Modern physical education teacher training for work with children with impairments



Dr.Hab., Professor L.V. Vedernikova
Associate Professor, PhD O.A. Povoroznyuk
Associate Professor, PhD S.A. Elantseva
Ershov Ishim pedagogical institute (branch) of Tyumen state university, Ishim

Keywords: Physical Education teacher training, children with impairments, inclusive education, value system, pedagogical task.

Introduction. The training of modern Physical Education teachers to work with children with impairments is one of the important components of modernization of education. In this regard, there is a need for the teachers of a new type who will be able to prepare each student for easy involvement in all activities. Such teachers should have personal, social, scientific, instrumental and professional competences in order to provide the real involvement of students with impairments into an educational process. It is very important for the teachers to be able to solve the tasks related to correctional pedagogics and social rehabilitation. Thus, a wide range of new problems of inclusive education requires restructuring of the entire system of training of specialists in the sphere. A teacher should have a special set of professional competences that will enable him to implement inclusive practices. Almost all researchers note the activity, actual essence of competency and that unlike knowledge-related characteristic, i.e. the "what" characteristic, the emphasis here is on the way and nature of the action - the "how to" characteristic [15, 16, 19].

Scientific and pedagogical practices showed convincingly that a child with impairments who was brought to the group of healthy children from infancy makes progress together with them and reaches a higher level of socialization. Exaggerated importance of academic performance in schools leads to devaluation of the significance of social development of pupils and underestimation of the potential of every person for continuous spiritual development. The goal of inclusive school is to create an educational space that ensures each student's intellectual, social, personal and spiritual development.

Scientific substantiation. Based on the analysis of psychological and pedagogical literature related to the issue of professional competency for pedagogical activity [1, 10, 13, 16, 19] and sources related to special pedagogics [9, 18] we concluded that the core of professional activity in inclusive environments is, primarily, the value system of a teacher. Personal values are considered within modern axiological knowledge as some kind of an axis of development for any individual, especially for a professional teacher who should adhere to and implement the principles of real humanism within educational process [2, 12, 14].

In our study, we use the term "value system", which refers to the desire and willingness to implement a set of particular values and is characterized by person's realization of his internal position and his attitude to professional pedagogical performance, self-development, self-education and creative self-actualization [5, 19]. In our opinion, the level of competency of a teacher for inclusive education depends on the nature of professional practical tasks to be solved. Pedagogical task is the basic unit of the educational process. Students can be involved in the process of solving real pedagogical only in case of improving the practice-oriented educational process in universities via rethinking of the nature of pedagogical practices. As a result, a student becomes a subject of independent pedagogical activity and a subject of new relationships with children and colleagues [3, 4, 5].

Based on the monitoring of development of educational and professional cooperation and students' actions during various forms of pedagogical practice, as well as the results of individual and group reflections we are able to define the logic of the change in value-professional consciousness in the Physical Education teacher training process to work with children with impairments. It includes  objective, task-based and problem-based levels [3, 5].

Students' analysis of their pedagogical performance on the first (objective) level is descriptive: they only make a list of their actions in a classroom, used techniques and working methods. The difficulties occurred in activities are explained mainly by characterizing objective conditions and circumstances, such as subject of the lesson, group competency level, available educational equipment, time, etc. The difficulties are not considered the result of a wrong way of action or lack of required means on the part of a person. The values of developing teaching, subject approach, etc. are declared without demonstration of their implementation during the activities. So they are declared but not translated into objectives. Thus, on the objective level the consciousness  is focused on the object of activity.

On the task-based level the students analyse their activity through its representation in the form of sequentially addressed tasks, mostly methodological ones, such as to ensure actions and concepts to be learnt. The students explain the choice of a particular solution (method or pattern) and determine whether they have succeeded or failed. In case of a failure, the chosen solution is recognized as wrong or poorly implemented one. At this (task-based) level of development of professional consciousness, each situation within the activity is considered as a complex of objective, external conditions and requirements to the subject that makes it the subject of cognition. Consciousness appears in the form of thinking that constructs an image of the situation and transforms the situation into the task. To fulfil the task one needs a set goal and an introduction of corresponding standard that should be reached. The difficulties during the activity are considered as failures in achieving the set goal.

