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Professional health at a late stage of career development (case study: school teachers)

Pedagogical activity in Russia is an area with traditionally high professional livability and a large number of working old teachers. In this regard, the issue of the teacher’s professional health becomes relevant. А teacher’s professional health is defined as a complex of psychological characteristics that meets the requirements and conditions of professional activity and ensures the optimal level of working capacity, personality development at all stages of professionalization and professional longevity.

The purpose of the empirical research is to study characteristics of professional health at a late stage of career development. The study involved 198 school teachers, including 98 working teachers with a professional experience of over 35-years (main group), 50 young teachers with less than a 3-year experience (first comparison group), and 50 teachers who finished their professional career (second comparison group). The research methodology was selected in accordance with the identified components of professional health: motivational, emotional and reflexive.

It was established that at a late stage of career development, the teacher’s professional health is characterized by high motivation for success (42%), for avoiding failures (58%), high anxiety (47%) and rigidity (42%), high empathy (57%) and systemic reflection (72,8%). It was found that working teachers have higher satisfaction with life (U = 291, p = 0.00007), but they are less willing to adapt to age-related changes than the teachers who already finished their professional career (U = 344, p = 0.001).

Changes affect all the components of professional health, but their modality is different. Whereas the increased motivation for achievement and reflexivity can be considered a generally positive trend, the changes in the emotional component of health (high anxiety and rigidity) are negative. A higher level of life satisfaction among working pensioners indicates a positive role of labour activity in the socio-emotional well-being of an elderly person.

The results obtained clarify ideas about the professional health of a teacher who is at a late stage of career development. The results form the informational basis of psychological support programs for teachers of pre-retirement age.

Key words: professional health, old age, late stage of career development, pedagogical activity

For Reference: Pecherkina, A. A., & Sergeeva, T. B. (2020). Professional health at a late stage of career development (case study: school teachers). Perspektivy nauki i obrazovania – Perspectives of Science and Education, 43 (1), 329-343. doi: 10.32744/pse.2020.1.23

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Information about the authors:

Anna A. Pecherkina (Russia, Yekaterinburg) - Associate Professor, PhD in Psychology, Head of the Department of Pedagogy and Psychology of Education. Ural Federal University named after the First President of Russia B. N. Yeltsin. E-mail: 79apa@mail.ru. ORCID ID: 0000-0002-2261-2505. Scopus ID: 57190120274

Tamara B. Sergeeva (Russia, Yekaterinburg) - Associate Professor, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor of Department of General and Social Psychology. Ural Federal University named after the First President of Russia B. N. Yeltsin. E-mail: tamara.2005@mail.ru. ORCID ID: 0000-0003-4743-444X. Scopus ID: 57191168346

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