Physical Culture of Agrarian University Students

Фотографии: 

T.L. Dyachenko, senior teacher
Stavropol State Agrarian University, Stavropol
V.V. Vucheva, associate professor, Ph.D.
North Caucasian Federal University, Stavropol

Key words: physical culture, students of agrarian universities, educational technology.

Introduction. The objective of formation of students’ physical culture in a university is vitally significant. Physical culture is a component of general personal culture. Its elements are presented in education, professional activity, communication, recreation and physical self-improvement. Physical culture affects not only physical abilities, but feelings and consciousness, psyche and intelligence, which ensures forming of stable psychosocial qualities. Development of physical culture of specialists of the agricultural sector, who have a high level of professional culture and are familiar with modern technologies in the sphere of physical culture and sport, who are ready for physical self-improvement, is a vital necessity.

The technological solution of this problem is relevant. Development and implementation of different educational technologies, their interconnecting in compliance with the stipulated on each phase purposes and objectives, and personal potential of each student will facilitate solving the tasks not only in the educational sphere, but also in the sphere of personal development and self-actualization.

Meanwhile, numerous literary sources and sociological researches testify to health deviations of many students. During university studies the number of such students is growing, physical activity of the considerable part of students is getting lower from course to course, and by the moment of graduation from a university all the parameters of students’ health and physical fitness get lower than of the applicants [2, 8, 17].

The reason of the noted defects is as follows:

- low educational level in the sphere of physical culture and sport;
- the physical education process in agrarian universities is focused on increasing students’ physical fitness;
- the lack of purposeful activity in forming the students’ value-motivational attitude to physical activity, provoking transformation of the process of physical education into the process of physical self-education and self-improvement [1, 5, 13].

Proceeding from the findings, the assigned primary tasks cannot be solved in the present system of physical education, as the system does not provide a proper level of students’ health and physical perfection, does not form in them the necessity in healthy way of life and physical self-improvement and the interest in physical activity.

The motives of physical exercises and the factors facilitating a positive attitude are considered in the works of numerous authors. Based on the findings, generally students treat positively the idea of physical education classes, however it is not proved by real actions. A contradiction is observed between the theoretically positive attitude towards the factor and its practical application in everyday life.

The discrepancy between the declarative and the real attitude of students to physical culture negatively affects the formation of their value orientations and attitudes to physical activity. Consequently, students’ axiological and functional attitudes to physical culture are being formed over the period of university studies. The values of physical culture do not take the leading place in the general hierarchy of students’ principles of life. Both the personal, and the socially significant motivations to physical exercises are lacking. The verbal nature of the attitude to physical training and sports activity prevails [5].

Numerous researches [1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 13, 17] are devoted to the question of enhancement of physical education of students, including those of agrarian universities. The principal ways of enhancement of physical education are suggested:

- conversion to the principles of humanistic pedagogics and psychology, which presume: more attention to each individual as a supreme social value;
- changing of purposes and objectives – from improvement of physical qualities and motor abilities, health protection to formation of personal physical culture.

Nowadays, there is the elaborated general theoretical concept of physical culture [15]. The principles and the general structure of physical education as a process of formation of personal physical culture have been formulated [11].

It has been shown that the tasks of formation of physical culture as a main objective of physical education of students of agrarian universities should be set and the directions of its solution are indicated.

At the same time, researchers mark the insufficient development of science-based means, forms and methods of socio-educational effect that ensure success in the process of formation of student’s physical culture. The matters of enhancing students’ physical education are still relevant, as evidenced by the great amount of theses and scientific publications [1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 13, 17 et al].

Thus, the contemporary situation of development of physical culture and sport in the educational and training sphere of agrarian universities is caused by the available essential contradictions, in particular between the increased requirements to physical culture, as an integral part of general cultural and professional training of future specialists, increased physical training and sports activity of students and lack of useful information about the dynamics of their development in students. The necessity of resolving these contradictions provokes the need to develop the theoretical issues of systematic studies of the rules of integral functioning of physical culture and sport in the sphere of higher professional education and its practical implementation in compliance with the requirements of modern education, society and personality.

