Career Development Of Future Teachers: Research On American And Russian Students
The development of the system of education offers a variety of options for building a horizontal and vertical career today. The theoretical analysis of a teacher's career is based on an interdisciplinary approach that integrates the concepts of personal and professional development and social status promotion into a unified system. The research used a qualitative approach to the study of ideas about career development at the stage of professional training of teachers. The data were received from the qualitative interview and the SDS(R) test of first-year master`s degree program students from George Washington University (Washington, D.C.) and Smolensk State University (Smolensk, Russia). Students observed how they see a career in education, what they think of themselves as future teachers, and what they consider to be the source of their knowledge about career opportunities in Education. The results show that the motivation for teaching activities of both Russian and American students is based on the advice of other people (primarily their school teachers and parents) and their own experience. Most of the participants are motivated to build a successful career in education, but the professional personality type of American students often corresponds to the chosen profession, and they are better informed about the opportunities for career development, compared with Russian students. In conclusion, the authors substantiate the need to develop a system of career ideas of future teachers, affecting different levels and forms of professional training.
Keywords: Career developmentteaching professiongraduate studentshorizontal and vertical careerprofessional type of personality
At the beginning of the 21st century many countries in the world, developed and developing, faced a problem of the shortage of teachers. There is increasing concern worldwide about the difficulties of recruiting and retaining secondary school teachers (Ward, 2011).
The situation is exacerbated in the current climate of teacher shortages and recruitment problems in many curriculum areas, and an ageing teaching workforce with significant numbers of impending retirements (Dempsey, Arthur-Kelly, & Carty, 2009).
This has been particularly evident with teachers in the early stages of their teaching career. Teaching has a higher drop-out rate than any other profession does, as is partially illustrated by almost 50% of beginning teachers dropping out within their first 5 years (Ingersoll, 2002).
The National Education Association (2008) has predicted that within the next decade the United States will need more than 2 million new teachers to fill these positions.
The Minister of Education of the Russian Federation, Vasilyeva (Vasilieva: The shortage of subject teachers in Russia by 2029 could reach 188.7 thousand, 2019), stated that by 2029 the shortage of subject teachers in the secondary education system will be 188 700 people if no measures are taken in this area. Among the proposed measures there is an increase in the number of intake of students to the pedagogical areas of training and improving the quality of vocational education.
It is often taken as self-evident that teachers can and do make a difference by influencing the lives of children and adolescent and their orientation to learning (Richardson & Watt, 2006). On this premise, it is paramount that only the best and most qualified teachers are hired for the profession by the educational system within any country.
According to Darling-Hammond (2010), there are a number of factors that contribute leaving the teaching profession. Such factors include: (a) salaries, (b) working conditions, (c) preparation, and (d) mentoring and support.
We believe that a significant reason for young teachers to leave from the profession is that they see no prospects for career growth. The turnover of teachers forces to concentrate on the search of the factors which can lead to retention of the teacher even in the system of professional training. Recognizing the pending crisis, teacher education programs struggled to address teacher shortages issues while maintaining high standards to prepare highly qualified teachers (Wilcox & Samaras, 2009).
There is an increasing demand for professional training that can ensure the long-term professional development of a graduate.
The current situation in both Russia and the United States suggests the need for systemic changes in teacher training. The American education system is one of the first in the world to declare its focus on the modernization and humanization of teacher education, on increasing its efficiency and quality, and on the formation of the teacher’s personality. When in the USA this work began in the 80s, in Russia it is currently underway.
A comparison of the two countries finds a similar problem of increasing the quality requirements for teacher training. The central element of professional and pedagogical training of future teachers in the United States, as well as Russia is the formation of humanistic values.
There are deep differences both in the training of teachers and in the requirements for them, despite the general points.
The main directions of modernization of the content of professional and pedagogical training of future teachers in the United States are: the transfer of emphasis in the content of professional and pedagogical training from qualification to the formation of key competencies, worldview, personal and professional qualities of the future teacher; increasing the share of practical training of students, field practice, familiarization with the organization of training in various types of schools; the use of an integrated approach in determining the content of training and building curricula; humanization, of disciplines of psychological and pedagogical cycle, transforming them into more substantive and society-focused ones; the introduction of programs of personal and communicative development of students, multicultural component (Sakhieva, 2004).
