N. Moskvicheva, S. Kostromina

Saint Petersburg State University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
Most psychological and educational researches state that modern teachers should possess a wide range of teaching skills to be good professionals. This is essential for university lecturers, as university students have a strong professional motivation, and place high demands on the interaction with the teacher and his or her competence. Therefore, organizational and substantive issues of training qualified teachers for higher schools become topical. There are many training programs for higher school teachers in Russia. We assume that one of the effective ways of preparing prospective university teachers is the development of reflective teaching skills by means of special training programs.

The purpose of our study was to investigate the effect of the training program for the development of reflective teaching of pre-service university lecturers applied in St-Petersburg State University. The program is based on the principles of activity and involvement, and on encouraging participants to take responsibility for learning.

The sample included 45 postgraduates (mean age 27.3±1.9) who had primary teaching practice and intention to work as a university lecturer.

To study the self-assessment of participants we used the questionnaire and eighteen 10-point scales (representing the necessary qualities of university teachers, including competence, personal characteristics, ability to communicate with students, creativity, motivation, ability to use educational technology and so on). Psychodiagnostic techniques of studying of emotional stability, extraversion-introversion (Eysenck Personality Inventory), and the empathy (Yusupov technique) were used. The training program relied on the multi-strategy which included informing of participants, training simulations, case studies, focus group discussions and reflection of teaching skills, manifested both in simulated situations of teaching and in the real teaching experience. Upon completion of the training, participants wrote the final work, reflecting the experience and skills, and the individual program of their further professional growth, which were subjected to content analysis. The effect of the program was also revealed by expert estimates. SPSS-20 was used for data processing.

Analysis of the results showed a high appreciation of the training program by participants. First of all, they got the greatest experience in reflection of their communication skills, including the ability to explain learning material and skills of self-presentation. The second place in importance they gave to awareness of the individual temperament characteristics and considering it in teaching. Among further directions of professional growth they noted the necessity of development of communicative, organizational and public speaking skills, and acquisition of modern educational technologies. The development of self-regulation skills, including the development of self-control, coping with stressful situations, and care about health were also marked as very important. Another direction was concerned with self-development, including the increase of self-confidence, development of self-knowledge and broadening of outlook. Based on the study effect and feedback from the participants some additions and improvements in the program were made.