Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (Print ISSN: 1098-8394; Online ISSN: 1528-2651)

Research Article: 2017 Vol: 20 Issue: 3

Pedagogical Conditions of Highly Productive Activity for Teachers of Higher Education Establishment

Igor Anikin, Industrial University of Tyumen

Svetlana Lapteva, Industrial University of Tyumen

Alexis Kormin, Industrial University of Tyumen

Larisa Bondarovskaya, Industrial University of Tyumen

Olga Poletaeva, Industrial University of Tyumen

Abstract

Modern educational process in a higher education establishment implies training the future professional as an all-round individual aimed at not only completing a system of professional tasks but also at accomplishing a wide range of social functions. The present study aims to discuss and determine pedagogical conditions of highly productive activity of teachers that are needed for higher education establishment. The main focus of this paper is the training of students for work in the field of social economical trades where the objects of physical and mental efforts are people, groups, teams and solutions to specific problems related to their everyday life. It appears that adaptability of a teacher’s personality to fulfilling a wide range of different interaction with students and colleagues is the key to success in their professional activity which, consecutively, acts as a strong factor of work motivation improvement throughout all their lifetime. Today, one of the most important issues of modern school is development of emotional aspect in pedagogical conversation fulfillment as the principal approach of the teacher’s activity. This approach firstly will ensure their disposition to enter another person’s inside emotional world, compassion, empathy and the usage of unconventional approaches to conversation which allow for deviation from explicit role of the teacher acting for the benefit of the organization of the subject-subject interaction with the student. That is why the study of the possibilities for gradual adaptation to complex patterns of fulfillment of this kind of interaction takes on special importance and significance particularly when training the students for their future pedagogical profession in higher educational establishment.

Keywords

Higher Education, Pedagogical Conversation, Professional Tasks, Adaptability.

Introduction

The abilities and professional activities of an individual are largely predetermined by their adaptability to fulfilling their work and professional responsibilities (Gallagher, Malloy & Ryerson, 2016). Several psycho-pedagogical studies have demonstrated that adaptation is objectively expressed in stability of work activity with high efficiency as well as explicit tendency for professional qualification personal growth (Zembylas, 2016). At the age of a student, adaptation to significant aspects of professional activity is fulfilled by successful mastering of professional knowledge and skills (Khlaisang, 2017). At the subjective level, it is expressed in satisfaction from work, positive self-perception and experiencing positive emotions associated with both professional environment as a whole and its separate elements (object of labour, methods, results, social environment) (Terry, 2016). That is why pedagogical definition of adaptation is a factor which gives an individual the traits of productive work force and modern approaches to studying adaptation view specialist’s personality as an integral system in the diversity of types and forms of performed activity (Potter & France). The present study was aimed to review and determine pedagogical conditions of highly productive activity of teachers that are needed for higher education establishment. The main focus of this paper is the training of students for work in the field of social economical trades where the objects of physical and mental efforts are people, groups, teams and solutions to specific problems related to their everyday life.

Resources and Methods

When researching this issue, we operated our understanding of specifics of adaptation and emotional aspect of adaptability of students to their future professional activity, which were studied in papers of many psychologists; we have also studied and considered students’ age specifics which are described in (Galamba, 2016).

Pedagogical adaptation is a complex and diverse process of interaction between human and environment which contains new structural and dynamic characteristics (Bannister, 2016). Apparently, this term directly concerns the exploitation of a new professional activity both during the learning process and in the initial stages of independent professional work (Jakovljevic & Ankiewicz, 2016). It is worth mentioning that, in the modern pedagogical studies, two directions of such interaction are distinguished (Hand, Cavagnetto, Chen & Park, 2016). The first one implies adaptation of an individual to new conditions or circumstances in order to establish certain balance with the environment (Matias & Mackey, 2016). The passive character of this process conditions its orientation, first of all, at mastering the methods of efficient adaptation to outside conditions or circumstances (Storme, Vansieleghem, Devleminck, Masschelein & Simons, 2016). The second direction of adaptation, reflecting a complex system of already shaped needs and ambitions of an individual (Lofstrom, 2016), is associated with its active transformational position aimed at cognition and transformation of both one’s own mental specifics (Smit, Bakker, Van Eerde & Kuijpers, 2016) and outside production conditions (Daniel, 2016).

