens is secular according to the law “On education” in Russia; it means that the study of any religion in preschool is prohibited.

Certainly, it is family that should provide religious education for children (Minullina & Murtazina, 2013; Biktagirova, 2017). A religious person is able to empathize, feel for, and help other people, and has friendly relations in his/her family. Empathic relations define harmonious personal development. Nowadays the number of religious teachers in kindergartens who can be considered as a part of the educational environment of modern preschool institution is growing.

Preschool children are hypersensitive and impressible. Religious teacher, not possessing necessary ethno-recognition competences, can negatively influence the feelings and subliminal self of a child by his look, behaviour and way of thinking, his religious attitudes, and world view. A teacher with religious view of the world can involuntarily influence the formation of contradictory picture of the world to a child that could harm the tender soul of a child, and can affect both the future of the child, and the stability of society.

On the one hand, psychologists noted positive influence of religion on children development, they also observed correlation between a person’s religiosity and his sense of security. It is easier for a religious person to cope with stress and fears, as he has a higher degree of emotional subjective comfort. (Argyle, 1990), (Emmons, 2004) (Pismanik, 2011), (Thouless, 1971), (Suchkova, 2009), (Mei-Hue, 2013). Religious identity is considered as a factor of tolerance in interpersonal relationships (Shcherbakova, 2010).

On the other hand, latent national aggression, having projection on the religiosity of teachers, can be manifested in education. “We have carried out our research of the latent national aggression among the university correspondence-course students in the Republic of Tatarstan, which is a constituent entity of the Russian Federation. The students were teachers at bilingual kindergartens with Russian-Tatar and Tatar-Russian environment. 1231 teachers were questioned. The research was held in 2012, 2013 and 2014. We have discovered that 63% of Tatar teachers have latent national aggression to Russians and 68.5% of Russian teachers have latent national aggression to Tatars.” (Gabdulhakov, Yashina, 2015).

Latent national aggression can lead to religious extremism. Psychological safety of the educational environment is important for the comprehensive development of preschool children, preserving and supporting their mental health. “Teachers should be extremely careful not to involuntarily provoke hate and anger in a child’s receptive soul, towards the representatives of other nationalities and their faith. Nothing can be worse, than a pure soul of a child getting seeds of religious intolerance or national enmity and hate"(Manaseina, 1894).

It is proved that deep roots of the recognized conflicts lie in the peculiarities of religious socialization in worldview stereotypes, ideological prejudices and strategies of behaviour towards people that children develop in the process of their growing up.

In the Republic of Tatarstan, it is extremely important to study the differences in religious settings of kindergarten teachers depending on their ethnic identity: the Russians, professing Orthodoxy and the Tartars, professing Islam, in the context of developing processes of multicultural education (Gabdulhakov, 2014), religious identity (Mukhametshin, 2006) as well as the emergence of new challenges and threats of religious extremism. This study is necessary in the training process of preschool teachers to form willingness to work with children and their parents on spiritual and moral educational topics to prevent of intolerance in behaviour.

Problem Statement

Religion is most often understood as an organizational, ideological and ritualistic system, representing the whole set of religious ideas about the causes, nature, purposes of the universe, including the ritualistic and ceremonial actions, comprising a code of moral norms and rules. The term "religion" initially includes both institutional and individual components, but often the focus is made on the institutional part (Pargament, 1999).

Religiosity is a very complex phenomenon, which is studied from different points of view. The sociological aspect of religion was revealed in a number of works: (Drobizheva, 2006), (Khodzhaeva, Shumilova, 2003), (Magun, 2006), (Mchedlova, 2009); the psychological aspect was studied by the researchers (Bergin, 1983) (Vergotte Tamayo, Pasqualli, Bonami, 1969) (James, 2010), (Ellis, 1980), (Ellison, 1998), (Freud, 1983), (Platonov, 1967) (Ugrinovich, 1986); and the genetic aspect, considering religiosity as an essential biological function of human body, can be found in the works of scholars (Waller, Kojetin, Bouchard, Lykken, Telltgen, 1994) (Flournoy, 1913). Religiosity is studied on various theoretical and methodological grounds and from various perspectives; that is why there are no scales to define ‘religiosity’ in a unified idea for all researches.

