Role of academic physical education in higher education system

Dr.Hab., Professor G.N. Ponomarev1
Ya.N. Kuvanov2
D.B. Selyukin2
1Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St. Petersburg
2St. Petersburg Mining University, St. Petersburg

Keywords: applied physical education, academic sports, physical education and sports disciplines/ modules, physical education department, sport club.

Background. The present situation of the academic physical education and sport service and its progress challenges and prospects are addressed in the academic policies, standards and practices with the physical education and sport service always viewed as the core constituent of the vocational training process and the necessary discipline to prevent diseases, improve health, build and keep up high working capacity since the academic study period.

The above policies and standards, however, are not always effective, as demonstrated by the poor academic health statistics for the last few years, with many students reportedly diagnosed with health disorders and qualified with special and preparatory health groups [1]. What can be done to decisively improve the academic health situation? Theoretically, the situation may be improved, on the one hand, by a reasonable versatility of the academic physical education and sport service, to offer a wider range of optional services; and on the other hand, the academic physical education departments and sport clubs need to come up with consistent, effective and proactive health policies [2].

It should be mentioned that the newly implemented Federal Higher Education Standards (FHES 3+/ 3++) are not always as effective as was expected by the developers since the physical education and sport service/ health situation reported by most of the national universities stays largely the same, with both the students and faculty demonstrating indifference, lack of initiative and poor performance. Moreover, the students often develop negativism to the physical education and sports policies and practices – despite the fact that their physical education and sports-facilitated physical progress forms a basis for their healthy life, wellbeing, successful career and family.

Objective of the study was to analyze the physical education and sport service development trends and promises in the national academic system.

Results and discussion. The national academic physical education and sport service is proposed to be redesigned to meet its progress challenges in the following key domains. First, the physical education and sport service modular design projects shall be effectively implemented, with Module 1 Bachelor physical education and sports service (as required by FHES 3+/ 3++) ) complementing the vocational competency building process to form sustainable motivations for habitual physical trainings and sports. For success of the initiatives, the academic physical education and sports faculties shall meet the standards and requirements applied to other faculty members in every aspect including personnel attestation, academic credentials, publishing activity and other research and education performance rates.

Second, the physical education and sports disciplines (modules) shall assign at least 328 academic hours for obligatory trainings albeit these hours shall be beyond the bachelor training curricula and non-convertible into the test points. The obligatory academic hours may be assigned for the optional self-reliant trainings on an off-class basis. Practical methods to implement the modules shall be found by every faculty, since the valid FHES give a reasonable freedom for the training service formats (some universities have even abused this freedom to cut down the physical education hours to the permissible minimum).

Despite the progress challenges currently faced by the academic physical education and sports service, its benefits may not be questioned since it is the only academic discipline responsible for the students’ physical fitness for professional career. Elective physical education and sports disciplines/ modules shall give due priority to the practical application trainings for success of the future professional service [5], with benefits of every discipline in the academic curricula determined by its practical contribution to the professional fitness of the future specialist.

Success of any professional career depends on how the specialist is fit in the physical, spiritual, intellectual and mental domains. Elective disciplines/ modules of the academic physical education and sport service shall facilitate the individual biological adaptation process by reasonably designed physical activity customizable to the climatic and industrial environments. The future specialists in a wide range of vocational services shall be equipped with good physical education and sports competences to be fully fit for success in their professional careers.

The modern academic physical education and sport service shall secure good physical activity to meet requirements to the future social role and professional service and, hence, offer a wide range of optional training formats (electable in every academic year) with an emphasis on their health benefits, and with the physical trainings being duly harmonized with the studies and physical workloads and well designed and managed [4].

The national research community takes efforts to find the most beneficial academic physical education and sport service models, with a special emphasis made on the range of optional and obligatory physical education and sport services and application IT technologies to improve the service quality. The national physical education and sports departments and sport clubs acknowledge the need for the academic physical education and sport service range being expanded with the service quality being radically improved. A special priority is given to the emotional aspects of the trainings and the fast body-building/ shaping benefits of the customizable physical education and sports sessions. It is rather important to offer a wide range of popular individualized physical training models to every student with a variety body shaping, aerobics, rhythmic plastics and other elements to facilitate fast progress in the individual physical fitness, body shaping, weight control and other aspects. The national academic system lately tends to offer a broader range of the optional physical education and sport services customizable to the interests and needs of the students, with the standard services more or less efficiently complemented by the relatively new special sport disciplines including snooker/ billiards, darts, curling, skateboard, powerlifting, arm wrestling, paintball, squash, softball, skittles, golf etc. practices.

