Role of sports in educators’ vital resource management in changing social and professional environments

Dr.Hab., Professor N.G. Milovanova1
PhD A.V. Kandaurova2
PhD, Associate Professor I.V. Starodubtseva3
1Tyumen state institute of regional education development, Tyumen
2Tara branch of Omsk State Agrarian University, Tara
3Institute of Physical Culture of Tyumen State University, Tyumen

Keywords: sports, vital resource, life values, educator, social reforms, job-specific stressors.

Background. Modern mass sports (‘sports for everybody’, as provided by I.V. Manzheley) in the present dynamic and often aggressive global environments have evolved into the ‘lifestyle formation factors’ for successful individuals [7] in general terms; and, as emphasized by L.I. Lubysheva, may be viewed as a ‘life school’ [6] in terms of the individual biological and social adaptability with the self-improvements and rehabilitation goals, and with progress in the relevant intercultural and interpersonal communication domains. We can only support S.N. Aleshina in her opinion that the ‘physical education and sports integrate the social and biological aspects of a human nature to provide an effective mechanism to secure the social and individual health’ [1]. However paradoxical it may seem, the modern life is increasingly inactive in spite of the growing dynamicity and scale of the social transformations in progress. This inactivity is due to both the technical progress that increasingly generates the ‘sitting office plankton’ on the one hand; and the growing life comfort on the whole with its service facilities including cars, mobile phones, digital services etc. on the other hand. As stated by V.D. Panachev, the twentieth century with its scientific and technological achievements has heavily contributed to the global people’s inactivity associated heavy stresses and environmental pollution and exposed the new generations to a variety of civilization-related diseases and regresses. [9]. Despite the mass sports promotion efforts and the growing sport service infrastructure, modern people are more and more reluctant to go in for sports. The relevant health culture, healthy nutrition and physical development promotion campaigns leaded by the mass media organizations have also failed to spur up popularity of sport services – regardless of the convincing theoretical and practical evidence that habitual physical activity and mass sports are indispensable for the public health standards, working capacity and life contentment. It should be mentioned with regret that the share of the national sporting population engaged in habitual health and sport practices is reportedly much lower in Russia than in many other nations nowadays [4, 9]. The national education system cannot but reflect the ongoing social transformations in the context of the globalization processes. As provided by N.V. Kalinina and T.V. Volodina, modern teacher shall not only secure high quality education for the students but also provide a role model for their personal development agenda to encourage their socializing efforts on the whole by a practical support in the challenging life situations in particular [3]. Modern humanitarian studies give a growing priority to the practical support for teachers in their great social missions – that is the new generation upbringing mission. The individual resource sensitive approach is viewed in this context among the most promising development avenues by the modern science as it helps mobilize the individual resources and activity in transitional environments. In opinion of E.V. Balatsky, ‘a human life may be interpreted as the genuine vital resource mobilizing and employment process’ [2], with every human being, as underlined by Hobfoll S.Е. theory, striving to protect, maintain and replenish the own vital resource [7].

Objective of the study was to identify the role of sports in the educator’s vital resource management in transitional environments.

Methods and structure of the study. We used for the study purposes the vital resource sensitive approach by M.V. Bogdanova, L.G. Dikaya, D.A. Leontyev, K. Muzdybaev and S.A. Khazova), with application of the following methods: Life Values Hierarchy by G. Rezapkina; plus the values rating and ranking, self-rating and questionnaire survey methods. Sampled for the study were the 26-60 years old teachers (n=946) from Saint Petersburg and the Tyumen and Omsk Oblasts.

Results and discussion. It should be mentioned that the modern science is still in need of a commonly accepted vital resource classification system. Foreign psychology tends to rank the individual cognitive and perceptive domains, individual sentiments, social relations, spirituality, and the physical/ objective reality with vital resources (M. Zeinder, A. Hammer) [10]. Furthermore, К.В. Matheny and D.W. Аусосk interpret the individual psychophysical qualities; mental qualities; cognitive abilities; social support and financial wellbeing with vital resources [8]. Hobfoll S.Е. tends to rank with vital resources everything of individual vital importance that helps the individual keep mental balance under stresses [7]. As far as the national science is concerned, it is D.A. Leontyev who deserves being mentioned first with his frame classification of physiological, psychological and social resources [5]. Economical vital resources, as provided by E.V. Balatsky, include financial incomes, vital energy, time and knowledge/ information flow [2]. The sociological studies by V.G. Nemirovsky and A.V. Nemirovskaya consider an individual vital energy among the key resources [6]. It is also a common knowledge that every human life is spearheaded by its goals, with the individual life contentment dependent on how successfully attained are the life goals versus the vital resource claimed by the efforts to attain these goals [2]. In view of the above, we requested the sample to rank the internal and external vital resources by their mobilization rates: see Table 1.

