Problems Of Improving The System Of Continuous Teacher Education For Professionals

Abstract

The 21st century has transformed hundreds of professions into a digital level, yet the most complex transformations take place in the system of "human-human" jobs related to communication. To improve the training of journalists, PR-technologists, political scientists, and information analysts, it is necessary to solve the problems of professional training and retraining of teaching staff. Successful strategies for teachers’ self-development in this field will be widely applicable in the future, as the entire society expects rapid digitalization. However, the low level of competitiveness of the Russian mass media on the world information scene showed that the system of training and retraining of pedagogical personnel for the sphere of professional communication requires immediate modernization. This is also mentioned in the Concept of Long-Term Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation ("Strategy 2020"), especially emphasizing the strategic importance of developing competitive specialists in this field. The purpose of this article is to develop an innovative approach to the training and retraining of teachers working with students in the professional sphere of mass communications.

Keywords: Pedagogical prognosticationcontinuous educationcreative personal self-development

Introduction

New technologies have changed the world. More and more complex tasks are set before a person in the new millennium: the process of socialization and professional inclusion is being more complex, but the process of self-improvement, professional transformation, and self-development becomes even more difficult and painful for an active, mature personality. In a professional media environment the process of retraining becomes an integral part of professional growth and competition for the entire group of staff members (as, for example, it happens with newspaper editions which switch to cyber space or with television channels in a transition to digital broadcasting). Though, for educators the adoption of new professional conditions is becoming even more complicated. At the same time, Russia does not have a clear, balanced system of training and retraining of teaching staff from the sphere of professional communication, as evidenced by the Concept of Long-Term Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation ("Strategy 2020"), emphasizing the importance of increasing competitiveness in this area (Report of the expert group, 2012).

Another scientific contradiction is, on the one hand, the increasingly complicated situation in the world of international communication and insufficiently effective strategies of journalists training. So, according to the estimations of bachelors graduated from School of Journalism and Mass Communications, every second for one reason or another is dissatisfied with the level of their preparation.

One of the key problems faced by teachers in all modern world educational systems is the complexity of retraining, organization of a continuous professional development. Young specialists, who barely reinforced their knowledge in practice, sometimes meet modern professional requirements more often than their adult colleagues. However, after several years, when they leave an active professional environment, they lose their practical skills and start teaching according in a stereotyped way. More and more relevant is the idea of ​​training not applied skills, but the disclosure of a new type of information thinking. Thus, Nassim Taleb, the author of the theory of managing uncertainty, convincingly proves that the future lies behind this approach (Taleb, 2009).

Problem Statement

Continuous education is a process of the educational (general and professional) potential growth of the individual throughout life, which is organizationally provided with a system of state and public institutions and corresponding to the needs of the individual and society. A core factor of continuing education is the public need for constant professional and personal development. Continuous education as a pedagogical system is a combination of means, methods and forms of acquiring, deepening and expanding education, professional competence, culture, and upbringing (Bim-Bad, 2002). For the sphere of higher education in the field of professional communication, continuous education of teachers is a mechanism for the expanded reproduction of the professional and cultural potential of the information society, as well as a condition for the development of information thinking and information culture of future professionals in the information industry. Teacher education is a priority and systemically important area in professional education. It should ensure the purposefulness and continuity of the process of forming a professionally competent teacher who works with students in a professional sphere of mass communications. High professional requirements are imposed to a modern teacher.

Today we need a teacher able to solve professional problems independently and creatively, realize personal and social significance of pedagogical activity, bear responsibility for the results of that activity, contribute to social stabilization and development of society, determine the quality of personnel training for the sphere of mass communications. Proceeding from the tasks of modern pedagogical education, it is possible to single out the priority directions of professional and personal development and self-development of a modern teacher - it is the development of professional competence, responsibility, creativity, adequate self-assessment of professional competencies level formation, ability to monitor the quality of own professional activities.

The goals of continuous professional education are aimed at the formation and development of teachers' skills and competencies necessary for both teaching and innovative activities that will ensure "the creation of conditions for freedom of creativity and self-expression" (Darling-Hammond & Rothman, 2011). Thus, it will improve the quality indicators and the level of competitiveness system of professional training in the field of professional communication. One of the most promising areas for these goals achieving is the development and implementation of practical-oriented models of education in higher education. The Kazan (Volga region) Federal University is implementing a three-stage model of continuing education of teachers: the first stage is the acquisition of the applied master's program, the pedagogical assessment program is being implemented at the second stage, and the third stage is the differentiated modular programmes of professional development.

