Teacher of physical culture as a subject of innovative educational environment

Teacher of physical culture as a subject of innovative educational environment


A.I. Zamogil’nov, professor, Ph.D.
M.A. Pravdov, professor, Dr.Hab.
E.A. Shmeleva, associate professor, Ph.D. Shuya state pedagogical university, Shuya
Key words: teacher of physical culture, innovative work, innovative culture, innovative activity, innovative thinking, new school.

Introduction. The innovative development, justified in the Concept of the Long-term Social and Economic Development and the Strategy of Innovative Development of the Russian Federation up to 2020, is expressed in the optimization of the scientific and innovative potential of education. The innovative development of the pedagogical theory and education is determined by involving teachers in innovative educational activities that form the innovation culture and raise the innovator’s status, promote more efficient educational innovation practices, design of specialized training courses on university innovations and create the innovation culture. As stated in the final resolution of the All-Russia Congress of physical education teachers (Saransk, 2011), physical education teachers are to introduce innovative teaching programs, methodologies and technologies. The national educational initiative "Our New School" proclaims modernization and innovation as the only way for Russia to become a competitive society in the world of the XXI century. The strategic goal, stated in the national educational initiative, can be achieved by adopting in the educational system such a dominant value as the formation of the innovative type of thinking.

Nowadays a completely new content of education and teacher’s professionalism, capable of providing the development of the teacher’s innovative activity, is being searched more intensively. The acmeological and cultural directions are an important area of innovative changes, as they ensure setting the goals of humanized physical education, and laying the groundwork for a person’s physical culture that benefits their complete physical development through learning a full range of values of physical culture and sports [1,5]. The system of  innovative prospects of training physical education teachers suggests the ways of justification of methods and theoretical and methodological approaches to the relationship between vocational education (universities, colleges, schools of the Olympic reserve) and physical training of the younger people (secondary schools, colleges, universities) [2].

In the teaching sphere the term “innovation” means introducing new things into the goals, content, methods and forms of teaching and education, and the organization of the teacher-student collaboration [6]. For the innovative breakthrough Russia needs the coordinated work in training new teachers, the teachers who are researchers and innovators. At the same time, the theory of the formation and development of teachers’ readiness for innovative activities is still insufficiently worked out. There is obviously a need for new approaches to intensify innovation in teacher training, considering the conditions of the GEF implementation.

Innovative activity in education is aimed at solving a number of problems: the development of innovative educational programs; modernizing and creating innovative infrastructure for the effective implementation of innovative educational programs; development, testing and implementation of innovative educational techniques in the educational process; training for innovative activities in the principal and optional educational programs; creating innovative products (techniques).

Today the main evaluation criterion of teacher’s work is his readiness for innovations in the professional area, based on the competences of innovative activities and practical experience of various ways of their implementation. The innovative readiness of physical education teachers is expressed by a teacher’s attitude to innovations, to the goals of physical education and sports, to the student as the subject of activity, to their own educational activities.

In order to make the rate of the innovation readiness of the specialists close to the model  characteristics it is  necessary to organize training in the professional development courses according to special modular programs and to introduce the optional courses focused on the optimization of the components of innovative readiness of the specialists into the university curriculum [3,4]. The main components of readiness of physical education teachers for innovations were proved to be steady motivation to innovative activity, orientation to the search for new and more effective ways of solving professional tasks, the level of knowledge, skills and abilities to teach of physical education, self-confidence, creative thinking and ingenuity in solving professional tasks [7].

The second regional contest “The physical education teacher of the XXI century" was held by Shuya State Pedagogical University in collaboration with the Department of Education and Ivanovo Region Institute of Development of Education in order to identify and promote innovative models of organization of physical education and recreation activities at the Ivanovo regional educational institutions within the framework of the national educational initiative "Our New School". The objectives of the contest were to popularize and promote the innovative experience of specialists in physical education, to demonstrate advanced educational experience to the students of pedagogical universities, to stimulate the most talented teachers, working at the development of innovative techniques of P.E. and sports activities, and to develop the contacts which may contribute to the formation of teachers’ professionalism.

The purpose of the study was to examine readiness of physical education teachers for innovation in education and the rate of their innovative activity.

Materials and methods. The readiness for innovations in education and the rate of innovative activity were studied in 18 physical education teachers, the participants of the regional contest, aged 23 up to 53, and with 2 to 25 years of working experience. The contestants presented innovative educational projects in physical education, so they could be considered innovative secondary school teachers.

