Psychological Regularities Of Personal And Professional Development Of Poly-Subjective "Teacher-Student" Community

Abstract

Within the concept of professional development of the personality, psychological regularities and conditions for personal and professional development of students and teachers in higher education have been studied. The concept determine a special level of interaction between students and teachers, in which the process of unified development of the internal content of the subjects unfolds: their integral personal characteristics and self-awareness. For the first time in our longitudinal research, an attempt was made to introduce the technology of professional development of the personality into the practice of professional teachers` training, directed within the framework of a unified system for simultaneous, continuous personal and professional development of students and teachers as the main subjects of the educational space and as its co-subjects. Technology stages were correlated with the students` higher education courses and modified for age and specialty peculiarities of the participants. Subjects of the educational space (teacher-student) are considered in unity as a special self-developing community called a poly-subject. It is singled out and experimentally proved that this community possesses the quality of subjectivity, the ability to develop and display integral personal characteristics (directivity, competence, flexibility) most effectively, to build internal and external group subject-subject relations, to work successfully under difficult conditions of socio-cultural transformations, and to predict the construction of a professional space for those student who are taught to become teachers.

Keywords: Personal and professional development"teacher-student" polysubjective communityconcepttechnologyintegral personal characteristics

Introduction

In the 21st century, which is characterized by variability (the situation changes rapidly and unpredictably), uncertainty (the past cannot be a predictor of the future), complexity (the actions of various driving forces, facts and factors), inconsistency (the presence of ambiguity, differences in interpretation), professionals who are able to constantly learn and retrain would be sharply demanded and the situation as alike nowadays. This makes special requests on education, both to the secondary education and, most importantly, to the higher pedagogical education. It can be stated that for domestic pedagogical education, a "catch-up" model is typical, as opposed to "stimulating" (outstripping) model, which implies a serious reconstruction of the higher education system based on modern scientific developments.

Modernization processes have affected the education systems of many countries, as it was appeared in a number of scientific and scientific-practical developments (Hanusova & Prokop, 2016; Zaharuk, 2016; Levterova, 2016; Rangelova, 2015; Smantser, 2014), the analysis of which can be taken into account when creating models and innovative projects of higher education.

In this regard, there is a need to expand the methodological, theoretical and empirical field of research on the personal and professional development of higher pedagogical education subjects, conditioned by the internal logic of the scientific development and ensuring the readiness of modern (and future) teachers for the challenges and risks of global changes taking place in the world.

Problem Statement

The problem of personal-professional development of educational subjects has been the key study for the author (Mitina, 2014; Mitina, 2017) for some years in four main areas.

  • Conceptual area: theoretical and methodological foundations, conceptual models, scientific approaches, psychological patterns of conditions for the development and growth of educational subjects;

  • Dynamic area: continuous time continuum of formation and development of educational subjects and their professionalization as stages, periods of professional training and professional activity;

  • Technological area: innovative technologies of comprehensive systemic psychological and pedagogical support of personal, professional and career development of educational subjects;

  • Institutional area: various types and forms of educational organizations, state and commercial institutions.

The results of the research formed a new perspective direction called foresight projects, involving scientifically based forecasting of professional space construction for future teachers as well as possible alternative scenarios (strategies) and trends of individual professional and career paths.

The methodological basis of our study is a comprehensive personality-development approach, which is aimed at a broad discursive analysis of the professional life of a modern person, including intercultural, interethnic and social facets. This approach makes it possible to identify and solve actual problems of personal, professional and career development of subjects of higher education, to investigate both factors that contribute to their personal, professional and career identity, and factors that impede creative self-actualization in the profession.

In the mainstream of the comprehensive personality-development approach, a concept was developed. It considered the following key issues: integral characteristics of the personality (direction, competence, flexibility) as an object of development; the transition to a higher level of professional self-awareness as a fundamental condition for development; the transformation of the life activity of the subject into the subject of its practical transformation as a psychological mechanism; the contradictory unity of the self-acting, self-reflected and self-creative as the driving forces; and creative self-realization in the profession, the achievement of the uniqueness of the individual as a result of development.

