Diversification Of Additional Professional Programs For Preschool Educators

Abstract

The 21st century marks a new era – the era of education, the peculiarity of which lies in the high importance attached to the growing role of adult education. Rapid dynamic changes in the system of preschool education require a preschool educator to have high professional mobility, the ability for self-development and lifelong education, so the process of personal and professional development of teachers in the system of additional professional education (hereinafter referred to as APE) is of great importance. Studies conducted in Russia and abroad show that diversification in modern conditions is multi-level education, multi-stage vocational training, diversity, expansion, variability and flexibility of educational services and educational programs, the introduction of new areas of study, new courses, as well as going beyond the limits of traditional learning models, which is dictated by the need for modernization of the system of preschool education. The process of diversification will have positive dynamics only if conditions are created for the effective inclusion of vocational education in the processes of increasing the professional competence of teachers of preschool educational organizations (hereinafter referred to as PEO).The experience of diversification of additional professional programs (hereinafter referred to as APP) for preschool teachers was studied at the St. Petersburg Academy of postgraduate pedagogical education (hereinafter referred to as SPb APPE).The most significant results of the diversification of the APP for preschool teachers are the formation of key professional competencies, the need for self-education and self-development of preschool teachers.

Keywords: Additional professional educationdiversificationmodernization of the preschool education systemtraining programs

Introduction

The globalization of world processes, the socio-economic development of modern Russian society, in which the dynamism and swiftness of innovative transformations actualize the issue of professionalization of teaching staff who can quickly respond to changes in society and are able to withstand competition in the labor market ( Sergeeva et al., 2019a).Scientists also attribute new approaches to education in the context of globalization and the standardization of preschool education as factors accelerating changes in the system of additional education. This is reflected in the state policy in the field of education and defines priority areas for improving the system of preschool education. In modern conditions, the educator must possess the necessary base of professionally significant attitudes and personal qualities, be prepared for productive activity in the conditions of rapidly changing and continuously increasing requirements of the current reality, for continuous professional growth, improvement of professional competencies and continuing education ( Villar & Celdrán, 2013).Thus, the educational request to the system of APE for teachers of preschool education is determined by three components: from the society – in ensuring high-quality preschool education; from the consumers – in providing highly qualified and professionally competent educators; from the preschool teachers – in enhancing personal and professional development.

Problem Statement

In modern conditions, the APE system is not able to effectively respond to the requirements of the time, due to:

  • very slow changes in APE in accordance with requests from society and consumers, due to the inertia inherent in this system and the need to increase its effectiveness;

  • the objective need to diversify the APP for preschool teachers in accordance with educational and professional standards and the scientific and methodological support of this process, which does not meet the requirements;

  • the importance of the personal and professional development of preschool teachers and the insufficient development of conceptual and technological support for this process, which are noted both in the universities ( Kirkwood, & Price, 2014), and in the APE system;

  • the expressed individual inquiries of students and the dominance of traditional APP, forms and methods of APE for teachers of preschool educational organizations and the underdeveloped mechanisms for creating individual educational trajectories.

The main problem of the study is to find the answer to the question, what are the theoretical, methodological and empirical foundations of the diversification of the APP of preschool education teachers in the APE system in the context of modernization?

Research Questions

The system of APE in relation to teachers of preschool education is called upon to fulfill two basic functions in a new way: personal and professional development and the implementation of advanced education in connection with the continuously accelerating pace of obtaining the latest professional knowledge, while being a mechanism for increasing the reserves of professional development and their application in practice.

In the course of the study, a number of questions arose:

  • How additional professional programs should be today, if they are required to effectively increase the level of professional competence of teachers?

  • Do modern APP meet the requirements of the social order of society and employers, as well as the individual educational needs of teachers of pre-school education?

  • How does the diversification of the APP affect the development of the APE system?

Purpose of the Study

The main objective of the study is the theoretical justification of the issue of the diversification of the APP in the APE for the development of teachers working in preschool educational institutions of St. Petersburg.

Research Methods

The methodological basis of the study is: the facilitative approach, the implementation of which in the context of the study contributes to the manifestation of initiative, personal growth, success of the subjects of the educational process; the competency-based approach, the implementation of which is a reflection of the society’s conscious need for the preparation of competent teachers in the system of preschool education; the andragogical approach, the application of which allows one to take into account the characteristics of an adult in the process of advanced training.

The study used the theoretical method of studying the scientific and methodological literature on the topic of research, and at the ascertaining stage of the study, the following methods were used: theoretical, methodological and psychological-pedagogical analysis of the content of the APP, observation, questionnaire of students, content analysis, analysis of programs and results of activity, statistical methods for processing the received data.

Findings

The idea behind modular learning was by J. Russell. He noted in his works that the purpose of modular training is to organize favorable conditions for the development of personality by providing flexibility in the content of training, adapted to the individual needs of the individual and the level of basic training through the use of an individual curriculum ( Russell, 1974). Russian researchers V. M. Gareeva, Kulikova, and Durko ( 1987) consider the training module to be integrative in connection with the use of various types and forms of training subordinates to the general topic of the training course or actual problem.

The authors of the article, in accordance with the problem posed, conducted a study on the basis of St. Petersburg APPE, where modular programs (advanced training, professional retraining, training) for preschool educators are implemented today, represented by a combination of interconnected educational modules that have a common basis, but at the same time being independent, which makes it possible to implement these modules into different programs. Any educational module of a program involves a set of educational disciplines and areas that are interconnected with different branches of science, which makes the technology of modular training a powerful mechanism for diversification of APE. As Lebedeva ( 2017) points out, Russian scientists distinguish the following advantages of modular learning - a personality-oriented focus, an active approach, ideas of developing education, a variety of forms of training in different formats (group, individual, work in small groups, distance learning), intensive use of electronic educational resources, which allows teachers to optimize the educational process, with a minimum expenditure of funds, time and effort to achieve maximum results. When developing the APP, teachers necessarily take into account the experience of the organizations of APE in the regions, in connection with which the module developed by them acts as a training program, individualized in content (individual educational path), in terms of the rate of educational activity, in methods and level of independence ( Sergeeva et al., 2019b).