The educational program of the applied master's degree of the major "Teacher in the system of higher education" is intended for future teachers of higher education, graduates of the bachelor's degree in non-pedagogical specialties. The program has a modular structure and is built on the basis of distributed pedagogical practice with the participation of partner universities, and the institutions that make up the university structure. Distributed practice implies continuous practical activity in the professional sphere throughout the entire period of study. This allows us to ensure the strengthening of the practical component of professional training, the use of integrated educational resources for the professional competencies formation, the creation of organizational conditions for the professionally directed scientific and research activities of students. Conducting classes and practice on the basis of universities ensures the inclusion of students in the master's programme in a real educational process of higher education and allows to make the transition from a linear trajectory of pedagogical education to a modular education based on a competence approach. The transition to modular curricula provides the opportunity for students to choose an educational trajectory, design an individual educational route and provide conditions for creative self-development of the individual. All this at the stage of implementing the programs of pedagogical Master's programme provides an effective training of teachers of higher education, including the sphere of professional communication.

The program of pedagogical assessment is developed for the individual request of a particular educational institution with the purpose to assess the effectiveness of the professional activity of teachers and its impact on the quality of the educational process. Such a program allows to identify strong and weak aspects of teachers' professional competence, identify current problems, competitive advantages and highlight "growth zones". The program includes three blocks: audit of training sessions, personal inquiry and interview.

Audit of training sessions is carried out according to a pre-designed schedule in accordance with the schedule of teachers' sessions using the criterion expert evaluation form. The quality of the classes is assessed by the members of the expert committee.

A personal inquiry is carried out with teachers individually outside the classroom (distance-type inquiry is also possible) using the electronic personal questionnaire "DISC-Classic". Test results provided by the system on the basis of testing on the "DISC" profile take into account the differentiation of human behavior in three different situations: at work, in a stressful situation, in daily activities. The summary, compiled according to the dominant and weakly manifested profiles of the respondent, provides an opportunity to learn about the potential strengths of the respondent in solving professional problems, the peculiarities of creating an enabling working environment for the teacher, and also allows formulating recommendations for developing the respondent's potential.

Interviews using a professional questionnaire can reveal additional conditions for the professional and personal development of a teacher, and clarify his/her individual needs and preferences.

The development of differentiated modular programs for professional development is based on the results of the analysis of the obtained data, taking into account the recommendations on the formation of potential professional capabilities of teachers in the use of effective educational technologies. The program is based on practical-oriented trainings, master classes, interactive practices.

The idea of ​​a three-stage model of continuing education of teachers is one of the options for training a teacher with the necessary basic, academic and professional competencies. This model allows us to develop effective strategies for intensifying creative development and self-development of teachers and to model new approaches to professional training and retraining of pedagogical personnel for the sphere of professional communication.

Research Questions

For the objective justification of the requirements for training specialists in the field of professional communication in the system of continuous pedagogical education, it is necessary to:

  • study in the dynamics and aggregate the internal (at the university level) and external (at the level of social realities, and professional conditions) problems of training and retraining of specialists in the field of mass communications;

  • develop new training strategies and test their effectiveness in practice.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this article was to develop an innovative approach to the training and retraining of teachers working with students in the professional sphere of mass communications. To achieve this goal, the following tasks were formulated:

  • the study of the problem of retraining teachers in a modern university,

  • the development of innovative strategies for the preparation of a teacher who is also a journalist-practitioner,

  • the test of the strategies effectiveness.

The system of training specialists of this segment includes some strategies for the development of the field, as well as strategies for the development and self-development of the creative personality.

Research Methods

The study used sets of theoretical and empirical methods. The theoretical ones include the method of scientific analysis and synthesis, comparison and collation of previously published studies on the problem, methods of pedagogical prognostication, modeling and design in formulating problems and finding ways to solve them. Empirical methods include observation and overt observation, pedagogical experiment, questioning, interviews, expert surveys, analysis of the results of pilot testing and experimental work.