Religiosity is defined as a set and content of individual religious beliefs regarding the existence of "higher forces" and interrelations between human actions and religious beliefs. Religiosity should be understood as the degree of individual involvement in religion, at the same time it implies both cognitions (beliefs), and actions (active demonstration). In other words, religiosity includes, on the one hand, peculiarities of a personal perception of religious values, moral norms, and basic religious doctrine, and, on the other hand, a behavioural aspect of religion: visiting places of worship, participating in rituals, reading religious texts and prayers (Gladding, Lewis, Adkins, 1981).

In the structure of religiosity, Allen and Spilka distinguish two forms: socially-agreed (consensual) and personally-defined (committed) religiosity (1967). Batson added another measurement of religiosity - searching for meaning (1976).

Religiosity can be seen as a holistic integrative socio-psychological characteristic of an individual, which determines the consciousness and behaviour of a religious person. Religiosity can be studied through structural components: cognitive and emotional (confessional beliefs), identification (recognition of their belonging to a particular religion), norms and values, behavioural (religious behaviour).

In our research, we were interested in the sociological aspect of studying religiosity, which is understood as a definite state of individuals, their groups, and communities, who believe in a supernatural being, worship this being, show commitment to their religion, and accept doctrinal statements and regulations. The most appropriate aim for this study were the following criteria of religiosity:

- respondent self-identification (the religious, the irresolute, the nonreligious);

- religious behaviour (visiting church, mosque, reading spiritual literature, rituals execution, etc.);

-special range of worldview ideas peculiar to the religion or group of religions. The problem of studying ethnic identity was revealed in the works of scholars who have studied this phenomenon in the cultural context: Berry (Berry, Poortinga, Bruegelmans, Chasiotis, Sam, 2011.), Erickson (2006), Gudykunst (2003), Tajfel (1982), Triandis (2007); and in sociological and ethno-psychological aspect: Drobizheva (2011), Platonov (2003), Soldatova (1998). Modern scholars tend to explore holistically the concept of ethnic identity, that is why in science the interdisciplinary approach combining sociological, psychological, political, and historical directions is used more often.

Huntington talks about the concept of identity as an approach, widely spread in scientific literature, is the presence in the minds of people of a constant pattern of “we-they”, which acts as a universal form of self-consciousness of people and recognized as opposition of "oneself" to others. (Huntington, 2003). Ethnic identity includes self-identification with an ethnic group, beliefs about the ethnic group (”we-pattern”), about the language, culture, history of the ethnic group, the territory of its living, history, and groups’ common interests ( Drobozheva, 2011).

Psychologists recognize ethnic identity as a part of the social identity of a person. Development of ethnic identity is a necessary condition for normal human life, as it develops the internal culture and value orientations of a person. However, in the current conditions of globalization, and widespread of unified standards and values, there is a ​​tendency of reducing the importance of ethnic identity; it undergoes major changes and transformations. On the other hand, there is a tendency to exaggeration of ethnic identity due to mass migration of people, influence of the media, widespread of extremism, xenophobia, latent national aggression and other adverse factors.

The degree of development of this issue

- new tendencies in the development of religious consciousness and ethnic identity is poorly presented in curricular and technologies of future kindergarten teachers training at teacher training colleges, universities and career development courses;

- the issues of projecting religiosity and ethnic identity in educational work of a kindergarten teacher is still an open problem;

- most researches are aimed at revealing general tendencies in development of religiosity and ethnic identity among Tatarstan population and they do not consider interrelation between these phenomena and future teachers’ educational work and training to work with children and their parents in kindergartens.

Research Questions

Objectives of the study:

  • To determine the place of religion in the structure of ethnic identity of kindergarten teachers in Kazan.

  • To identify predominant types of ethnic identity in kindergartens teachers.

  • To investigate the correlation and trends in the development of religiosity and ethnic identity types in kindergarten teachers.

