The History of the Faculty of Physical Culture of Mordovian State Pedagogical Institute


V.V. Miroshkin, associate professor, Ph.D.
A.V. Kokurin, associate professor, Ph.D., dean of the faculty of physical culture
M.E. Evsev'ev Mordovian State Pedagogical Institute, Saransk

Key words: history, faculty of physical culture, pedagogical institute, sports achievements.

Abstract. The Faculty of Physical Culture at M.E. Evsev'ev Mordovian State Pedagogical Institute (MordSPI) was established in 1971, when the department of physical education was launched within the Faculty of Natural Sciences. Having advanced in popularity among young people, the department was reorganized as a Faculty in 1973. From 1973 to 2007, it was headed by V.N. Zhuravlyov, S.P. Spiridonov, V.M. Tumantsev, V.S. Orekhov, V.S. Nikolaev, T.G. Timoshina, M.E. Lobureva. During this period the faculty was undergoing active development, expanding its material base, strengthening its academic staff, enhancing its educational process and personnel management system. In 2008, a new chapter began in the Faculty’s history – it was transformed into the major innovative teaching, scientific, and methodological subdivision of the university. Being the only scientific and methodological center in the Mordovian Republic for training of physical education teachers and coaches in various sports and having trained over 4.5 thousand specialists to date, the Faculty of Physical Culture at MordSPI continues to significantly contribute to the training of highly qualified teachers and coaches in physical education, sport and life safety. Presently, more than 800 students from regions of Mordovia, other regions of Russia and neighbouring countries are being trained in specializations such as “Physical Culture”, “Physical Culture. Life Safety”, “Physical Culture and Sport”, “Adaptive Physical Culture”, “Tourism”. Much attention is being paid to practical training and innovations that form and develop practical skills of future physical education teachers and coaches; as well as to the combination of the educational process and research activity. Thanks to many years of educational and research activity at the Faculty of Physical Culture and the accumulated experience of the teaching staff we can be optimistic about further development and transformation in the future.

 Relevance. In 1971, the Department of Physical Education was created by the order of the Council of Ministers of the Mordovian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of M.E. Evsev'ev Mordovian State Pedagogical Institute. In those years, the region was facing an acute shortage of teachers and sports coaching staff, so even the first intake of students, conducted under the guidance of head of the Department of Physical Education, Associate Professor E.M. Iutin totaled 50 persons. Training of scientists and teachers in the field of physical culture and sport that took place at the university, needed restructuring: in 1972 the Department of Sports and Gymnastics was established, headed by senior lecturer M.S. Groza. Its teaching core was composed of the graduates of Penza Institute of Physical Culture and Smolensk Institute of Physical Culture: senior lecturers A.V. Mel’nikov, G.A. Kuftina, and teaching assistants V.A. Bukarev, V.I. Vasyun’kov, V.B. Fokin.

In 1973, the Department of Physical Culture, already popular among young people, obtained the Faculty status. Its first dean was associate professor in zoology V.N. Zhuravlyov, a person of great personal responsibility, outstanding professional and extremely hard-working.

In order to enhance the educational and training process and improve training of students, the Department of Sports and Gymnastics was reorganized and transformed into the base for the Department of Sports Disciplines and the Department of Theoretical Foundations of Physical Education. Among the teaching staff of the new structural subdivisions were graduates of N.K. Krupskaya Moscow Region Regional Pedagogical Institute: A.P. Gorov, A.I. Radionov, V.N. Shaulin, E. Ivanova, E.B. Kholopova. N.A.Pavlov, V.S. Nikolaev, N. K. Lubich et al worked as assistants. Along with the growing teaching staff the material and technical base of the faculty was expanding: a new sports complex with lecture halls and 3 gymnasiums (for sports games, gymnastics and weight-lifting) was put into service, the learning and sports camp “Olympus” was planned to be built in El’nikovskiy District, and later the stadium of the Pedagogical University was built. In 1974, owing to the high demand for specialists in physical culture and sport and an increase in the faculty’s personnel and material and technical capabilities the full-time student intake on the faculty was increased up to 75 people and the distance education program was opened with its 55 students in the first year. These results were achieved in many aspects due to the coordinated work of the teaching staff headed by the dean S.P. Spiridonov.

In 1976, V.M. Tumantsev became the head of the Faculty. The third Department, that of Human and Animal Anatomy and Physiology, was established during this time, and laid the foundation for teaching natural sciences to future physical education teachers. Professor V.V. Boriskin, a notable physiologist and a talented educator and organizer, became the head of the new department.