In modern science, career development is the subject of cross-disciplinary analysis. It is possible to identify a trend of positions convergence, when specialists in the field of personnel management begin to consider a career not only in the narrow sense, as a sequence of positions held by an employee in the organization, but include the aspect of subjective awareness of their own professional path, the development of the internal position of the employee (Kibanov, 2008).
Psychologists, considering the problems and patterns of professional formation and development of personality, pay attention to the social status of the individual in a particular social environment (Markova, 1996).
On the one hand, the success of a specialist's career development implies an understanding of the current socio-economic situation: the demand for the profession in the system of economic and labor relations, the prospects for its existence in a changing world. On the other hand, the person should be aware of their own psychological characteristics that contribute to an effective (successful) professional activity. Ignoring these ideas, lack of their formation lead to a risk of inadequate use and application of individual career efforts of the individual. In the situation of professional training, this can lead to disappointment with the chosen profession, which reduces the quality of training results, blocks career development, up to the change of activity.
Mogilevkin (2007) considers that an important part of professional training at the University is the formation of a systematic understanding of career opportunities and career paths, i.e. career competence, which is the basis of career self-efficacy – the ability to career goal-setting, career planning and the ability to solve career problems.
We think that future teachers` vision of career development should include structural and dynamic aspects. The first has an internal (content) and external (status-role) sides, connected with each other. The inner side includes components of professional development, the study of which has a long tradition in the domestic and foreign psychological and pedagogical science: professional motivation, professional guidelines and values, professional knowledge, skills, competencies, personal qualities, especially the self-concept of the teacher (Eisner, 1995; Goodson, 1994; Markova, 1996; Orlov, 1999; Slastenin, 1981; Smith, 1994; Vershlovskii, 1983).
The process, teacher motivation has emerged as a critical field of evolving research in many countries (Australia, France, Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, USA, UAE and others). Academic scholars and employers emphasized the importance of understanding and exploring the motivators that influence individuals' decisions to join or quit teaching as a profession as well as the ways talented and motivated people can be attracted to the teaching career (Sharif, Upadhyay, & Ahmed, 2016).
Some researches stressed the importance to attract students with the "right" motives and ensure required engagement in their training (Canrinus & Fokkens-Bruinsma, 2011; Sinclair, Dowson, & McInerney, 2006).
Based on the expectancy-value model (Eccles, 1983), that is considered to be the most comprehensive motivational model for investigating academic and career choices, Richardson and Watt (2006) listed intrinsic career values (interest in teaching), self-perceptions of ability, personal utility values (job security, family concerns), social utility values (contribute to society, enhance social equity, desire to work with children), prior experiences, perceptions of task demand and return, "fallback career" possibilities and social influences as the factors influencing teaching.
The external side of career development reveals the social aspect of the profession: the features of professional status, a variety of roles that can be performed by a person with a pedagogical education, the relevant government and non-government organizations, institutions and positions, duties and requirements, the nature of career success.
Today, teachers have many opportunities for career growth, which consist of the desire for self-improvement and the desire to realize their professional possibilities (Surzhikova & Molchanova, 2015).
In Russia, there are various actively developing forms of state support for teachers achieving a high level of professional skill; opportunities for training, exchange of pedagogical experience on interregional and even international level are expanding. The system of professional competitions is being improved.
Career growth is possible not only in the education system, but also in the sphere of development of one`s own educational business. Depending on the subject, the teacher can organize studios, schools of creative development, exam preparation courses. The use of modern IT-technologies allows creating educational web-sites, organizing distance learning and counseling.
The dynamic aspect of career development allows determining specific trajectories of professional path, starting with the definition of the preferred professional role, specification of planned results and setting goals, defining stages, resources and tools to achieve them. It includes both "external reference points" of professional way (institutional, educational, temporary, material), and definition of tasks of personal and professional development (necessary knowledge and competencies, personal qualities, social and psychological abilities).