  • To develop the content and technologies of ethno-recognition competencies formation in future teachers of preschool education in the process of multicultural education.

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the study was to identify the differences and trends in religious settings and types of ethnic identity in teachers of preschool institutions, representatives of Russian nationality, professing Orthodoxy, and of Tatar nationality, professing Islam.

Research Methods

The research methods

We used the following methods in our research: psycho-pedagogical, sociological literature analysis, analysis and studying best practice in preschool teachers training, surveillance over work of kindergarten teachers, interviewing, polling. When selecting the techniques of the research we considered the social-cultural, national, cross-national, and confessional features of the region, that is why we used Russian scholars methods.

To achieve our aim, we used questionnaires: 1) identifying religious and ethnic self-identification by the respondents with questions from ethno-sociologists’ research (ethno-sociology in Tatarstan: field studies experience, 2013); 2) ”Religiosity” by Orlova, (Shcherbakov, Sorokoumova, 2014); 3) Types of ethnic identity by Soldatova and Ryzhova (Psychodiagnostics of personality tolerance, 2008).

Monitoring the activities of kindergarten teachers and interviews with them were also used as research tools. Spearman's rank correlation method and determination of quadratic deviation from the average value of the sign have been used for statistical data processing.

Questionnaire - "Religiosity" by (Frolova, Orlova, 2014) includes 10 questions and 7 answer variants for each. It reveals the religious features, attitude to different aspects of religious life. The processing was carried out on variated answers in the form from left to right: from 1 to 7 points. The questionnaire helped to identify the degree of evidence of compliance with religious settings and church rules; this is reflected in the external manifestations of religiosity, including the frequency of visits to religious worship places, reading religious literature, and attitude to religious education.

Types of ethnic identity, which can be manifested in the process of inter-ethnic cooperation are defined in the questionnaire of Soldatova and Ryzhova, (Psycho-diagnostics of tolerance, 2008).

1) Ethno-nihilism is one of the forms of hypo-identity, representing deviation from their own ethnic group and search for stable socio-psychological niches not by ethnic criteria.

2) Ethnic indifference is a blurring of ethnic identity.

3) Norm (positive ethnic identity) is a combination of positive attitude towards their own people with positive attitude towards other people.

4) Ethno-egotism can be expressed in a harmless form on verbal level, but it can also be expressed in tension and irritation in relations with representatives of other ethnic groups.

5) Ethno-isolationism is being certain about the superiority of your own people, recognition of the necessity to "purify" the national culture, negative attitude towards inter-ethnic matrimonial alliances, xenophobia.

6) Ethno-fanaticism is a willingness to take any action in the name of showing ethnic interests, up to ethnic "cleansing", denial of the right of other nations to use resources and social privileges. 

Respondents’ answers were transferred into points according to the scale: “I agree" - 4 points; "partially agree" - 3 points; "Somewhat agree, somewhat no" -2 points; "rather disagree" 1 point; "I disagree" - 0 points. The intensity of any of these six types of ethnic identity can vary from 0 to 20 points. A respondent can choose the numeric indicator in the questionnaire independently. The range of evaluations is conventionally divided into four degrees of intensity: Grade I - (0 - 5 points) - very low intensity; II - (6 - 10) - the lowest degree of intensity; III - (11 - 15) - average degree; IV - (16 - 20) - high degree of importance of ethnic identity.

Judgements-indicators interpreting the end of the sentence: “I am a person who ..." reflects respondent's attitude towards his own and other ethnic groups in various situations of inter-ethnic cooperation.

In our study, we surveyed 300 kindergarten teachers in Kazan: 150 of them were Tatars and 150 - Russians.

The research experimental base

The research results were validated, generalized and implemented in Kazan kindergartens and Kazan federal university, as career development courses for pre-school teachers, in the form of papers and reports in scientific conferences and workshops of different levels including international workshops, published papers in collections of scientific articles and scientific periodicals. During the research, we questioned 300 pre-school teachers: 150 Tatars and 150 Russians.