Materials and methods. The research methods used were as follows: survey and analytical method that helps to learn and analyze the state of researches on the specified problem by references, to reveal and specify the content of primary directions, concepts and approaches; in developing physical culture and sport of young students in a university educational environment; diagnostic technique used to fix and describe empirical data; cross-sectional method that supposes simultaneous diagnostics of students at different teaching phases; experimental method, intended to reveal the reasons of the phenomena under study and estimate the result of activity of these reasons; forming experiment to observe changes in the structure of students’ physical culture based on the use of the developed technology; method of statistical analysis of experimental data used to systemize quantitative indices and detect the concealed regularities.

Questionnaire method was used to study physical culture of students of agricultural specializations, for self-assessment of their physical condition and to detect the attitude to physical culture, identify the system of knowledge, abilities and skills in the field of physical culture.

Special questionnaire was designed. The questions, included into this questionnaire, were grouped into 8 main blocks by their meaning.

Block 1. Value judgments of students about the key indices of their physical status.

Block 2. General system of values, axiological orientations and guidelines of students that influences their physical training and sports activity.

Block 3. Understanding by students of the general personal culture and physical culture as its component.

Block 4. Interests, needs, guidelines and value orientations of students associated with their activity on promotion and optimization of their physical status.

Block 5. Students` attitude to physical culture and sport.

Block 6. Degree of awareness and level of knowledge, abilities and skills of students in the field of physical culture.

Block 7. Preferable types of activity of students in leisure time.

Block 8. Socio-demographic characteristics.

An anonymous poll was carried out to get reliable information, although students could name themselves if they wanted. It is good here that hereinafter the dynamics of personal physical culture of a future specialist, physical education and sports activity in the personality aspect and in the aspect of the inner circle can be traced.

Results and discussion. The questionnaire held prior to the experiment with the subjects of first year students of Stavropol State Agrarian University, has revealed the following information that characterizes the low level of students’ physical culture:

1.  According to the results of the medical examinations, control test results, teachers’ appraisal, students have health defects and low level of physical fitness. At the same time, most of the students (95%) estimate positively their physical condition, physical fitness, health and physical perfection and are generally satisfied with their condition and level of development;

-  low level of physical training and sports activity – only 23% of students do physical exercises regularly;
-  low level of formation of knowledge, abilities and skills in the field of physical culture and sport, that is proved by the data of self-appraisal, teachers’ expert appraisal, results of control tests;
-  students (86,3%) are not focused on the integrated development of physical qualities, formation of motor culture, body built culture;
- physical culture for the most part of students (79,5%) is not a component of general personal culture;
- the values of physical culture are not priority in the system of life values of students.

An educational technology was created to form physical culture of students. The designed educational technology was based on the principles of humanistic pedagogics and psychology, the most important of which are: special attention to each man’s personality as a supreme social value; conversion of student from an object of socio-educational effect into a subject of dynamic creative activity by developing inner motives of self-improvement and self-determination; democratization in the relations between a trainer and students; individualization based on acquiring and registration of reliable information on the state of students’ health, their physical fitness level, individual psychological characteristics; formation of the orientation to the diversified and harmonious development; freedom in choosing forms of studies by the trainees, etc. [14].

In the developed educational technology content, methods, types of work with students were identified using axiological, culturological, personality-activity, problem searching approaches. When designing the technology we relied on several concepts: developmental education [4], physical education of students [11, 15], psycho-pedagogical foundations of playing training of personnel [12].

The educational technology of formation of students’ physical culture suggested achievement of the following purposes:

1. Motivational-value attitude to physical training and sports activity, characterized by orientation to physical self-improvement that suggests complex development of physical qualities, formation of health culture, body built culture, motion culture.
2. Students’ adequate personal self-assessment of their physical status.
3. Systems of knowledge, abilities and skills in the field of physical culture and sport.
The designed educational technology suggested using traditional and unconventional forms, means and methods of educational process organization:

1. Traditional means and methods – practical, methodical, seminars, lectures and conversations. The specifics of using the above-mentioned forms was in the fact that they were of problem searching nature that helped to form students’ creative activity.
2. Unconventional means and methods – educational games, “new games” intended to reveal and develop human abilities, creativity, for self-improvement, getting esthetic pleasure and be happy from communication and playing process.