The methods involved in the study were as follows: Kirton indicator of determining the type of innovative thinking (adaptors - innovators), the psychological biography method of identifying the propensity for innovation (S.Yu. Burda), the viability test of S. Muddi (adapted by D.A. Leontiev and E.I. Rasskazova), S. Badner’s method of determination of tolerance to uncertainty (TAS (Tolerance Ambiguity Scale) adapted by G.A. Soldatova, and A.A. Reana’s method of the study of motivation for success and the fear of failure.
The study of the psychological biographies and the descriptions of life events was conducted in relation to the rate of innovative thinking "innovation-adaptability", the motivational orientation of the individual, and the viability components: involvement (the aim of participating in an event), control (the aim of the active influence on an event) and risk taking (the aim of accepting the uncertain situations and taking action in them).

We consider that viability is an important component of the innovative potential, which is necessary for promoting the innovative model of development of the modern society. The propensity for innovation is a steady personality trait, that is, some people are innovators by nature, by their individual temper, while others are not. In terms of the propensity to innovative activity people differ from each other by three major factors: by openness to and interest in new ideas and tendencies, by the aspiration to think over the opportunities for practical application of new ideas; by propensity to spread the information about the innovations to other people and to explain the value of a certain innovation.

Results and discussion. The study of the teachers’ motivation to their work revealed that in respond to the question if they liked their profession, 100% of teachers of physical education said they were satisfied with it. Innovative activity at school is, on the one hand, directly connected with the genuine interest in the subject and, on the other hand, contributes to the maintenance of involvement in the profession. Over the time of their work at school the image of the profession has changed for the better with 77.8% of teachers, while 22.2% have not changed their mind. The majority of the teachers (95%) involved in innovative activities would not like to have a different job, and only 5% had doubts in answering this question. Not only does innovative activity increase the interest in the job, but also it contributes to the positive changes in the image of teaching profession, as well as the development of motivation to professional growth of an individual. 83% of the respondents in the first group are driven by short-term goals in their daily routine work, and 17% of the teachers are driven by long-term goals.

The teachers were asked to estimate the extent to which their work allowed them to meet their demands. 33.33% of the respondents answered that their “demand for manifesting creativity” was satisfied by 50-80%, 61% had the satisfaction rate at 90%. 16,67% of the teachers responded that they rated “the opportunity of professional growth” at 70%, 22,22% – at 80%, and 38,89% - at 90%. "The opportunity of autonomy and independence in their work" was rated at 60% with 22,22% of the P.E. teachers, at 70% - with 16,67%, at 80% - with 33,33%. “The demand for interesting work” was met by 60% with 16,67% of the teachers, by 80%  - with 27,78%, and by 90% - with 16,67%. “The possibility of promotion” was rated at 30% with 16,67% of the respondents, at 50% - with 27,78%, at 80-90% - with 39%. 67% of the P.E. teachers answered that their “need for making money” was satisfied at less than 50%; “the need for communication with colleagues” was satisfied at 60% with 16,67% of the teachers, at 80-90% - with 61%. “The demand for public respect” was met at 70% with 16,67% of the respondents, at 80% - with 22,22%, at 90% - with 50%. Only 5,56% don’t consider their work “necessary and important”. 94 % of the respondents pointed out that their “work is objectively estimated by the supervisors” by 70-90%. 33,33% of the P.E. teachers are 30% satisfied with their “salary and the result of their work”, 33,33% are 50% satisfied, and only 16,67% are 80% satisfied (Fig. 1). It has been found out that most teachers have the overall satisfaction rate over 70%.

Fig. The results of the study of motivation for professional work of the physical education teacher of the XXI century contestants

The highest satisfaction rates concern the demand for the manifestation of creativity, the need for professional growth and interesting work, the opportunity  to be autonomous and independent in their work, the need for communication with colleagues, the demand for public respect, the need for being demanded in the society, i.e. socially significant needs prevail. Most teachers claim that their need for making money and promotion are not quite satisfied, nor are they content with the salary and the result of their work

The estimated rate of the type of innovative thinking “adaptability – innovativeness” varied from 90 up to 129 points. The analysis of the data showed that, of the respondents, only 11,1 % are “innovators”, while the majority are “moderate innovators” (72,2%). Pearson's correlation index was chosen as the statistical method. Table 1 represents the correlations between the selected parameters.

Table. The correlations of the characteristics of P.E. teachers’ innovative capacity


for Uncertainty

Viability Propensity to innovate Motivation The type of innovative thinking
Tolerance for Uncertainty 1 0,554665 0,485153 0,659882  
    1 0,480082 0,570545  
      1 0,493049 0,579302

As shown in the table, there is an apparent correlation between the following characteristics: tolerance to uncertainty – viability - the propensity to innovate - motivation (p <0.05). There is also an obvious interrelation between the type of innovative thinking and the propensity for innovation (p <0.01).  At the same time, no significant interconnection can be observed between the type of innovative thinking and motivation, viability or tolerance for uncertainty.

