Subculture Of Pedagogical Community And Teacher’s Development As An Educator

Abstract

The article presents the results of a study of the influence of the professional subculture of the pedagogical community on the development of the teacher’s professional skills as an educator. Obviously, for the development of a teacher as an educator, it is important to have a professional community with a specific set of value orientations, norms of behavior of its carriers, i.e. signs of a professional subculture. In this regard, it is important to investigate the role of the professional subculture in the development of the teacher’s professional and personal position and the conditions under which this subculture becomes a factor in its development. The article presents the results of a theoretical analysis of the professional subculture of teachers as educators and the content of the components of this subculture. The methodological basis of the analysis was an axiological approach. The authors put forward the assumption that the basis of familiarizing the individual with the professional subculture of teachers as educators is the identification process, accompanied by attribution and reflection. As a result of the study, the positive role of the professional subculture on the development of a teacher as an educator was determined and the conditions of the development of his professional skills in the pedagogical community were formulated. The results of this study will contribute to the constructive use of the potential of the professional subculture of the pedagogical community in the organization and maintenance of the professional development processes of teachers as educators.

Keywords: Valuesprofessional subculturepedagogical communityprofessional developmentteacher as an educator

Introduction

The priority of upbringing as a pedagogical axiom in Russian education has existed for more than two decades. But only last few years, with the advent of the professional standard of a teacher, who was carrying out pedagogical activities in general education, and the development of the upbringing’s strategies in the Russian Federation, the objective prerequisites were appeared to change the attitude to education in educational organizations and municipal educational systems by the administrative and managerial staff. As a result, various plans of the upbringing work’s improvement are developed and approved at all levels of education management. Undoubtedly, this work will have positive results if it is carried out by qualified specialists who understand the specifics of the organization of upbringing activities and possess the appropriate means, forms, methods, both in the classroom and outside the classroom. Thus, the primary task in ensuring the readiness of teachers for the implementation of the functions of education is the development of his teacher's professional skills as an educator. This conclusion confirms the position of Yamburg (2014), who is a head of the professional standard development’s team. He claims that “the teachers’ training and retraining are the main conditions for the transition to a new professional standard. First, this is what today the efforts of specialists at all levels of education authorities should be focused on” (p. 60).

In the choice of priorities in teachers’ professional development as an educator, we share the position of Livanov (2016). In his opinion, the task of a continuing professional teacher education is “the teacher’s value culture formation and development as an educator, who is capable not only to the self-development based on humanistic values, but also is ready to transfer (owning the means, forms, methods, etc.) from one generation to another cultural and moral paradigms" (para. 5).

In the development of the teacher as an educator, one of the development factors is the pedagogical community, which has a specific set of value orientations; standards of behavior, interactions and relationships of its carriers, i.e. signs of a professional subculture.

Problem Statement

The professional subculture of teachers is the research’s subject by Russian scientists (Bulynsky & Parskaya, 2000; Dukhova, 2006; Parskaya, 2012). However, the problem of the influence of professional culture on the development of the teacher’s professional skills as an educator remains unexplored. It is important to explore the role of the professional subculture in the development of the professional and personal position of the educator as well as the conditions under which the professional subculture becomes a factor in the development of the teacher as an educator.

Research Questions

Under what conditions does the professional subculture of the pedagogical community become a factor in the development of the teacher’s professional skills as an educator?

Professional subculture

Professional subculture is a culture of a professional group within a common, basic, core culture of society. The following features of the subculture are distinguished: a specific set of value orientations; norms of behavior, interaction and relationships of its carriers; status structure in real groups; hierarchy of preferred sources of information; peculiar hobbies, tastes; methods of free pastime; jargon; folklore, etc. (Mudrik, 2013).

Professional skills of the teacher as an educator

We regard professional skills of a teacher as an educator as a complex of personality traits, which is ensuring a high level of self-organization of professional activity and a sustainable cultural ownership of upbringing’s forms, an understanding of the possibility to limit each form, the ability to realize in these forms the increasing complex content of education. The properties of the personality are: the humanistic orientation of the teacher, professional knowledge, pedagogical abilities and professionally significant personal qualities. An integral characteristic of the personality of the teacher as an educator is his professional and personal position.

Purpose of the Study

The leading objective of the study is to determine the conditions of the development of the teacher’s professional skills as an educator in pedagogical communities with a professional subculture.

Research Methods

To implement the objectives of the study the following methods have been used: theoretical analysis of scientific literature on the research problem; analysis and synthesis of past and modern constructive experience in the field of education; humanitarian expertise; interpretation.

Findings

The concept of subculture (counterculture) was introduced into the scientific lexicon by T. Roszak who was the representative of the American school of sociology (Roszak, 1969). In his study, he focused on the mechanisms of the subculture’s influence on the culture that currently existed in society. There are three areas in subcultures’ researches (Berzano & Genova, 2015):

1.Subcultures and deviance (Nwalozie, 2015). The research was conducted by the Chicago School, in the framework of the Social Disorganization Theory, which considers subcultures as forms of deviation and crime. In their opinion, subcultures arise as a result of some population sectors’ lack of socialization with the mainstream culture, and of their acceptance of alternative axiological and normative models.