A year later, the department was headed by V.S. Orekhov, who was in turn replaced as Dean by V.S. Nikolaev in 1980. This period was marked by an active establishment of physical culture and sports traditions, growth of creative potential of the teaching staff, expansion of opportunities in training of physical education teachers and highly skilled athletes.

In 1986, pursuant to the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR “Regarding the expansion of training of teachers of basic military training and physical education”, a military training department headed by Colonel Yu.P. Koshkin was established as a part of the Faculty.

Since 1989, the Faculty began training specialists not only in the area of physical culture, but also in life safety. New dean T.G. Timoshina was responsible for the organization of this process.

Associate professor of the Department of Sports Disciplines M.E. Lobureva has been the head of the faculty for 14 years – from 1993 to 2007. She has made a great contribution to the development of its material and technical base and the system of teachers’ training.

An intensive search of new forms of organization of the educational and training process resulted in the establishment of the tourist club “Iskateli” (Engl. “Seekers”) in 2006 that brought together students of special secondary schools and universities, as well as secondary schoolchildren of the town of Saransk. Among its priority areas of work were training of tourism staff including referees of completions and events in the tourist area, organization of thematic seminars, round tables, training camps, weekend hikes, cross-hikes, themed, water-based, and instructional outings, tourist gatherings with university students, teachers and schoolchildren of the Republic, holding and judging at regional competitions in various types of tourism.

In 2008, A.V. Kokurin, Ph.D. headed the Faculty of Physical Culture. It was a new chapter in the history of the Faculty – it became a large innovative educational, scientific and methodological subdivision of the institute [1]. While remaining the only scientific and methodological center in the Mordovian Republic that specializes in physical education teachers’ training and having trained over 4.5 thousand specialists, the Faculty of Physical Culture of MordSPI continues to make a significant contribution to the training of highly skilled teachers of physical culture, sport and life safety. Presently, more than 800 students from regions of Mordovia, other regions of Russia, and neighbouring countries are mastering the basics and specifics of the teacher’s profession. They are being trained in the specializations such as “Physical Culture”, “Physical Culture. Life Safety”, “Physical Culture and Sport”, “Adaptive Physical Culture”, “Tourism”. Along with deep theoretical knowledge and a wide range of methodological skills, students of the Faculty of Physical Culture acquire overall physical fitness and proper sports qualification in accordance with the present standards.

The quality of the educational process is provided by the faculty of departments of sports disciplines and life safety; theory and methodology of physical culture and sport; physical education. The Faculty is comprised of 3 Doctors of Science and 20 PhD’s, Higher achievers in Physical Education of the Russian Federation, Honored workers of Public Education, Honored workers of Higher Professional Education of the Mordovian Republic, as well as talented coaches and specialists in the area. A special attention is given to innovations that shape and develop practical skills of future physical education teachers and coaches [2]. Field studies are held at general education institutions of the republic in order to enhance the practical training of the students. Those with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees have an opportunity to substantially expand their professional skills by studying 9 additional educational courses.

The Faculty has at its disposal a stadium, a health and fitness camp “Olympus”, a ski base and an academic building with gyms equipped according to modern standards for the successful training and professional growth of athletes. During the past 4 years only, 4 new gyms were built (2 weight rooms, 1 for boxing, and 1 fitness room), and 3 games and 1 gymnastics halls were completely reconstructed.

Mass sports work occupies a special place in the training system. 18 sports sections are operating as part of the sports club. Traditional events held by the institute sports club and the Department of Physical Culture are Institute championships in basketball, volleyball, football, athletics, cross country skiing, armwrestling, darts, table tennis, checkers, and chess; as well as Teacher’s Day Run; Health Days; Spartakiade sports event for students and teachers. Teachers and students take an active part in annual national competitions: “The Nation Cross”, “Russian Ski Track”, “Azimuth”, etc.

Research activities at the Faculty of Physical Culture are carried out mainly in the area of promoting healthy lifestyle among children and teenagers through physical training and mastering the basics of life safety and are aimed at enhancing training of future specialists for professional health-protecting activity [3]. 5 projects have been implemented during the last five years, involving the faculty, postgraduates and students of the Faculty under the Federal Program "Scientific research and pedagogical personnel of innovative Russia for 2009-2013", and 2 projects have been created under the government university assignment. Students’ science keeps developing every year. Today, more than 100 students are involved in 11 scientific clubs and research groups. The research results are discussed at annual conferences, methodological seminars, round tables and different forums. The Faculty is rightfully proud of its graduates, among whom many Olympic and World Champions, winners of international competitions, coaches, famous teachers, top-rank teachers and sport authorities. The potential opportunities of the faculty indicate a broad perspective in its development including new specializations, new achievements in elite sport and modernized technologies.


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