The concept identifies two alternative models (strategies) of professional work: model of adaptive functioning and model of professional development of personality. These models differ from each other in the development level of professional self-awareness and integral personal characteristics (orientation, competence, flexibility), which are the psychological basis necessary for the personal and professional development of both established and future professionals (considering the students of universities).

At present, there are practically no scientific researches on the formation of a model of professional activity in the vector of development and self-development, self-perfection that provides a truly creative performance of professional work, the development of the personality of the teacher (the future teacher) through the means of the profession. Upgrading the level of professional development should be based on a complexly organized combination of personality traits (integral characteristics), where each element not only complements the other, but also has a synergistic effect.

The concept and technology of professional development of the individual allow building innovative projects and higher education programs at a qualitatively new level due to the conditions of poly-subject interaction.

An extremely important condition for effective poly-subject interaction in the higher education is the commitment of all subjects of the educational environment to the model of professional development. Understanding, acceptance, practical application of the concept and technology of professional development of personality determines the formation of a self-developing "teacher-student" community.

Research Questions

For the first time in our experimental research, we were made an attempt to introduce the technology of professional development of the personality into the practice of professional training of teachers, directed within the framework of a unified system for simultaneous, continuous personal and professional development of students and teachers as the main subjects of the educational space and as its co-subjects.

Purpose of the Study

Evaluating of effectiveness of technology of professional development of the personality into the practice of professional training of teachers

Participants

The study was a longitudinal research (2014-2017), in which 107 students and 42 teachers of the Pedagogical University took part. The experimental group consisted of 52 students. The process of vocational training in the experimental group was improved by integrating the technology of professional development of the individual (Mitina, 2014). As a control group that was trained in the usual mode 55 students took the floor.

Instrument

For determining the motives for the professional activity we used the questionnaire of professional and pedagogical activity motives and questionnaire of career choice motives, developed by K. Zamfir. In order to study the dynamics of the students' self-awareness level, we used the method of studying the level of self-esteem, developed by S. A. Budassi and the technique of Self-actualization test (SAT), developed by E. Shostrom in the modification of Y. E. Aleshina and L.Y. Gozman.

Procedure

There are four stages in the mentioned above technology: preparation, awareness, reassessment, action; the main processes of personality development occurring at each stage; a set of methods to study influence. The model unites the main processes of behavior change: motivational (Stage I), cognitive (Stage II), affective (Stage III), behavioral (Stage IV). Technology is integrative and relies on the unity of goals, principles, content and forms of organization of interaction between educational subjects. The sequence of technology stages is the same in the construction of each specific program, as well as programs for personal and professional development of educational subjects in general.

The experimental study consisted of three phases:

Phase 1 — a comprehensive diagnostic examination of subjects of the university educational space (considering students and teachers).

Phase 2 — an experimental study consisting of three rounds:

Round I: realization of personal and professional development programs of the first, second, third, and fourth year students;

Round II: implementation of programs for personal and professional development of university teachers;

Round III: joint activities of personal and professional development of educational subjects.

Phase 3 consists of repeated diagnostic examination of the educational subjects of the university.

In the technology of professional personality development, the stages are correlated with the years students are studying in; training in the university and modified taking into account the specificity of age and the specialty of its participants (Round I). The stage of training (Stage I) was implemented in the first year and was aimed at the development of motivational processes. The stage of awareness (Stage II) and reassessment (Stage III) had an impact on both the cognitive and affective processes of students` development (second and third year of university education). Stage of action (Stage IV) was implemented in the fourth year and included a set of methods aimed at behavioral processes of personality development.

Particular attention was paid to the development of the humanistic orientation of first-year students. Moreover, conditions were created for the development of their active communicative competence, as well as the need for self-knowledge and self-development. Innovative methods were introduced in a number of university courses such as Introduction to the Specialty, General Psychology, Pedagogical Psychology courses. Among active forms of training used the following ones should mentioned: field Autumn Psychological School and My Future Profession round table. In addition, social and psychological training was conducted with first-year students aimed at increasing competence in communication, group cohesion, as well as enhancing the motivational orientation of students in joint activities, communication, self-knowledge and self-development.