2.Subcultures and resistance (Dellwing, Kotarba, & Pino, 2014). Subcultures were interpreted as forms of resistance what had been resulted from the weakening of class identity. Subcultures became new forms of collective identification expressing “symbolic resistance against the mainstream culture and developing imaginary solutions for structural problems” (Cohen, 1972, p. 113).

3.Subcultures and distinction. Subcultures are presented as forms of distinction. Researchers describe subcultures as collectivities which, cultural level, are sufficiently homogeneous internally and heterogeneous with respect to the outside world to be capable of developing consistent distinctiveness, identity, commitment and autonomy.

Our research continues the logic of the third direction and is implemented in the framework of the axiological approach, which considers the professional teachers’ subculture as a specific set of value orientations; norms of behavior, interaction and relationships of its carriers.

In studies of the professional subculture of physicians, journalists, archeologists, judges, librarians, teachers (Bulynsky & Parskaya, 2000; Dukhova, 2006; Lyubchanskaya, 2008; Parskaya, 2012) it has been found that the totality of values, norms and models behaviors which are inherent in a particular community, depends on the content of the activity and the role played by its representatives in society; content and features of the organization of vocational training and advanced training.

Professional subculture develops under the influence of everyday and professional culture. The teacher’s profession is characterized by the interpenetration of these two cultures in connection with such characteristics of the profession as: publicity, openness, a high degree of contact with other social groups (Dukhova, 2005). The professional culture of the teacher and his everyday culture have an active influence on the development of his professional skills. Most of the qualities necessary for the performance of professional activities and expected by public opinion are fixed at the structural and personal level and manifest themselves in the daily life of the teacher. Thus, teachers as an educator can be influenced by the professional subculture: historically developed ideas about education; requirements of state policy in the field of education; national, ethnocultural, confessional traditions in the upbringing of children; socio-cultural environment of the settlement; personal ideas about the education of active representatives of public organizations and the parent community.

Recognizing the influence of external factors on the professional subculture of the teacher, we consider focusing on the development of professional skills of the teacher as an educator in the pedagogical communities of the educational organization. First, let us turn our attention to the signs of the professional subculture of the pedagogical community of teachers as educators.

The peculiarity of the professional community of teachers as educators is the co-existence nature of the relationship, developing on a common value-semantic basis of its participants (Slobodchikov, 2010). This type of association of professionals is called "self-defined professional co-existing community" (Selivanova & Stepanov, 2011) and is characterized by the following specific features:

created by the joint efforts of its members;

the initial form of a community is a stable spiritual connection between its participants, ensuring that one person understands another individuality and people accept each other;

there is constant communication, dialogue, mutual trust and empathy between the group members;

norms, goals, values, meanings of communication and interaction in the community are introduced by themselves (Slobodchikov, 2010).

The professional community of teachers as educators differs from other types of communities in what its representatives are able to professionally interact with meanings, values, attitudes with a different system of relations, with the emotional-volitional or reflexive spheres of a person. The leading activity of representatives of this community is educational. The main components of educational activities (Stepanov, 2018) are: motives, goals, basic actions, methods, means. Therefore, the professional subculture of teachers as educators can be characterized as a commonality of ideas about:

the leading, semantic motive of educational activity. It is the development of the child's personality;

the main goal of educational activities. It is the development of the child’s personality and the goals of individual educational activities;

basic educational activities (involvement in joint activities; creation of child-adult communities; encouraging children to learn socially significant knowledge, develop socially significant relationships, gain experience in implementing socially important actions);

leading methods and means of education.

It is advisable to include in the professional subculture not only the teachers’ value ideas about educational activities, but also about the teacher as an educator. The subculture of a teacher as an educator can be described through value-semantic, emotional-evaluative, and communicative-behavioral components (Dukhova, 2006).

The value-semantic component of the teacher as an educator is determined by the ideas of a humanistic, person-oriented process of interaction with children; about leading values of education, defining its interaction with all subjects of education (for example, Family, Fatherland, Earth, World, Labor, Culture, Knowledge (Karakovsky, 1993)); focus on the image of "teacher-educator."

The emotional-evaluative component is represented by specific emotional-evaluative reactions; specific emotional background; a system of typical preferences affecting the system of its assessments of actions, deeds, and relationships.

For the teacher as an educator, it is important to own the whole range of emotional-value reactions (laughter, sadness, grief, joy, etc.), allowing you to demonstrate your attitude to his actions to the child. The defining condition for the teacher to demonstrate his emotional and value reactions is sincerity. The leading emotional background of educational activity is an optimistic attitude in the communication and activities with children. The main guideline in the activities of the teacher as an educator is the personal growth of the child, the positive dynamics of changes in its development.

