Further Teacher Training As A National System Component Of Professional Teacher Development

Abstract

The relevance of the study lies in creating a national system of teacher development in the Russian Federation. In this regard, this article is dedicated to revealing teachers’ attitude, especially the young ones, to their occupation and professional career growth. Based on the findings, the key directions for developing further teacher training system as a meaningful part of a national system of teacher development were defined. The problem of research is connected with the fact that changing plans of social development form a whole range of challenges for modern education and teaching staff that implement the processes of upbringing, educating and socializing children, who are the representatives of “Z” generation, in a constantly changing socio-cultural educational environment. The aim of research is the analysis of the problems of organizing the system of further professional training and methodical support for teaching staff, and the search for new formats of its organization in conditions of implementing the national system of teacher development. The main method in the research was a questionnaire survey, carried out among 148 teachers. In the article it is written about all the necessary changes for the further teacher training system, which must become an inherent part of a national system of teacher development and should be built on the basis of personalizing further teacher training process, teacher retraining and constant methodological support. The materials presented in the article allow designing a model of further teacher training in a new format.

Keywords: System of teacher developmentfurther teacher trainingteacher assessment

Introduction

Currently, the Russian Federation focuses great attention on enhancing efficiency and competitiveness of general education, which depends on teacher professionalism. Teacher professional competence allows establishing an environment suitable for students’ development and their successful socialization. The increasing complexity of social and educational environment connected with the science and technologies active development and also the adoption of professional standards, teachers skills require improvement, as well as there is an increasing need for teaching staff prepared to solve the tasks of educational system innovative development on all the levels. Regarding Federal education development programme for 2016-2020, modern education demands an extensive development of teachers competences and the renewal of human resources capacity (Federal education development programme for 2016-2020, approached by a Government regulation, 29.12.2014 N2765 – r.). All teachers should carry out their work in the most professional manner in accordance with the Federal Education Act in the Russian Federation (Federal Education Act in the Russian Federation 29.12.2012. N273 – FA).Complex programme of teachers professional development in general education institutions combines key goals and targets aimed at teachers professional development (Complex programme of teachers professional development in general education institutions, approved by the Government of the Russian Federation 28.05.2014 N3241p – P8). One of the main activities in the federal programme of education development in the Russian Federation for 2013-2020 (approved by a Government regulation 15.05.2013 N729 – r) is training, retraining and further teacher training, establishing motivational mechanisms for teachers to enhance the quality and encourage life-long learning.

Many researchers point out the fact that teacher professional development is a key factor of enhancing education quality. That is why a great attention should be paid to teaching career, young teacher professional development and look for new formats in further teacher training. A current situation in transforming education demands teachers to have a certain number of competences. Modern teachers must be aimed at life-long learning and getting practical skills of implementing professional activities in constantly changing conditions of educational system. So, a highest priority should be given to developing teachers professional competences in the period of placement. This is quite a complicated process but it might become a predominant driver of change in teacher professionalism. In the period of placement teachers can solve a pack of professional tasks in order to continue their professional development (Virkkula & Nissilä, 2014). In the implementation of the policy aimed at creating conditions for each student success in the USA, equal attention was devoted to teacher professional training. The scientists from 3 American states carried out researches of the level of teacher preparedness to implement the guidelines of modern educational policy. They worked out main directions in changes of further teacher training system to create its continuity (Edgerton & Desimone, 2018). In several studies devoted to the search of new strategies in teachers’ professional development, researchers came to conclusion that first years of young teachers professional activities are extremely vital. In this period of time it is necessary to create conditions for revealing professional difficulties that young teachers may have, offering main initiative projects in order to address these difficulties and meeting the needs in teachers’ professional development (Atteberry, Loeb, & Wyckoff, 2015). Many countries, which are changing their educational systems, made reformative educational system and further teacher training mandatory. This process is based on the practicality oriented principle, which enables establishing conditions for constants teachers’ development (Bourke, Lidstone, & Ryan, 2013). Another important direction in studies aimed at the search of more efficient system in further teacher training is creating various tools of evaluation of teachers success, designing a motivational system for teachers to develop professionally and constantly (Tabatabaee-Yazdi, Motallebzadeh, Ashraf, & Baghaei, 2018). Most activities in teachers’ professional development in modern conditions of further training have tutoring technologies and portfolio as a basis. At the same time a considerable attentions is given to acquiring team building skills, professional development in teams and professional communities (Gast, Schildkamp, & Van der Veen, 2017). Not only traditional school communities but also out-of-school professional communities contribute to teacher professional development (Prenger, Poortman, & Handelzalts, 2018).

