University Physical Education curriculum based on modern standardization criteria



PhD, Associate Professor A.M. Leontyuk
PhD, Associate Professor O.V. Vashchuk
PhD, Associate Professor R.S. Minvaleev
T.B. Leontyuk
St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg

Keywords: physical education, sport, teaching process, health, product quality, standards, competence, socio-cultural problem.

Introduction. Among the main incentives for reorganization of the teaching process in “Physical Education” in Russia are two fundamental reasons: the state of physical, mental and spiritual health of the citizens having adverse effect on economic, social and political development of the country and the Bologna agreement to address the problems of consistency of international educational programs.

Russian President in his address to the RF Federal Assembly dated December 12, 2012 drew attention of the state authorities and society to the fact that “together we must overcome the frankly irresponsible attitude of the society towards healthy lifestyle… If the nation is not able to preserve and reproduce itself, if it loses life objectives and ideals, then it does not need an external enemy, as it will fall apart on its own” [9]. Almost every person in his youth has rather good health to adjust to the unnatural living conditions caused by his own activity. During this period of life, active consciousness plays the main role ensuring accumulation of necessary information and based on this – good “adjustment” of the formed individual to the society. However, the values involuntarily change somewhere in the middle of life. Health reserve, which seemed unlimited, starts showing its limitations, approximately by the age of 40 the body gradually breaks down and man has to adjust to its needs. Since by this age reproductive function is usually fulfilled, whether the subject managed to perform it or not, he is no longer of interest to nature as a representative of species and has to take care of the fading health on his own. What do we know about our body? How does it work? What is necessary for its effective functioning? What laws should we know and follow to make the body perform its key function – survival of man and humankind? Who and when is to provide this necessary knowledge, teach how to apply it in practice? Family, education institutions or health centers or hospitals? Or maybe everyone gains this knowledge and skills on his own? Unfortunately, statistics and life experience show that most people start being familiar and learning about the body functioning laws when its systems become impaired i.e. when health is already ruined. The lack of basic knowledge about the influence of physical exercises on all body systems and negligence to own health provoke diseases. Physical culture and sport are defined by the government as the main tool for preserving and improving physical, mental and spiritual health of the citizens [6].

In recent times, physical culture and sport as the main active component have been brought to the forefront of socio-cultural life of our society due to their strong impact on man. The “language” of sport is available and clear to everyone. Hence, the government is willing to promote sport, especially in such target groups as children and youth, since it is useful skills and habits formed at the early age that are preserved for life. Greatest educator Jan Amos Komensky claimed that “stable and secure things in man are only those, which adhered to his nature at the first stage of life” [3]. Hence, the main goal in the implementation of the state policy on development of physical culture and sport in education institutions is to involve the largest number of our young people in studying physical education and provide the opportunity to do sports. However, the shift of emphasis in the university teaching process to the motor component (physical development, physical fitness etc.) at the expense of the intellectual component is one of the main reasons that after graduation sports activities are not becoming a pressing need of each graduate. Therefore, the university educational program is to form student’s value orientations, and once a student possesses a certain amount of knowledge needed for solution of specific educational tasks, to convince him of the importance of their solutions both for him and for the society. The next step is to provide a student with knowledge, then, by adding motor activity to form a skill. At all these stages it is useful to stimulate students’ diligence, control and evaluate the steps and results of work. In other words, the perfect tool for teaching physical culture is to arouse the activity of the formed individual in accordance with his own shared developed standards. It is necessary to transform a student from a passive consumer of knowledge and skills into their active creator who knows how to define a problem, analyze its solutions, find the optimal outcome. In this regard, we should admit that independent work of students (IWS) is not just a significant form of educational process, but it should also become its foundation [5].

Objective of the research was to scientifically substantiate the educational program in Physical Education in the university elaborated basing on the modern standardization criteria.

Methods and structure of the research. Elaboration of the Work curriculum of Physical Education and Sport classes for students of SPbSU, which has been implemented for 4 years, was based on the aforementioned approaches. The educational process is organized by means of two modules: 1 year – module “Instruction”, 2-4 year module “Self-improvement”.

