Self-Diagnosis As A Means Of Developing A Teacher'S Professional Identity 

Abstract

Psychological diagnosis of a teacher requires special approaches, conditions and content. Her task is to give “information for thought” - sometimes not corresponding to her own ideas about herself and therefore causing irritation. It will help a person who is able to be objective and critical not only to his students, but also to himself, to realize his strengths and weaknesses and fully realize his creative potential. The article describes the possibilities of self-diagnosis of the teacher’s priority values, his psycho-emotional state, self-esteem, style of pedagogical communication and locus control as a means of developing teacher’s professional self-awareness using the questionnaire "Psychological portrait of a teacher"; research methodology and testing results are presented. The author's questionnaire "Psychological portrait of the teacher" is presented, goals, tasks, an algorithm for processing and interpreting the results are indicated. It is shown that with the help of the questionnaire it is possible to clarify professionally important qualities of a teacher: priority values, psychoemotional state, features of self-esteem. Based on the results of testing, a generalized image of a Russian teacher is modeled. This is a woman who loves children more than her colleagues and herself, is not always able to control her emotions, with an unstable psycho-emotional state and a “floating” self-esteem, which depends on many reasons, including the psychological climate in the team, which is largely determined by style school leadership.

Keywords: Development teacherprofessional competenciesself-diagnosisself-awareness

Introduction

Given that it is at school that the personality of the child is becoming established, special requirements are placed on the teacher, who is called upon to ensure this formation. Every school has people who are capable of professional and personal growth, free of dogma and stereotypes. It is they who help their pupils overcome alienation from school, thanks to these teachers, students go to classes not with disgust and fear, but with interest and pleasure. The more such teachers there are, the higher the likelihood of raising a generation of young moral people, capable of self-development and oriented towards positive self-realization.

Problem Statement

The reflection of their strengths on the basis of psychological diagnosis is the first step towards professional development. The experience of consulting with teachers showed the need to develop psycho-diagnostic tools that take into account some personal characteristics and behavioral stereotypes of a teacher: the habit of evaluating others, not oneself, incredulity, anxiety about the use of diagnostic results, unformed ability to reflect.

Research Questions

An analysis of the results of domestic and foreign studies of teacher's professional competencies made it possible to single out a block of professionally important qualities, among which are priority values, a psycho-emotional state, self-esteem, teaching style and locus control. All these parameters, as well as the degree of satisfaction with one’s work, can be identified using the methodology “Psychological portrait of a teacher”, which was based on the author’s ideas about a good teacher, supported by domestic and foreign studies on the effectiveness of a teacher and his own many years of experience at school.

Purpose of the Study

Development and testing of a questionnaire “Psychological portrait of a teacher”, identifying priority values, psycho-emotional state, self-esteem, teaching style and locus control.

Research Methods

As key research methods, we highlight the following general scientific: comparative analysis, system analysis, phenomenological analysis.

Findings

Psychological diagnosis of a teacher requires special approaches, conditions and content. Her task is to give “information for thought” - sometimes not corresponding to her own ideas about herself and therefore causing irritation (Vachkov, 2000). To a person who is able to be objective and critical not only to his students, but also to himself, it will help him realize his strengths and weaknesses and fully realize his creative potential.

When developing psychodiagnostic tools for identifying professionally important qualities of a teacher, we relied on the principles of a phenomenological approach. The phenomenological approach is based on the concept of a “phenomenon”, which can be used to denote any mental experience, deed, facial expressions, gestures, speech features, individual psychological qualities and properties of a person, his abilities, skills, habits, reactions, thinking style. Diagnostics based on a phenomenological approach, firstly, does not need to be protected from insincere answers because the client has the right to any degree of frankness that will not be turned against him; secondly, it considers a person as a goal, and not as a means of solving production problems; thirdly, it is not limited to the statement of facts, but sets the vector of personal development (Rezapkina, 2016a). The theoretical foundations of the methodology are the teachings of Ukhtomsky about the dominant, the works of Berns (1986), Rotter (1966) and others.

