REPRESENTATIONS OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ABOUT PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY OF EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The issue of psychological safety of educational environment (further, we will use PSEE for shortness sake) has become of great interest in recent years. It is connected with the interest of society in both conditions that affect the formation and development of young generation and needs of all participants of the educational processes that are manifested in the desires to feel safe, satisfied and psychologically healthy.
Currently, most of the works in this subject area are devoted to the analysis of safety of educational environment at schools or preschools. At the same time, there are almost no studies on students’ representations about the characteristics of a safe environment.
The relevance of this issue in the context of higher education is determined by the significance of the influence of modern educational environment on the professional development of students as future professionals.
According to Rubtsov and Baeva (2008), the basic characteristics of psychological safety of educational environment are freedom from psychological violence in the interaction of all the subjects included in this educational process, ability to meet the needs of students in confidential communication, as well as the referential importance of this communicative space.
Thus, the main questions of this study were how the students understand the psychological safety of educational environment in university and how they can define it in the specific forms of interpersonal communication and educational process. We used a short questionnaire consisting of three questions for that purpose.
96 people, third-year students of Social Psychology Faculty, participated in this survey (it was conducted anonymously). Among them, 12 boys and 84 girls aged 19 to 21.
We processed the received texts using the method of content analysis. There were 416 statements that we combined in more general categories.
The first component of PSEE reveals the content of students’ representations about comfortable space of interaction in the educational environment (22.8% of all statements). This component includes two subcomponents: characteristics of comfortable environment, and characteristics of inner comfort.
The second most frequently mentioned representation is that psychologically safe educational environment is a communication space, in which there are no negative effects of its members on each other (21.9%).
We defined the next component of PSEE as the organization of educational process (21.4%).
We called the fourth component as "quality of relationships in educational space" (17.8%). Another essential component of PSEE that we found in the responses of students was the description of the result of the creation of safe conditions of educational environment. We defined this component as the result of inclusion in PSEE for its participants in the forms of new information, self-discovery, self-actualization and creative manifestations (11.1%).
Finally, we called the last component as the personality traits that ensure PSEE (5.0%). There are confidence, kindness, compassion and others among these traits.
The results will be used to develop the specific recommendations for creation of a psychologically safe environment for university students.
Keywords: Psychological safety, educational environment, university students.