In the second and third course years (Stages II and III respectively), psychological and pedagogical influences were aimed at developing the competence of students, as well as their flexibility in emotional, intellectual and behavioral demonstrations. Educational activities were integrated into such academic disciplines as Theory and Practice of Communication, Techniques and Technology of the Teacher's Work, Psychological and Pedagogical Hands-on course, Psychodiagnostics, as well as into students' researches, and psychological and pedagogical practice.

In the fourth year (Stage IV), work was aimed at revision the ways of practicing, increasing the level of self-awareness, self-development and self-realization. At this stage, in accordance with the general goal, the content of the educational subject called Occupational Psychology was enriched. Active methods of teaching used were as follows: a round-table discussion called My Future Profession and I, scientific and practical seminars, scientific and practical conferences of local and city levels, the field Autumn Psychological School, in which fourth-year students worked independently as curators of micro-groups of first-year students and demonstrated skills of effective social and pedagogical activity.

With the fourth-year students, a psychological and psychological training of professional reflection was conducted. As a result, each student was able to analytically comprehend his or her practical experience, the effectiveness of individually used pedagogical influences and behavior in general.

During the experiment, in the control and experimental groups of first and fourth year students some diagnostic tests were made. Psychological diagnostics was aimed at studying the dynamics of development of integral personality characteristics, complex abilities and self-awareness of future teachers.

Research Methods

The study of the professional orientation of students in the experimental group was carried out with the help of the methodology for determining the motives for the professional activity, developed by K. Zamfir, questionnaire of professional and pedagogical activity motives and questionnaire of career choice motives.

Findings

The analysis of the results showed the following dynamics (see table 01 ).

Table 1 -
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Analysis of the dynamics of the self-esteem level showed an increase among students with high professional motivation (based on the results of directional studies) and a decrease among students with low motivation.

The data obtained by the SAT method in the first and fourth year students of the experimental group show a clear tendency towards increase of all the indicators (see table 02 ).

Table 2 -
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The methodology Report on the most significant event by L. M. Mitina used in the study, contributed to a better development of reflection, the ability of the student to understand himself and his attitude towards children better, and analyze behavior in difficult, conflict situations.

So, the obtained data show that by the end of the education in the university the students' self-perception increases, they become more self-independent in mind and decisions, that indicates an increase of the self-awareness level.

Being in the last year of university education, the students of the experimental group, in comparison with the control group representatives, demonstrate a more precise hierarchy of motives and professional values. The humanistic orientation and the value attitude towards a child and other people become a priority in their pedagogical activity. Students have a higher level of reflection, the ability to plan and carry out their activities in unusual situations, creatively apply the skills of effective pedagogical and communication activity and elaborated in the course of their professional training, and realized in curatorial work with first-year students and in the framework of pedagogical practice.

The second series of the experiment is a program of personal and professional development of teachers. 42 teachers of the university took part in the study. Diagnostic, developmental and corrective programs, seminars, group discussions, psychological workshops and trainings were developed in the mainstream of the technology of constructive behavior change, which allows transforming the adaptive behavior of the teacher into behavior aimed at creative self-realization in the profession.

Stage of preparation. At this stage, the diagnosis of the higher education teachers' level of motivation to experimental, innovative activities is performed, as well as the identification of its creative potential.

Stages of awareness and reassessment. The main goal of work at the stages of awareness and reassessment is to change the attitude of teachers towards the difficulties of professional activity: these difficulties are evaluated as a resource, a source of self-development, a motivation to search for new means and ways of carrying out professional activities. The teachers` participation in My Portfolio. Technology of Creation seminar stimulates the creative activity of teachers and their activities.