The results of the study made it possible to highlight a number of advantages of modular programs implemented at the Department of Preschool Education of St. Petersburg APPE: a clear system of form, which makes it possible to plan, implement and control the sequence of actions of students; the completeness of each module, which implies the assimilation by students of the contents of the program with a gradual immersion in the volume of new knowledge; the interconnectedness and logic of constructing all the components of the content of the APP in the field of preschool education, starting with regulatory documents, then the technological basis of pedagogical work, and ending with the variational module (disciplines of choice, most often, of an individual and personal orientation); the possibility of training according to an individual plan; intensification of independent work in order to acquire scientific knowledge of a professional nature; self-control by educators of their actions in the learning process in the conditions of St. Petersburg APPE.

In addition, during the development of the APP, much attention is paid to the practice-oriented content of the training – the teacher cannot be trained using only the classroom training system ( Zadvornaya, 2019). Quality assurance is ensured by the requirements for APP and the effectiveness of training in programs; each module of the APP ends with a test.

In order to identify the impact of APP on the diversification of APE in St. Petersburg APPE, the authors of the article conducted a survey of 242 teachers of preschool educational organizations. The questionnaire survey allowed us to determine the motives that encourage teachers to develop their professionalism. 55.3% of respondents say that these are: increased requirements for the level of professional training, mastery of new knowledge (46.8%), as well as the need for self-improvement (42.9%).Thus, the researchers note that the motivation for teaching preschool teachers is professional interests, personal needs for professional development, the acquisition of specific knowledge, as well as the development of the skills of each student.

When choosing advanced training courses (hereinafter referred to as the ATC), professional retraining and internships, most respondents primarily pay attention to the subject matter (88.1%), costs, training period, location and venue, and the graduation document (35%). In the 2018-2019 academic year, the most popular were the following ATC: “Person-oriented interaction as a principle of the FSES implementation”, “Mentoring in a preschool educational organization”, professional retraining “Theory and teaching methods (preschool education)” (252 hours), internship “Actual problems of modern education: innovative technologies in PEO” (108 hours) and many others. Thus, APP are developed in accordance with the needs and requirements of students. To satisfy students' requests at the end of the APP training, an online questionnaire is conducted, which allows one to form a spectrum of APP for the next six months.

More than half of the teachers participating in the survey chose continuing education in full-time education (51.2%), however 36.5% of respondents preferred distance learning, and 20% of the teachers preferred distance learning. The researchers obtained information about the degree of satisfaction with the content of the APP, which are presented in Table 01 .

Table 1 -
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Analysis of the survey showed that the degree of satisfaction with the content of the APP prevails in seminars, trainings, workshops, business games, webinars, conferences due to the fact that this format allows one to gather the target audience of a specific request. For example, in 2018, the most popular were seminars and workshops on various topics, round tables “Actual problems of preschool education quality management in the context of the Federal Law “On Education in the Russian Federation” and FSES PE. The main results of the development of APP are the competence of students. Respondents were recommended to specify the main components of the professional competence of a teacher, which, in their opinion, they most need. In the course of training, the competencies were formed which presented in Figure 01 .

Figure 1: Diagram of the main components of professional competence
Diagram of the main components of professional competence
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The vast majority of respondents (85.5%) identified intellectual and pedagogical competence, that is, the ability to use the knowledge gained, to use the experience in professional activities for effective training and education, and also the teacher’s ability to innovate. More than half of the respondents noted communicative (74.5%) and regulatory (67.6%) competencies. Thus, having confirmed that a modern teacher should be able to communicate with others, possess speech skills, as well as control their behavior and emotions. In addition, teachers must be able to work in a team, so creative groups are organized in the preschool educational institutions ( Paulus & Nijstad, 2010). Information competence was allocated only by 49% of respondents. As can be seen from the diagram (Figure 02 ), teachers lack knowledge in the field of psychology, and every second teacher lacks knowledge in the basics of document management and reporting. Only 10.4% of teachers noted that they feel a lack of knowledge in the field of pedagogy.

Figure 2: Diagram of areas in which educators lack knowledge
Diagram of areas in which educators lack knowledge
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Almost every second respondent over 60 years of age determines the possession of information and communication technologies for them self as the most difficult. The younger the respondents, the less often they call ownership of information and communication technologies a problem for themselves, which is also confirmed by studies of foreign scientists ( Jordan, 2014).In St. Petersburg APPE, Internet resources are used in working with students: for independent work, for the teacher’s preparation for lectures, as a resource, for organizing practical work at lectures and for the implementation of self-education of students.

Conclusion

The results of the study led to the following conclusions:

  • SPb APPE implements modular APE programs which allow for organizing training in practice taking into account the requests of students and employers;

  • the content of modular varied APP of advanced training and retraining corresponds to: the goals and main directions of modernization of preschool education; professional standards and requirements of FSES PE; priority areas for the development of vocational education for teachers of preschool children, the current and future needs of their personal and professional development.

  • training in modern APP promotes self-education of teachers, the desire to improve pedagogical experience, makes it possible to transmit their own experience to their colleagues, as well as to exchange the experience and new ideas in the process of communicating with teachers of other institutions.

References

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

26.08.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.08.02.68

Online ISSN

2357-1330