Professional Competences in Personality Structure of Higher School Teacher


A.S. Parfenov, associate professor, Ph.D.
E.V. Markin, associate professor, Ph.D.
Orel state agrarian university, Orel

Key words: professional competence, self-regulation, pedagogics, psychology, motivation, educational training, higher school, personal qualities.

Professional competence is an essential component of personal professionalism. Proceeding from the study of modern approaches to professional competence in the works of Russian and foreign scientists, this concept is not defined precisely and is semantically used on a par with the concept of professionalism. Thus, from the standpoint of S.A. Druzhilov, professional competency is a multifactorial qualitative description of expert's personality, which includes a system of scientific and theoretical knowledge in the subject area and the methods of their use in specific situations, specialist’s value orientations, as well as integrative indicators of his culture. V. Baydenko defines this category, on the one hand, as acquisition of knowledge, skills and abilities needed to work in the specialization along with simultaneous autonomy and flexibility in solving of professional issues; development of cooperation with colleagues and professional inter-personal environment, on the other - as the willingness and the ability to act properly in accordance with the requirements in the case, to solve tasks independently in a methodically organized way and estimate personal performance.

In my opinion, these definitions are very similar in meaning to the judgments of some authors on professionalism. For example, Yu.N. Kulyutkin believes that professionalism is a system of knowledge and skills, which is manifested in the solution of professional tasks arising in practice. N.V. Kuz’mina also defines professionalism as knowledge and skills a specialist has to carry out his activity at the level of modern scientific and technological requirements, as the ability to see and define problems, apply the methodology and methods of special sciences to establish the diagnosis and prognosis in their decision, assess and choose the most appropriate methods of solution.

Some researchers note the integrity of the concept of professional competency. So, M. Rozenova identifies the following types of competency: subject as specialist’s good knowledge of the subject of his direct action (which is formed during educational vocational training); social and communicative as knowledge and skills related to the implementation of social and professional contacts, and personal-individual, presented as a set of knowledge and ideas of a person about himself in the context of professional role. N.V. Matyas expresses a close point of view, according to which professional competency is a skill level achieved by man while developing professionally and includes the components such as need and motivational, operational and technical and self-consciousness. A.K. Markova also highlights the types of professional competency - special, or activity-related, characterizing a high professional level of skills possession, possession of specialized knowledge and ability to apply them in practice; social, stipulated by the ways of collaboration and cooperation, methods of professional communication accepted in professional community; personal, that means knowing the ways of self-expression and self-development, the ways how to oppose professional deformation, the ability to plan professional activity, see the problem and make independent decisions; individual, treated as knowing the methods of self-regulation, readiness for professional advancement, nonsusceptibility to professional aging, available stable professional motivation.

Thus, considering professional competency as an indicator of how well a person has mastered professional knowledge, skills and abilities, professional culture and implements them in different situations of professional activity. However, considering professional competency as a personal characteristic of a specialist, professional competences are defined as indicators of professionalism of his activity. In our opinion, professional competences are certain criteria, which are used for internal and external evaluation of the quality of professional activity and are common to all experts in some form of professional activity, seeking the high level of professionalism. In other words, competency is a personal quality, and competences are something that a person should learn and show in his actions to be competent. It is from this standpoint that we consider competences as determinants of the activity level of individual's professionalism.

Thanks to theoretical generalization on the issue of individual's professional competency on the basis of the research of the process of control of psychological-educational competences of a higher school teacher three groups of key competences were identified in the structure of his professional activity:

1) individual-personality-related competences, displayed in the teacher’s cognitive activity in the implementation of the objectives of both scientific and educational activities, in accordance with individual-psychological characteristics, general intelligence level and his structural features. The indicators of this group of competences are possession of special knowledge; research activity in the development of scientific and pedagogical problems and innovations; development of skills of organization of the educational process (modeling, design); ability to self-development, desire to improve personal special and psychological-pedagogical skills;

2) subject-activity-related competences, including the emotional and volitional control of the subject (special and pedagogical) content of professional activity, being implemented in view of the level of claims and motives of the subject’s activity. The competences of this group are: maturity of skills of emotional self-regulation of professional conduct and activity; ability to manage cognitive activity and motivation of students, to recognize their needs and provide them with personalized assistance; to be flexible in reacting to changes in conditions of work; ability to develop a creative spirit in the research community and at classes; self-examination and evaluation of results of work;

3) sociocommunicative competences, characterizing skills and abilities of a subject in building relationships and interactions with others in the field of professionally specified environment. They include: general cultural skills and abilities of communication and interaction; ability to persuade, to understand others; focus on the formation of the means of scientific discipline, morality, ethics, world view, guidelines for professional personality development in subjects of scientific and educational process; maturity of personality positions in the area of ​​objectives and standards of activity; skills to establish effective communication with trainees and colleagues; disciplinary responsibility.

The informative aspects of the allocated professional competences were empirically studied as determinants of the activity level of professionalism. Expert assessment of competencies by representatives of university administration (40 persons) and teachers themselves has become the research procedure in the following areas: knowing the system of professional skills and abilities, designing the educational process, implementation of pedagogical interaction with trainees, working on professional personality development. According to the results of the survey groups of "successful" and "unsuccessful" teachers were allocated and competencies proposed for evaluation were divided into three groups – individual-personality-related, subject-activity-related and sociocommunicative.