The specifics of the teaching profession are due to the limitations of a vertical career and a wide range of professional roles and specializations at the level of horizontal career. Various studies draw attention to the management roles of teachers, the development of professional mentors, curriculum developers, researchers, University professors, etc.
Traditional ideas about a vertical career in the school system are associated with the development of teacher management roles of vice-principal and principal within the educational organization or the Head of the Department of education management at the municipal or regional level.
In the project of the Russian national system of teacher growth the trajectories of horizontal and vertical career of the teacher are defined. The horizontal career is developed within the framework of the generalized labor function A (professional activity for the training of students) in the system “teacher – senior teacher – leading teacher”. This system is complemented by the vertical career path of the teacher, not involving its transition the positions of manager, through the introduction of labor functions B (design of educational programs) and C (coordination of the activities of participants in educational relations for the design and implementation of the educational programs), requiring higher levels of qualification of the teacher.
For successful career development, it is necessary for future teachers to understand the need for professional self-realization, the desire for constant self-education and self-improvement, awareness of the creative nature of the teaching profession.
Howe (2006) notes that while induction programs and practice did differ by country, a key element in successful teacher induction is the provision of time for reflection and opportunities for continued professional development.
Markova (1996) identifies the stages of personal development in the profession. She considers the development of professionalism through the levels of professional competence: non-professional, intern, teacher, master, innovator, researcher, professional. In the model of professional development suggested by Mitina (2004) there are stages: self-determination, self-expression and self-realization.
The determining factor in the professional growth of the individual is its internal activity, which forms a conscious view and determines professional behavior, providing professional achievements and career development.
In our research, we found it interesting to compare postgraduate students from Russia and the United States, regarding their ideas about the prospects of career development in the teaching profession.
The following research questions arose as a result of the analysis of the components of representations about career development of future teachers:
How do American and Russian students imagine career development in their chosen profession?
What aspects of career do they mark out?
How detailed are their ideas about the content and organizational aspects of career development?
Is there a relationship between the personality type of students and their motivation and career representations?
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was aimed at revealing Russian and American students` views on content and social status of career development. In particular, such parameters as motivation of the choice of profession and its determining factors, ideas about the content of pedagogical work, professional development, opportunities of horizontal and vertical career were compared. Students' ideas about their personal qualities necessary for the successful performance of the profession were compared with the professional type of personality as well.
The main method of research of students was interview. The interview revealed: motivation for the choice of teaching profession and attitude to it, self-assessment of their own inclinations and abilities in their chosen activities; special attention was paid to issues related to the views of respondents on the possibilities of professional development and career growth. Taking into account the differences in the system of teacher training in Russia and the United States, the interview plan for the Russian sample was detailed. In particular, in the United States, specific areas of pedagogical activity imply a narrower specialization, and in interviews most American students meant not the teaching profession in the whole, but their chosen specialization. Russian students, many of whom have no professional experience, were asked additional questions about the attractive aspects/roles of the teaching profession. The information on preferences of employment of Russian students was also specified.
The interview was conducted in an individual form; the time spent on one Respondent was about half an hour. All respondents expressed their willingness to participate in the survey in advance.
To identify professional preferences and the corresponding type of personality of the subjects we additionally used the Self-Directed Search – Form R (SDS), developed by Holland in the framework of empirical verification of his concept of career choice (Holland, Powell, & Fritzsche, 1994b). According to the theory of Holland, people can function better in a professional environment that is compatible with their personality (Holland, Powell, & Fritzsche, 1994a).
According to some researchers, this theory is unique in terms of its practical orientation, the ease of empirical testing, a wide range of applications and opportunities for assessing professional development during life (Rayman & Atanasoff, 1999). Cross-cultural evaluation of translated and adapted versions of SDS by European and Russian researchers confirms all four types of equivalence of the methodology: functional, conceptual, linguistic and metric (Lonner & Ibrahim, 1996; Budarina & Morozov, 2013).
Diagnosis allows identifying individual characteristics of the choice of the subject of the six types of professional preferences in accordance with RIASEC (realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional) model.
In the course of diagnosis, the most appropriate environment is revealed for the type of personality, as well as less significant professional environments. It allows an individual to choose reserve professions, i.e. to identify alternative ways of professional development.
