I. Prudņikova1, I. Zogla2, V. Lubkina1, S. Usca1

1Rezekne Academy of Technologies (LATVIA)
2The University of Latvia, Riga (LATVIA)
The decisive role of teacher education and qualifications (Kennedy et al. 2008) is central in optimizing education for the learners’ success. However, empirical investigations and review of the literature (Cochran-Smith & Zeichner, 2005) show that not only are the definitions of the related terms imprecise but also there are practical inconsistencies and unclear conceptions of teacher education (Harford, 2010, Collinson et al., 2009; Thurston et al, 2008; Latham & Vogt, 2007). Furthermore, the use of digital technologies popular amongst learners is restricted by teachers, who “even despite good digital readiness often are limited by inconsistent conceptualization of digital competencies” (Blayond et. al, 2017).This list of inconsistencies continues and incorporates teacher gaps in ability to assist adolescents with balance problems.

The aim and objectives of this article are to initiate a discussion and approbate the findings of a state research program on adolsents’ balance difficulties and a tool created for adolescents to address these difficulties through self-managed telerehabilitation. The implementation process has identified the need for a program for the further development of teacher competency in the research area, along with the need to test the program and discuss the findings and their intepretation.

Research methodology:
The program has been implemented, probated and its effectiveness analysed in three regions of the country establishing its validity and reliability.
The findings are organised in the following thematic clusters: improvement of teacher competence in assisting adolescents with improvement of complex balance issues and inclusion; self-evaluation of teacher competence; strategies for teachers assisting adolescents with balance measurements; organizational settings for adolescent self-managed telerehabilitation; a tool for self-evaluation of teacher competence.

The methods of investigation:
Theoretical analysis of issues relating to the development of teacher competence and adolescent complex balance (physical, intellectual, emotional, social) development; measuring of adolescents’ physical balance by BIOSWAY equipment; questionnaires and interviews with teachers and adolescents.
The following data processing SPSS 22.0 programme methods have been applied: a method of descriptive statistics, Kruskal-Wallis test, and Kendall's tau-b correlation test.

Conclusions and discussion:
As preparing teachers to provide quality assistance is traditionally considered a core challenge of this profession (Woolfolk Hoy et al. 2006), adolescents’ achievements are identified in terms of a teacher‘s specific pedagogical ability to initiate, support and enable adolescents to achieve complex self-managed improvement of their balance: the concept of a program developing teacher competence in assisting adolsecents with the self-management of complex balance improvements eventuating in inclusion; redressing the lack of clarity about subject teacher responsibilities, the level of general and specialist skills required to identify student balance problems and offer appropriate assistance all of which are not included in general teacher professional skills frameworks.