Professional And Personal Development As A Basis For Successful Career Of Teachers

Abstract

The paper presents the results of a sociological study conducted among teachers of Yakutia and Kazakhstan in 2015-2017. The aim of the study was to identify the attitude of teachers to the state of modern education, how the feeling in the profession affects whether a person feels happy. In the process of work there were also questions of methodological nature, which required theoretical justification. Another interesting aspect of the study was to find out how teachers perceive and evaluate the meaning of their professional activities. On a global scale, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) faces challenges of increasing global competition, new technological changes and the increasing role of human capital. In these conditions, the role of innovation in the socio-economic development of the region is increasing, especially important is the factor of education, respectively, the importance of issues related to the development and implementation of teachers in the profession is constantly growing. The conducted research confirms the necessity of scientific rethinking of the system of values forming professional competencies in the current changing conditions. The paper may be interesting for teachers who are interested in personal growth, and for education managers who are developing smart management in education and psychological and pedagogical support of educational activities.

Keywords: Professional-personal well-beingcareerteachersprofessional activityquality of lifelifelong education

Introduction

In recent years, the quality of instruction in schools and the quality of primary and secondary education in general depend on teachers’ development. The professional and personal progress of teachers has become one of the major problems in current education reforms in Russia (Mikhailova & Сhorosova, 2017). The Sakha Republic as other subjects of the Russian Federation follow the Federal Law on Education (273-FZ of December 29th, 2012). Sakha Republic is unique in its territory size, winter temperatures, location in the Russian northeast and challenges in delivering education services. Schoolchildren embrace diverse population of the republic including native indigenous people of the North and migrants (Gerasimova, Nikulina, & Gorokhova, 2017).

Yakutia is the coldest of the inhabited regions of the planet. The climate is sharply continental, a very long winter period and a short summer period. The vital activity of man and the methods of farming, the conditions of each natural and climatic zone require special approaches and technologies. When talking about a post-industrial society, it's enough to be in the Arctic territory of Yakutia, in small settlements where there is still no digital television or high-speed Internet to understand the phenomenality of the situation. Conditions of life are sometimes very simple and severe, but the consciousness of a person - a resident of this region is already being influenced by globalization and urbanization processes that irreversibly change the outlook of young residents of the north of Yakutia - schoolchildren. Schools implement curriculum both in Sakha and Russian languages shaped by the federal law. Teachers are required to transform, meet constant changes and work on their professional and personal development (Chorosova, Gerasimova, & Solomonova, 2017).

Since career satisfaction is an integrative indicator reflecting teacher’s well-being, it can determine the quality of professional progress. Knowledge of oneself, perception of personal and professional qualities, an adequate assessment of personal professional competences as well as the emotional-value attitude arising through this knowledge and self-evaluation predetermine the behavioural component of the teacher's professional self-awareness (Chorosova & Artemev, 2016). Satisfaction is understood as the ratio between the motivational and value sphere of the teacher's personality and the possibility of success in implementing the leading motives of his/her professional and pedagogical activity. Thus, the personal satisfaction of the teacher most likely depend on where professional activity is placed in the system of personal values.

Problem Statement

The problem of professional and personal development of teachers is connected to different factors (Chorosova & Solomonova, 2017). In our research, it is of major importance to define these factors. For the research, we surveyed school educators in the Sakha Republic between 2015 and 2017.

Research Questions

Before inception of our study, we defined following research questions: to what extent does the personal well-being of teachers depend on professional well-being and success? What is the impact level of the conceptual education changes to teachers’ perception of themselves in career? How is the teacher's subjective assessment of the quality of life connected with the perception of professional career in the context of personal being? These and some other questions formed the basis for the research tools, the selection of questionnaires and questions for interviewing teachers.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is in defining professional and personal well-being of teachers in the framework of changes and transformations happening in education on a comparative example of the Russia’s Sakha Republic (Yakutia).

We believe that the concepts of professional well-being and personal well-being are very closely related. At the same time, we understand that there are many different definitions of these concepts: occupational well-being, employee well-being, work-related well-being, job-related well¬being, well-being at work, well-being at workplace. In our case, we tried to understand the relationship between a person's sense of their life and the place of professional work in this life and the value system of this person, how the moral ideas and positions of the teacher are reflected in his work, fill his work with spiritual and moral meaning. Of course, the meaning of a person's life is not his work, but it is the educator who must pass on the accumulated social experience to young pupils with all responsibility, so that education and upbringing become a single process. Very often, education and upbringing in school education become separate, precisely because the teacher becomes simply a translator of some knowledge, a coach for preparing students for passing a certain exam.