The scores from all of questions are tallied up to finally produce a summary code with three top scores. Summary codes are used to locate various occupations that people might be interested in. Various combinations of the summary code can be used to explore occupations.
So, the profession of a teacher presupposes social type of personality, and educational institution – social environment (code SAE). Inclusion of other fields of activity in the code allows specifying specialization or opportunities of horizontal career of a person, for example, SAR – a handicrafts teacher or SAI – a university professor.
The study involved first-year master`s degree program students (N = 45). We chose students of the second educational level to see how they formed ideas about career development in the learning process at the undergraduate stage.
The American sample is represented by 23 graduate students enrolled in the courses "Career counseling" (in cooperation with Dr. Pat Schwallie-Giddis) (The George Washington University, The Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Washington, D.C.). On the Russian side, 22 students of the Smolensk State University in the field of "Pedagogical education" enrolled courses "Self-Determination and Professional Career" took part in the study.
Both samples are almost balanced according to gender. The age of the Russian sample is slightly less than the American one (the average age is 23.6 years and 26.4 years, respectively), as a larger number of Russian students enter the master's degree right after graduation. One more difference between the samples is in the profile of education received earlier: the majority of Russian students – 17 (77.3%) continue pedagogical training received earlier and only 5 (22.7%) came to the pedagogical after non-pedagogical specialties (management, organization of activities with young people, sociology). Among American students, only 2 (8.7%) graduated from teacher training programs, 10 (43.5%) received psychological training, the remaining half of the group 11 (47.8%) got their degree in various specialties (English literature, history, journalism, international relations, business, management, biomedicine, etc.). Another significant difference is the experience of any professional activity. In the process of undergraduates training Russian students had field practice at school or were engaged in educational activities in summer camps in addition to theoretical training, but only 6 (27.3%) have working experience in educational institutions of various levels (from preschool to vocational institutions). Another 5 (22.7%) have experience in other areas (management, trade, etc.). Half of the students, studying full-time in undergraduate and graduate have never worked. American students have considerable experience: many of them have had time to try their hand in a variety of areas: 20 respondents (87%) worked (or continue working) in education or other areas, but related to the training of different groups of the population (children, migrants). Moreover, 16 (69.6%) have experience in other areas (investment, consulting, management, services, etc.). See Table
All respondents desire to engage in educational activities due to internal conscious motives: the desire to work with children and adolescents, to support them, to teach them. 20 respondents (87%) noted having a positive experience in the relevant field: Babysitting, volunteering in various children's clubs and organizations, family camp, tutoring, the actual teaching activities, etc. One participant stated: “I am interesting in more social occupations that allow me to help and collaborate with others”. 7 (30.4%) were significantly influenced by the example of parents working in the field of education, another 4 (17.4%) stressed that the helping orientation of their parents ' professions also influenced their desire to work with children. 15 (65.2%) noted that the support of relatives is important for them as well as their own desire when choosing the sphere of professional activity. An important factor in choosing a teacher's profession is its high social status and the opportunity to receive a higher income after master's program graduate.
In general, American master students purposefully and consciously explain the choice of their field of study. In our opinion, one of the important reasons for this is the high developed system of school career counseling in the United States, which includes all levels and types of school system.
When talking about the profession of a teacher, American students distinguish their personal position associated with the possibility of the most complete self-realization in this activity (14 – 60.9%), and the importance of the teacher in society (10 – 43.5%). Another advantage of the teaching profession in the United States is the availability of a wide range of employment options: public, community, private institutions of secondary and supplementary education; educational activities among different groups in various spheres of life (health, culture and leisure, ethnic environment, etc.).
All respondents demonstrate a high interest in the development of theoretical and practical courses necessary for the profession of a teacher, paying special attention to the development of modern methods of work.
Evaluating their personal characteristics, respondents note sufficient development for successful professional activity of communicative (18 – 78.3%) and organizational (21 – 91.3%) qualities, emotional and volitional characteristics (14 – 60.9%), research abilities (9 – 39.1%).
