Professional Development of Teachers of Preschool Education Institutions and Distance Learning: Advantages, Difficulties and Prospects

Abstract.

In times of fast-changing information, in order to keep teachers’ knowledge and skills up to date and to comply with one of the tenets of sustainable development – lifelong learning – specialists in the sector should develop professionally. This will not only meet professional needs for new information, knowledge and skills, help teachers to perform their professional duties effectively in a rapidly changing environment, but will also help them to be competitive in the labour market. The purpose of this study was to investigate the advantages of applying distance learning for the professional development of preschool teachers, to identify the challenges that specialists of this industry face in the process of distance learning, and to determine the prospects for the development and improvement of this form of education. In the course of the study the authors used a set of general scientific theoretical and empirical research methods, such as analysis, statistical data processing, synthesis, surveying and generalisation. The key advantages of distance learning are highlighted, including individuality, flexibility, asynchrony, openness and self-organisation. It has been revealed that the remote format of education today is characterised by a number of problematic aspects in the implementation process, in particular the insufficient level of technical equipment, the lack of an adequate competence component in the professional training of teachers and the disruption of communication between the subjects of the educational process. It has been found that the majority of postgraduate institutes have courses designed for the professional development of preschool teachers and use both full-time and distance learning. The likelihood of technological, organisational and pedagogical difficulties for the trainees of the upgrade training courses has been determined. The study revealed that most teachers are generally satisfied with this form of training, but not all are ready to implement it in their work. The practical value of the study consists in summarising the characteristic features of distance education on the basis of theoretical analysis and questionnaires

Keywords: distance education, post-graduate education, preschool teachers, technological difficulties, organisational difficulties, pedagogical difficulties

https://doi.org/10.52534/msu-pp.8(1).2022.24-30