PhD, Associate Professor M.Yu. Zolotova1
PhD, Associate Professor O.A. Pogodina1
PhD, Associate Professor T.Yu. Maskaeva2
PhD, Associate Professor O.B. Vasilyeva1
1State University of Humanities and Social Studies, Moscow Region
2Russian University of Transport (MIIT), Moscow
Keywords: elective disciplines, competences, education curriculum, socializing, physical fitness.
Background. The national educational system reforms are geared to both develop the student’s personality and build up the social competences to meet the market needs. The bachelor training curricula include elective courses and disciplines to individualize the educational process and prioritize the academic progress as required by the students’ preferences and gifts. This means that the elective disciplines facilitate the individual training programs catering for interests, abilities and professional predispositions. Elective disciplines are believed to highly facilitate the individual academic goals being attained within the competences required by the new academic education standards .
Objective of the study was to analyze benefits of the elective physical education and sport disciplines in bachelor trainings.
Methods and structure of the study. The Physical Education Department of State University of Humanities and Social Studies (Kolomna) offers elective physical education and sport service to its students since the first academic year. However, the available academic physical education and sport venues and facilities may host only a few elective team sport groups (basketball, volleyball), track and field sports and health fitness groups, with every student encouraged to opt for one of these elective physical education and sport service groups. Such individualized elective physical education and sport service format is designed to ideally facilitate the sportizated physical education, develop healthy lifestyles and physical education values in students and encourage their natural need for habitual physical education and sport practices. In real practice, however, the physical education and sport options are not diverse enough at this juncture since the individual choice is limited to a degree.
In the elective disciplines implementation project, we run an educational experiment to analyze benefits of the elective physical education and sport services and social competences they help cultivate. We sampled the 1-3-year Physical Education Department students trained in 2012-15 and split them up into Experimental Group (EG, n=130) that was offered elective Team Sports and Health Fitness services – and Reference Group (RG, n=150) that was trained traditionally. Progress in the competency building was rated based on the valid Progress Test System including the relevant test procedures, materials and methods. The pre-experimental physical fitness tests of the EG and RG as of the startup of the 2012-13 academic year found insignificant differences in the prior physical fitness of both groups.
The efforts to form the social and cultural competences should make an emphasis on the physical education and sport tools prioritizing the students’ communal needs. Thus the Federal State Higher Education Standards require that students should master the physical education methods and tools needed to facilitate their social and professional progress (OK-8). The general cultural competency not only implies the individual spiritual and material culture, but also knowledge and basic skills in a healthy lifestyle and the relevant healthy lifestyle values .
We have run a study of the elective physical education and sport service on a sample of the 1-2-year students of Russian University of Transport, Economics and Finance Institute (Moscow) and State University of Humanities and Social Studies (Kolomna).
Results and discussion. A questionnaire survey found the following key motivations for the elective physical education and sport service: body shaping and perfection agenda (dominated in the female group) plus health improvement (68%); build up knowledge and skills in the favorite physical education and sport discipline (15%); make progress in physical qualities and physical fitness (18%); and accumulate academic credits (3%). It should be mentioned that about 70% of the sample emphasized the need for a methodical background in the preferred elective physical education and sport discipline. As for the physical education and sport interests and preferences found by the survey, the male subgroup preferred team sports (66%) followed by the fitness (16%) and traditional body conditioning groups (16%). And the female subgroup preferred the elective fitness groups (43%) followed by the team sports (27%). It should be noted that 21% of the female subgroup opted for both of these disciplines.
Furthermore, having analyzed the survey data, we found most of the students being uncertain of their own actual health and physical fitness levels. This may be explained by their family indifference and valeological incompetence in the healthy lifestyle and physical fitness issues on the one hand; and by the traditional national beliefs that regular physical education and sport practices are healthy and necessary only for children, youth and professional athletes, on the other hand. As a result, even the senior schoolchildren are often reluctant to physical education and sport service and virtually ignorant in the healthy lifestyle issues. This is the reason why the first-year students are normally unmotivated for the health physical education and sport service, underestimate health values and perceive the academic physical education and sport in a utilitarian manner or only as a health improving system that may be neglected [4, p. 110]. In view of the educational activity being intensified in this period with the academic physical inactivity further aggravated by the unhealthy national leisure time traditions and overeating [4, p. 111], the student population is normally tested with a progressive physical inactivity and poor physical development, efficiency and fitness rates.
We believe that the survey data and analyses urge the research community to find new physical education and sport service methods, models and tools to encourage habitual physical activity. Modern elective physical education and sport service disciplines with individualized training models may be considered among the most promising solutions for the above problems.
The pre- versus post-experimental physical fitness tests of the EG and RG found meaningful progress of the team sports groups in the coordination and speed strength qualities as verified by the 3x10m shuttle run, standing long jump and 30s rope jump tests. The male EG subgroup made progress in the shuttle run and standing long jump tests of 8.5% on average versus 4.3% in the RG. The female EG subgroup made progress in the rope jump test of 9.6% versus 4.8% in the RG. The RG and EG were also tested with progress in the flexibility, endurance and strength tests albeit the intergroup differences were insignificant. This finding may be explained by the natural specifics of the team sports that make a special emphasis on the movement coordination qualities.
Conclusion. We found that the students' progress in the elective-disciplines-driven physical education and sport facilitates their professional and social skills building process and contributes to the personal progress agendas in the physical and personality development domains due to their natural motivations and determinations for the physical education and sport practices. The physical education and sport knowledge and skills were found to facilitate physical progress on a gender- and age-specific basis in the context of the individual health agendas, with the habitual physical practices being later on designed and managed on a most efficient individual basis to effectively cultivate due social competences and adaptability.
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- Pogodina O.A., Vasilyeva O.B., Zolotova M.Yu., Andrianova N.V. Physical education in Russia: cultural assessment of its past and present. Pedagogicheskoe obrazovanie i nauka. 2018. No. 1. pp. 108-112.
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The national educational system reforms are geared to both develop the student’s personality and build up the social competences to meet the market needs. The bachelor training curricula include elective courses and disciplines to individualize the education process and prioritize the academic studies as required by the students’ preferences and gifts. This means that the elective disciplines facilitate the individual training programs catering for the interests, abilities and professional predispositions. Objective of the study was to analyze benefits of the elective physical education and sport disciplines in bachelor trainings. We sampled the 1-3-year students split up into Experimental Group – that was offered elective disciplines in the academic physical education and sport service – and Reference Group (RG) that was trained traditionally. The experiment proved benefits of the elective disciplines as verified by the EG meaningful progress in the physical fitness and physical development test rates versus RG. We believe that the students' progress in the elective-disciplines-driven physical education and sport facilitates their professional and social skills building process and contributes to the personal progress agendas in the physical and personality development domains. The EG was tested with meaningful progress in the physical fitness domain as a result of the experiment.