The respondents associated professional development with the ability to clearly set goals, plan the process and the result of their work, to develop professional reflection.
Since the majority of respondents (18 – 78.3%) are focused on a specific specialization, most answers concerned narrowly focused skills, which generally emphasize students` developed and detailed understanding of their future work.
One participant stated: “I am enjoying working with children in a school setting. I love working in school environment. The balance of working with teachers, students, parents, and administrators is appealing to me. I’d like to work more closely with students on an individual basis in a school setting and I desire to pursue a career in school counseling or psychologist.”
Five students (21.7%) who have not decided on specialization plan to try themselves in different types of work and, if necessary, seek help from a career consultant.
American respondents have a high degree of awareness of employment opportunities and professional activities both in the chosen specialization and in related fields. 14 respondents (60.9%) have experience of combining different activities. In addition to the main work they are involved or willing to participate in social activities of the professional community, clubs. Five students (21.7%) are ready to engage in self-employment activities related to education.
One participant stated: “I have a multi-phase plan for next year. Phase One includes relocation to North Carolina and applying to middle and high schools in that area. The short-term goal of Phase One is to have sent resumes to districts in Chapel Hill by March. If I have not received a response from any of the schools in the districts by April or May, I plan to apply to colleges in North Carolina. Phase Two of my plan for next year is to get licensure. If it turns out that I’m working at a college, I will be able to take classes towards licensure for free. I don’t have an interest in getting a Ph.D. at this time. I would like to work and obtain licensure and will be satisfied by stopping there and not going on for additional schooling”.
Since a vertical teaching career in the United States requires additional education in management, respondents' answers to the question of professional growth opportunities were aimed at the prospects of a horizontal career. Almost all respondents have clear plans for their professional future: 16 (69.6%) are going to focus their activities on the development of the teacher's profession, the formation of their own professional style allowing realize their personal potential better, to engage in self-education, to establish relations in the professional community, to study the experience of other teachers, to participate in competitions of professional skills; 6 (26.1%) are going to engage in research in education with the prospect of admission to doctoral program; 2 (8.7%) are going to look for a job that combines pedagogical and administrative spheres, it is possible to look for a job in the field of educational policy.
The choice of the program of training and future profession of students is due to both internal and external motives. More than half of the respondents (12 – 54.5%) explain their decision by interest/love for the subject, 6 (27.3%) mention love for children as the main reason, while only 3 (13.6%) have both motives. 8 (36.4%) were dominated by various external motives: the desire to get higher education, the influence of parents, friends, other external circumstances.
Influence or example of a relative or a favorite teacher as a significant or determining factor in the choice of the profession noted by 11 (50%), 10 of whom (45.5%) are dominated by internal motives for teaching. Eight respondents (36.4%) noted that there were no teachers among their relatives, and no influence of a favorite teacher who instilled love for the subject either: 6 (27.3%) from this group have external motivation to get pedagogical education.
Thus, it can be noted that there is a correlation between the positive experience of interaction with representatives of the teaching profession and the formed internal motivation for the teacher's work.
Analysis of the attitude to the teaching profession mainly revealed the following positions of respondents: 18 (81.8%) have a positive attitude to the work of the teacher, and this opinion of 12 (54.5%) has not changed in the learning process, and 4 of them (18.2%) have changed it for the better. All respondents highly appreciate the importance of the profession for society, often noting its complexity (11 – 50%), which is expressed in a decrease of authority, respect for the profession on the part of the government (low salary) and the society (the attitude of parents, students), and a large amount of diverse activities that have to perform the teacher, carrying a great responsibility.
One participant stated:
"Today the role of the teacher, unfortunately, is devalued by the society. A few years ago, such an attitude on the part of the students or on the part of their parents was not noticed. However, personally for me, the teaching profession has been and remains one of the most important and respected ones, although I realize that now the teacher is in more difficult circumstances because of the pressure of the society".