Diagnosis can take place in the mode of individual and group work under the guidance of a psychologist. Processing is done by each teacher independently. Interpretation is given in a supportive way. The technique cannot be used for administrative purposes - to evaluate the work of a teacher, during certification, solving personnel issues, etc.

Questionnaire "Psychological portrait of a teacher" (author G. V. Rezapkina)

Instruction Dear colleagues! This test will help you refine your teaching style and learn some personality traits. From the three answer options, choose the one that most accurately reflects your thoughts, feelings, reactions and in table 1 , next to the approval number, put a plus under the number 1, 2 or 3 (Table 1 ).

Table 1 -
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1. In education, it is most important

1) to surround the child with warmth and care; 2) respect for elders; 3) to develop certain views and skills from him.

2. If someone in the class is distracted, I cannot teach the lesson

1) yes; 2) no; 3) depending on the mood

3. When a student in a lesson sets forth facts that are unknown to me, I feel

1) interest; 2) embarrassment; 3) irritation.

4. If the class is not put in order

1) my reaction depends on the situation; 2) I do not pay attention to it; 3) I can not start the lesson

5. In conflicts with other people, I feel guilty for myself

1) often; 2) depending on the situation; 3) rarely.

6. I am considered a successful professional

1) yes; 2) I find it difficult to answer; 3) no

7. For me

1) relationships with students are more important; 2) with colleagues; 3) relationship with oneself

8. I am tired of intensive communication with people

1) yes; 2) sometimes; 3) no

9. The presence of outsiders in the lesson

1) inspires me; 2) does not affect my work; 3) unsettle me

10. I make a remark to a child who violates order in a public place

1) depending on the situation; 2) no; 3) usually

11. My school grades depended on my efforts, and not on the mood of the teachers

1) yes; 2) not always; 3) no.

12. I have developed good relations with colleagues

1) yes; 2) not with everyone; 3) no.

13. During a break, I prefer to communicate

1) with students; 2) with colleagues; 3) it is better to be alone.

14. I almost always go to class in high spirits

1) no; 2) not always; 3) yes

15. I have such qualities by which I surpass others

1) yes; 2) no; 3) not sure.

16. I prefer to work under the direction of a person who

1) supports my initiative; 2) does not show interest in my work; 3) clearly regulates my work.

17. When I make plans, I have no doubt about the success of what was conceived

1) usually; 2) sometimes; 3) I doubt it.

18. At home I talk about my work

1) often; 2) sometimes; 3) no

19. Random meetings with students outside the school

1) I enjoy; 2) make me awkward; 3) do not cause me special emotions.

20. It happens that for no apparent reason I feel happy or unhappy

1) often; 2) rarely; 3) never.

21. Comments from colleagues and the administration

1) I do not care much; 2) sometimes hurt me; 3) injure me.

22. During the lesson, I stick to the plan

1) depending on the situation; 2) I prefer improvisation; 3) always.

23. For me, it is very important that others recognize my success.

1) no; 2) I find it difficult to answer; 3) yes.

24. I do business that suits my abilities

1) yes; 2) I find it difficult to answer; 3) no.

25. The judgment that each student must be accepted as he is

1) I accept; 2) I do not accept; 3) partially accept.

26. I do not have enough warmth and support from my relatives

1) yes; 2) sometimes; 3) enough.

27. The thought of an upcoming meeting with students or colleagues

1) gives me pleasure; 2) does not cause special emotions; 3) it bothers me.

28. When I see that a student behaves defiantly towards me

1) I prefer to find out the relationship; 2) ignore this fact; 3) I pay him the same coin.

29. Depends on how to raise children in the family

1) almost everything depends on how children are raised in the family; 2) something; 3) nothing depends.

30. I feel pleasure when I think about my work

1) usually; 2) sometimes; 3) never.