The research phases

The research was carried out in 3 stages. During the first stage, we studied the state of the issue in theory and practice of preschool education. For this purpose, we studied and analyzed literature in psychology, pedagogy, and sociology on the topic, monitored and analyzed the pre-school teachers’ working experience, prepared and tried out the questionnaires. During the second stage we questioned pre-school teachers, talked to them, interviewed them, and processed the obtained data. During the third stage, we developed the complex of disciplines aimed at multicultural education, forming competences which would meet the problem solution in pre-school teachers training at teachers training college, university, and career development courses.

Findings

The polling of kindergarten teachers confirmed the idea that belonging to a religion is an integral part of ethnic identity in Tatarstan. This is highly indicated in Tatarstan in comparison with other regions of Russia (Drobizheva, 2002). Answering the question "Which religion do you belong?" all respondents, even those who said that they are nonreligious, identified themselves according to ethnicity - to Islam - 150 Tatars; to Orthodoxy - 150 Russians. This is because the Russians have always perceived Orthodoxy, as well as Tatars perceived Islam as "their own" religion, as part of their national cultural heritage, as an important sign of ethnic identity.

We can state that religion occupies an essential, more significant place in the structure of ethnic identity. This is also evidenced by the response to the question: “What do you have in common with the people of your nationality?” 37% of the Tatars and 35% of the Russians selected religion after other components such as language, culture, customs, and ceremonies. In addition, each religious system has its ideology, principles of education, fundamental values ​​and standards of personality.

Among the respondents of kindergarten teachers, the following categories were singled out: the unconditionally religious, observing customs (60% among the Tatars and 55% among the Russians); the irresolute, not observing religious rites, the doubters in question whether there is a God or nominal religious (39% of Tatars and 32% of Russian); the nonreligious (1% of Tatars and 13% of Russian) teachers.

Analysis of teachers’ responses show that views about the existence of God do not significantly differ between teachers-Tatars and teachers-Russians. However, for some indicators there are differences in the religiosity of teachers. Teachers of Tatar nationality know the rules and rituals of the religion to which they refer themselves better (22%) compared to teachers of Russian nationality (13%).

12% of teachers professing Islam and only 2% of teachers professing Orthodoxy always study the rituals and rules of their confession. A significant number of teachers-Orthodox noted that they have poor knowledge of the rules and rituals (32%) and 3% do not want to know them. Among Muslim teachers this indicator is 21%, and those who do not want to know the rituals and rules of their religion were not revealed.

To identify significant differences in religiosity regarding the intensity of the manifestation of this quality in teachers with different ethnic identity Spearman’s test, showing statistical significance between the two samples, was used.

Table 1 -
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We can draw a conclusion that all 10 features have positive correlation as all of 10 Correlation coefficients r s are positive. The correlation values verge towards maximum possible absolute value of the correlation coefficient r = 1 in points 1, 2, 7, 8 and 6, whereas it verges towards lowest value in sign 10.

The analysis of this criterion shows that a statistically significant difference between such features as the presence of the religious friends, visiting places of worship, desire to see their children religious, attitude toward the uprightness of the church, mosque is determined. Significant differences between the features of religiosity: reading spiritual literature, reciting vespers, willingness to devote themselves to church, mosque and to work for their benefit are not fixed. Teachers of Tatar nationality have more religious friends, they visit mosque more frequently than teachers of Russian nationality. Much less Muslim teachers spoke about the necessity to reform mosque, most believe that mosque is always right. This can probably be explained by the fact that in the Muslim world, canons of education are stricter and introduction to religious life is more intensive. At the same time, teachers of Russian nationality are more willing to see their children religious and express positive opinion about the necessity to reform the places of worship than the teachers of Tatar nationality. This result can be interpreted by the fact that Orthodox teachers recognize that they are not enough religious due to the influence of atheistic education, but understand the necessity of religious world view for their children.

Let us consider the reliable data about the types of ethnic identity of teachers of Tatar and Russian nationality by determining the average value of the characteristic and its quadratic deviation.

Table 2 -
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Table 3 -
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Average quadratic deviation shows the deviation of variants of the feature from its average value.