The study was conducted on the basis of the Higher School of Journalism and Media Communications of the Institute of Social and Philosophical Sciences and Mass Communications (Kazan Federal University) from September 2016 to February 2018. 17 teachers and 25 experts took part in different stages of the experiment: journalists, heads of departments engaged in the formation of information policy, departmental press services of the Republic of Tatarstan. 63 students of the Bachelor's and Master's program of the Higher School of Journalism and Media Communications expressed estimations in the form of questionnaires, and feedback receiving conversations.

The study was conducted in three stages:

At the first stage, there was a diagnosis of the assessment of the effectiveness of teacher training, including the self-assessment parameters. The palette of expert assessments was studied.

At the second stage, new approaches to teaching and retraining of teachers were developed and tested. There was a selection of effective educational technologies.

At the third stage, analysis, generalization and systematization of the data were carried out, conclusions and recommendations were developed, approbation of the research topic in the authors' speeches at scientific conferences was carried out.

In February 2018 the results of the experiment were presented by Yu.V. Andreeva at the conference "Journalism in 2017: art, profession, industry" in Moscow State University, within the section "Perspective approaches to training journalists", as well as in methodological seminars.

Expert methods are widely used in professional pedagogy, especially in complex and multidimensional fields, where quantitative methods are inferior to qualitative in depth and in the level of analysis. The experts gave positive or negative assessments to the level of education using a 10-point scale, and also giving lengthy subjective judgments (for example, discussing factors which affect the shortcomings of retraining systems).

The idea of ​​the experiment in advance, for the removal of ethical conflicts, was discussed with teachers who had worked at the KFU for more than 10 years. It was understood that a high level of conservatism and instability of self-esteem, instability of professional realities become additional stress agents and hinder the development and professional retraining of teachers.

After receiving negative results of the diagnosis of the evaluation of the effectiveness of teacher training, (taking into account the assessment of expert employers), students themselves and teachers' self-assessment, a meeting was held within the methodical seminar and strategies for overcoming problems were developed. The palette of expert assessments was studied, individual and group discussions were held.

The most difficult in terms of psychological and pedagogical issues was the development and modeling of new approaches to professional training and retraining of teachers. Selection of effective educational technologies has shown that even effective pedagogical methods of creative and problem-based learning (master classes, case study, business games) do not provide with the declared results because of frequent adaptation in the field of professional communications. A search for an impact repertory has shown that greater results can be achieved by combining the above mentioned techniques with elements of coach practice, strategies for intensifying creative development and self-development of teachers.

Findings

Analyzing the world models of training pedagogical staff, the systems of Finland, Singapore and Canada are recognized as original and effective. The general positive tendencies in the educational models of these countries come down to the application of the system approach, combined with highly technological education, and the development of leadership and humanistic qualities of the teacher. The American system of teacher training - Blue Ribbon concept is positively evaluated: any theoretical position should be immediately confirmed in real practice. "Known NCATE standards that take into account states in their accreditation systems include: knowledge, skills, attitudes of teachers; monitoring and evaluation; cultural level, professional growth of teaching staff. (Sidorkin, 2013)

The urgency of the problem of training teachers in high school in Russia should also meet the high level of requirements. In particular, when preparing teachers in the media sphere, the following characteristics of pedagogical conditions should be taken into account:

1. There is no "stable result" in the information space. A high desire for self-presentation among representatives of these professions is associated with the maximum speed of the information flow, in which success is rapid - "the sensation lives short life". A teacher of the media sphere should be himself "here and now" successful in the profession, working at a high professional (acme) level. Consequently, the pedagogical system of retraining of professional staff should take into account the resources of the teacher's personality and help in selecting strategies for adaptive behavior - coping with information stress, managing the motivational and volitional sphere of teacher's personality, and developing innovative thinking.

2. Professional competencies, even successful ones, are becoming obsolete with technology changes. Practical skills, which teachers have, lose relevance every 3 to 5 years. In the system of teachers retraining the emphasis is still on "skills", but it is more effective to consider the design of professional models. This issue was claimed by V.I. Andreev in his theory of the personal creative self-development (Andreev, 2010).

3. In any professional sphere retraining is at the team level; in educational sphere retraining is always a process of individual training. A new team approach will give new opportunities.

4. "Information professions" in Russia have already been competing with robots and information programs, here began the competition of a person and a virtual program. Who will rule the information world tomorrow, a person or a machine, depends on the quality of the professional training of teachers, from the skillful disclosure of the resources of the individual self-development.

The experiment also revealed some trends in the development of the media sphere, applicable in pedagogical practice (including retraining of teachers).

