Professional Identity Level of Social Pedagogy Students in the Context of Career Decisions

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Abstract

The concept of professional identity involves professional suitability, training, professional choice, professional image, professional plan, career awareness and motivation. Students of social pedagogy as future professionals have their self-conception which depends on the level of professional identity the students have achieved: diffuse identity, self-determination without debate, moratorium and the identity achieved. Each level reflects the identity of a certain combination of investigation and resolution of the undertaking. However, professional identity is not only an objectively perceived phenomenon; every subjective perception leads to one’s own career in the context of human evolution, social life, economic conditions, learning experience.

Professional identity, which has been understood as professional roles, is one of the most important factors of career success and satisfaction. It is based on personal characteristics, values and experience. The profession of social pedagogues is specific, because they work with people and, in particular, socially sensitive. Therefore, the students of social pedagogy must have the inclination to work with people. Social pedagogues are responsible for social well-being and, therefore, career decisions of students in social pedagogy must be self-directed and adequate. Thus, the higher education professionals providing career guidance, mentors and teachers should recognize whether these programs are relevant to young people at an early stage of the professional identity. Future social pedagogues must also understand the characteristics of the formation of professional identity of a social pedagogue. Therefore, this article addresses the following research questions: what career decisions were taken when choosing studies in social pedagogy? How and what appropriate level of professional identity was reached during the period of studies at university?

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