31. In my work, the most important thing for me is

1) the affection of the students; 2) recognition of colleagues; 3) peace of mind.

32. The success of the lesson depends on my physical and mental state

1) often; 2) sometimes; 3) independent

33. I have no doubt about the friendly attitude of my colleagues

1) yes; 2) I find it difficult to answer; 3) no.

34. If a student expresses a point of view that I cannot accept

1) try to understand his point of view; 2) I translate the conversation on another topic; 3) I try to correct him, explain to him his mistake.

35. If I want, I can attract any

1) yes; 2) depending on the situation; 3) hardly

36. I am satisfied with the organization of labour in our team

1) yes; 2) not really; 3) no.

37. If a student is undeservedly punished with me

1) I will immediately intercede for him; 2) one on one I will make a remark to a colleague; 3) I consider it incorrect to intervene.

38. Work is given to me at the cost of great stress

1) yes; 2) sometimes; 3) no.

39. I have no doubt in my professionalism

1) yes, no doubt; 2) I find it difficult to answer; 3) there are doubts

40. In my opinion, the most important thing in a school team is

1) the ability to work creatively; 2) lack of conflict; 3) labour discipline.

41. There are so many factors affecting children that the efforts of parents are “no.”

1) no; 2) I do not know; 3) yes.

42. For me, a good salary is not the main motive of labour

1) yes; 2) I find it difficult to answer; 3) no, the main one.

43. Saying “I cannot teach this student anything because he does not love me”

1) I accept 2) I do not accept; 3) makes you think

44. Thoughts about work prevent me from falling asleep

1) often; 2) rarely; 3) never interfere.

45. At meetings and pedagogical councils I

1) often speak on issues that concern me; 2) sometimes I speak on issues that concern me; 3) I prefer to listen to others.

46. I believe that a teacher can raise his voice on a student

1) no; 2) I find it difficult to answer; 3) yes.

47. People who failed to realize their capabilities are themselves to blame for this

1) yes; 2) in some cases; 3) no

48. Situations when I fail to complete all the work assigned to me are

1) extremely rare; 2) from time to time; 3) often.

49. During the holidays I feel the need to communicate with students

1) yes; 2) no; 3) sometimes.

50. I find in myself enough strength to cope with difficulties

1) rarely; 2) usually; 3) always.

51. I had to carry out the orders of people not quite competent

1) yes; 2) I do not remember; 3) no

52. Unforeseen situations in the lessons

1) can be effectively used; 2) it is better to ignore; 3) only interfere with the educational process

53. Most of the failures in my life were due to my own fault

1) yes; 2) not always; 3) no.

54. I enjoy the work

1) yes; 2) at times; 3) no.

55. In the conflict between the teacher and the student, I in my heart take the side

1) of the student; 2) teachers; 3) I remain neutral

56. At the beginning or end of the school year, I have health problems

1) as a rule; 2) optional; 3) there are no health problems.

57. My students are sympathetic to me

1) yes; 2) not all; 3) I do not know.

58. The requirements of the authorities do not cause me to protest, even if I consider them unsubstantiated

1) cause; 2) I do not know; 3) do not call.

59. Success depends on ability and hard work, and not on a successful combination of circumstances

1) yes; 2) make it difficult

60. Management usually accepts and supports my ideas

1) yes; 2) sometimes; 3) no.

Processing consists in counting the marked options in each column and recording the total points in the lower cells of the form.

The predominance of one of three possible answers (more than five choices) in each of the six scales gives reason to attribute the teacher’s behaviour, feelings and reactions to a specific group, the generalized characteristics of which are presented in “Comments and Interpretations”. The higher the score, the higher the degree of correlation with interpretation. If two columns of three score the same number of points (for example, four or five), then the behaviour combines the characteristics of two groups. This may indicate that the teacher’s behavioural attitudes are not completely formed, he is only looking for his unique professional handwriting. Another possible reason is the variety of behavioural stereotypes. In any case, working with the methodology will help to assess the current model of professional behaviour and choose the best one.

