Academic physical education and sports curricula: professional standards prioritizing final state certification

PhD, Associate Professor M.Y. Shchennikova1
PhD, Associate Professor E.Y. Mikhaylov1
T.M. Ovsyuk1
1Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health, St. Petersburg

Keywords: final state certification, state examination, final qualification work, professional standard, job responsibilities.

Background. Progress of the National Qualification System requires the traditional academic progress rating system being updated to comply with the new professional education and the independent expert qualification standards. The international non-commercial World Skills (‘Young Professionals’) movement offered a demo version of final state certification procedure for the secondary vocational education system to secure an independent education quality assessment as required by the modern missions of the national vocational educational system and labor market demands, with no additional procedures required [1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

Objective of the study was to offer the new academic physical education and sport education quality rating test and certification model applicable in the final state certification procedure.

Methods and structure of the study. The physical education and sport education quality tests and certifications are considered in the following two interrelated aspects: their compliance with the competency regulation provisions of the valid Federal State Higher Education Standards; and their meeting labor market demand for the highly competent and skillful personnel, with the demand formalized by the valid professional education standards.

Results and discussion, An analysis of the final state certification procedure as reported by the formal education plans of 1950-1980 shows the procedure being limited by 2 state examinations in physiology and vocational sport specific theory and practice, with certifications of ‘Sport Trainer/ Instructor’, ‘Physical Education Theory and Practice’ and ‘Physical Education/ Physical Education and Sport Teacher’. The first-generation (1994-2000) Federal State Higher Education Standards allowed the universities to running their final state certification either in specific disciplines or on an interdisciplinary basis. The second-generation (2000-2010) Federal State Higher Education Standards provided for interdisciplinary final state certification for the bachelor and special course graduates, with the exams designed to ‘rate the graduates’ knowledgebase and the ability to effectively use the competences in different disciplines (medicine, biology, psychology, pedagogy, humanities, sociology, economics etc.) for practical purposes’. The latest version of the Federal State Higher Education Standards implemented in 2010 provides that a state examination may be included in the final state certification procedure at discretion of the academic education establishment. Our analysis of the 2017 bachelor training curricula at 14 national universities showed all of them setting the final state certification procedures including the state examinations and defenses of the graduate qualification theses.

The competency assessment toolkits for the state examinations – compliant to the Federal State Higher Education Standards-3+++ vocation-specific requirements – should be formed based on the content analysis of the education curriculum and its compliance to the vocational training standards This approach in application to the ‘Vocational Sport Training’ and ‘Physical education and sport Service Management’ courses under 49.03.01 Physical Education discipline calls for the standards- and discipline-specific final state certification. Thus the ‘Vocational Sport Training’ curricula are regulated by the following professional standards: 05.003 Trainer; 01.003 Children/ Adult Advanced Education System Teacher; 05.010 Doping Control Specialist; and 05.007 Sport Referee. The ‘Physical education and sport Service Management’ curriculum is regulated by the following professional standards: 05.005 Instructor/ Methodologist; 05.008 Physical education and sport Institution Manager; and 05.010 Doping Control Specialist.

Knowing that the all-round education quality assessment system shall rate both the specific professional competences and the common/ universal ones in every discipline, we offered a new education quality assessment model to: (1) Rate the universal competences by a set of standard criteria including: ‘systemic and critical thinking’; ‘project design and implementation competences’; ‘communication competences’ etc; (2) Rate the vocation-specific competences by the graduation theses; (3) Specify the range of competences ratable by the state examinations; 4) Rate the vocational competences classified by the knowledge fields including, e.g. physical education sociology; physical education pedagogy; physical education history and culture with an intercultural cooperation components etc.; and (5) Offer a sample examination ticket.

In the ‘Physical education and sport Service Management’ curriculum, the state examinations are recommended using a set of multiphase multidisciplinary criteria, with the examinations classified into: the minimal competence rating choice tests; basic competence rating complex responses requiring tests; and the high competence rating tests with mini-case studies and customizable interviews [3].

A practical global coaching service analysis with a special emphasis on the coaches’ qualifications showed the coaching competences being based on sound professional, interpersonal communication skills and intrapersonal knowledge [9, 10, 11].

Studies at Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health on the stage order for practical physical education and sport research projects in the ‘Vocational physical education and sport education service quality tests in compliance with the National Qualification System’ showed that the minimal competence tests (dominated by the choice, comparison and ranking tests) failed to find significant differences between the academic progress groups – and this is the reason why such testing system is not recommended for application in the final state certification procedure.

The new competence rating toolkit for application in the physical education and sport bachelor final state certification procedure offers the following examination tickets: (1) Theoretical interdisciplinary knowledge probing question(s) to rate the general vocational competences; and (2) Practical interdisciplinary knowledge probing task/ mini-case/ situational problem etc. to rate the knowledge application/ professional service abilities by the sets of the general/ special vocational competence rating criteria versus the relevant professional service standards.

Individual research abilities under the general vocational competences (research section in every Federal State Higher Education Standards for 49.00.00 physical education and sport discipline) are rated by a graduate qualification thesis. Sample topics of the graduate qualification theses under 49.03.01 physical education discipline were customized to the professional standards and sport disciplines, physical education and sport services, target customer groups and corporate entities. Thus the ‘Vocational Sport Training’ curricula to meet requirements of the valid Trainer Standard may include the following topics for the graduate qualification theses: selections to the sport excellence groups and teams; special individual physical progress focused trainings; competitive progress securing trainings in the sport excellence stage; training process design in the sport excellence stage; and the training service efficiency rating at the sport excellence stage. The Physical education and sport Service Management’ curricula to meet requirements of the valid Instructor/ Methodologist Standard may include the following topics for the graduate qualification theses: case study of an active students’/ trainees’ recreation project; case study of a sport group design in compliance with requirements of the Physical education and sport Corporate Service Manager Standard; case study of a physical education and sport asset management on a communal/ corporate level (at work, place of residence, at an education establishment etc.); physical education and sport HR service management on a communal/ corporate level (at work, place of residence, at an education establishment etc.).

Conclusion. The authors recommend that the professional standards prioritizing final state certification system in the academic physical education and sport should include state examinations and graduate qualification theses. The state examinations shall offer theoretical questions and practical tests to evaluate the professional competences and skills (functions) as required by the valid Federal State Higher Education Standards. Topics of the final graduate qualification theses will cover the job responsibilities as provided by the relevant job-specific professional standards. Universal competences of the graduates shall be rated by the theoretical state examinations and final graduate qualification theses.

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Corresponding author: mshchennikova@mail.ru

Abstract

The article analyzes the issues of the academic physical education and sport quality rating tests and certifications in the context of the independent qualification system implementation process. The final state certification system is being formed based on the national education traditions, modern technologies and the best international experiences to meet requirements of the valid Federal State Higher Education Standards and job-specific professional standards.

The authors recommend that the professional standards prioritizing final state certification system in the academic physical education and sports should include state examinations and graduate qualification theses. The state examinations shall offer theoretical questions and practical tests to evaluate the professional competences and skills (functions) as required by the valid Federal State Higher Education Standards. Topics of the final graduate qualification theses will cover the job responsibilities as provided by the relevant job-specific professional standards. Universal competences of the graduates shall be rated by the theoretical state examinations and final graduate qualification theses.