Vocational training of students of university of physical education within multilevel education


L.V. Pigalova, professor, Ph.D.
L.M. Kulikova, professor, Dr.Hab.
Ural state university of physical culture, Chelyabinsk

Key words: multilevel education, competency building approach, vocational training.

Introduction. Certain conditions of the Bologna process are considered priority. Among them there are multilevel system of training (bachelor and master course), system of credit points (credits), competency building approach, continuing education (lifelong learning) and modular design of curricula [3].

Being a part of the multi-level system of education the practice oriented training potential has been significantly strengthened. However, researchers noted the lack of attention to such aspects of higher education as focus on the individuality of students, mobility of students and teachers in terms of self-education and practice-oriented activities. In this aspect, modern requirements are to be applied to the specialists in the field of physical culture and sport. It primarily concerns the professional readiness to organize and manage the process of physical education and sports training.

For a long period of time training was aimed primarily at the development of knowledge, mastering skills and abilities, rather than development of student’s personality. It is the "consequence of the traditional informational and interpretative approach to the forming up of the educational content, when a large amount of knowledge is given by a teacher in a ready made form, without making much emphasis on student’s independent work" [5, P. 11].

The level of education, especially in the modern conditions, is not determined by the amount of knowledge or its encyclopedic value. Intensive development of the education system can be implemented on the basis of such approach, which would allow students to get closer to their future professional activity. This particular way involves multilevel education [1, P. 4].

The level of education from the perspective of the competency building approach depends on the ability of students to solve problems of varying difficulty while relying on existing knowledge. "The essence of this approach is that it focuses not only on the assimilation of knowledge, but also on the ways of assimilation, as well as the way of thinking and activities and the development of cognitive abilities and creativity of students. The key component of the competency building approach is active personal, educational and cognitive activity of students” [3, P. 3].

The disadvantage of the traditional system of training is that "a teacher implements, mostly only one function of knowledge – informational one, leaving aside the other equally important – developing one"[1]. These two functions are closely related, but are not identical. As I.S. Yakimanskaya states, "Education, that is scientific knowledge, and the developed thinking ability are not the same" [4, P. 18]. It should be noted that without the mastered knowledge and developed in students skills it is impossible to build any effective learning process. A.N. Leont’ev notes: "In order to make the knowledge educate you, you must learn to exercise a relevant approach to the knowledge itself. This is the essence of conscious learning." [2, P. 211].

Within the framework of the competency building approach the principle immediate result of educational activity is development of the competency in vocational teaching activity, that is the optimal level of development of key competences. Unlike formed skills and abilities the skill to problem-solving is associated with such components as motives of activity; skill to know the information sources, skills needed to realize vocational-educational activity and applied knowledge facilitating understanding of the essence of the problem and selection of the best ways of  its solution.

So along with the goals achieved by studying educational disciplines, the goals defining the direction of movement are to be determined, such as: formation of value orientations, worldview, development of interests and formation of needs etc.

The purpose of the study was to show the correctness of the ideas of the expert in physical culture and define the self-evaluation of the level of skills and competences in students.

Materials and methods. The study involved students of Ural State University of Physical Culture (n = 68). The aspects identified in the study included:

- Typical difficulties experienced by the specialists in physical education and their causes;

- Having the right understanding within students of university of physical culture on the structure and logic of vocational and educational activities in the field of physical culture, as well as specifics of forms and methods;

- The knowledge of students and physical education teachers of teaching conditions, which provide effective professional and pedagogical activities in the field of physical culture.

The study of these issues is intended to provide an idea of ​ the actual level of preparedness of students and the readiness of university teachers for vocational and educational training of students on the basis of the competency building approach. However, in order to undertake such an assessment, it was necessary to determine the actual level of development of various competencies. To this end, we have found out: the correct understanding of the competence of the teacher of physical education (trainer in some sport), self-evaluation of the level of assimilation of knowledge and development of students’ competences.