Convergence and divergence. Convergence in journalism is a desire for universalization. In new media a journalist, to achieve success, is forced to duplicate a work, paraphrase it, adapt for different media sites. Convergence in pedagogy is the ability to teach the technologies of universalization, to teach effectively to transfer professional models to different spheres of realization. Convergent teacher is a playing coach, capable of creating original media content, able to teach through learning. Divergence, on the contrary, is the uniqueness of this specialization: i.e. work at the level of acme-competence. Divergence is a variety of the trajectories of professional development. So, a TV journalist can masterfully work with a "shot", a writer - owns author's style and art of declamation. Undoubtedly, the creative teacher should develop in him/herself unique competences in order to disclose the creative potential in his students.

Transposition and interference. Transposition as an approach is applied not only in technical fields, but also in psychology, linguistics, literature and other areas of humanitarian knowledge, it is known as the transition of one style to another with the preservation of some special features. Transposition in professional pedagogy and retraining is the transfer of skills and abilities to a different field of activity. Thus, for example, creative abilities of a teacher can be simultaneously developed with innovative approaches to teaching, original selection of the content of the course and at the same time in the field of journalistic skills. The dynamics of the profession requires a constant transfer of understanding and skills to new realities emerging on new coils of information technology. Interference is understood as an interposition, substitution of one skill for another. So, the linear thinking is replaced by the frame thinking, in place of the logic of the text there is emotional, imaginative, semiotic perception. And the habitual skills of the journalist, which are in the repertoire of teachers with experience of more than 7-10 years, are replaced by another model of communications, digital communication, "hype" technologies, etc. Teaching new technologies in the profession, a teacher should take into account that some practical approaches are mutual exclude each other and are not compatible with the old approach and experience.

The use of these technologies in pedagogical practice requires additional researches. In particular, from the level of theoretical ideas and observations, they must be translated into the level of technologies, and implemented in specific training programs.

Conclusion

In the course of the study, groups of conflicting, complex factors influencing the low level of training of specialists in the media communications industry were identified. The dynamics of the industry development leads to the complication of pedagogical tasks.

To ensure an effective level of training of journalists, it is necessary to audit the retraining programmes for teaching staff. As the experiment has shown, a teacher should be professionally successful in the media sphere (constantly evolving), perhaps even in collaboration with students - to manage successful projects.

The conducted experiment has also shown that effective teachers use professional strategies of divergence and convergence, transposition and interference in pedagogical practice. The most difficult element of self-development for the teachers was a change in attitudes towards him/herself, and towards the profession. So, more than half of the teachers noted that "it is most difficult to manage the stress of changes": to work with internal resistance and self-esteem. A larger number of educators (87 percent) have an understanding that changes in the system of professional retraining are a necessary requirement of the time.

The pedagogical conditions for the development of professional education have been analyzed, new pedagogical strategies and approaches to improving the system of training of teachers-specialist have been proposed. Journalism is the sphere of new communication and competition of a person with a programme. The future of journalism depends on the disclosure of the resource of learning, creative, adaptive capabilities of the individual.

The study proved the effectiveness of the proposed methodology: according to the evaluations of Master Students who received training this technique had 93 percent of positive response. The results of the research can be useful for teachers in professional training programs in the field of humanitarian knowledge related to media communication. Only in Kazan these specialists are prepared by 3 universities, there are dozens of non-state professional schools. Thus, in the professional education of the specialists of media sphere, hundreds of educators and thousands of students are currently interacting in Tatarstan.

Acknowledgments

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

References

  1. Andreev, V.I. (2010). Conceptual pedagogical prognostication. Kazan, CIT Publ.
  2. Bim-Bad, B.M. (2002). Pedagogical encyclopedic dictionary. Moscow.
  3. Darling-Hammond, L., & Rothman, R. (2011). Teacher and Leader Effectiveness in High-Performing Education Systems. Alliance for Excellent Education.
  4. Report of the expert group. (2012). Development of the sphere of education and socialization in the Russian Federation in the midterm. Issues of Education, 1, 6-73.
  5. Sidorkin, A. M. (2013). Professional training of teachers in the USA: lessons for Russia. Issues of Education, 1, 136-157.
  6. Taleb, N. N. (2009) Black swan. Under the sign of unpredictability. Moscow. Kolibri Publ.

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2018.09.91

Online ISSN

2357-1330