In this case, adaptation is accompanied by self-enrichment of the individual (Gill, 2016), which eventually leads to fulfilment of not only a system of acquired skills (An, 2017) but also the individual’s creative possibilities (Gilkison, 2016) in professional activity. In these conditions, the process of interaction between the individual and environment consists in the search and usage of adequate methods of satisfaction of basic needs (need for information (Brill, 2016), self-fulfilment, self-affirmation, self-improvement, etc.) (Kim & Bolger, 2017).

A significant characteristic of the individual’s adaptation is that this phenomenon intertwines process and result aspects (Lundie, 2016; Maor, 2017) so that each new result of the individual’s interaction with work environment is certain to be intertwined into this process (Kirch & Ma, 2016) improving it and enriching it (Knezek & Christensen, 2016). Such process/result approach to adaptation process studying reflects its dialectic and ambiguity of evaluation criteria for this phenomenon (Imms & Byers, 2017).

The aim of empiric research stage is the study of emotional intellect significance in the process of students’ adaptation to their future professional activity. The tasks are:

1. To characterize the process of adaptation of future teachers to their professional activity;

2. To study the significance of students’ emotional intellect for this process;

3. To identify the ways for improvement of emotional side of students’ adaptation to their professional activity in the conditions of higher education establishment.

Findings and Discussion

In the process of adaptation to activity, including adaptation to studying at a higher education establishment, the following major components can be distinguished. Firstly, there is physiological aspect of adaptation which implies entering a new mode of work and rest and requires restructuring of the life activity algorithm. Secondly, there is practical (professional) aspect (Sirrakos & Fraser, 2017) which concerns learning a wide range of new knowledge and skills necessary for successful future professional activity. Thirdly, there is social aspect which is associated with entering a new student group and acquiring a new role (Asio & Khorasani, 2015). The soviet pedagogy largely reflects the thought about the tight connection between professional and social adaptation. The individual’s learning of skills and knowledge that are new to them is conditioned by entering the work group, by the system of interconnections with the others, which acts as both the source of constant information and pace for self-presentation and self-fulfilment. At the same time, successful learning of professional knowledge and skills ensures identification of social status and role of the employee in the work team. That is why the process of adaptation needs to be viewed through the integrity of its parts as a complex phenomenon in the context of age development of higher education students (Comber, 2016).

It is at the age of a student when the shaping of direction takes place as a peculiar hierarchy of motives which identifies activity directions that are in priority for the individual, gives stability and thoughtfulness to this activity. Furthermore, the development of an adequate self-esteem takes place through intensive comparison of the student’s own behavior to a certain ideal. It is worth mentioning that, at the age of student, self-evaluation characteristics also include professional ones and specialists act as the role model (teachers of higher education establishments, above all). It is characteristic of students to improve their professional and creative skills as potential possibilities of an individual which benefit the efficiency of activity and bring originality and uniqueness to it. As a result, gradual shaping of professional and civil qualities takes place.

It is completely clear that all of these personality characteristics develop during intensive adaptation of a young person to the studying process at a higher education establishment which differs greatly from secondary education studies. Consequently, the student’s complex adaptation process to learning new knowledge and skills is impossible without fulfilment of a number of characteristics which are the result of personal development at the studying age.

Taking into consideration the socio-economical type of the teaching profession where the main method of professional activity is purposeful interaction between the teacher and the students at the subject-subject level, one of the important sides of the student’s adaptation to their future profession is the fulfilment of the well-formed emotional intellect which is a factor of active learning of professional knowledge and skills concerning main functions of pedagogical communication.