The study showed that the degree of manifestation of professional competences in the group of "successful" teachers was significantly higher than of the "unsuccessful" ones.

Thanks to the construction of the correlation matrices for the common block of professional competences, and individually - for groups of individual-personality-related, subject-activity-related and sociocommunicative competences - the high integrity of their structure is revealed (in groups of "successful" and "unsuccessful" teachers significant correlations (p < 0.05) are 78.1 % and 63.9 % of the total respectively). And the groups of competences are closely correlated, and their structure is distinguished by stability, especially within the group of individual-personality-related competences.

Factor analysis in case of the four-factor solution helped to identify the parameters of teachers’ professional competency, forming the factor structure with high factor load and showed the differences in the structure of the determinants of professionalism depending on the professional success of a personality. Thus, the high level of professionalism of “successful” teachers was proved to be caused by their focus on professional personality development (expert assessment of competences on a 10-score scale on average by the factor - 8.07); high scientific- research activity and actions on the introduction of scientific research results into practice (7.98); orientation of pedagogical interaction on the formation of students' worldviews based on personal clear civil position (7.81), ability to affect others personally, to form their need for self-knowledge and self-development (7.90).

The reduced level of professional competency of "unsuccessful" teachers was proved to be stipulated by: low level of cognitive and professional personality activity (3,88); focusing in actions on the control of the educational process along with underdeveloped skills and abilities of creative, effective interaction with trainees (3,76); low level of scientific-research activity, insufficient use of modern scientific knowledge in the educational process (3,98); regulatory and behavioral incompetency due to the underdeveloped processes of voluntary self-regulation of professional conduct, especially in the analysis and adequate evaluation of results of personal actions as the educational-cognitive activity of students (3,94) .

In addition, the study has not shown any statistically significant relationships between competences and individually-personal qualities in the group of "successful" teachers, but revealed the correlations between competences and certain conditions allocated by teachers as important for the successful implementation of scientific-pedagogical activity (p < 0.05). Thus, the ability to solve various problems was proved to be associated with such competences as the ability to research and develop scientific problems and innovations, focus on the enhancement of psychological-pedagogical qualification, development of abilities and skills of organization of the learning process based on the unity of educational and scientific-research activities of trainees, use of results of scientific research in the educational process, ability to analyze and critically evaluate results of work. Creativity as a professionally important quality was proved to be related with a high level of specialized knowledge, general cultural abilities and skills of a teacher and his ability to respond flexibly to changes in the conditions of joint activity with students. The self-motivation skill conditioned the degree of manifestation of the research activity. The skill to establish pedagogically rational relationships with trainees is related to the system of internal standards of teacher's personality and the ability to accept themselves and others.

Correlations between professional competences and some individual-personality-related qualities were found in the group of "unsuccessful" teachers (p<0.05). For example, the degree of manifestation of research activity was stipulated by the general level of self-regulation and, in particular, the regulatory process of modeling. The ability to recognize trainees’ needs and provide them with personalized assistance associated with personal modeling ability, general level of self-regulation, regulatory flexibility and aggressiveness. The ability to provide information capacity of classes has a feedback with rigidity and spontaneity. Abilities and skills of emotional self-regulation of professional actions correlate inversely with spontaneity. The ability to see common in the incoming contradictory information determines the severity of competences, such as specialized knowledge, implementation of final and current monitoring, general cultural skills and abilities of a teacher. Creativity defines the skills to use the results of scientific research in the educational process. Research and development of scientific problems and innovation are associated with the ability to solve problems.

Hence, the correlation analysis has not revealed any relations of professional competences with individual-personality-related qualities in the group of "successful" teachers, but has found significant correlations (p <0.05) between some competences and conditions highlighted by teachers as important for the successful implementation of scientific-pedagogical activity. The ones that stood out among them were "ability to solve various problems" (5 connections), "creativity" (3), "self-motivation skill", “system of personal internal standards", "ability to accept oneself, others and their nature" (2 connections).

In the group of "unsuccessful" teachers some professional competences were interrelated with individual-personality-related qualities – “aggressiveness", "rigidity" and "spontaneity", the severity of which adversely affects the manifestation of such competences, as "skill to recognize the needs of students and provide them with personalized assistance”, "ability to ensure information capacity of classes", “abilities and skills of emotional self-regulation of professional conduct”. In addition, the study proved the conditionality of professional competences of “unsuccessful" teachers by the general level of self-regulation and particularly regulatory flexibility and modeling process.

All in all, proceeding from the study of professional competences of higher school teachers, high professionalism is conditioned by development of such competences as:

a) personal professional competences, representing personality's orientation to professional development;

b) research ones, conditioning active researching and actions on introducing the findings into practice and an educational process;

c) ideological ones, shown in the firm civic stand and focus of development of ideological and professional competence-moral attitudes of students;

d) sociobehavioral, expressed in the teacher's ability to render a personal influence on his students, form their needs for self-actualization and self-development, be subject to disciplinary action in professional relationship.

The level of professional competences of university teachers mainly depends on the structure of specific environment important for a personality, representing a part of the subsystem of professionally stipulated characteristics. Individual psychological characteristics are related to the intensity of competences only in case of underdeveloped behavioral and action self-control in a personality.


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