In his instructions to the Government (meeting of the Council of State of the Russian Federation 23.12.2015) the President of the Russian Federation initiated a process of forming a national system of teacher development, which is based on the level of professional competences. They are verified with the help of performance evaluation, school leavers and graduates’ opinions, made 4 years later. Building a national system of teacher development in Russia enables establishing an incentive scheme for professional teacher development on the basis of an inter-federal (objective and independent) assessment of the necessary level of teacher qualification. The same system will facilitates the establishment of common requirements to professional qualification tests or assessment throughout the country and create a system of teaching posts as a state mechanism of teacher professional growth without leaving the profession on the basis of a renewed professional standard of a teacher. This is a key project, and its implementation demands retraining more than a half of teaching staff. In this project framework new system of professional growth is being formed. The main difference is that a new system is not vertical (teacher – vice principal – head teacher) but horizontal. For implementing a new horizontal system of teacher professional growth, new positions for teachers, which reflect their professional success, will be introduced. It can be, for example, “teacher-mentor”. Apart from this system, a new system of teacher assessment is being designed; it will have become mandatory by 2020. The assessment will be “in two clicks”, that is why a new assessment system needs modern technological platform, which is being currently implemented in educational institutions throughout the country. In the framework of changes made to Professional standard of a teacher it is suggested to change the existing system of teaching staff positions. For example, the career growth of a pre-school teacher can be presented with the help of a model “pre-school teacher – senior pre-school teacher”. The official duty of a pre-school teacher is implementing educational programmes, while the official duty pf a senior pre-school teacher is designing and implementing educational programmes/ The career growth of e school teacher can be presented with the help of a model “teacher – senior teacher – lead teacher”. Consequently, the official duty of e teacher is implementing educational programmes; the ones of a senior teacher are designing and implementing educational programmes, while a lead teacher manages these activities. So the changes in the professional standard of a teacher will allow basing a career growth of a teacher on professional competences differentiation and official duties description. Consequently, implementing a national system of teachers’ growth suggests the following. First of all, the changes in federal state standards of high and secondary vocational education in the field of “Education and pedagogical sciences” should be made. Secondly, a new Procedure for conducting assessment, designing and implementing monitoring and measuring materials should be worked out. Let us examine a process of assessing teachers in a new format. Teacher evaluation is introduced not to reveal mistakes and punish. It is essential to respond to “how to improve the quality of teaching in schools” request. Teacher assessment will be presented as a complex multilevel structure. It will include professional exam for pedagogical institutions graduates. It will be based on common tasks and made mandatory for all graduates, becoming so called “enter in professional life”. Then in a certain period of time a teacher will prove suitability for their position and have to pass a test based on common federal evaluative material. What happens if a teacher cannot obtain certification? This teacher should have further teacher training. The “appraisal portfolio” will include 3 more components, but they will be developed by the school authorities. There will be a report by the employer, student educational outcomes analysis, school leavers’ judgment. The maximum is 100 points. It is possible to get not more ten 60 points for a test based on federal evaluative materials. 20 more points will be assigned for students educational outcomes, conditions of professional activity are estimated at 5 points maximum, and teacher individual achievement can give 15 more points. All these points will be included into a national system of teacher development. Thirdly, judging by the results of implementing a new system of assessment, a new further teacher training programme will be needed to design.