The motivational-value attitude of students to physical training and sports activity was formed in the educational process by introducing students to the values of physical culture and sport, their importance and usefulness in the human life, focusing them on various humanistic, more spiritual, values, that can be implemented in physical training and sports activity. For these purposes an informative, propaganda and explanatory work was carried out in the form of methodical lessons, individual conversations, meetings with famous athletes and visiting different large-scale sports events.

The formation of the motivational-value attitude of students to physical training and sports activity was facilitated by cultural sports events held like “new games” for the purpose of allocation and revelation of human abilities, creativity, self-improvement, enjoying the playing process itself, but not the result, detecting communicative potential of physical culture and sport and its aesthetic and moral aspects.

Students’ adequate self-assessment of physical status was formed using educational games, intended to develop skills to determine human physical development and physical fitness. In the games female students estimated the level of physical development and physical fitness of each participant of the playing group, then compared the received points with self-assessment, given at the beginning of the game. The coincidence degree of self-assessment and the group estimate showed how accurate was the self-assessment.

In addition, the formation of students’ adequate assessment of their physical condition was facilitated by the following measures: students were shown the results of conducted medical examinations; conversations with specialists of the medical exercises dispensary, specialists in physical culture and sport were organized; self-examination and mutual analysis of control tests results in physical fitness were applied.

Knowledge, skills and abilities in the field of physical culture were formed using a lecture course, practical, methodological and seminar classes, specially designed educational games, abstract work of students and were of problem searching nature.

Gaming method laid the basis of the developed educational technology and was used both as a method of increasing the emotional level of classes and as a method of active learning. Sports-gaming method was used at practical lessons of physical education when mastering all the units of the university curriculum on physical education and in all parts of each lesson.

Educational games were the basis of the gaming method. The use of educational games in studies on physical education of students suggested purposeful formation of the system of students’ knowledge, skills and abilities in the field of physical culture and sport.

Proceeding from the researches in the field of pedagogics and psychology, problematic tasks and situations occurring in educational games contribute to the intensification of man`s activity because they have possibilities for goal-setting and implementing.

Every educational game was focused on reaching a certain goal of forming students’ specific skills and abilities during the game, as well as acquiring specific knowledge in the area of physical culture and sport.

A goal is set before a game to determine a certain content of the game, i.e. create such game conditions that would let its participants model their activity in the field of physical culture and sport.

In our educational games the problematic tasks and situations that happened during the game imitated real activity in the field of physical culture and sport, providing professional orientation of development of students’ creative activity. In educational games students were placed in such conditions when they had to communicate with each other, because the task could be accomplished only by coordinating different opinions and positions, i.e. creating a common approach to the problem, and it stimulated them to master the material constructively.

In educational games necessary conditions are created for the process of learning, skills development and formation to be undertaken not as information processing, but mastering of professional activity, not as an individual but as interindividual, interpersonal process as a joint activity and dialogic communication.

Educational games were held on methodical and practical lessons on physical education according to the curriculum. The developed types of games facilitated formation of basic knowledge, abilities and skills in the field of physical culture and sport.

Playing forms of the conducted lessons were combined with practical lessons on physical education solving in a complex the objectives of the educational and training process.

The process of teaching playing activity was made of three steps:

1. Formation of the orientation basis of actions;
2. Formation of motor skill;
3. Monitoring of the level of mastering new technique.

As far as the specifics of physical training and sports activity determines the necessity of learning on two levels: theoretic – in the form of creating intellectual model of rational actions, and practical – formation of motor skill, that realizes the intention into action, the main didactic purpose of a teacher is to arrange the teaching process so that it facilitated mental activity, taught reasonable activity, trained specialized sensations and perceptions, developed physical qualities necessary to master the playing technique and use it rationally in the game. In general, this process adds up to creating the preliminary motivation and orientation basis of actions (OBA). With the aim of better mastering we used “talking out loud” that was directed to analyzing motor action and creating its general structure that helped to create a school of actions. Thanks to this, a motor skill was formed as one of the ways of solving game situations. At the next step the variative performance of the technical element was taught that further enables choosing an optimal way of interaction with a partner and counteraction against an opponent.