More than a third of respondents (36.4%) have changed their opinion about the profession, which was caused by the field practice at school or starting their career. As a rule, the attitude to the profession itself does not change fundamentally, but it becomes more differentiated, taking into account the understanding of the various aspects of the teacher's work. One of the difficulties of professional adaptation is identified by the respondents as insufficient practical training. In this regards, one participant stated:
"The attitude to the profession is ambivalent. Did the university influence my attitude to the profession?!. I think it did NOT. The time and experience at school DID. The first two years in school were unbearable, it was difficult to get on with the children, and I faced the fact that the university had in no way prepared me to work with documents".
During the self-evaluation of their personal characteristics relevant to teaching profession, it was found that more than half of the respondents (59.1%) positively assess their abilities and qualities of character, considering them important for the chosen profession, another six students (27.3) distinguish both positive qualities and those that complicate the work of the teacher (underdeveloped communicative characteristics, problems of emotional-volitional regulation). Only three respondents (13.6%) doubt their personal characteristics and do not identify any features necessary for the profession of a teacher. It should be noted that these respondents all had an external motivation in choosing the direction of training. As for the characteristics themselves, the most often mentioned are love for children, their understanding, responsiveness, empathy (10 – 45.5%); the second place is marked by communication and organizational skills, activity (7 – 31.8%); 5 (22.7%) named emotional-volitional characteristics (patience, resistance to stress), as well as creativity. Only 4 (18.2%) respondents attributed readiness for self-development and self-improvement to important personal characteristics of the teacher.
One participant stated:
"The ability to get on with school students, the ability to understand and feel empathy for them, creativity. But I believe that education is an area in which the teacher must improve his skills every day."
In accordance with the objectives of the study, a special question on professional self-development was included in the interview plan. 16 respondents (72.2%) consider it important to develop and improve various personal characteristics. Half of the respondents consider it necessary to constantly improve the knowledge in the field of the taught subject, as well as the methodology of work. In this regards, one participant stated:
"A teacher is to include more creativity and interesting material in the educational process, to introduce new technologies".
A quarter of the respondents (27.3%) identified a constant readiness for self-development and self-improvement. In general, the respondents are aware that the profession of a teacher requires constant self-development.
The analysis of the answers to the question about the attractive aspects of the teaching profession allowed us to identify four groups of factors. Some of them are determined by the internal content of the activity: 11 (50%) identified work with children ("communication with children, because there is no one more sincere in the world") and 9 (40.1%) – the possibility of self-development ("I like the cognitive side of pedagogical activity"). The main external reason for the attractiveness of the profession is a large vacation (5 – 22.7%), as well as social factors such as the opportunity to participate in competitions, social recognition – 4 students (18.2%).
At the same time, more than half of the respondents (54.2%) when answering the question named one side of the activity: 8 (36.4%) internal, 4 (18.2%) – external. Only five respondents (22.7%) mentioned two aspects and two (9.1%) more than three. The participant stated:
"It is very attractive that you can give knowledge to students. It's nice that children and parents will be grateful. In this profession you have a long vacation, official employment. And the good thing is that there is constant self-development and the opportunity to realize them."
In our opinion, one-sided understanding of the profession and its advantages narrows the motivational basis of activity, which may result in the risk of loss of interest and desire to work in the future. On the contrary, complementary motives provide a more stable and flexible incentive system.
The most often called difficulties in the work of a teacher are excessive demands from parents, relationships with superiors and colleagues, as well as a large number of paperwork (7 - 31.8%), 5 (22.7%) mention high responsibility, "lack of the right to make mistakes", another five (22.7%) consider it difficult to work with "difficult" children, two respondents (9.1%) talk about low wages.
Speaking about her professional plans, 15 of the respondents (68.2%) would like to work at school or other institutions of the education system (college, university). This includes anyone who is already employed or has experience at school or college. Besides, 2 (9.1%), whose motivation was due to external factors, have changed their minds during the period of training and practical experience and are ready to try to work as teachers. As for those who are not going to work as teachers in the nearest future (only 7 (31.8%)), the reasons for this choice are different: low wages combined with high workload and great responsibility (3 - 13.6%), preference for another field of activity (2 - 9.1%) or the having another job (1 - 4.5%), as well as lack of confidence in their abilities. One interviewee changed her opinion about the profession for the worse after the field practice: "To be honest, I am very disappointed in the teaching profession; I do not see myself as a teacher. You can go anywhere, but not to school." In general, five respondents of this group (71.4%) initially had external motives at the stage of choosing the sphere of training and during the training there was no internal need and interest in the profession.