It is well known that teachers’ work is carried out traditionally, using traditional conventional means and methods of education. In cases where the teacher, while organizing educational activities, does not know the true causes of problems and difficulties in his professional activity and attempts to eliminate only the outward signs of these difficulties, the learning effect does not takes place. Consequently, failure in professional activity is often caused by the lack of using of the diagnostic methods for determining difficulties and their causes, based on psychological and educational criteria of this phenomenon.

Results and discussion. Here are the results of the survey of 2nd and 4th-year students (Table 1). The survey includes questions about the requirements for professional competence of Bachelor of Physical Education.

Table 1. Indicators of the level of theoretical knowledge of students from experimental groups on their future professional activity


Response rates, %



Partly correct

Wrong statement

Difficulty with answering


Control group






Experimental group 1






Experimental group 2






As competent judges in assessing the students' answers we used university professors. According to the materials shown in the table, we can note the extremely low level of students’ understanding of the essence of their professional training. Only 5% of the students were able to give the correct answer to the question: "Give the definition of competence". In addition, while responding to this question almost a third of the students would make an erroneous interpretation of the concept, or would find themselves confused in the definition, 51% of the students have a misconception about what kind of specific knowledge should be achieved upon graduation. It is also noteworthy that 74% of students find it difficult to answer the question of what skills they need to master as a result of university studies. Moreover, only 15% of the students surveyed could correctly identify the qualities that are needed primarily by specialists in physical culture. In this regard let us consider the data of self-evaluation of students given in Table. 2.

Table 2. Indicators of students’ self-evaluation of their preparedness for professional work in the field of physical culture

Evaluation questions

Response rates, %

High mark

Average mark

Low mark

Difficult to answer

Having a firm idea on the concept of "competence"





Degree of personal preparedness for professional activity





Level of aspiration to get a high level of readiness for professional work





Level of possessing the qualities that characterize efficiency of professional activity





Let’s note first of all a rather high level of students’ self-evaluation of their own "competence" - 33%. Almost half of the respondents (45%) rated their level of knowledge as average. However, as our further research have shown, the understanding of competence among the majority of students is limited solely by the basic understanding on everyday level (knows how to do it and able to do it). So we can conclude about the students’ inflated self-evaluation of their level of knowledge about the competency and competences. These tables also show that despite the inflated self-evaluation of their knowledge, a third of students indicate a high level of desire to study their professional activities thoroughly. This suggests that there is insufficient attention to the practice-oriented knowledge in currently existing university programs.

Conclusions. Therefore, the process of training of students for future professional activity is to be enhanced. Consequently, one of the problems associated with bachelor’s training in the field of physical culture is investigating on the satisfaction with profession from one course to another, analyzing of the effect of different factors on formation of the professional goal and motivation.


  1. Dalinger, V.A. Competence approach as an alternative to extensive method of development of the educational system / V.A. Dalinger // Fundamental’nye issledovaniya. – 2007. – № 10 – P.  46–47. (In Russian)
  2. Leont’ev, A.N. Activity. Consciousness. Personality / A.N. Leont’ev. – Moscow: Politizdat, 1977. – 803 P. (In Russian)
  3. Mityaeva, A.M. Development of the system of multilevel higher education in Russian and abroad / A.M. Mityaeva // Obrazovanie i obschestvo: nauchny, informatsionno-analiticheskiy zhurnal. – 2006. – № 2. – P. 8–16. (In Russian)
  4. Yakimanskaya, I.S. Personality-centered education in the modern school / I.S. Yakimanskaya. – Moscow: MSU, 1996. – 96 P. (In Russian)
  5. Boldyreva, E.V. The trend to form vocational competence as a way of enhancement of education [electronic source] / E.V. Boldyreva. – URL: http: //referft.cis1000.rubooks/book6lch1_8.shtml (In Russian)

Author’s contacts: pigalovalv@mail.ru