Students’ Social-Perceptive Attitudes toward the Chosen Pedagogical Profession and the Correlation between these Attitudes and their Personal Characteristics
Authors: Aleksandr V. Shashkov, Marina A. Maznichenko, Lyudmila V. Kravchenko, Milena N. Ivanova
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This paper provides the findings from an integrated diagnostic assessment of first-to-fourth-year pedagogics students’ social-perceptive attitudes toward the chosen profession and their personal characteristics linked with those attitudes. The authors have explored students’ understanding of the reasons behind the choice of the profession and some of the key factors for the profession’s attractiveness and unattractiveness and traced the dynamics of the intensity of their professional orientation. The work has investigated the correlation between pedagogics students’ social-perceptive attitudes toward the pedagogical profession and their personal characteristics such as self-efficacy assessments, self-attitude, self-organization, perfectionism, tolerance of uncertainty, and perception of the time perspective.
The authors have found that among the key reasons behind students’ choice of the pedagogical profession are their childhood dream to become a pedagogue, the profession’s alignment with their character, and their pursuit of self-actualization goals through it. Their realization of the reasons changes from their childhood dream (first year) to alignment with their character (second year), to pursuit of self-actualization goals (third year), and to opportunity to spend their time usefully and understand better what they want to be (fourth year). That is, many high school graduates are not fully prepared for making a conscious, responsible choice of the pedagogical profession and tend to start conceptualizing the made choice only in their graduation year.
Among the key factors for the pedagogical profession’s attractiveness are opportunity to self-improve, opportunity to work with people, and alignment with one’s potential and character. The unattractiveness factors include low pay, emotional and physical strains, and the job’s low social status.
The degree of future pedagogues’ professional orientation gradually increases from first to third years and decreases by fourth year.
There is a positive correlation between a high level of orientation toward the pedagogical profession and the following personal characteristics of students: a sense of their own self-efficacy; belief in the world's benevolence; realization of responsibility for their own actions in life and their personally significant choices; other-oriented perfectionism; tolerance of uncertainty; positive perception of the past and hedonistic and fatalistic perception of the present; global self-attitude (self-respect, self-affection, and self-interest); high degree of self-organization (goal-orientedness, perseverance, and orientation toward the present).
The study’s findings indicate that school students ought to be purposefully prepared for the choice of the pedagogical profession. During the period of college preparation of pedagogues, special attention ought to be devoted to organizing on-the-job and pre-graduation practical training in the graduation year. Classes and practical sessions ought to incorporate training sessions on boosting self-efficacy and self-organization, fostering a positive self-concept and a positive perception of the world, and cultivating the ability to anticipate and relieve emotional tension.