During the pedagogical process, communication ensures a number of important functions each of which acquires a special meaning in the course of giving traits of active interaction to the teaching process. Among them, the following can be distinguished:

1. Contact trait, i.e., assurance of readiness to both perception and conveying of the content of knowledge,

2. Informational trait which consists in the exchange of thoughts, decisions etc.,

3. Stimulating trait which assures motivating the student towards certain actions,

4. Coordination trait which implies coordination of actions for collaboration,

5. Cognitive trait as perception and learning of the emotional state of the interlocutor, team member and oneself,

6. Expressive trait which, on the one hand, is the teacher’s ability to emotional expression in the knowledge transfer and, on the other hand, assures emotional exchange with the partner,

7. Building of relations, i.e., roles, status and interrelation connections,

8. Organization of impact as the change of mood, behavior, individual’s communicative abilities,

9. Managing trait, i.e., the ability to manage your behavior and affect other people.

There is no doubt that these functions have systemic character, hence they imply integrity and constant interconnection which allows the teacher to organize diverse interaction with the students not only during the class but also during the non-school hours. That is why we can say that the fulfilment of each trait is impossible without the ability of each of the sides of the pedagogical conversation to analyse both one’s own emotions and feelings and emotions of the interlocutor. That is what assures beneficial psychological climate during the interaction and disposition of its participants to collaboration and mutual understanding. As a number of contemporary scientists think, these psychological characteristics form a part of emotional intellect which consists in organic combination of thinking with the individual’s emotional sphere and serves as the basis for self-regulation of behavior. The structure of emotional intellect has several levels, so each of its components has its specific impact on pedagogical interaction. We will study them closely.

The very first step to realizing one’s own emotions is recognition (naming) which must be accomplished through understanding of nature of their appearance and specifics of their flow in different situations.

As part of this emotional intellect component, we can seek further ideas of emotion fulfilment in expressive manifestations of the teacher’s behavior and of possible ways of their improvement and correction.

Other components of emotional intellect are self-control and self-regulation of emotional manifestations. During the process of teaching, they assure the fulfilment of such educational influences on the student’s personality as persuasion and infusion which are often based on examples of behavior or the teachers themselves. Furthermore, they benefit the emotional colour of the learning content and bring personal touch to it for both the students and the teacher.

A more complex component of emotional intellect in the interaction of the teacher with the participants of the educational process is realization of not only one’s own feelings but also their connection to the emotional state of the students. When applied, this is fulfilled in the ability for empathy, sensibility to changes in the interlocutor’s mood, their development. All of this assures correct understanding of psychological states of the students, allows the teacher to take up the students’ position in different educational situations and, as a result, accomplish the forecast of relatively possible results and consequences of professional actions.

Self-motivation, as the most complex component of emotional intellect contributes to constant process of cognition, improvement and fulfilment of emotions by the teacher. Interest in both one’s own emotional states and the interlocutor’s feelings, aspiration to control this process and use it to establish fruitful interaction in teaching is the basis for the fulfilment of educational process as a collaboration of the teacher and the student to achieve a common cognitive result.

The process of adaptation of the future teachers to the accomplishment of such specific interactive process in practice became the subject of our empiric study.

To study the peculiarities of the emotional aspect of the students’ adaptation to their future profession, we investigated sample of 200 4th-year students of the socio-pedagogical university who not only had studied professional educational disciplines but also had done the teaching practice at a secondary school.

We used Rogers’ method for identification of socio-pedagogical adaptation of individuals, the method of emotional intellect assessment and questionnaires.

The results we received brought us to the conclusion that the overwhelming majority of the studied students (63%) showed medium rate of socio-psychological adaptation and, accordingly, ability to change their skills, shape new skills in the context of behavior and communication under the conditions of dynamic social environment. High rates which show the readiness to independently overcome difficulties in communication and fulfil creative possibilities were detected among 26% of the participants. And only approximately every tenth of the investigated student sample showed inability to change together with the social environment, tendency to use behavioral patterns in relations and interaction with the people around, inflexibility in situations which require fast pedagogic reaction.

