Study Of The Future Teacher Ethnic Identity

Abstract

The article reveals the essence of “ethnic identity” as a type of social identity, which is the main regulator of ethnic interaction, expressed in a person’s ethnic group, awareness of the values of this community and manifests itself on a cognitive, affective and regulatory-behavioral level. The article presents the results of techniques that reflect the degree of ethnic identity, the ability to distinguish ethno-integrating characteristics, a sense of belonging to one’s ethnic group, the importance of nationality, the relationship of the ethnic majority and minority, the use of one or another language. The article emphasizes that students have a rather pronounced sense of belonging to their ethnic group, which is expressed in showing interest in the history and culture of their ethnic group, pride in the outstanding achievements of their people. At the same time, the article substantiates the need for further development of a program for the development of ethnic identity of students and its implementation in the learning process. The article identifies possible ways of developing the ethnic identity of university students (the study of modules that are substantively related to the problems of ethnic culture; cultural and leisure activities; research and design activities of students). The results of this study can be used to conduct similar studies in other regions and universities.

Keywords: Ethnic identitymulticultural society

Introduction

Recently, the issue of the formation and development of a person’s ethnic identity has become urgent. The process of globalization contributes to the erasure of human characteristics associated with his self-determination in the world of cultural and ethnic diversity. His ties with generic roots are lost and his attachment to his native home and small homeland is weakening.

The theoretical and empirical elaboration of problems of ethnic identity has a relatively short history and is the subject of consideration of various areas of humanitarian knowledge, primarily sociology, psychology, philosophy, history.

Ethnic identification, as well as identification in general, is formed in the process of socialization, when there is a reproduction of national identity, as well as its fixation and transmission in intergenerational relations. Although, to a greater or lesser extent, the socialization of an individual is ethnically colored, starting from the very early stages, the direct formation of ethnic identity can only be attributed to the age period of early adolescence, i.e. by the age of 15-17, the period when the individual is forming a worldview, moral standards are assimilated, moral self-determination takes place against the background of complete intellectual maturity. The main criteria for ethnic socialization are ethnic and civic identity, a system of value orientations and ethnic tolerance ( Dagbaeva, 2014).

The issue of the formation of ethnic identity is relevant and important in connection with the fact that one of the main indicators of the effectiveness of the implementation of the tasks of the state national policy for the preservation and development of the diversity of the peoples of Russia is the formation and strengthening of national (ethnic) identity and ethnocultural identity of a person ( Borgoyakov & Boziev, 2018, p. 9)

The formation of ethnic identity is associated with the search for a national idea, the wording of which remains open today. According to Volov ( 2019), “today Russia does not have a united motto (formula) that reflects the vector of state development itself - a national idea” (p. 53). The lack of a national idea does not allow to clearly formulate the goal of upbringing of modern man and, accordingly, to determine the content, methods and forms of educational work.

Today, in a multicultural society, the formation and development of ethnic identity is becoming more relevant. The modern school, both general education and higher education, is becoming more diverse each year in ethnic composition. In schools, Russian children make up from 85 to 93% of students, and only 7 to 16% are from other ethnic groups ( Aleksandrov, Ivanyushina, & Kazarceva, 2015, p. 179). In higher education, more than 4% of foreign students with appropriate status are enrolled. The real ethnic composition is much more diverse. The development of a person’s ethnic identity, in our opinion, organically fits into the idea of building a multicultural society, and should not have anything to do with various manifestations of extremism and xenophobia. “Unity in diversity is the key to ensuring civic harmony and the integrity of multicultural Russia. This is the formula for the supra-ethnic civic identity of Russians, who, by their historical and cultural heritage, loyalty and patriotism, are representatives of one Russian people, diverse, but united ( Borisenkov, Gukalenko, & Pustovojtov, 2018, p. 49).

Problem Statement

The problem of determining the very concept of "ethnic identity" has not yet been solved by scientists. Along with the concept of “ethnic identity”, such concepts as “ethnic self-identity”, “national self-identity”, “national identity” are used, which are sometimes considered almost identical, or indicate a broader socio-political aspect.