The communicative-behavioral component includes typical reaction-actions, reaction-actions to various events, situations of everyday life; specific behaviors and communication; characteristic for the professional community system of signs and symbols; typical actions aimed at obtaining new information; preferred ways to free time.

Professional community of teachers as educators is both a creator and a carrier of the subculture. In the process of interaction, all representatives of the community influence the change and maintenance of the stability of the subculture. The teacher, who has come to a professional community for the first time, through communication and activity, joins the subculture of this group, i.e. the teacher is influenced by all components of the subculture, and the process of assigning a subculture to a professional community, which is manifested in a professional-personal position, is gradually taking place. However, introducing a teacher to a subculture is a conscious process that involves the teacher making an independent decision (or several consecutive decisions) whether this group is personally important for him. The leading characteristic of this process will be the degree of subjectivity of the personality of the teacher, as well as the presence in the community of subject-subject relations.

The basis of the mechanism of familiarizing the individual with the subculture of the professional community is the identification process, accompanied by attribution and reflection. Shakurova (2014) notes that identification is a certain degree of identity between the motives, goals, actions of an employee and the professional group to which he belongs.

Being a cognitive process of understanding and explaining the behavior of other people and one’s own, attribution depends on the emotional states in which the teacher is, communicating and interacting in community. Group activity has great potential for obtaining positive emotions, allowing each of the group members to be successful. In group activities, each member of the group can perform different roles, demonstrating their capabilities and feeling their contribution to the common cause. In case of difficulties in performing their part of the task, everyone can receive help or support from other members of the group. Even in a situation of failure negative emotions cannot have a strong influence on the participants, due to the realization that even in this difficult situation, each member of the group supported the other. And this fact of jointly experiencing a difficult situation can be considered as an important emotional value event in the life of a professional community and each of its members.

The pedagogical activity of a teacher is more individual, therefore, the potential of group forms can be maximally realized in the design and analysis of the educational activities of an educational organization, as well as in the creation and organization of activities of children and adults with existing communities.

The introduction to the professional subculture of the teacher contributes to the organization of the process of development of professionalism of the teacher in the professional community. A significant contribution to understanding the role of the professional community in the development of professionalism was made by the development of the theory of the learning organization. The leading ideas of the self-learning organization were formulated by Senge (1990), and then developed in the Russian (Il'yasov, Kudinov, & Zaripov, 2011; Yarychev, 2011) and foreign (Brodie & Borko, 2016; Brown & Poortman, 2018; Durrant, 2013; Slater, 2015; Whitby, 2016) practices.

The trainees are “...organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together” (Senge, 2009, p. 3).

In studies of trainees, Brindley (2015) notes that the inclusion of a teacher in a professional discussion, ensuring the formation of his own opinion, influences his professional development, as well as the creation of common values and beliefs of the pedagogical community.

Reflection as a process of analyzing its activities and its results can be both spontaneous and manageable. Creating situations of joint analysis of the results of group activities contributes to the teacher's involvement in the professional subculture of the community. The subject of analysis is not only the degree of achievement of the planned results and the contribution of each member of the community. It is also important to analyze the relationship, the prevailing emotional-axiological atmosphere, norms of behavior, interaction and interrelations of group members, the degree of self-realization of each of its members in the process of achieving the result of educational activities. In the organization of group analysis, the position of the discussion leader, aimed at creating a business stop, is essential. His actions should contribute to the free expression of each teacher, the maintenance of ethical norms of communication, compliance with the rules by all participants in the analysis.

The analysis of the characteristics of the subculture allows us to identify the conditions under which professional community becomes a factor in the development of the teacher as an educator:

-the activity of the pedagogical community should be focused on maintaining the value-orientation and conceptual unity of all its members;

-interaction in community is aimed at maintaining inter-generational and inter-status relations and contributes to the processes of self-identification, self-actualization as an educator;

-the interaction of the teacher with the participants of educational relations is of a multi-subject nature and focused on the achievement of educational results;

-the teacher is included in the process of creating and operating child-adult communities;

-the activity of the teacher is accompanied by the reflection of the process and the results of educational activities;

-management of the activities of the pedagogical community should be aimed at implementing the principles of managerial assistance in the development of the teacher’s professional skills as an educator.

Conclusion

From the standpoint of an axiological approach the study of the professional community of teachers as educators allows us to consider it as a professional subculture with a specific set of value orientations; norms of behavior, interaction and relationships of its carriers. The basis of the mechanism of personality’s initiation to the professional community’s subculture is the identification process, accompanied by attribution and reflection.

The results of the study lead to the conclusion about the positive role of the professional subculture in the development of the teacher’s professional skills as an educator. In our opinion the development’s conditions of the teacher’s professionalism, which are formulated in our study, will contribute to the constructive use of the potential of the professional subculture of the pedagogical event community in the organization and support of the professional development processes of teachers as educators.

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2019.07.83

Online ISSN

2357-1330