We have revealed the tendency to manifest ethno-nihilism, desire for leveling ethnic factor and readiness for interethnic cooperation. Russian religious teachers showed deviation from the average value towards increasing intensity - 5.635; in Tatar religious teachers it was 5.317. For irresolute teachers, this indicator is closer to the average value and was 1,895 at the Russians, and 2,416 at the Tatars. In the category of nonreligious teachers, this value is in the range close to the average.

We have also revealed the tendency to significant deviation from average value by types of ethnic identity which is ethnic indifference, a passive form of denying ethnic criterion in personal self-determination. This indicator is significantly lower than the average value at religious and irresolute teachers, both Russians and Tatars. At the same time, this indicator is slightly higher than the average value at nonreligious teachers of both ethnic groups. Apparently, ethnic factor is less significant for nonreligious teachers. Values in the range close to average and without significant statistical differences between the Russians and the Tatars are defined for other types of ethnic identity, both in Russians, and in Tatars.

Religion is most often understood as an organizational, ideological and ritualistic system, representing the whole set of religious ideas about the causes, nature, purposes of the universe, including the ritualistic and ceremonial actions and comprising a code of moral norms and rules. The term "religion" initially includes both institutional and individual components, but often focus is made on the institutional part (Pargament, 1999).

Religiosity is a very complex phenomenon, which is studied from different points of view. Sociological aspect was revealed in a number of works: (Drobizheva, 2006), (Khodzhaeva, Shumilova, 2003), (Magun, 2006), (Mchedlova, 2009); the psychological aspect was studied by the researchers (Bergin, 1983) (Vergotte et al., 1969) (James, 2010), (Ellis, 1980), (Ellison, 1998), (Freud, 1983), (Platonov, 1967) (Ugrinovich, 1986); and the genetic aspect, considering religiosity as an essential biological function of human body, can be found in the works of scholars (Waller, Kojetin, Bouchard, Lykken, Telltgen, 1994) (Flournoy, 1913). Religiosity is studied on various theoretical and methodological grounds and from various perspectives; that is why there are no scales to define ‘religiosity’ on a common base for all researches.

Religiosity is defined as a set and content of individual religious beliefs regarding the existence of "higher forces" and interrelations between human actions and religious beliefs. Religiosity should be understood as the degree of individual involvement in religion, at the same time it implies both cognitions (beliefs), and actions (active demonstration). In other words, religiosity includes, on the one hand, peculiarities of a personal perception of religious values, moral norms, and basic religious doctrine, and, on the other hand, a behavioural aspect of religion: visiting places of worship, participating in rituals, and reading religious texts and prayers (Gladding, Lewis, Adkins, 1981).

In the structure of religiosity, Allen and Spilka distinguish two forms: socially-agreed (consensual) and personally-defined (committed) forms of religiosity (Allen, Spilka, 1967). Batson added another measurement of religiosity - search for meaning (Batson, 1976).

Religiosity is a holistic integrative socio-psychological characteristic of an individual, which determines the consciousness and behaviour of a religious person. Religiosity can be studied through structural components: cognitive and emotional (confessional beliefs), identification (recognition of their belonging to a particular religion), norms and values, behavioural (religious behaviour).

In our research, we were interested in the sociologic aspect of studying religiosity, which is understood as a definite state of individuals, their groups, and communities, who believe in supernatural being, worship this being, commit to the religion, and accept its doctrinal statements and regulations. The most appropriate aim of our study were the following criteria of religiosity:

- respondent self-identification (the religious, the irresolute, the nonreligious);

- religious behaviour (visiting church, mosque, reading spiritual literature, rituals execution, etc.);

-special range of worldview ideas peculiar to the religion or group of religions. The problem of studying ethnic identity was revealed in the works of scholars who have studied this phenomenon in the cultural context: Berry (Berry; Poortinga, Bruegelmans, Chasiotis, Sam, 2011.), Erickson (2006), Tajfel (1982), Triandis (2007); and in sociological and ethno-psychological aspect: Drobizheva (2011), Platonov (2003), Soldatova (1998). Modern scholars tend to explore holistically the concept of ethnic identity, that is why in science the interdisciplinary approach combining the sociological, psychological, political and historical directions is used more often.

