The article discusses the main approaches to understanding reflection in psychology, the professional activity features of the preschool educational institutions’ teachers, the possibility of building a model for assessing the professional activity effectiveness. In terms of the approaches considered, the effectiveness of the professional activity of the preschool educational institutions’ teacher should be considered as a complex indicator. It is a unity of the procedural and resultative component of his professional activity, which is due to a number of professionally significant personality traits. Reflection participating in the formation and functioning of the professional activity system components, as well as reflexivity as its procedural manifestation, can be considered as such a factor. The research carried out gave complex, but interesting results and made it possible to assess the degree of influence of reflection on the effectiveness of the teachers’ professional activity. During this goal implementation, it was possible to obtain information about the features of reflexivity and reflection manifestation in the activities of preschool educational institutions’ teachers, as well as the representation of competencies which are significant for the effective professional activities implementation in the sample researched, to test the methodology as a developing criteria aimed at assessing the effectiveness of professional activities of preschool educational institutions’ teachers. The study makes it possible to pay attention to more vulnerable aspects of the employees’ professional activities and take appropriate measures to optimize them.
At present, due to the modernization processes taking place in the field of education, recognition of its decisive role in the formation and development of pupils’ personality, society imposes high requirements on the preschool teacher’s professional activity (Volosovets et al., 2017; Vorobyova, 2017). Reflexivity is recognized as one of the professionally important qualities of a teacher's personality, which allows him to implement his professional obligations effectively and perform his activities at a high level (Hornáčková et al., 2014; Karpov, 2015; Karpova, 2018). However, it should be noted that, along with the high practical significance of studying the problem of reflection in the structure of a preschool education teacher’s activity, its influence on the resultative and procedural parameters of the activity effectiveness does not find due attention among researchers. A similar situation arises regarding direct assessment of the effectiveness of the professional activity of preschool educational institutions’ teachers. In our opinion, the absence of a criteria system, which meets the modern requirements which correspond to the specifics of this activity, can be considered one of this problem’s aspects (Druzhilov, 2018).
Therefore, the relevance of our research is determined by the existing needs in determining the role of reflection in the context of the effectively implementing professional activities by preschool educational institutions’ teachers.
Understanding the essence of reflection in Russian psychology is based on a number of approaches: the metacognitive approach (Karpov, 2005), the functional-activity approach (Shadrikov, 2011), the cultural-dialogical approach (Anikina, 2013b), the modal approach (Sizikova, 2019), and others. Emphasizing three modes of reflection existence (process, property and state) makes it possible to distinguish between reflection as a process, integral and social in nature, included in various systems of human functioning, and reflexivity as a quality or personality trait to design directions and specifics of the study of this phenomenon, including among preschool educational institutions’ teachers, to define it as a factor of the professional activity effectiveness (Karpov, 2004).
The main directions of studying reflection in foreign psychology are: a tendency to self-analysis, intellectual reflection, ideas about the other people’s mental, the problem of recognizing various processes and activities. Moreover, each direction uses its own term to denote the phenomenon under study (Anikina, 2013a; Dudareva & Semenov, 2008; Temnyatkina & Tokmeninova, 2018).
To assess pedagogical activity, the model of the professional activity effectiveness studying, built on emphasizing key teacher’s competencies and the corresponding indicators, appears interesting (Shadrikov et al., 2016). Among them, the authors highlight the following:
- competence in the field of personal qualities (revealed through the indicators of empathy and socio-reflection, self-organization and general culture);
- competence in the field of setting pedagogical activity goals and objectives(characterized by a number of skills, setting goals and objectives in accordance with the age and individual capabilities of students, in particular);
- competence in the field of motivating students (pupils) to carry out educational (socially educational activities);
- competence in the field of ensuring the information activity base (described through the ability to adequately select working methods and techniques);
- competence in the field of developing programs, methodological, didactic materials and making pedagogical decisions (assumes that the teacher has the ability to choose and develop independently didactic and methodological materials);
- competence in the field of organizing pedagogical activity (characterized by the ability to build subject-subject relations with all aspects of the educational process).
Analysis of the models for assessing the teachers’ effectiveness, used in various countries (China, Japan, Portugal, the USA, etc.), made it possible to identify two dominant approaches which they are based on: assessement based on the growth of students’ achievement and the so-called teachers’ formative assessment based on observing teacher’s direct activities and feedback formation (Temnyatkina & Tokmeninova, 2019).
A comprehensive study of research on assessing teachers’ effectiveness indicates a number of principles for constructing professional performance assessment (Chemyakina et al., 2018):
- the presence of clear, differentiated criteria which can be understood;
- competencies description in terms of observed behaviour;
- the possibility of their quantitative assessment;
- focusing on teachers’ professional development, in particular, using level grading in order to analyze difficulties and mistakes further;
- the competencies formulations should reflect elements of behavior significantly influencing work effectiveness;
- the possibility of using criteria and indicators at all stages of the teacher’s professionalization, etc.
In terms of the approaches considered, in our opinion, the effectiveness of the professional activity of a preschool educational institutions’ teacher should be considered as a complex indicator, representing the unity of the procedural and resultative components of his professional activity, which is due to a number of professionally significant qualities and personality traits.
What is the degree of reflection and reflexivity expression among teachers?
- What are the criteria for determining the effectiveness of the professional activities of preschool educational institutions’ teachers?
- What are the reflection components which determine the effectiveness of teachers' activities to a greater extent?
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this article is to study and analyze the features of the reflection influence the professional activity effectiveness of preschool educational institutions’ teachers.