Problem Statement

The problem of research is connected with the fact that changing plans of social development form a whole range of challenges for modern education and teaching staff that implement the processes of upbringing, educating and socializing children, who are the representatives of “Z” generation, in a constantly changing socio-cultural educational environment. The aim of research is the analysis of the problems of organizing the system of further professional training and methodical support for teaching staff, and the search for new formats of its organization in conditions of implementing the national system of teacher development.

Research Questions

Research looked into how the stem of further professional training is organized and what new formats of its organization in conditions of implementing the national system of teacher development can be identified.

Purpose of the Study

The aim of research is the analysis of the problems of organizing the system of further professional training and methodical support for teaching staff, and the search for new formats of its organization in conditions of implementing the national system of teacher development.

Research Methods

In the research process the following methods were used: theoretical (analysis, synthesis, specification, generalization); diagnostic (interview, questionnaire survey), empirical (learning form educational organizations experience, studies of regulatory and methodological documentation).

Federal State Autonomous Institution of Higher Education (FSAI HE) Southern Federal University was the base for experimental research. Graduate students, young teachers’ university alumni and further teacher training courses participants took part in skilled experimental work.

The study of the problem was conducted in several stages. On the first stage theoretical analysis of the factors influencing the necessity of changing main directions in developing further teacher training system was carried out. On the second stage an experimental research of teachers’ attitude, including the young ones, to their professions and professional growth was conducted. On the third stage the analysis results were taken into consideration and the conclusions about the mechanisms in changing further teacher training system as a component of a national system of teachers’ development were made.

Findings

The results of the survey demonstrated that in the first years of their work young teachers pay a particular attention to several aspects. Among them are the ability to communicate with children and get on well with them, improving quality of education, mastering techniques and teaching methods, improving students educational results, professional adaptation, the ability to find new knowledge and transfer it to children, working with documentation and reports, eliminating defects in the field of professional activity, adapting to educational organization, establishing relationship with pupils’ parents, searching for professional resources, emotional stress about hypothetical incompetence, absence of further development, impossibility to realize creative potential and difficulties in prioritizing. Therefore, young teachers on the stage of entering the profession are eager to improve the quality of education and teaching through eliminating deficit in their subject area and learning new technique and teaching methods. More than a half of teachers (64,6%) develop their professional skills individually, 30,1% are engaged in this activity but not so often as they want and 5% never do it, as they do not have enough time for self-education. Professional development resources for young teachers are methodological literature and manuals (59,1% responds), scientific articles in the Internet (52,4% responds), books in the subject area (30,6% responds), electronic manuals and books (27,5% responds) and scientific and pedagogical magazines (15,2% responds). Studying methodological literature and using manuals as a source of professional development is more typical for teachers who work more than three years (72,4%). It is less typical for teachers who work from 2 to 3 years (59,2%) and for young specialists (58,9%). Teachers with working experience from 2 to 3 years define scientific articles in the Internet as a main source of their professional development (57,6%). Teachers who has the least working experience use scientific and pedagogical magazines the least (13,4%). The situations are almost the same about those, who work from 2 to 3 years (13,6%). Teachers from this group are also less interested in reading books and manuals in their subject area (23,7%).

Young teacher give special attention to the ability to communicate with children and get on well with them, improving quality of education, mastering techniques and teaching methods, improving students educational results, professional adaptation, the ability to find new knowledge and transfer it to children, working with documentation and reports, eliminating defects in the field of professional activity, adapting to educational organization and establishing relationship with pupils’ parents. Less than 2,5% respondents give priority to a search for professional resources, 1.4% respondents – to emotional stress about their hypothetical incompetence, 1,2% respondents believe that there is no possibility for professional development in the school they work, 0,9% think that it is impossible to realize their potential and only 0,3% respondents pay attention to difficulties in prioritizing. Young teachers see the perspective of professional growth for next three years in upgrading their professionalism in their subject area, expanding professional networking, a higher level of education and further training. But less than 3% are ready to work out their own methodology and techniques in teaching and implementing them in their professional practice.