On the third (problem-based) level, the subject responsible for goal-setting is actively seeking and constructing the means of implementing the values of education and human development. At the same time he also acts as a subject of professional self-development, who is seeking and constructing the means of professional self-actualization. On the problem-based level a teacher is able improve the given conditions and create the necessary ones for the purposes of his activity.

All the above makes it possible to distinguish three stages in the development of the value system of future teachers of Physical Education. At the first stage the teachers master the reflexive analysis, the consciousness switches over from the object of activity to the activity itself and, thus, a person is no longer preoccupied by the activity - he takes a reflexive position. At the second stage, the main line of development of the value system and simultaneously the mechanism of transition to the problem-based level is the value-semantic self-determination and the formation of the future teacher's position. At this stage the teachers are in need of solving the problems which concern the meaning, the construction of an image of “Self” and the determination of one's subject-related and practical possibilities. This is the stage where the professional competency in the field of inclusive education can be determined and the issue of professional choice can be re-addressed; where a person can compare his value system (position) with that of his colleagues. The main line of development of the teacher's value system at the third final stage is professional self-development and sustained development of his professional position [3, 5].

Practical recommendations. At Ershov Ishim pedagogical institute (branch of Tyumen State University) the teaching practice, organized in accordance with the logic described earlier, is an integral component of the educational process, which includes special disciplines aimed at training of future Physical Education teachers to work with children with impairments.

The curricula include special modules or disciplines that form the necessary special professional competences for work with children with impairments: "Pedagogical Skills of Physical Education Teacher", "Paralympic Sports", " Physical Education Teaching Methods for Special Health Groups", "Massage Therapy", "Theory and Practice of Inclusive Education", "Inclusive Technologies in School Educational Process".

The purpose of these disciplines is to form the competency to use the technologies of inclusive education with elementary-school age children with special educational needs and to develop professional competences in teaching students with impairments, included in the system of general secondary education.

Purposefully organized social practices contribute to the formation of the value system of future teachers of Physical Education to work with children with impairments. The development of the socio-cultural environment of an educational institution as a background of professional and personal development of students allows to form teacher's social position characterized by the focus on the interests of children and development of their personal potential, and the willingness to communicate at the level of "meanings". The implementation of the program " Healthy Lifestyle University" in the branch of Tyumen state university facilitates the formation of the students' value systems [11]. The concept of the program is based on the ideas of targeted, personality-related, activity-related and environmental approaches. Thanks to the program implementation the students can have an opportunity for self-actualization, a peer group of like-minded people for creative communication and a way of forming their active professional and personal position. This position of a teacher helps the students with impairments to become free of the role of a victim of circumstances. As shown by the practical experience of the program implementation the formation of various groups in the institute has a great potential for the organization of social practices (there are a volunteer group, a pedagogical group, a rescue group, a law-enforcement group and a construction group). The volunteer and pedagogical group activities play a special role in the formation of the values of inclusive education among the students [5, 6, 7, 8].

The volunteers are engaged in socially significant activities in accordance with the complex program "Do Good!". The involvement of students as subjects of activity into the practice of provision of the public pedagogical assistance and support for children, young, elderly people, and those with impairments, and conduction of welfare events and celebrations contributes to the formation of such values as: "good", "tolerance", "moral duty", "life", "health", "intellectuality", "beauty" and etc. A pedagogical group called "Courage" takes part in professional exhibitions and events held in the institute, social rehabilitation centres, educational institutions and child health centres and is successful in finding new student activists. In addition, students actively participate in process and organization of the "School of Young Teachers" with 10-11 graders [5, 6].

Thus, in order to construct pedagogical practice of inclusive education it is necessary to reorient higher education institutions involved in training of Physical Education teachers.


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