Huntington talks about the concept of identity as an approach, widely spread in scientific literature, is the presence in the minds of people of a constant pattern of “we-they”, which acts as a universal form of self-consciousness of people and recognized as opposition of "oneself" to others. (Huntington, 2003). Ethnic identity includes self-identification with an ethnic group, beliefs about the ethnic group (”we-pattern”), about the language, culture, history of the ethnic group, the territory of its living, history, and groups’ common interests ( Drobozheva, 2011).

Psychologists recognize ethnic identity as part of the social identity of a person. Development of ethnic identity is a necessary condition for normal human life, as it develops the internal culture, value orientations. However, in the current conditions of globalization, spread of unified standards and values, there is a ​​tendency of reducing the ethnic identity importance; it undergoes major changes and transformations. On the other hand, there is a tendency to exaggerate ethnic identity due to mass migration of people, influence of the media, extremism spreading, xenophobia, latent national aggression and other adverse factors.

Conclusion

As a result of analysis of religiosity and ethnic identity evolvement, we drew some conclusions about the place of religion in the structure of pre-school teachers’ ethnic identity. All teachers’ categories, both Russians and Tatars, understand religion as one of the features of ethnic identity, as national and cultural tradition of their nation. The obtained data testify that religious identification of pre-school teachers is constantly increasing, that religiosity and ethnic identity are closely related. The research allowed to reveal the prevailing types of ethnic identity. It was discovered that most preschool teachers have positive ethnic identity (norm). This means that there is a positive image of their own identity and the identity of other nations, and they are ready for the dialogue and cross-cultural communication in their professional activities. At the same time, we were able to determine low degrees of evidence of such destructive types of identity as ethno-egotism, ethno-isolationism, and ethno-fanaticism. Thus, we have not revealed any significant difference in tolerant inter-national relations between Russian and Tatar teachers in terms of their religious and ethnic mindsets. In general, teachers are focused on tolerant ethno-confessional relations. However, it should be remembered that these processes are dynamic and easily transformed under adverse factors. That is why when educating pre-school teachers at teachers training colleges, universities and career development courses, special consideration should be given to forming the competences related to ethno-confessional relations. In the course of studying the tendencies of religiosity and ethnic identity development, the psycho-pedagogical approaches to organizing students’ multicultural training were revealed.

The obtained data helped to specify the necessary competences, content and technologies of multicultural education for preschool teachers in the Republic of Tatarstan. Each of the competences is regarded as complex individual psychological formation, which considers high sensitivity to mental and psychological formation in children and their parents. In that way, the process of multicultural teacher’s training becomes personified. The technologies of multicultural education, based on values of two cultures and cross-cultural duologue, were designed. In the course of implementation of the complex of variative disciplines (”Ethno-pedagogy”, “Pedagogy of Volga region nations”, “Culture of Volga region nations in kindergartens”, “Technologies of preschoolers’ bilingual development”, “Technologies of multicultural upbringing” and others) we can achieve students’ willingness for teaching in multicultural, multinational, and multi-recognitional educational milieu. These disciplines are not only studied in class hours, but also during teaching practice and students research work. The suggested complex of disciplines allows obtaining positive results in ethno-confessional relations among preschool teachers; they help to form the mindsets of a tolerant mind and behaviour, and competences for working with children and their parents towards spiritual moral education and preventing intolerant behaviours.

Theoretical and practical contribution

- we studied the focus of the processes of religiosity and ethnic identity growth in kindergarten staff environment as part of multinational and multi-confessional society;

- we prepared diagnostic materials which helped to identify the role and place of religion in the system of ethnic identity, religious attitudes and types of ethnic identity among kindergarten teachers;

- considering the revealed tendencies in religiosity and ethnic identity development, we suggest a flexible complex of disciplines and personified technologies for its implementation to develop ethno-confessional competences, prevent intolerant behaviour and religious extremism in educating preschool teachers at teachers training colleges, universities and career development courses.

Acknowledgments

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

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2017.08.02.73

Online ISSN

2357-1330