Table 1. Vital resources ranked by the sample: questionnaire survey data

 

Vital resource

Rank

1

Work, employment, career

1

2

Family, care and understanding from relatives

2

3

Friends, mutual support and attention

3

4

Going out to natural environments, parks, forests, gardening activity etc.

4

5

Passive rest: sleep, movies etc.

5

6

Social activities/ events: coffee shops, bars, theatres, cinema, museums, exhibitions etc.

6

7

Health activity, massage, trainings, beauty shops etc.

7

8

Money, shopping

8

9

Sports including swimming pools, skiing, skating etc.

9

10

Trips, tourisms

10

Based on the study data, we would offer an educators’ vital resource classification frame with the professional resources ranked on top followed by the active social resources (family, friends); then, in the third place, by the passive external resources (natural environments, sleep, recreation etc.); in the fourth place by the financial/ material resources; and in the fifth and last place by the active external resources including sports, trips, health practices etc. It was found by the survey that the sample gives the top priority to the family, service and career related resource; followed by the creativity and finance; then goes the health related resource; and the public appreciation (fame) and recreation ranked the last. Given in Table 2 is the ranking of the internal resource replenishment options, as provided by the questionnaire survey.

Table 2. Vital resource replenishment options with their rankings

 

Vital resource replenishment option

Rank

1

Sports including swimming pools, skiing, skating etc.

1

2

Tourism, trips

2

3

Health activity, massage, trainings, beauty shops etc.

3

4

Money, shopping

4

5

Going out to natural environments, parks, forests, gardening activity etc.

5

6

Social activities/ events: coffee shops, bars, theatres, cinema, museums, exhibitions etc.

6

7

Passive rest: sleep, movies etc.

7

It may seem paradoxical enough that the respondents ranked sports on top of their vital resource replenishment options albeit gave it the last but one place on the list of the vital resources of importance for their life goals. We were curious to know how active are the sampled educators in sports? As was found by the questionnaire survey, 16% of the sample go in for sports on a habitual basis; 27% do morning exercises every day; 58% go in for sports on an irregular basis; and 86% complain that they ‘strive to practice but find no time’. The sporting group was found 89% dominated by the 40-minus years old people visiting sport clubs on a regular basis for the physical fitness purposes. The morning exercises were mostly reported by the 40+ years old people motivated by the health and vital energy retention agenda.

Modern sociological studies also find the vital resource retention agenda being critical for many Russian people nowadays. Thus the study reports by V.G. Nemirovsky and A.V. Nemirovskaya found only 37% of the Russian population (as of 2014) reporting sufficient vital resource; whilst only 5% of the doctors, teachers and librarians polled reported a ‘high vital energy resource’ [6]. The same study found the place of the physical education and sports on the ranking list of the vital resource: female/ male groups ranked them by 4.8/ 5.8 points, respectively, on a 9-point scale. The questionnaire survey under out study gave the following ranking of the most deficient external vital resources: time (89% of the sample); money (67%); and a good recreation (56%). On the whole, our study data run in no conflict with the prior sociological survey studies providing a focused insight into the target professional group of intellectual laborers.

Conclusion. The study found a gap between the low vital energy reported by most of the sampled educators (who reportedly appreciate sports as a unique tool to save and build up the individual vital resource in the challenging and changing environments) on the one hand; and the widespread reluctance to go in for habitual sports on the other hand; with the reluctance normally explained by a shortage of time and finance. We believe that the Russian education system shall give a top priority to the efforts to lure the teaching community into active sports – as it will help replenish their vital resources and step up their stamina to improve the health standards, working capacity, mood and wellbeing on the whole.

References

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Corresponding author: natamil2004@mail.ru

Abstract

Every individual have to adapt to the transitions in social environments by mobilizing the own vital resource that is never unlimited. The modern science exploring the ways to save and build up the individual vital resource gives high priority to this issue. Modern education specialists are among the groups particularly vulnerable to the job-specific burnouts due to a variety of factors including: high exposure to every social challenge; fast transformations in the professional service requirements; leadership in the ongoing reforms in the educational system; and high susceptibility to the destructive aspects of the reforms. It is not unusual for the education specialists to come to the personal and professional crises/ burnouts associated with the sagging working capacity, emotionality etc. as described by many education psychology studies by the national and foreign researchers. This article explores the educators’ attitudes to sports viewed as a unique tool to save and build up the individual vital resource in the challenging and changing environments. The study demonstrates that the modern education specialists, being fully aware of the potential role of sports in the vital resource management and rehabilitation, are still reluctant to go in for sports on a habitual basis; with the reluctance normally explained by a shortage of time.