Research Methods

Research methods included a sociological survey, interviewing, conversations, study and analysis of documents and the monitoring studies. System monitoring allows determining the needs of teachers, the level of their professional competencies and practical experience. For example, the Institute for Continuing Vocational Education constantly monitors additional vocational education, the statistical records of students, including educators, in terms of level of education, length of service, social status, gender, and age. Today the teacher at the age of 50 is no longer considered an elderly person; the teacher assesses himself as a person who is capable and ready for effective work. This is evidenced by the data obtained during the monitoring studies: the number of educators over the age of 50 who increase their professional level in the refresher courses is 11, 5% more than teachers aged 25-29 (Chorosova & Gerasimova, 2017 ).

A sociological study was conducted among teachers of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Russia (more than 1000 people) (2015 - 2017) including interviews and surveys of 516 teachers of the Arctic regions of Yakutia. In addition, a survey was conducted among the population of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) on the evaluation of the education system in Yakutia including the attitude of the population to the additional professional education - about 791 people in the Yakutia’s rural districts. The attitude of the Republic's population to additional professional education was analyzed within the framework of comprehensive scientific research in Yakutia when 3007 people were questioned for the evaluation of the education system (2016).

Findings

The study revealed that teachers of Yakutia are characterized by both the desire for a new and tolerant attitude toward the objective and external environment when self-control and self-regulation are necessary - the answers from 72.6% to 95.7% (absolute agreement - from 22.09% to 73, 6%, or 205 - 683 people). The need to overcome the impact of crisis-related, unfavourable environmental factors, society in order not to succumb to negative trends (apathy, depression, hardening), 91, 7% - 97.3%. Only a developing personality can be curious, indifferent, open all over the world, from 81.8% to 97%.

Conclusion

Through the analysis of the survey data, the research findings show the following:

1. A person subjectively assesses the quality of his life under the influence of many factors, including health, financial position, mental well-being and family factor, etc., it depends on what is the first in the system of human values. Teachers are no exception. The survey reflects that they ponder about the value of their professional activities, and if they do not find it for themselves, they feel unhappy. An important factor is the world outlook component, first of all, the teacher's awareness of the meaning of his/her professional activity in the context of personal being. In connection with this, the most important tasks of lifelong professional education of teachers should be the strengthening of the spiritual and moral aspect of lifelong professional education.

2. Based on an understanding of the notion of ‘well-being’ adopted by WHO as the main criterion of health, which is regarded as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, it is revealed that the problem of professional-personal deformities among teachers is closely connected to the problem of professional and personal well-being.

3. The parameters of the friendly environment for the creative and innovative development of teachers are as follows: a low degree of behavioral regulation, information enrichment and representation of creative behavior examples exert a decisive influence on the teacher's innovative behavior, which implies both flexibility and creativity.

4. The concept of the norm in teacher’s professional activity is defined, which means: 1) sufficient level of the formation of basic professional competencies; 2) the teacher's awareness of the meaning and perspectives of individual professional activity in the context of personal life. Undefined professional competencies or low level of clarity and the teacher's lack of spiritual and semantic bases are regarded as a signs of professional deformations. The most widespread qualification deficiencies of teachers are revealed.

References

  1. Chorosova O. M., & Artemev N. F. (2016). Researching links between the teacher wellbeing and Educational Change: Case Studies from Kazakhstan and Sakha Republic. The Interconnected Arctic - UArctic Congress, 195-202.
  2. Chorosova O. M., & Gerasimova R. E. (2017). Monitoring as a tool for improving the quality of educational services for additional vocational education. Education Throughout Life: Continuing Education for Sustainable Development: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference.
  3. Chorosova O. M., & Solomonova G. S. (2017). Long-term effects of the research project ‘Additional vocational education in the context of modern transformations and its impact on the quality of life of teachers (comparative aspect: the example of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Republic of Kazakhstan)’. Education Throughout Life: Continuing Education for Sustainable Development: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference.
  4. Chorosova O. M., Gerasimova R. E., & Solomonova G.S. (2017). Methodological approaches to the study of continuing professional education in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). International Scientific and Research Journal, 3(57), 72-75.
  5. Gerasimova R. E., Nikulina A. A., & Gorokhova N. I. (2017). Monitoring of the quality of additional professional education. Pedagogical Journal, 7(5a), 135-144.
  6. Mikhailova E. I., & Сhorosova O. M. (2017). Federal University: Synchronizing trends of sustainable development of the university and region. The European Proceedings of Social & Behavioral educational change: case studies from Kazakhstan and Sakha Republic. The Interconnected Sciences (pp. 518-526).

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2018.09.87

Online ISSN

2357-1330