One of the most difficult questions when teaching sports games is the issue of developing accuracy of execution of technical elements (target accuracy). To solve this problem we executed technical elements in easier and variative conditions, used additional guidelines and different levels of activity of the opposite side.

The process of formation of the playing skill should be treated as a way to get new knowledge and master work methods of the axiological nature that are related with attention and interpretation of game situation on the level of its assessment, goal-setting and solution searching. In order to master new material motor schemes that have been mastered before should be reorganized on the basis of interiorization of new knowledge and motor structures [6, 12, 16].

Considering that liberalization is an important condition of increasing efficiency of organization of an educational and training process and consists in the free choice of form of lessons by students and in the variation of used curricula by teachers, we distributed students into groups according to their sport interests. Physical education classes were held with students according to the program including two interconnected substantial components: compulsory (basic), which provides formation of the basics of personal physical culture, and variative, which relies on the basic one, supplementing it and considering students’ individuality, their needs and motivations together with regional conditions.

During practical lessons of physical education the conditions were created to realize the theoretical knowledge in physical culture in practical abilities and skills.

Among the forms used to control the generated knowledge, abilities and skills in the field of physical culture and sport were abstracted works of students, as well as conversations between them about the benefits of going in for sports, importance of physical training and sports activity in human life etc.

A survey and an educational experiment were used to monitor the efficiency of the designed educational technology of formation of physical culture. The educational experiment was forming in its purpose and natural in its organization, as it was held on conventional terms of students’ educational activity on physical education classes. The educational experiment was held in 2011-2012 academic year with first year students of Stavropol State Agrarian University. The number of students in the control and the experimental groups was 50 persons, 25 persons in each group.

In the control and the experimental groups the lessons were conducted according to the curriculum, twice a week. In the control group standard forms, means and methods of organization of the educational process were used. In the experimental group the developed educational technology was introduced.

Conducting the educational experiment with a purpose of determining the efficiency of the developed educational technology we were stuck to generally accepted rules of its usage in pedagogical researchers.

The educational experiment was followed by re-testing of students of the control and the experimental groups in the form of a questionnaire survey.

Thanks to the comparative analysis of the findings before and after the educational experiment, the efficiency of the designed educational technology of formation of physical culture of students of agricultural specializations was determined.

Conclusions. The results of the application of the given technology in the experimental group are as follows:

- the students’ motivation and value attitude to physical culture and sports activity has been formed, that is testified by the positive dynamic of the growth of values of physical culture in the general hierarchy of students’ vital values;
- almost all students (96,2%) now consider physical culture a component of person's background knowledge: students (71,1%) started focusing on the integrated development of physical qualities, formation of motor culture, health culture;
- now most of students (67,8%) consider physical training and sports activity as a impact method on forming mental abilities (intelligence, memory, attention, creative abilities) and personal spiritual culture;
- physical training and sports activity of students has increased: most of them (69,1%) started training on a regularly basis (69,1%);
- students of the experimental have developed the following knowledge, abilities and skills – almost all students (94,2%);
- the program of physical perfection has been developed;
- a set of exercises of a sports and fitness class was made and this was a group class;
- control and self-control was carried out during physical exercises;
- the level of person’s physical fitness was determined;
-  judging of the competitions was carried out by simplified rules in the most cultivated sports;
- an adequate assessment of personal physical condition was formed among students (97,4%), which is proved by the findings of the experiment on self-assessment and teacher’s expert appraisal;
- students’ physical fitness level has increased: statistically reliable changes were detected in the indices of tests of speed-strength qualities, general endurance (p<0,05).

The received data indicate the due level of development of physical culture of future specialists.

Hence, in order to enhance the process of formation of physical culture of students of agrarian universities, increase their sports activity the developed educational technology is to be used, which provides the complex application of traditional and interactive forms and methods that activate the process of education.

While organizing the educational and training process on physical culture the conditions should be created in view of students’ individual capabilities and abilities, revealing the impact of physical training and sports activity on other components of personal culture, most fully showing physical and creative potentials of an individual.

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Author’s contacts: vv-vucheva@yandex. ru