Scientists define ethnic identity as “the main form of social identity is the main regulator of ethnic interaction. At the personal level, ethnic identity is characterized as a cognitive-emotional formation expressing a biased, deeply personal attitude of a person to his ethnic status” ( Balyaev, 2012, p. 64). According to Muhlynkina (2011 ), ethnic identity is “one of the most stable historical types of social identity, which is the result of the cognitive-emotional process of self-determination of a person (community) in the sociocultural space and is characterized by awareness of their belonging to a certain ethnic community, as well as understanding, appreciation and experience of their membership in her” (p. 16).

In our study, the concept of “ethnic identity” is considered as a person’s belonging to an ethnic group, an awareness of the values of this community, which is manifested at a cognitive, affective and regulatory-behavioral level.

  • The cognitive component is a kind of information base of ethnic identity. It includes:

    • representations of the individual about the ethnic group to which he belongs, knowledge of the ethnic culture of his people (traditions, customs, rites, folk art, etc.);

    • knowledge of the country, its history, national composition, interethnic relations, constitutional norms, events of economic and cultural life, etc.;

    • ideas about the cultural diversity of the world, ideas about signs of kinship with one’s own people, the ability to highlight features of a national character, knowledge of trends in the development of world culture and the role of national culture in this development.

  • The affective component reflects the emotional-sensual sphere of ethnic identity. It includes:

    • the attitude of the individual to the cultural heritage and lifestyle of his people;

    • assessment of their ethnicity;

    • emotional-value attitude of a person to other cultures and cultural objects, tolerant attitude to their carriers.

  • The regulatory and behavioral component involves:

    • active participation of the subject in various types of creative activities related to the development of ethnic culture patterns;

    • behavioral reactions of individuals and social groups corresponding to the norms of ethnic communities to which individuals and groups belong;

    • conducting a constructive dialogue with representatives of other cultures.

Research Questions

What is the essence of the concept of "ethnic identity"?

What is the degree of expression of the cognitive and affective components of the ethnic identity of future teachers?

What are students' perceptions of signs of kinship with their people?

What is the degree of expression of various aspects of ethnic identity?

What are the possible ways of developing the ethnic identity of university students?

Purpose of the Study

The study of the formation of students’ ethnic identity of future teachers (for example, Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University).

Research Methods

A diagnostic study of the ethnic identity of students was carried out on the basis of Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University. It was attended by 84 first-year students of various pedagogical education profiles.

The technique of J. Finney, measuring the severity of ethnic identity ( Tatarko & Lebedeva, 2014).

Scale questionnaire by O.L. Romanova, characterizing the components of students' ethnic identity ( Tatarko & Lebedeva, 2014).

The authors’ method of studying ideas about signs of kinship with one’s own people.

Content-analysis of educational programs of pedagogical directions (on the example of Novgorod State University).

Findings

The severity of ethnic identity

The severity of ethnic identity was determined with the help of the methodology of J. Finney. The students were offered statements, next to each of them they noted the answer that reflects the degree of their agreement with this statement (completely agree; rather agree than disagree; rather disagree than agree; completely disagree). The average score for all issues is a common indicator of ethnic identity. The subscale indicators were calculated by finding the arithmetic mean of the obtained points. The methodology provides for two scales: the severity scale of the cognitive component of ethnic identity (questions No. 5, 9, 10, 11, 12); the severity scale of the affective component of ethnic identity (questions No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8). The results of the methodology are presented in table 01 . For clarity, we ranged the answers depending on the number of points scored for each statement.

Table 1 -
See Full Size >

The results of the performed technique state a lower level of the cognitive component (33.8%) and an average level of the affective component (50.5%). The integral indicator of ethnic identity is 43.5%. Thus, we can conclude that work is needed to develop the cognitive component of ethnic identity.

The study of various aspects of ethnic identity of university students

The results of the scale questionnaire by O.L. Romanova, characterizing the components of students' ethnic identity, are graphically presented in Table 02 .

Table 2 -
See Full Size >

The Table 02 shows that students have a rather pronounced sense of belonging to their ethnic group, which is expressed in showing interest in the history and culture of their ethnic group, pride in the outstanding achievements of their people. Students do not attach much importance to nationality when communicating with people, in friendship, in family relations, in any international disputes, etc. The respondents have practically no confidence that the representatives of the indigenous majority of the population should have advantages over other peoples’ living in this territory. Students have some conviction that paperwork, teaching in schools, communication between people in a multinational state should be organized in the language of the indigenous majority of the population.