The article defines the indicators and criteria for the professional activity effectiveness of preschool educational institutions’ teachers based onthe analysis of this activity’s structure and content, as well as regulatory documents which govern it.
1. To study the peculiarities of reflexivity representation in the studied sample, the method of diagnosing the individual measure of the reflexivity property intensity was used (Karpov, 2003). This method includes 27 statements, each of which is assessed using a seven-point scale.
2. To diagnose the activity reflection, as well as its components individual intensity, correlated with individual constructs of the psychological functional system of activity, we used the activity reflection test (Shadrikov et al., 2015). This form is a set of 20 statements. The proposed statements form the following scales: “Activity motivation and goal-setting”; “Activity information basis”; “Decision making and activities implementation. “What is more, the test makes it possible to calculate such an indicator as “General Activity Reflection”.
3. The author's method formed as developing criteria aimed at assessing the professional activity effectiveness of preschool educational institutions’ teachers.
This method was based on the competence model proposed by Shadrikov and Kurginyan (2015). The formulation of criteria for assessing each of the competencies presented was carried out by analyzing the requirements of the professional standard “Teacher (pedagogical activity in the field of preschool, primary general, basic general, secondary general education), etc.
4. To process the results obtained, the following methods of mathematical statistics were used: one-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, Mann-Whitney U-test; Spearman's correlation coefficient; one-factor variance analysis.
The Table 01 shows the social and professional characteristics of the study participants.
As it can be seen from the table, the current situation is reflected in the field of preschool education, characterized by only female specialists being employed in it. The analysis of age characteristics allows us to conclude the predominance of middle age teachers. The distribution by the level of professional education can be considered uniform, since teachers with both higher and secondary professional education are represented with the same frequency. At the same time, the number of teachers who currently do not have a qualification category exceeds the number of teachers who have the first and highest qualification categories.
During the empirical study, the features of the reflexivity property manifestation, reflection of activity and its components, correlated with individual components of the psychological functional activity system, were identified, as well as a quantitative and qualitative assessment of their professional activities effectiveness.
In general, the studied sample of preschool educational institutions’ teachers is characterized by an average level of the reflexivity property expression (49.4%). Moreover, the sample can be described as capable of effectively implementing professional activity in connection with the normative indicators expression of both activity reflection and its components.
Assessment of teachers' activities effectiveness was carried out using self-assessment and expert assessment (manager, methodologist, colleague-teacher), each statement was assessed on a five-point system (Likert scale). In order to solve this problem, the author's method was used, in which 58 points are presented according to the criteria (scales): competence in the field of personal qualities; competence in the field of setting pedagogical activity goals and objectives; competence in the field of motivating pupils; competence in the field of ensuring the information basis of activities; competence in the field of developing programs, methodological, didactic materials and pedagogical decision-making; competence in organizing pedagogical activities.
Based on the competence profile, it can be argued that higher positions in the general profile are occupied by such scales as “Competence in the field of personal qualities” (хaver.=38.0), “Competence in the field of motivating pupils” (хaver.=39.4) and “Competence in the field of organizing pedagogical activities” (хaver.=38.8). Less represented are “Competence in the field of setting pedagogical activity goals and objectives” and “Competence in the field of ensuring the information activity basis” (хaver.=34.4).
Therefore, this sample of teachers is mostly characterized by manifestation of empathy, true love and interest in the inner world, the successful construction of communicative interaction with parents, colleagues, and children. The teachers who took part in the study are able to involve children in the educational process and are able to form their cognitive motivation, create a situation of success and are able to create comfortable, physically and psychologically safe conditions for a child.
Moreover, they are able to organize a teaching program and develop a high-quality didactic material.
In order to study the peculiarities of the reflection representation level influence in the components of the activity and reflexivity system, as a personality quality, on the professional activity effectiveness of preschool educational institutions’ teachers, we carried out an analysis using the Spearman correlation coefficient, as well as a one-way variance analysis. However, statistically significant relationships and differences between the variances of the studied variables were not found (p≥0.05).
In this regard, we have made an attempt to establish differences using the U-Mann-Whitney criterion for the integral indicator of the professional activity effectiveness, as well as for the formation of its components competencies. The method of “contrasting groups” was used for this. This method involves the selection of groups which significantly differ in the level of any parameter expression (“best”, “average” and “worst”, in our case, reflexivity. Therefore, we identified three groups of teachers with conditionally high (n = 24), medium (n = 23) and low (n = 24) reflexivity levels. The identified groups differ significantly according to the level of activity and its components reflection (p = 0.000).
Statistically significant differences were found only between groups which are conditionally different in the reflection expression of the “Motivation and goal-setting of activity” component.
The professional activity effectiveness of preschool educational institutions’ teachers should be considered as a complex indicator, which is the unity of the procedural and resultative components of his professional activity, due to a number of professionally significant qualities and personality traits.
The expressed position of the “Motivation and goal-setting of activity” component in ensuring the effectiveness of the professional activity effectiveness of preschool educational institutions’ teachers indicates that reflection, leading to the teacher's awareness of his own activity motives and goals, and possibly even restructuring motives in accordance to activity specifics, contributes to a more effective performance of the teacher's professional activities.
There is a non-linear connection between the reflexivity level and the professional activity effectiveness of preschool educational institutions’ teachers.
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15 July 2021
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Ivutina, E., Shishkina, A., & Beltyukova, O. (2021). Reflection As An Effectiveness Factor Of Teacher’s Professional Activity. In A. G. Shirin, M. V. Zvyaglova, O. A. Fikhtner, E. Y. Ignateva, & N. A. Shaydorova (Eds.), Education in a Changing World: Global Challenges and National Priorities, vol 114. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 380-387). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.07.02.45