Future physical education teacher's professional identity formation specifics


Associate Professor, PhD N.V. Karpova
Ershov Ishim pedagogical institute (branch) of Tyumen state university, Ishim

Keywords: professional identity, students, status of professional identity, physical education teacher, higher education, diffused identity, achieved identity moratorium status, pseudopositive identity, premature identity.

Introduction. Throughout the entire life, a person constantly faces the problem of personal identity as well as professional self-determination, choice of individual professional path, need to adequately estimate his skills and abilities. Success and performance of an expert, which are especially relevant in the era of economic crisis and social instability, depend on the answer to the conscious and rational question “Who am I?” in the context of professional sphere [5].

Strategic trend of modern higher education consists in providing conditions for formation of professional competency of future graduates. The specifics of vocational training of pedagogical university students is to prepare future teachers for independent organization of school learning process. A student is getting ready to perform the duties of a teacher such as development of students’ cognitive activity, self-sufficiency, initiative, creativity etc. [1].

Physical education teacher arouses a particular interest compared to the teachers of other disciplines due to their work in special conditions of mental stress, huge physical load and conditions related to environmental factors [2]. 

In order to achieve the aforementioned results in specific conditions it is necessary to ensure the formation of professional identity of future physical education teachers at the stage of vocational education.

Formation of students’ professional identity is also getting more significant because of the demands to ensure high competitive ability of graduates in the labor market [3]. Modern society imposes brand new requirements to the activity of professionals, and therefore, to the work of universities involved in their training. As a rule, upon graduating the university a young specialist spends a lot of time to successfully adapt to work conditions. Most often, adaptation to work conditions at certain employment positions comes from the bundle of knowledge and skills acquired in a higher educational institution, but one of the key factors for a subject is the presence of professional expectations and identity achieved through creating images of professions. The result of self-actualization is often the incompatibility of separate components of the “Ego” (identity crisis), which significantly complicates personal and professional self-determination [9].

The sense of identity enables a man to face his personality and acts as a basis, which helps “maturate” and form personal and professional self-determination [4].

Professional identification as applied to students’ learning activity within university education represents an objective and subjective unity with a certain professional group, activity, which stipulates succession of professional features (statuses) of the individual [8].

Methods and structure of the research. The statuses of professional identity were studied using “Methods of measuring professional identity” (MMPI) by L.B. Schneider [6, 7]. The research was carried out at the premises of P.P. Ershov Ishim pedagogical institute (branch) of Tyumen state university with the students of “Pedagogical education” specialization, “Physical education” training program. 1st to 4th year students (87 in total) took part in the study. Pearson criterion χ2 was applied to compare the obtained data. Besides, if Χ2emp.  ≥ Χ2k at ρ ≤ 0,05, we identified statistically significant differences between the investigated samples.

Results and discussion. The analysis of the uniform distribution of statuses of professional identity of future physical education teachers in the 1st year of study shows that distribution does not differ from the uniform one (0,199 ≥ 0,05), there are no statistically significant differences between the statuses of professional identity within this group. This feature can be explained by age peculiarities of respondents, the early youth period is characterized by self-determination crisis, marked by manifestation of any status of professional identity.

Verification of the uniform distribution of professional identity statuses of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years of study showed that the distribution in the groups does differ from the uniform one (0,05 ≤ 0,05) in the 2nd course, (0,00 ≤ 0,05) in the 3rd course and (0,01 ≤ 0,05) in the 4th course.

Comparative analysis of the findings on the status of professional identity between the groups showed the following: statistically significant differences (0,00 ≤ 0,05) were identified when studying the status of achieved professional identity. There are no respondents with such a status in the 2nd and 3rd years of study, the majority of such respondents study on the 4th course, distribution of students differs from the uniform one. Such data indicates that students have formed professional goals, values and beliefs assuring meaningful life. This is manifested in positive self-attitude and positive evaluation of the acquired professional qualities. Professional plans are determined by an independent conscious decision.

Comparative analysis of the findings on the status of diffused identity between the groups showed statistically significant differences (0,05 ≤ 0,05). The majority of 3rd year students have such a status, which testifies to its distinct manifestation. It is slightly exposed in the 2nd and 4th years of study, distribution of the subjects does not differ from the uniform one. Thus, 3rd-year students did not make the choice of their life journey and have no idea about the future career. This status is associated with the lack of stable goals, values and beliefs, as well as the lack of attempts to form them; students are characterized by an average degree of self-dissatisfaction, which is on the verge of self-indifference, rigidity of self-concept, inner conflicts and low self-esteem.

Comparative analysis of the results on studying the moratorium status between the groups showed statistically significant differences (0,05 ≤ 0,05). In comparison to the 2nd year of study, this status has insignificant representation in the 3rd and 4th years, which testifies to its distinct manifestation of the 2nd year respondents. Therefore, these students face the crisis of choice of professional identity, they realize the problem of profession choice and are in the process of its solution, but the most suitable option has not been found yet. In this respect, high trait anxiety is typical for the respondents.

Comparative analysis of the status of pseudopositive and premature identity between the groups does not reveal statistically significant differences (pseudopositive identity (0,170 ≥ 0,05), premature identity (0,424 ≥ 0,05). Thus, we can conclude that the distribution of this status in the examined groups does not deviate from the uniform one. Each of the studied groups contains approximately the same number of respondents with these statuses.

Conclusions. The findings enabled us to conclude that year after year there is a positive dynamics in formation of professional identity of future physical education teachers. 1st year students have no identified predominant status of professional identity, the majority of 2nd year respondents are characterized by moratorium status, diffused status is typical for the 3rd year, 4th year – predominance of achieved identity status. Thus, the graduates – future physical education teachers have developed professional identity after graduation of higher educational institution.


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