Students' views on signs of kinship with their people

In order to characterize students' perceptions of signs of kinship with their people, they were asked to select several options from the list. In a generalized form, the results of the methodology are presented in Table 03 .

Table 3 -
See Full Size >

The Table 03 shows that most students have an idea of the ethno-integrating characteristics of their people, which indicates the formation of a cognitive component of ethnic identity. About 90% of students (77 people) chose the language, which, according to researchers, is the cultural and genetic memory of the people as the main ethno-integrating indicator. Mastering the language is the mastery of the culture of the people, therefore, “when solving the tasks of multicultural education, one should start with the high-quality organization of national education, not forgetting that the nationality implies a deep knowledge of the native language - a kind of treasury of the culture of the people, its traditions, rites and customs , norms and habits, styles, cultural and educational interests, aspirations to preserve their national traits and national mentality” ( Astashova, Bondyreva, & Zhuk, 2019, p. 33).

Ways of development of ethnic identity of future teachers

For the effective fulfillment of professional tasks, future teachers need to have a high level of formation of ethnic identity and multicultural competence. Researchers point to this need. “Students before entering the university already have ethnic and national identities of varying degrees of maturity, but the need for its further formation remains relevant, since these people are the intellectual potential of the nation: they will realize the priority tasks of the development of society in their future civic and professional activities” ( Pluzhnik, Oskolova, & Herrington, 2017, p. 132).

The data obtained in the course of the study conducted by Smolyaninova, Korshunova, and Dajneko (2017) indicate a lack of willingness, of future teachers to integrate in the social and multi-ethnic space, and therefore, the poor development of multicultural competence of students of pedagogical specialties.

Our study was aimed at identifying possible ways of developing the ethnic identity of university students.

The content analysis of various educational programs in the pedagogical direction revealed the following ways of developing the ethnic identity of future teachers:

  • the study of modules that are substantively related to the problems of ethnic culture (Culture Studies, History; Ethnopedagogy and Ethnopsychology, Multicultural Education, Social Psychology, etc.);

  • cultural and leisure activities (student participation in creative groups, exhibitions, concerts);

  • research and project activities of students (writing articles and preparing reports on cross-cultural and ethnic psychology, student participation at the Ethnopedagogical Scientific Club).

As one of the promising ways, it is possible to recommend conducting ethnocultural training, which, on the one hand, can be used to develop students 'ethnic identity, and, on the other hand, to prevent migrants' ethnic alienation and form a bi-ethnic identity, which will facilitate successful acculturation of the arriving population and expand intercultural and inter-ethnic contacts ( Stepanova & Symanyuk, 2019).

Conclusion

The conducted study revealed a rather high level of formation of students' ethnic identity - this is the ability to distinguish ethno-integrating factors; the severity of ethnic identity, which is more clearly manifested at the sensory-emotional (affective) level.

The methods performed indicate that students have a rather pronounced sense of belonging to their ethnic group, which is expressed in showing interest in the history and culture of their ethnic group, pride in the outstanding achievements of their people, and the formation of students' ideas about signs of kinship with their people.

The study did not reveal a hyperpositive ethnic identity among students, which could manifest itself in various forms of discrimination against representatives of other cultures.

However, the study proves the need for further development of a program for the development of ethnic identity of students and its implementation in the learning process. This program can be aimed at developing the ethnic identity of future teachers who will have to carry out their professional activities in a multicultural environment.

Acknowledgments

The study was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research in the framework of scientific project No. 18-413-530001.

References

Copyright information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

About this article

Publication Date

26 August 2020

eBook ISBN

978-1-80296-086-0

Publisher

European Publisher

Volume

87

Print ISBN (optional)

-

Edition Number

1st Edition

Pages

1-812

Subjects

Educational strategies, educational policy, teacher training, moral purpose of education, social purpose of education

Cite this article as:

Elkin, S. M., Kukushkina, A. G., & Zhukova, E. F. (2020). Study Of The Future Teacher Ethnic Identity. In & S. Alexander Glebovich (Ed.), Pedagogical Education - History, Present Time, Perspectives, vol 87. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 293-300). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.08.02.37