It should be underlined, however, that the problems of the national physical education and sport service at this juncture cannot be fully solved by the standard service toolkit and, therefore, the regular curricula need to be complemented by advanced/ off-class physical education and sport services provided by the academic sport clubs and physical training/ health centers (including the municipal ones), with self-training formats encouraged by all means. The off-class/ advanced physical education and sports sessions shall be considered an integral component of the academic education system due to their great benefits for the quality of the academic education process, leisure-time activity and the creative personality development, self-assertion and vocational progress agendas.

One of the core elements of the accessible physical education and sport service within the academic educational system is the competitions in traditional and national/ folk sports including different relay races, marathons, health sport events (sport festivals, trekking tours); team sports (beach sports, modern urban sports etc.). Lately the universities have reported growth in different academic competitions and sport events catering for the individual and communal physical progress/ sport needs and interests, with the events customized to the actual physical fitness levels of the student groups, including the groups with serious health limitations.

The academic physical education and sports and health service improvement initiatives shall be secured by good supplies of sport equipment, accessories and modern sport infrastructure including stadiums, indoor sport venues, open sport grounds and facilities, and new sport technologies – to expand the physical education and sport service range and appeal for the student community, and to encourage the students’ interest in and motivations for the self-reliant physical education and sports and health practices.

The efforts to motivate students for the academic physical education and sports and healthy lifestyle shall be supported by target research projects by the academic physical education and sports departments to analyze benefits of the programs and academic progress in the disciplines under different academic education curricula. A high priority shall be given to the research projects of special importance for the professional progress including the physicality studies and tests; studies of the effects of categorized physical activity on the individual mental and physical qualities; studies of the physical education and sport service effects on the personality socializing processes; new physical education and sports tools/ technologies design and test projects etc. [3].

Conclusion. Services of the academic physical education and sport system, sport clubs and physical training/ health service centers shall be redesigned to encourage mass sports, physical training/ health practices and healthy lifestyles in the student communities. Every student group shall be offered a wide range of physical education and sport services customizable to the group needs, with a special attention to the students with health disorders or otherwise physically unfit for good competitive accomplishments. Elective disciplines/ modules shall secure good physical progress for every student, with a special priority to the practical application aspects and professional benefits of the training process.

References

  1. D'yakova E.Yu., Zakharova A.N. Kriterii otsenki funktsionalnogo sostoyaniya studentov lechebnoy fizicheskoy kultury [Evaluation criteria of functional status of students of groups of exercise therapy]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2013, no. 7, pp. 25-29.
  2. Ponomarev G.N. Podgotovka spetsialistov fizicheskoy kultury: integratsiya obrazovaniya i sportivnoy nauki [Physical education expert training: integration of education and sport science]. Kultura fizicheskaya i zdorovye, 2011, no. 6 (36), pp. 11-14.
  3. Ponomarev G.N. Razvitie variativnoy podgotovki spetsialistov po fizicheskoy kulture v sovremennykh sotsiokulturnykh usloviyakh [Development of variable training of physical education specialists in modern socio-cultural environment]. Doct. diss. abstract (Hab.). St. Petersburg: Herzen RSPU publ., 2003, 35 p.
  4. Mokeev G.I., Mokeeva E.G., Rudenko G.V. Naskolko sovershenna sovremennaya sistema organizatsii fizicheskogo vospitaniya v vuzakh? [How perfect is modern system of organization of academic physical education?]. Uchenye zapiski universiteta im. P.F. Lesgafta,2019, no.  2., pp. 143-148.
  5. Khokhlov S.V., Rudenko G.V. Nepreryvnaya professionalno-prikladnaya podgotovka - magistralny put sokhraneniya i ukrepleniya zdorovya rabotnikov gornoy promyshlennosti [Continuous Applied Professional Training as Main Way of Protection and Promotion of Health of Miners]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2014, no. 2, pp.  38- 40.

Corresponding author: g-ponomarev@inbox.ru

Abstract

The article analyzes the academic physical education and sports progress trends in the national higher education system, with its growing attention to the healthy lifestyle and vocational trainings of university students. The national academic physical education and sport service is proposed to be redesigned to meet its progress challenges in the following key domains. First, the physical education and sport service modular design projects shall be effectively implemented, with Module 1 Bachelor physical education and sports service (as required by FHES 3+/ 3++) complementing the vocational competency building process to form sustainable motivations for habitual physical trainings and sports. For success of the initiatives, the academic physical education and sports faculties shall meet the standards and requirements applied to the other faculty members in every aspect including personnel attestation, academic credentials, publishing activity and other research and education performance rates. Second, the physical education and sports disciplines/ modules will assign at least 328 academic hours for obligatory trainings albeit these hours will be beyond the bachelor training curricula and non-convertible into the test points. The obligatory academic hours may be assigned for the self-reliant trainings on an off-class basis. Despite the progress challenges currently faced by the academic physical education and sports service, its benefits may not be questioned since it is the only academic discipline responsible for the students’ physical fitness for professional career.