The type of innovative thinking turned out to be a characteristic with the least number of correlations. The only significant connection exists between the type of innovative thinking and the propensity for innovation. Being the steady trait of a personality, propensity for innovation is correlated with all of the selected parameters of innovative capacity. Therefore, it is the formation of the type of innovative thinking that should be the major aim of training teachers both in higher educational institutions and within the advanced training courses.

The problems stated close up on solving the tasks of training bachelors, masters, and specialists in of physical education at teacher’s training and specialized universities of the country, and of making the innovative infrastructure of physical educational environment of each school and schools on the whole considering individual educational routes in the process of life-long continuous education.

The solution of the task of training future physical education teachers for educational innovation and shaping their innovative activity is promoted by creating open P.E. university environment, involving university professors and students, the teachers of physical education of secondary schools and vocational schools, sports coaches, physical education instructors of pre-school education, experts in adaptive physical education with the general goal of shaping and developing their professional competence. The essence of the approach lies in the idea that shaping and developing professional competences of the students at the department of physical culture of the pedagogical university can be successful in the atmosphere of innovative collaboration of everybody involved in education at developing, maintaining, managing and carrying out practically oriented projects.

An experiment of implementing the model of the open of physical educational environment was carried out at Shuya State Pedagogical University through various forms and types of innovative activity of the specialists of all types of educational institutions from kindergarten to university.

The department of Physical Culture have developed three types of long-term projects for the professional skills contests: "The best lesson of physical education of the year" (for students of the department of Physical Culture), "The teacher of physical education of the XXI century" (for physical education teachers from various educational institutions, coaches, instructors, physical education teachers of small children, specialists in adaptive physical education), and a profession-oriented contest "Applicants of the department of Physical Culture". Students are those who mostly work out and perform all three types of projects. The contests are closely interconnected by the contents and the degree of involvement of students, university professors, children, school students and physical education teachers, and are focused on innovative activities and shaping students' professional competence.

The technique of working out the projects by the students was based on the analysis and synthesis of innovative teaching experience of physical education teachers of secondary and higher educational institutions, coaches, instructors of pre-school physical education, their own ideas and the ideas of university professors. The projects of sample lessons (or training) were submitted to the contest committee.

Holding contests for experienced teachers presenting their innovative projects of various forms of physical education and sports activities at the department of Physical Culture is regarded as an innovative form of interaction between the university and the representatives of educational institutions. Physical education teachers, coaches and other specialist of physical education and sports show their best classes, while students learn and adopt their professional techniques. It is the pedagogical idea of this kind of competition. It should be pointed out that the contest is a powerful factor in the development of professional skills of not only the participants, but also of the entire educational community of university professors and students.

The comparative analysis of the professional competence level before the students' participation in the contest projects and at its end enables us to ascertain positive changes in the rate of general innovation competence. The largest increase of the results was observed in three groups of competences, which are "The project and research competences" by 2.6 points (62%), "Innovative and methodical competences" - by 2.3 points (66%), "Competences of communication and organizational" – by 2,1 point (44%). The increase was less in the following groups: "Competences of the subject and teaching methods" - by 1.9 points (41%), "Professional creative competences" - by 1.5 points (37%), and "Psychological and educational competences" - by 1,4 points (32%). It should be mentioned that the average group rate of the development of professional competences, recorded at the end of the study, was significantly higher than similar measurements made at its beginning (p <0.05). This fact proves the efficiency of the model of physical educational university environment both in training future physical education teachers and in developing the innovative component of their professional competency.

Conclusion. Although the findings of physical education teachers, by all means, optimize educational process, today it is important to move from them on to the system of innovative educational projects, basing on the results of a teacher’s intellectual activity. Each innovation of methods or techniques can and should be the foundation of a database, of an industrial pattern, or of software. The opportunity of creative mass application of an innovation is considered as one of the main criteria for assessing educational innovations. It is the crucial point that, if a valuable idea or a technique remains limited in use, it is groundless to speak about a pedagogical innovation. The essential attribute of the innovation is its practical use and mass implementation after testing and objective evaluation [6].

In the sphere of training of elite scientists in physical education and sport numerous results of intellectual activity, capable of legal protection, were revealed at the phase of writing the thesis, along with the placed orders for inventions and patents. But despite the creative variety of methodical innovations, they are still not enough in the practice of school teacher of physical education. Nowadays a practicing teacher should have an opportunity to study the basis of legal protection of their innovative ideas, projects and solutions, assisting in allocation and arranging of results correctly within the programs of extended education and advanced training [8]. With all the variety of innovations in education, teachers are not quite ready for this kind of activity. So physical education teachers are to learn how to apply the methods of research and innovation, and develop a new way of educational thinking.

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Author’s contact: ffkshuja@yandex.ru