This brief report contains definition of the concept of a «young tutor of a higher education institution», sets age limits of this category. It describes a social image of a high school tutor through competence and personal qualities. Processes that characterize young tutors as a social group are also studied. They are: motivation, marginality, professional identity. Measures that provide for an increase in status of a young tutor, are listed.
The report of Coordinate council of affairs of youth in scientific and educational areas by the Council of the President of Russian Federation of science and education «Science, education, and innovations in Russia: a young scientists’ overview of problems and prospects» (2012) contains a range of statistic data regarding the position of the scientific youth. According to the document, nowadays about thirty thousands of young high school tutors operate in Russia.
By now there is no a single accepted opinion on age limits of the social group «Young tutors». Let us try to put it within the following limits: from 21 year old (as a possible moment of graduation from an institution of higher education and start of tutorship) to 35 years old (the utmost age of young scientists – candidates of science in state scientific grants and scholarships).
Combination of pedagogic and scientific activity transforms a classic tutor into a one who differs from a tutor of any lower level of education. These two types activities, combined in a creative way, provides for the most efficient professional work of a tutor.
According to these ideas, we will accept the following interpretation of the term «young tutor». A young tutor is an in-staff, off-staff tutor, or a tutor working on hourly salary of 21 to 35 years of age with an unlimited pedagogic experience.
Young tutors form a special age sub-group of the professional group of tutors. Therefore, we should start with a short general analysis of the status «tutors of higher education institutions» as a social group.
According to G.F. Krasozhenovoy, social image of a tutor is formed of three basic components that are linked functionally: general cultural, psychologic-pedagogic, and subject-technical component.
General-cultural competence describes a tutor as a carrier of general human and national culture, moral norms and values.
Psychologic-pedagogic competence implies a tutor’s realization of himself and others (students, tutors), knowledge of laws of general and professional development of a person within the process of education, abilities to organize inter-personal interaction and communication (communication between participants of the educational process, their individual and joint activity in achieving goals of training, upbringing and development).
Subject-technological compete represents a tutor’s level of mastership of a subject contents and efficient pedagogic technologies, his abilities to bring pedagogic innovations, carrying out pedagogic researches and realization of their results on practice .
A tutor of an institution of higher education is defined by a unity of intellect, high level of verbal communication, direction and systematic type of thinking.
Activity of a tutor is a type of a complex intellectual work (most frequently – scientific-pedagogic work) that requires high-quality and permanent training. As typical features of scientific-pedagogic work we can outline the following ones: lack of definite time limits (unlike any physical work), direct connection with an organization of collective creative work, etc.
As personal qualities of a tutor we can point out the following ones: humanity, democracy in communication, ability towards objective evaluations and self-evaluations of behavior, high level of mastering contents of the profile subjects, knowledge of contents and special features of the professional activity of training specialists in an institution of higher education, feel for innovations, ability towards pedagogic creativity, high level of general culture, urge for a consequent self-education and self-development .
The social group «young tutors of higher education institutions» draws a definite scientific interest.
A young tutor enters the professional space where certain norms, relations, inner processes have already formed. Introduction into a professional society goes along with mastering its culture. It requires consequent reflexive work, forming goals of one’s activity according to the created motivation. The highest percent of staff «leakage» takes place among young tutors as well as a decrease in motivation to continue their work in institutions of higher education .
The position of a young tutor can be called marginal as the one belongs to two social groups: students and tutors. However, a young student cannot be referred to any of these groups completely. The following characteristics typically describe a marginal person: doubts regarding his personal value, uncertainty of social relations, excess concern regarding the future, loneliness, fear to be rejected, tendency to avoid uncertain situations .
For a young tutor it is extremely important to obtain a professional identity (under professional identity here we mean «professional image of ME» that includes professional stereotypes and a uniqueness of one’s own «Me»), it is one of the most important results of his professional socialization. A young specialist needs not only to master a professional role, but also demonstrate it to other members of the society in a way so his professional identity is supported by both objective and subjective evaluations.
The system of higher education has some efficient mechanisms that influence the process of forming a professional identity that is a part of social identity of a young tutor. It is an initiation of his part in conferences for young scientists and publication of scientific articles, improvement in his qualification. While playing this professional part, a young man realizes himself as a specialist. In case a young tutor does not show an activity in achieving higher status positions, it points to his low professional identity.
A young specialist who possesses a combination of statuses according to age and professional characteristics, considers the status of tutor as the main one, and this fact defines his behavior that reflects his identity. It is defined by special features of the modern youth that, according to V.V. Semenova «interests of the youth itself are directed not toward self-expression, but towards the search for the quickest and the most adequate way to enter the rightful state of a grown, economically-independent person» .
Requirements towards a professional role are formed in a young tutor’s mind according to expectations that his colleagues address him. A significance of acknowledging one’s professional acts by his colleagues testifies for a presence of professional identity of a young specialist. For him it is important not only to self-identify himself as a tutor, but also confirm his identity objectively.
C.I. Ildarkhanova defines a status of a young tutor by his position in a hierarchic structure of the larger-scale social group – intelligence, part of which they are. We can outline a trend to decrease in social status of this group that serves as both a result and a reason of transition of its great part to power structures, emigration, and partial marginalization. Transition of intelligence from the middle to the basic level that differs from the former by lower material-economic position, limited resources, lower potential of social-innovative activity also implies a decrease in social status of a young tutor .
After C.I. Ildarkhanova, let us outline the basic measures that can change the formed position and increase the social state of young tutors :
– creating conditions that provide for a transition of tutors as a group to the middle layer of hierarchic structure of the society;
– solving problems of status disagreement via both increasing their level of income and creating a correspondence between the income and the carried out strain;
– increasing motivation for selecting the profession of tutor among young specialists via creating conditions for a sufficient (acceptable according to market indexes) career and professional growth, conditions for creativity and realization of research ideas.
The article is written in terms of the grand of the President of Russian Federation, project № MK-3790.2012.6.