The investigation of emotional intellect manifestation specifics with the mentioned categories of students allowed identifying their significant specifics. Thus, among the students with low socio-pedagogical adaptation rate, 80% remarked difficulties in self-regulation of emotional states. Above all, this concerned the control over the negative emotions (anger or indignation management because of the school students’ behavior, dissatisfaction with their laziness in work, etc.) as well as the stimulation of positive emotions in difficult pedagogical situations (for example, optimistic attitude and friendliness in case of the students’ failures I the course of educational process). 75% of the participants told about difficulties in the process of self-motivation as part of the development of emotional intellect, emphasizing the lack of possibilities to identify the methods and tools for further improvement of emotional component of interaction with the students.

The students which demonstrated high rate of socio-pedagogical adaptation showed rather high results in the mentioned criteria of emotional intellect but they admitted that they had some difficulties to exercise them in practice. Thus, 61 % of the participants of this group remarked that they had considerable difficulties when interacting with the students during their pedagogical practice which they could not overcome only at the level of emotional understanding and empathy. However, unlike the previous group, they associated it with lack of practical experience and showed readiness to increase it in the future and transform it into part of their pedagogical competence. Apparently, developed tendency to self-motivation in the improvement of one’s own emotions and control over them contributes to the students’ aspiration to a purposeful self-perfection in the fulfilment of professional activity.

The students with a medium rate of socio-psychological adaptation, among all emotional intellect components, remarked emotional understanding. Thus, 68 % of the participants knew their way around rather well in a wide range of manifestations of the students’ feelings, could give their detailed characteristics and explain the reasons of why students have them. But the students remarked that it is mostly based on the theoretical training that they get when studying psycho-pedagogical disciplines. Furthermore, the students showed the ability to identify other people’s feelings (66% of participants) and empathy (58%). They associated these results with the professional experience obtained through pedagogical practice which allowed them to identify the students’ feelings by their external reactions, mimics, behavior. The students also remarked that the fulfilment of the identification mechanism in the educational process and pedagogical communication during the pedagogical practice contributed to the development of empathy and compassion for students in different pedagogical situations. However, the rate of self-motivation and self-control over emotional states did not surpass the medium level for them.

Special attention should be paid to the response of the students concerning the identification of the source of such difficulties. Let us to review them in more details.

The overwhelming majority of the students think that emotional intellect contributes, above all, to the fulfilment of the direct interaction of the teacher and the students during the class. Nevertheless, they do not see any practical aspect to application of this quality in making the activity plan, explication of the new learning material or self-development of the teacher as a specialist. This proves lack of students’ integral perception of the educational process and the place of teacher’s emotional manifestation in each of its components.

The students think that the ideal pedagogical communication with the students during the class can be disturbed by teacher’s tendency to select one type of reaction for different pedagogical situations (from strictly authoritarian to liberal). However, realizing, though, the imperfection of this kind of tendency, the students refer to the practical aspect of pedagogical activity (“It is easier to work like that”, “The students adapt to certain standard actions and demands of the teacher”). Apparently, this tendency is based on lack of students’ awareness of methods and approaches of efficient transformation of teacher’s emotional reaction to changes in the course of educational process.

The process of emotional intellect self-development in the future professional activity is understood by the students in different ways. Thus, 58% of the participants remark that, when needed, they will seek answers in professional literature. Approximately the same numbers of the participants (55%) rely on consulting the specialists or the perception of the examples of behavior by those experience teachers who demonstrate the manifestation of emotional intellect in practice. However, when analysing the possibilities for emotional intellect development under the conditions of higher education establishment, the majority of the participants point out the necessity of a wider usage of the newest teaching technologies, including interactive methods of teaching when organizing the educational process of psycho-pedagogical disciplines.

Conclusion

The analysis of the issue proves the importance of emotional intellect development among students as one of the factors of adaptation of future teachers to their future professional activity. However, it is clear today that the application of traditional approaches and methods of teaching at a higher education establishment is insufficient for shaping of emotional intellect components, especially its complex components. Inclusion of students into the system of active methods of teaching based collaborative solution of tasks and situations is the requirement of the modern world and contributes to their active interaction in both cognitive and emotional aspect. The application of such methods in the educational process can be the key to increasing the students’ interest to the issues of development and fulfilment of emotional intellect and realization of its necessity for effective adaptation to professional activity under the conditions of higher education and in future independent life.

References