Expert Training in the Field of Physical Culture and Sport in View of Foreign Experience



T.Yu. Boykova, associate professor, Ph.D.
National State University of Physical Culture, Sport and Health named after P.F. Lesgaft, St. Petersburg
V.A. Dolgopolov, associate professor, Ph.D.
St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University, St. Petersburg

Key words: credit-modular system, credit unit, competence, profile, distance learning.

The relevance is determined by the current state of professional education in the field of physical culture and sport, as well as by the modernization processes in higher vocational education of our country, which have now moved from the stage of drafting regulations to the stage of practical implementation of the competency-building approach and improvement of educational programs.

The purpose of the research was to analyze the European educational systems and evaluate adaptation to the conditions of the educational system in Russia.

Research methods: logical analysis and synthesis, comparison and opposition.

Results and discussion. Owing to the integration of our country into global processes, the accession of Russia to the WTO and due to being on the new stage of social development, the demands to training of specialists of higher vocational education have been raised. Political and economic rapprochement of the countries all over the world predetermined and necessitated creating a common education space, which resulted in the signing by Russia of the Bologna Declaration. In turn, this led to reorganization of the Russian educational system at all levels.

Reforms of higher education in Russia resulted in the formation of a two-tier system of higher education (Bachelor's program and Master's program) and the implementation of a credit-modular system basing on the flexible structure of the competency building educational standards of the third generation.

In the context of the Bologna process, the integration of Russian higher education implies the use of a credit system for estimation of students' work, akin to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), which is broadly used in most European countries (in Greece and Sweden - 80%, Finland and Poland – 81,5%, Austria – 84%, Romania – 87%, Norway – 90%, Ireland and Denmark – 93%) [3, p. 10].

With its pragmatic goal to achieve comparability of learning outcomes, the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) implies a high activity of students during their studies who act not only as subjects of education but also as direct participants influencing the educational system. In the course of studies, each student is to acquire credits that are used for measuring student workload. The European educational system implies wide range of project activities - development and defense of individual and group projects on relevant themes. Among other advantages of this system are: fewer simultaneously-studied disciplines, individualized educational process, the focus on practice, as well as unlocking of students' creativity. Today the given system contributes to training of more active, competent and in-demand specialists.

The list of higher education institutions involved in the experiment on using credits (credit units) in the educational process was approved by the Order of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation of July 29, 2005, № 215 "On the innovative activity on adoption of the credit system". National State University of Physical Culture, Sport and Health named after P.F. Lesgaft was among the participant universities. As a result of the experiment, some alternative approaches to using the ministerial methodology of the credit system, that combines the Russian educational standards with the ECTS standards, were offered and the sample educational programs adapted to the European system, methodological guidelines for university administrators and a number of other regulations were designed [4, p. 231].

In addition to the credit system, the Bologna system also implies the use of a modular approach in the educational process. In the European educational system several disciplines which are similar in subject matter, are combined within one module, irrespective of their general scientific status. For instance, in Germany a module is understood as one of the aspects of development of the educational space, a separate part of the educational program, but not of the course. The essential feature of the modular system is its orientation on students' practice, including research. Owing to the use of modules a student can move from one course to another, from one level to another fast and effectively, bringing conceptual knowledge and practical skills together. That is why, when it comes to Master's course, the modular organization of the educational process should be compatible with specific Master's program (Master's thesis subject).

Within the European space of higher education, a set of courses (disciplines) is what is referred to as a module. A module gives a holistic image of a certain subject matter and is used to develop particular competences which a student is to demonstrate upon completion of the given module. A module is defined not by its subject, but by the learning outcome achieved by a student. The number of modules within a semester depends on the results that a student is to achieve by the end of a semester.

In the Russian higher education system a module is a complete unit of educational program meant to form one or several competences and accompanied by monitoring of graduates' skills and knowledge [4, p. 211]. Formation of educational modules implies their correlation with the specialization, i.e. with the orientation of the main educational program on a particular kind of professional activity.

In terms of the credit-modular system, each module is to constitute a complete section of the educational program, and as a result of its assimilation a student acquires a certain set of competences, i.e. abilities to solve professional tasks under specified conditions.

The educational program can be defined as a set complex of educational modules approved for conferment of a degree in a particular area, resulting in developed competences being a learning outcome. 

The competences represented by the Federal State Education Standards of higher vocational education in the specialization "Physical education" are of interdisciplinary nature. This is determined by the specificity of the activity, which within practical activities involve substantiating the decisions made from the perspectives of biomedical and psycho-pedagogical sciences. The actions of a specialist in the sphere of physical culture and sport should comply with the functioning laws of the human body and be guided by the foundations of didactics and theory of physical culture, and be economically feasible [5].

In the present context of functioning of the higher education system in our country, along with the formation of the competence of a specialist taking a bachelor’s or a master’s course in "Physical education", it is very important to ensure his/her professional mobility via using of the modern information technologies. So, distance learning, which is quite popular in the European educational system, becomes especially important. Distance learning has become very wide spread for the last 30 years. In Sweden, for instance, distance learning accounts for 70%, in Great Britain - more than 50% of Master's programs are realized using distance learning methods.

The potential consumers of the distance learning services in the sphere of physical culture and sport can be athletes and coaches who are always short of time due to frequent leaves for competitions and training sessions, extra-mural students who cannot attend examinations, foreign students, teachers, managers willing to raise their skill level, people with disabilities.

Conclusions. Modernization of the educational process of Russian higher education has similar trends and has the same difficulties as in education in European countries.

Transition to multi-level higher vocational education is an important element of reforming in the sphere of higher education and meets the needs of the labor market.

The introduction of the credit-modular system of assessing students' work will ensure the new organization of the higher education process - it's not just adaptation of our estimates in the world educational space. This is a kind of change in the approach to education. The transition to the credit-modular system involves the new organization of students' work, when the acquired credits will show how systematically and intensively the student worked while studying, rather than how well he passed an examination.

Within the framework of the credit-modular system a student can choose various modules in addition to compulsory subjects, i.e. form an individual curriculum. Thus, a student has his own way of studies in accordance with his needs.

Global trends, prevailing in the field of education, are characterized by the more open and public nature, democratization and intensification of the process of education and suggest the export and import of educational services, adequate to the modern information society.


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