Comments and Interpretation

Priority values

Professionally important qualities of a teacher are love for children, desire to understand and help. If communication with children is not a priority value of a teacher, he should not count on the love and trust of children, even if he knows his subject and teaching methodology perfectly.

1.1. The predominance of the first option speaks of special importance for the teacher of the interests and problems of students. The basis of the relationship is the unconditional acceptance of students who unmistakably feel a person who is ready to defend their interests and pay him trust and love. In the lessons of such a teacher, students feel safe and comfortable. A favourable emotional environment enables fruitful work and preserves the mental health of both the teacher and students.

1.2. The predominance of the second option speaks of the special importance for the teacher of his relationship with colleagues, of orientation to their opinion, which may indicate a group dependence, which is often explained by low self-esteem. Teachers have little interest in the student’s inner world. In relations with such a teacher, students behave wary, tense, do not see him as an ally. Relations at best are not personalized or riddled with feelings of distrust and alienation.

1.3. The predominance of the third option speaks of the “self-sufficiency” of the teacher, focusing on his experiences and problems. In relations with colleagues and students, restraint and estrangement prevail, which can be caused both by personal characteristics and a dysfunctional psycho-emotional state (avoidance of contacts caused by fatigue and nervous exhaustion). Perhaps the teacher’s range of interests is not limited to school problems, there are other possibilities for self-realization. Often in this case, a person seeks support in himself and outside of school.

Psycho-emotional state

Features of the teacher’s behaviour and perception are largely determined by the state of his nervous system. With informational and emotional overloads that are characteristic of working at school, there may be impaired motor and speech behaviour of the teacher, and health problems.

2.1. The predominance of the first option indicates a dysfunctional psycho-emotional state of the teacher. Its main symptoms: acute reaction to irritating factors; low emotional stability; tendency to anxiety; difficulties of social adaptation; the presence of psychosomatic symptoms; impaired memory and attention. In some cases, the predominance of the first option may be caused by the desire to exaggerate their problems.

2.2. The predominance of the second option, or the presence of all three options equally, suggests the instability of the psycho-emotional state of the teacher, which is usually determined by three factors in their various combinations: congenital hypersensitivity of the nervous system; unfavourable combination of circumstances; personality traits.

2.3. The predominance of the third option indicates a safe psycho-emotional state, which determines the effectiveness of the teacher, makes it possible not to lose self-control in extreme situations and make the right decisions. Emotional stability, predictability and the ability of a teacher to have a beneficial effect on the psychological climate in the school, unless the person seeks to minimize their problems.

Self-esteem

Self-esteem, or self-perception is a person’s assessment of himself, his abilities, qualities and place among other people. Teacher's ideas about the principles of teaching, all his “personal pedagogical philosophy” are largely determined by his self-esteem.

3.1. The preference for the first option indicates a positive self-perception that is characteristic of a person who fully realizes his capabilities. It is easy for teachers who have positive self-perception to create an atmosphere of live communication in the lesson by entering into close contacts with students and providing them with psychological support. They trust people and expect friendliness from them, not hostility; the student is perceived as a person worthy of respect.

3.2. The predominance of the second option, as well as the presence of all three answers, indicates an unstable self-esteem, which can vary depending on the situation. With a good combination of circumstances, a person with unstable self-esteem experiences an emotional and creative upsurge. At these moments he is relaxed, confident in himself, he succeeds. A decrease in self-esteem in the “failure zone” negatively affects the effectiveness of interaction with others, making it difficult to solve professional and life problems.

3.3. The predominance of the third option indicates a negative self-perception. It is difficult for such a person to enter into free communication with others. The transition to an informal teaching style, requiring great intellectual, emotional and moral tension from him, exposes vulnerabilities, poses a threat to the teacher’s internal coherence.