The answers to the questions about the possibilities of development and career growth in the teaching profession are indicative for our research. 4 (18.2%) did not think about the possibilities of professional development or do not see them ("First of all, I plan to graduate from the University"; "There is no development. Starting with salary and ending with promotion, which is very difficult to achieve"). One third of the respondents (36.4%) speak primarily about the growth of professional skills through self-education or education ("Development of creative abilities, professional skills and pedagogical culture of teachers, the constant development of individual pedagogical experience"). Only 5 (22.7%) mentioned the social aspect of development associated with the possibility of horizontal or vertical career, mainly talking about the possibilities of teaching at the University. We can conclude that the majority of respondents – 17 (77.3%) do not associate ideas about professional development with career advancement, in particular, this aspect of the profession isn’t updated in their minds.
In this regard, a clarifying question was asked about the possibilities of professional growth in education, which allowed identifying a more detailed representation of the ways and tools of career development by students. 4 respondents (18.2%) found it difficult to answer the question. Among the answers, the most frequently mentioned professional development courses 8 (36.4%); 3 (13.6%) mention participation in professional competitions that contribute to the development of methodological competencies and the overall growth of professional skills. 7 respondents (31.8%) are aware of the possibilities of a vertical career in the education system: "career development to the vice-principal and the principal, respectively," 5 (22.7%) have an idea of a horizontal career (development of methodological or research specialties, work as a psychologist, teaching at the University). Only one respondent mentioned the possibility of modern alternative career paths: "Opportunity to conduct your online course, webinars, seminars, remotely earning money on it, create your own unique curriculum and also earn money on it".
Thus, the Russian students have a positive attitude to the teaching profession, are aware of its complexity, are ready to work and develop in the profession, i.e. have a fairly complete and differentiated understanding of the content of a professional career, however, ideas about the social status and the organizational aspects of career opportunities in the field of education are often not formed or are non-systemic and fragmented.
Results of Self-Directed Search – Form R
Analysis of the results of the diagnosis of professional preferences of the American participants show that all surveyed students are dominated by social type: 22 (95.7%) people it ranks first. Other types were distributed as follows: enterprising -73.9%, artistic – 69.6%, investigative – 26.1%, conventional – 13%, realistic – 8.7%. SAE and SEA codes corresponding to the teaching profession are found in 52.2% of respondents, in 26.1% of the cases the codes begin with SA (17.4%) or SE (8.7%), and in 13% of cases the code begins with SI. The data obtained show sufficient homogeneity of the results of the study and indicate the compliance of professional choice to the personal type.
Comparison of the data of the analysis of interviews and diagnostics of professional preferences of American students allows to draw the following conclusions: the choice of pedagogical activity is based on internal motives, supported by external stimuli, as well as compliance of professional preferences in the field of education; students have formed ideas about both substantive and social status aspects of horizontal professional career.
As a result of the diagnosis of professional preferences, the following professional personality types were identified: social – 72.2% of the respondents, artistic – 68.2%, investigative – 50%, enterprising – 31.8%, realistic – 22.7%, conventional – 22.7%, i.e. in this sample all personality types are represented, but social and artistic are predominant: 10 and 8 students (45.5% and 36.4%), respectively, were chosen as the leading types. In 27.3% of cases, the code of respondents is SAE, which corresponds to the teaching profession. All students of this group have internal motivation to enter the University, but at the time of the survey only 3 of them would like to work at school, the rest are either not satisfied with the low salary, or they want to try themselves in other professions. Another 22.7% of respondents have a social type adjacent to the investigative; two of them are focused in their career development on teaching at the University. In 27.3% of the students, whose structure of professional preferences doesn’t include social type, there is an external motivation for choosing a profession.