Stage of action. Intensive psychological work with teachers ends with the stage of action, when the majority of the teaching staff is transitioning to activity in the development mode. At this stage the main emphasis is made on the formation of new ways of activity. The portfolio method is actively applied: such as portfolio of external achievements of the teacher (portfolio of documents, portfolio of creative works, rating portfolios) and a portfolio of personal development of the teacher (steps for the implementation of selected personal growth objectives). The main tasks of trainings (Professional Development of the Teacher Personality, Teacher-psychotherapist; Role Behavior of the Teacher; Readiness for Risk in the Teacher`s Activities, etc.) are to increase self-awareness level and integral personal characteristics and to expand of the teacher`s role repertoire. At the same time inadequate, uncreative behavior stereotypes and inefficient roles should be reduced while development of creativity and spontaneity, flexibility of behavior and the ability to easily move from one role to another without "being stuck" on separate roles; should be achieved. Additionally the ability to act in uncertain, risky situations in which a teacher has to work and consolidation of new patterns of behavior and interaction with all subjects of the educational process should be developed with the use of mentioned above trainings. At the thematic meetings, the intermediate and main results of psychological work on the professional development of the individual of teachers and students are discussed.

The creation of a new organizational culture and the formation of a team of like-minded people should be of particular attention. Possible forms of work at this stage are a business game-seminar Achievements of Students: Ways of Studying and Conditions of Pedagogical Assistance; Founding imitation game; (development of organizational abilities of the team in the situation of choosing a new work direction); and a Designing the Development of the Organization and Overcoming the Difficulties of Growth training.

Studying the creative potential of teachers with the help of the Evaluation of the Factors of the Implementation of Creative Professional Activity methodology allowed to analyze the motivational readiness of teachers and to highlight such characteristics as focus on professional activity.

Before inclusion in the development work, the teachers were divided into three groups: those with high prerequisites for creative activity — 15%, with medium prerequisites — 61%, with low ones — 24%. After conducting the development work, the groups were distributed accordingly as 68%, 22%, and 10% respectively.

According to the statistics, indicators of personal and professional development of teachers as integral personal characteristics and self-awareness in the conditions of the "teacher-student" poly-subject are significantly higher than the teachers with whom psychological work was conducted outside the conditions of poly-subject interaction.

The third series of the experiment contained joint activities aimed at personal and professional development of subjects of the educational space of the university in conditions of poly-subject interaction.

One of the most effective forms of psychological work with the last year students was the holding of joint activities in the "teacher-student" system. The students initiated a meeting with their teachers in a round table mode. As a result, 12 joint informal round tables were held with students of different courses. Students have prepared questions for teachers in advance. During these meetings were discussed a lot of key questions such as the problems of choosing a profession, issues of personal and professional development, problems of emotional response, deformation effects on the professional development of the individual, drawing up joint plans and projects.

A qualitative analysis of the questionnaires proposed to the participants at the end of the work showed that the implementation of such poly-subject interaction of the teaching and student communities by establishing trust between them, creating an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual understanding based on common values and goals had a significant impact on both students and teachers. The participants emphasized the effectiveness of the interviews conducted and the fact that this kind of person-oriented communication is sharply needed during the educational process.

In the context of poly-subject interaction, both teachers and students are developing the ability to cope with different challenges and increasingly become a self-developing community, due to cooperation and a deeper exploration of their behavior patterns and attitudes, to build on the strengths of the team and develop strategies for transforming their own weaknesses in the resource development.

The delayed experiment (the year of work as a teacher after graduation) showed that the improvement of the psychological and pedagogical education of university students aimed at developing a complex of integral personal characteristics such as professional orientation, competence, flexibility, self-awareness that allows young people to work successfully in difficult conditions of sociocultural transformations.

Conclusion

The result of this work is the “psychologization” of the consciousness of the subjects of higher education, the activation of the creative potential of students and teachers, the formation of the teacher-student community as an integral dynamic psychological formation reflecting the phenomenon of the unity of development of the subjects of the educational space of the university that provides the optimal conditions for professional life of students and teachers.

References

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18 December 2019

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978-1-80296-048-8

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Future Academy

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49

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Educational psychology, child psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology

Cite this article as:

Mitina*, L. (2019). Psychological Regularities Of Personal And Professional Development Of Poly-Subjective "Teacher-Student" Community. In S. Malykh, & E. Nikulchev (Eds.), Psychology and Education - ICPE 2018, vol 49. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 451-459). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.11.02.50