The growing demand for professional competence has already been observed on the part of psychological theory and practice for long. It occurs in connection with psychology achievements application sphere expansion, and also with gradually formed image of the profession of a psychologist.
The literature analysis discovers the diversity and ambiguity of the specified notions´ interpretation. In the content of the works, wherein the competence problem is being considered (Zeyer E.F., Zimin V.N., Markova A.K., Mudrik A.V., Kuzmina N.V., Tatur Yu.G., Khutorskoy A.V., Shishov S.Ye. and others), there is a terminological confusion of the terms "professional competence" and "professional competency", though these notions contain substantial differences.
According to Pluzhnik I.L., competency supposes the awareness of the worker concerning his professional activity and the ability to implement it on the basis of knowledge, abilities and skills of technologies grasping . The notion of "competence", as a rule, is considered in the line of such notions as skills, competency, ability, mastery. Practically all researchers agree that the notion of "competence" is closer to the conceptual field "know how", than to that of "know what" . The professional competence can be considered as the capability and readiness to perform an activity independently and successfully on the basis of integration of motives, abilities, skills and experience with concrete social-professional situation. The idea of professional competence is wider, than those of "knowledge", "abilities" and "skills", as it comprises all of them and combines with professional motives, abilities of the specialist, his social behavior, and opportunities for self-realization in professional activity.
The professional competence - is one of those key competences, which a psychologist should be equipped with, as the possession of it the process of educational activity creates the foundation for the development of professionalism and mastery.
Nowadays, psychology represents an integrated system of sciences and kinds of professional psychological activity (education, economics, politics, sport, etc.). Each of activity kinds presents its own specific requirements for professional training, capabilities of the specialist, and also his professional competences. One can with good reason associate an image competence with the number of the last.
The social-psychological analysis of the notion "image" allows defining the last as a symbolic form of a subject created in the process of subject-subject interaction. Speaking on the "image of a profession", it is usually meant a generalized image of a professional group of representatives of a given professional community, endowed with certain stable characteristics. In terms of such an approach, the expectations concerning the behavior of the corresponding professional group representatives are formed, that can significantly predetermine the estimation of their behavior . Agreeing in general with the comprehension of a profession image, according Perelygina Ye.B. and others , we shall mean a symbolic form of a professional psychologist, as a subject, created in the process of professional training and professional psychological activity, by the image of the profession of a psychologist.
Although the popularity of such a knowledge branch as psychology grows in our society, the word "psychology" itself is still under a cloud of mystery for many. It is explained, first of all, by an extremely simplified comprehension of the profession of a "psychologist". The circumstance, that very often people bearing no relation to this profession in its strictly scientific apprehension in fact call themselves psychologists, also impedes. Often a false image of a professional psychologist is created by pseudoscientific editions and sometimes - mass media. Not in the less degree, and it should be confessed, the erroneous notion of the profession is also created by psychologists themselves. As a rule, it is connected with insufficiently formed professional competences. It is not a secret that a certain part of "piping hot" specialists, having a university diploma with a psychologist qualification, in fact are not always ready and able to implement the obtained knowledge in practice in the social-professional situation.
Thus, the professional competence in no small degree (if not to a greater extent) influences the image of a psychologist and, therefore, the formation of an adequate image of a professional answering the expectations of a person, group of people being in need of a professional psychological aid and comfort. The formation of necessary professional competences requires taking into account the image characteristics, which include both professional and personality traits of a specialist.
Considering the multifuctionality of the profession of a psychologist, let us refer to the first ones the ability to self-presentation, creation of social-professional desirability sample; the ability and readiness for learning and understanding the human, rendering of assistance in his personal formation and development; the ability to "read" fluently and interpret the inner state of the other on behavior nuances, to manage non-verbal intercourse means; the ability and readiness for social-psychological interpretation of a personality on its appearance; the ability and readiness for empathy; social-psychological observancy and others.
To personally meaningful image characteristics of the professional competence of a psychologist let us refer the ability to self-development, self-perfection; moral responsibility for the performance of his professional activity; humanity, tolerance, respect to people; creativity; communicative abilities; goodwill, modesty, kindheartedness; intellectual abilities; interpersonal and emotional attractiveness; self-confidence and others. Personal traits are becoming professionally significant factors for the creation of favourable conditions in the activity of a psychologist and, accordingly, for the formation of competences influencing the image of the profession.
The abovementioned image characteristics, on the one hand, influence physical (anatomical, physiological, functional features, paralinguistic characteristics) and social (social appearance, proxemic features of communication, verbal, extralinguistic and activity features) image of the perceived subject; on the other hand, they mirror in this very physical and social image.
The formation of professional competence influencing the "psychologist" profession image is realized both in the course of professional activity and in the process of professional development. Even a professional choice - is to a large extent an attempt to create one´s own image already. Therefore, though the psychologist profession image acquires the entire picture and becomes available in the mature enough age, nevertheless, it is necessary to realize the opportunities of higher educational institution training, in the course of which professional competences of the future specialist are formed.
- Zimnyaya I.A. Key competences - new paradigm of education result // Higher education now. - 2003 - N5 - pp. 34-42.
- Ososkov V.P., Perelygina Ye.B., Fadeyev V.V. Psychologist profession image as professional choice motive // Psychology world. - 2003 - N4 -pp. 151-159.
- Perelygina Ye.B. Psychology of image - M.: Aspect-Press, 2002.
- Pluzhnik I.L. Formation of intercultural communicative competence of humanitarian students in process of professional training. Autoabstract for academic title of Doctor of pedagogical sciences // WWW / tmalib. ru / resources / Pluzhnik. Pdf (375КБ) 19.06.2004.
The work is submitted to the International Scientific Conference "Actual problems of science and education", Cuba (Varadero), March, 19-29, 2008, came to the editorial office on 11.02.2008.