In general, the comparison of the interview results with the professional type of personality of students reveals the following patterns: among the respondents, the social type of personality prevails, which generally corresponds to the teachers profession, the motivation for choosing a profession (internal or external) correlates with the presence or absence of the social type in the structure of professional preferences. Students of social type believe that their personal characteristics generally correspond to the chosen profession (68.2%), they have developed ideas about the content of the internal aspects of professional career: the complexity and diversity of pedagogical work, constant self-development, high motivation for professional activity. At the same time, there is no system of ideas about the social status side of career development. The knowledge of some aspects of the career of the teacher is mainly related to the personal professional experience of the respondents and does not correlate with the professional type of personality.
The Comparison of American and Russian students showed significant differences in the formation of ideas about the career development of the teacher:
- Study groups differ in age characteristics, as well as the parameters of education and work experience, due to differences in the education system in general and the training of teachers in particular;
- Despite the great diversity of the group on education, differences in the previous experience and preferred specialization in teaching, American students, unlike Russian ones, demonstrate more homogeneous indicators on internal and more stable motivation, development of ideas about the chosen direction of work, career development opportunities (in the context of a vertical career), as well as in the choice of professional preferences (according to the method of Holland);
- Russian students, unlike American students, have a more holistic view of the various aspects of the teaching profession, but in the group of respondents there is a heterogeneous motivation as the choice of direction of training and further employment;
- In both groups of students, the ideas about the necessary teaching profession for personal qualities are formed, but in the group of Russian students, some respondents do not have these characteristics;
- Ideas about the development of professional activity of Russian students are associated with the development of personal qualities and improvement in the educational and methodical sphere; the views of American students specify the procedural and instrumental aspects of professional activity;
- In general, the idea of career development of Russian students is one-sided, non-systemic by nature: substantive aspects of professional development are more reflected, social-status ones are presented only fragmentarily.
The study of career development of the teacher seems to be a topical issue of modern pedagogical researches, both in theoretical and in applied aspects. To date, we have accumulated extensive experience in the field of research of the personality and activities of the teacher, the tasks and content of his professional training. However, the studies of professional development of the teacher through the career process have recently appeared in connection with the development of the concept of support for pedagogical activity. The teacher's career is considered as an opportunity to design the process of professional growth in the system of continuing education (Aleksandrova, 2008). The focus of such research is focused on the management and support of career development of working teachers. In our opinion, it is important to pay special attention to the period of professional training, which should be the basic stage of career planning, the formation of professional development strategies.
The development of career ideas of a future teacher should be systematic, affecting different levels and forms of training. Within the framework of theoretical training, the formation of knowledge about career development and skills of planning one's own educational and professional activities can be included in the programs of psychological, pedagogical and methodical disciplines, specialized electives. Particular attention should be paid to practical training, both in terms of volume (time) and organization. Students should have an opportunity to try themselves in various fields of teaching in order to assess their own aptitudes and abilities. An important place should be given to the study of the successful experience of specific professional development practices. It is obviously impossible to create a universal method of career formation of future teachers. Based on the results of the study, we see the prospects in the implementation of a flexible model of professional self-development, able to respond to a wide range of needs of teachers and features of a particular school.
The study has showed that in the process of teacher training, it is important to create a system of ideas about career development in pedagogical sphere among students. The comparison of the results showed that American students have a more holistic and definite understanding of their future professional activity than in the group of Russian students, whose meaningful ideas about career development significantly prevail over social-status ones. There are also differences in the motivation to choose a profession, the desire to work in the chosen field and in accordance with the professional type of personality. American students demonstrate a high level of development of these parameters. Such differences are due to the developed system of support of professional choice in the United States (Career Counseling service) and the presence of students with a variety of experience in various fields before starting professional activity.
Ideas about career development should include both awareness of the possibilities of vertical and horizontal career paths, the requirements for achieving each stage, and understanding of their own professional potential, based on the diagnosis of abilities and inclinations, analysis of the results of educational activities, various activities (research, creative, social, etc.). Under such conditions, they form the basis for the formation of a targeted and controlled career path, based on the development of specific character features of the individual.
We would like to thank our Friend and Colleague Dr. Pat Schwallie-Giddis (George Washington University, Washington, D.C.) - a National leader in School Counseling and Career Development for her kindness and invaluable assistance.
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