Young teachers see their professional development in enhancing skills in their subject area (28,4%), acquiring new methods (13,6%), upgrading qualification categories (10,2%), implementing their own ideas and projects (9,5%), acquiring interdisciplinary competences (8,6%) and new types of activities such as participating in project or research teams (7,9%), participating and winning professional competitions (4,5), mastering new pedagogical professions, such as project manager, expert, diagnostician, tutor and etc. (4,3%), sharing and exchanging professional experience with the colleagues (4,1%), getting a promotion (head of methodological department, vice principal, had teacher) (3,6%). The results of the study show that overwhelming majority of young teachers define their activity for the next three years as professional and personal development.

A modern teacher must be ready to work with a constantly “updating version” of a child. The speed of science and technologies development defines the terms when knowledge becomes obsolete; this fact sets a key objective for a teacher not to teach pupils subject knowledge, but to form necessary competencies, which will allow future graduates become competitive in the labour market, which is transforming into the labour of competencies and qualifications. Teachers must shift from the conservative frameworks of knowledge and experience transfer to forming readiness to solve absolutely various professional tasks in a changeable educational environment. At the present moment a modern teacher is not ready for multitasking and ambiguity that challenges him in the nearest future with the necessity of understanding and accepting personal development as a basis for transition to a new form of his professional development. This requires the necessity of building a national system of teacher development, which is designed to indicate the levels of professional competencies of teachers proved by the results of evaluation regarding the professional standard requirements. Current assessment system does not encourage teachers to advance their professional competencies and acquire new ones. It resulted in designing a new assessment model based on common federal evaluative materials. While designing the new model, professional competencies, levels of their proficiency, ways of organizing assessment to see teachers development, were defined. As we see it, an integral component of a national system of teachers development is the system of further professional training, which demands reorganization. First of all, targets of further training should be changed towards teachers needs in enhancing subject, methodological, psychological, pedagogical and communicative competencies, which are the basis for the teacher assessment system.

We carried out the research in the further teacher training system using the method called “Quality index of further teacher training system”, which was created by Educational Trade Union in 2018. This method allows to take into consideration main characteristics of educational organizations, which provide the implementation of further teacher training programmes and their staffing; quality of further teacher training programmes, conditions for personalizing teachers education. The results of the survey demonstrated that if the teacher is not personally interested in professional development, their doing further teacher training courses is not closely correlated with the growth of the pedagogical competences. This determined the necessity in qualitative reforming of further teacher training system and creating a new model of maintenance of teachers professional development processes. The basis for the changes in further teacher training system must be the principle of work on teachers professional deficiency and needs.

Conclusion

The analysis of research studies of the above-mentioned problem and the results of our research allows to claim that further teacher training system must become an essential component of a national system of teachers development and must be based on the principle of personalization in further training, retraining and methodological support. It raises a number of questions connected with the search for new formats of organizing further teacher training, especially for the young specialists, new technologies and methods, guiding and creating conditions for enhancing motivation for constants professional development and growth.

Personalization of further training and methodical support is possible due to the usage of the on-line environment, content adjustment, and rational time management of the participants.

1. Most courses in further training should be based on blended learning. Blended learning concept is the basis for a new format of further training system, thus making educational process flexible, open, individualized, motivating and encouraging participants independence.

2. Course programmes for further training and methodical support should be built on the basis of adaptive learning technologies, which allow to create adaptive educational content, able to change considering the success of mastering the programme by the participant and feedback functioning.

3. The basic approach of further training implementation is competence based education, which pays a great attention to demonstrating the results and acquired competencies.

4. Basic educational tools for personalized further training and methodical support are neuro-education, artificial neural network, machine learning, block chain, big data, gradient boosting, and game-based learning, train the trainer model, flipping education model.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

23.01.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.01.5

Online ISSN

2357-1330