1. 1st year includes compulsory for all students in-class sessions in traditional forms according to the point-rating system, equal to 100 hours. They involve exposure to the curriculum at the faculties in the 1st semester, then passing mandatory monitoring of the initial functional state and physical development of a student. In future, monitoring enables everyone to track the dynamics of variable body parameters in terms of their compliance with the regulatory values and organization of healthy lifestyle. Development of a new information technology is one of the leading factors of establishing new educational system. Therefore, identification details are assigned to each student and in future, he can freely interact with the corporate system of SPbSU in all matters of education. While medical examination is taking place, a student attending lectures masters theoretical knowledge necessary for the organization of healthy lifestyle, personal and professional development. To control the acquired theoretical knowledge students take an obligatory computer-based testing using the Internet. At the same time, a student signs up for the chosen sport via the Internet. Practical part is targeted at teaching the techniques of the chosen sport in training groups and equals to 50 hours. In the 2nd semester, training sessions are mainly held in the methodical-practical form and are equal to 50 hours. Students are instructed how to use acquired knowledge and are convinced of the need to keep weekly motor regime. By the end of the 1st year of study students hit control qualifying standards on physical fitness, re-pass monitoring and get a credit. These results become actual indicators of their functional state and physical fitness and in the future, the annual student’s observations over the variations of these indicators are formed into the conscious process of creative assimilation of the curriculum.

2. For 2-4 year students who have chosen the point-rating system, training sessions are carried out in the form of independent work under the teacher’s guidance, in training groups of “light-sport” involving free attendance of classes according to schedule suggested by the Physical Education and Sport Department from 8-00 to 22-00 equal to 300 hours. Along with that, they are performed in sports sections up to 6 times per week as chosen by students. The success rate of assimilation of various sports is estimated by the amount of points and stimulation of student’s activity is achieved by the opportunity to select and change them in the process of curriculum assimilation [4]. Each student gets an opportunity in the next semester: “to create an individual curriculum, choose sports and teachers, time of attendance of training sessions – to set up an individual schedule. The implementation of a new teaching mode allowed to conceptually reorganize an educational process giving it the features of real individualization, objective control and estimation of students’ achievements, susceptibility to improvement and diversification of educational technologies” [7]. A teacher, on the one hand, provides individual consultations during independent work, on the other hand, controls and evaluates the results of individual assignments. “Orientation of the educational-training process at the individuality and independence as a programmed component of education is determined not only by evolutionary and genetic patterns, but is subject to spiritual and moral, and semantic laws of human mentality. Touching upon various spheres of life, physical education serves as a universal means of reproduction of existential potential of students” [1]. 

Results and discussion. The study emphasized the teaching orientation at the 1st year of study and the educational focus in the learning material of 2-4 years of study, the result of which was the adoption in SPbSU of three variants of final assessment on the assimilation of competence:

1. Point-rating system in the 2-4 years of study helps implement the mechanisms of individuality and independence in evaluation of training results, intensify curricular and extra-curricular work of students.

2. Passing qualifying standards on physical fitness, monitoring of functional fitness and GTO standards for students engaged in sports not cultivated in SPbSU within intramural and extramural sport sections.

3. Defence of the individual recreational program for special health group students (which comprises frequency of classes, content of main parts of training sessions, development of physical qualities, regulates exercise intensity etc.) [8].

Conclusion.  As a result of the assimilation of such an educational program, as shown by experience, students acquire the skill to independently “transform the content of motor activity in such a way that it became the means of self-development of their general essence, intelligence, creative vitality, spiritual and moral energy” [2]. Students, who returned after a semester or a year of exchange education in another institution of consistent level, do not have to pass the difference in the curricula of disciplines, which they had to master according to the program in their university. Based on the transcripts, the university can transfer credits on these disciplines even if their names do not literally coincide with the given ones in the curriculum, it is similar developed competences that matter. All this eliminates the obstacles on the way to student's mobility.


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Objective of this paper was to analyze the experience of the teaching process implementation in physical education at the University based on standardization criteria, accepted both in Europe and in our country. Deterioration of students' health should become an indicator of the quality of the teaching process in physical education. Scientific studies showed that due to the lack of knowledge in the field of physical education many students have serious health problems by graduation from the university. Increased focus on the motor component (physical development, physical fitness etc.) in the university teaching process to the detriment of the intellectual component is one of the main reasons that it does not become a pressing need of each graduate to do sports upon graduation. Therefore, the priority task of the university educational program is to form a student’s value system, and once the student possesses a certain amount of knowledge needed to deal with specific educational tasks, to convince him of the importance of their solutions both for him and for the society. The Physical Education curriculum developed and applied in St. Petersburg State University meets the challenges set by the government due to the priority given to teaching at the 1st year of study and training (upbringing) in the learning material of the 2nd-4th years. The adoption of three variants of final assessment of general cultural competency in St. Petersburg University helps fit into the global educational process in terms of the signed Bologna agreement.