Teaching style

The formation of style is influenced by a number of factors: personal characteristics, attitudes, experience. The teaching style may contribute to the effectiveness of the teacher or make it difficult for the teacher to fulfill his professional duties.

4.1. The predominance of the first answer indicates the democratic style of the teacher. The teacher attracts students to make decisions, listens to their opinions, encourages independent judgments, takes into account not only academic performance, but also the personal qualities of students. The main methods of influence: motivation, advice, request. Such teachers are characterized by flexibility, a high degree of acceptance of themselves and others, openness and goodwill, contributing to the effectiveness of learning.

4.2. The prevalence of the second answer indicates traits of a liberal style. Such a teacher avoids making decisions, passing the initiative to students, colleagues, parents. The organization and control of students' work is carried out without a system, shows indecision, feels a sense of dependence on students. Such a teacher is characterized by low self-esteem, a sense of anxiety and self-doubt, a low vitality, and dissatisfaction with his work.

4.3. The predominance of the third option speaks of authoritarian tendencies. The teacher uses his rights, disregarding the views of children and the requirement of the situation. The main methods of influence are order, instruction. In the lessons, the children of such a teacher, students feel uncomfortable, lose activity and independence, their self-esteem falls. Conflict situations are possible.

Locus control

Locus control is a person’s tendency to explain events in his life with external causes (external, external locus of control) or internal causes (internal, internal locus of control). The scale shows what measure of responsibility for our relations with people and the facts of our life we are ready to take. The profession of a teacher requires a willingness to answer for another person, sometimes at the cost of his peace of mind and personal time.

5.1. The predominance of the first option speaks of internal locus control, in which a person takes responsibility for everything that happens in their life, explaining this with his character and actions, and not with external circumstances (help or obstacles from people and circumstances). Such people are not inclined to obey the pressure of others, are active and self-confident.

5.2. The presence of all three options equally or the predominance of the second indicates insufficient responsibility for the existing relations and circumstances of one’s life.

5.3. The predominance of the third option speaks of external locus control. There is a direct correlation between external locus control and the teacher’s degree of satisfaction with their work. Teachers with external locus control are prone to burnout.

Job satisfaction

Job satisfaction is a general concept that reflects the degree of mental well-being of a professional. Job satisfaction depends on interest in one’s work, personal qualities of a person, psychological climate in a team, working conditions, professional success (Fetiskin et al., 2002).

6.1. The predominance of the first option indicates a high degree of satisfaction with their work, manifested in interest in the process and results; constructive relationships with colleagues and management based on mutual respect. The level of claims of a person who is satisfied with his work corresponds to the level of his professional achievements.

6.2. The presence of all three options equally or the prevalence of the second indicates a person’s lack of satisfaction with their work, low professional motivation, weak interest in the process and the results of their professional activity, and difficulties in labour adaptation.

6.3. The predominance of the third option indicates a person’s dissatisfaction with their work, manifested in the lack of interest in their work, demotivation, the impossibility of full-fledged professional self-realization at a given workplace, problems of labour adaptation.

Conclusion

Based on the results of testing the questionnaire, a generalized image of a Russian teacher can be modelled. This is a woman who loves children more than her colleagues and herself, is not always able to control her emotions (Rezapkina, 2016b), with an unstable psycho-emotional state and “floating” self-esteem, which depends on many reasons, including the psychological climate in the team, which , is largely determined by the school leadership style. The obtained data should not be absolutized - any methodology based on self-assessment does not guarantee complete reliability. In this case, it doesn’t matter how sincerely the teacher answers the questions - more important is the vision and understanding of the psychological reasons for their possible professional difficulties.

Acknowledgments

Research carried out in the research work of the Federal Institute of Education Development RANEPA "11.19. Development of a system of personalized support for teachers within the national system of professional growth of teachers", commissioned by the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration on 2020.

References

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

15.11.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.11.02.81

Online ISSN

2357-1330