Volume:9, Issue: 1

May. 15, 2017

Main components of the preschool teachers' professional competence: Research outcomes
Vikultseva, Anastasiya M. [about] , Chesnokova, Galina S [about]

ABSTRACT: The article describes the structural components of the preschool teachers’ professional competence. Some of the results are presented and discussed. The authors show the importance of improvements in quality of training future preschool teachers.

KEYWORDS: professional competence, preschool teacher, professional competences.


Trends in the development of modern society, changes in the competitive environment, and the inexorable growth of scientific and technological progress set the dynamics of continuously growing demands for the structure and contents of the educational system, including preschool education. This translates into the need to update professional training of future preschool teachers, especially since in the past preschool teachers were supposed to provide only "supervision and care". Today, it is hardly possible to reduce the requirements for preschool teachers to the above two [4].

The priority direction of preschool teachers’ professional training is reflected in both documents – The Strategy for the Development of Russian Education until 2020, and The Federal State Standard of Preschool Education. Social demands for professional training of specialists of the new generation are formulated in the report of the State Council of the Russian Federation ‘On the educational policy of Russia at the present stage’ which states,

The developing society needs well-educated and moral people, entrepreneurs who can make their own decisions choices; who are capable for cooperation, and who are mobile, dynamic and constructive; and who are ready for intercultural interaction, and possess a strong sense of responsibility for the destiny of the nation, for its social and economic prosperity [5].

This characteristic is reflected in the term teacher’s professional competence, the latter being an integral individual quality which comes as a result of professional training and which is a must to provide for effectiveness of one’s professional activities [7].

Researchers tend to agree that preschool teachers’ professional competence is complex, multilevel, and systematic. Slastenin and Zimnyaya argue that in order to better determine the direction of training specialists, it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the concept’s structural components [8].

The Federal State Educational Standard for Preschool Education identifies the following requirements for preschool teachers:

  • Providing respect for students’ human dignity, shaping and support of preschool students’ positive self-esteem, and confidence in their own abilities;
  • Using interventions and methods that correspond with students’ psychological, age-related, and individual characteristics;
  • Creating educational activities that are based on interactions of adults and children, focused on children’s interests and capacities, and taking into account the social situation of children’s personal development;
  • Teachers’ support of positive and friendly attitudes among children and children’s interaction in different activities;
  • Teachers’ support of children’s initiatives and independence in age-related specific activities;
  • Providing children with free choice of any necessary materials, participants in joint activities, and communication;
  • Protecting children from any forms of physical and mental violence;
  • Supporting parents (or legal representatives) in raising their children, protecting and strengthening children’s health, and involving families directly in educational activities [2].

Based on the aforementioned requirements, we can distinguish the following components of the professional competence necessary for every future preschool teacher to possess: motivational-volitional, functional, communicative, and reflexive.

At the Institute of Childhood, Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University, we arranged for a short study to determine the significance of the main components of the preschool education future teacher’s professional competence. Our survey generated 124 students’ responses, primarily from the students, majoring in preschool education combined with teaching English. The questions were aimed at identifying the most important, in terms of students, components of the preschool teacher’s professional competence. Questions were divided into two consecutive sets. The first was aimed at determining how future preschool teachers designate necessary professional qualities. In the second set of questions, we offered the respondents a certain amount of professional qualities and asked them to rank these qualities from most important to the least important.

Almost all respondents (96 %) defined the motivational-volitional component as the most important, thus showing how critical are teachers’ motives, objectives, and values that stimulate their professional self-development and creativity. Next comes the reflexive component (89 % of respondents), which is supposed to regulate personal achievements, self-management, self-analysis and self-control, as well as professional growth, improvement of professional skills and the formation of one’s individual style. The third item chosen was the communicative component (82 %) that includes the ability to clearly express oneself, to argue and defend one's own position, to establish communication, and choose the most appropriate style of communication in various situations. Finally, the functional component received 73 %. It is comprised of the knowledge of pedagogical strategies and interventions, necessary to determine pedagogical methods.

Qualitative analysis of the responses indicated that the above components could not be viewed in isolation because they have an integrative and holistic nature, and serve as the product of vocational training in general. At the same time, the emphasis is shifted from professional knowledge to the professional competence and preschool teacher’s subjective position in the implementation of their professional activities [1]. This fact gives rise to a certain contradiction between a new, personality-oriented type of teachers’ professional activities and the model of their training which dominates the field today and focuses on the traditional knowledge paradigm. We also distinguished another contradiction – between one-sided attempts to increase research orientation of professional training and an obvious understanding of the situation- and personality-related nature of pedagogical activities and problems’ solutions [3].

There is no doubt that only when pedagogical activities become personally valuable for preschool teachers, then, they create the need for professional self-improvement. This factor should become an indispensable condition for improving the quality of modern professional training even at the students’ initial stage of professional self-identification, that is, in their school years at the teacher’s training university that will help them overcome all the existing contradictions. To achieve this objective there should be the unity of foundational, educational, and psychological-pedagogical students’ training. We consider that the Novosibirsk Institute of Childhood has made a number of very successful attempts to achieve such unity while combining professional training and extracurricular activities. We are confident that involving future preschool teachers into multiple extracurricular activities will help to increase their professional competence [6].


References

  1. Chesnokova G.S., Chesnokov V.A. The problem of investigating the subjectivity of the individual in the pedagogy of higher education // Vestnik Kostroma State University. NA Nekrasov. Series: Pedagogy. Psychology. Social work. Juvenology. Socio-kinetics. – 2015. – Vol. 21. – No. 3. – P. 94–99.
  2. Federal state educational standard of preschool education. [Electronic resource]. – URL: https://pravobraz.ru/federalnyj-gosudarstvennyj-obrazovatelnyj-standart-doshkolnogo-obrazovaniya/ (date of circulation 04/04/2017)
  3. Kiselev N.N., Kiseleva E.V., Interpersonal Relations as a Resource of Emotional Security of the Educational Environment // Siberian Pedagogical Journal. – 2014. – No. 6. – P. 36-39.
  4. Safronova Yu.D., Chesnokova G.S. Social portrait of preschool educational institution's teacher-educator// Modern problems of general and correctional pedagogy and psychology of childhood: a collection of materials of the VIII All-Russian scientific and practical conference with international participation. – Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University. – 2013. – P. 55–60.
  5. The report of the State Council of the Russian Federation "On the educational policy of Russia at the present stage" [Electronic resource]. - URL: www.consultant.ru
  6. Tsiguleva O.V., Chesnokova G.S. Academic mobility as a condition of future teacher 's personal and professional development// Siberian Pedagogical Journal. – 2016. – No. 6. – P. 63–68.
  7. Vikultseva A.M. Student self-government as a means of the future personality pedagogy’s professional formation: the experience of the organization // The collection of reports of the I Interuniversity conference of young scientists "From childhood to adulthood: variations of the norm and development features" / Ed. A.S. Obukhov. – Moscow: MPGU, 2016. – P. 210–215.
  8. Zimnaya I.A. Key competences as the effective-target basis of the competence approach in education – Moscow: Research Center for Quality Problems in Training of Specialists, 2004. – 42 p.




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