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Psy.D., Associate Professor,

Deputy Director,

The Scientific Research Institute of Innovative Strategies for the General Education Development

Moscow, Russia

Methodological Foundations of Modern Educational Systems Integration and the World View of a Modern Teacher

(Draft report for presentation in China)

By Marina V. Polovkova,

In the modern world, sociocultural changes are so fast paced that the education system of the past does not meet the needs of today's industry, science, arts, personality growth and spiritual development of man, post-secular revival of religious traditions during the age of new scientific revolutions. We must leave behind the basic principles of Jan Komensky system since they do not any longer correspond to the reality of the modern world, and introduce different principles of education, which will correspond to the changes in the sociocultural and technological environment taking place in 20 and even more years.

The key issues we need to address are:

1. Teaching children various types of thought-activity: research, design, programming, making scenarios and relationship among them.

2. Creating international platforms where new results of education can be compared.

3. Education in relation to the fundamental science and changing system of knowledge.

4. Education as practice evoking feeling-into the systems of arts.

If we want to implement these changes we need to change the teacher's mind opening it to other areas of practice.

Today, the strategy of pedagogical professionalism development is founded on the principle of further complexification and elaboration of a teacher's work. The conditions of intellectual creativity have to be restored to the teacher. A person who is not involved into a creative activity cannot possibly teach children how to create and be creative.

In the long-term outlook, the key quality defining pedagogical professionalism will be the ability to work with diversity that exits in the content of education, in the individual manifestations of children's and adolescents' trainability, parents' expectations, etc. Achieving these qualities does not imply erosion of professionalism and lack of foundation for the professionalism of a new type. On the contrary, in order to achieve this we need to develop certain indispensable qualities in the teacher himself, specifically, the ideation ability, communication skills, action ability, reflexion, and comprehension. In this case, the teacher will be able to practically work with various tools of educational content areas, developmental psychology, methodology, and management, as applied to specific situations.

The teacher becomes a member of a child-adult educational community, able to independently identify educational objectives and create conditions, in which a child's personality can manifest itself.

Such a teacher is not tied to a certain strictly defined curriculum, on the contrary, the curriculum is created for specific learning situations, for the members of a specific child-educational community. This customized "signature" curriculum built by the teacher will have to undergo expert evaluation and the results of its implementation must be analyzed by teaching methods specialists and developmental psychologists.

Teacher's work complexification based on the individualization of methodological systems and principles of curriculum building is only possible if such a teacher consciously and purposefully cultivates and grows certain abilities in himself, specifically, the abilities of comprehension, problem-didactic thinking (the method of content enrichment by V.V. Davydov), ability of designing activity.

As a separate task, the teacher has to foster personality and self-consciousness growth in his students. The teacher has to be able to use both task based and problem-solving based forms of educational process organization. In the case, the intellectual level of the professional work of a teacher rises, and so does the technological quality of his work.

A new teacher will emerge, and this teacher will be a competent co-author of the developmental programs for each child and a group of children as a whole, will be included into a professional team of specialists in didactics, anthropologists, representative of fundamental science, engineering design groups, and professional artists. The key function of a teacher is to identify and deliver to the child those cultural patterns that will provide for the adequate, requested here and now, and agreed upon with the parents, level of development of the child's abilities.

The work in a multipositional team means that the teacher, in his professional development, will have to transcend the limits of the single subject or branch he has mastered and reach beyond the framework of the institution he belongs to. In the first case the professionalism is built through mastering content and technologies of meta-subject approach, and, as the ultimate professional skill, grows to the ability to develop the needed meta-subject in close cooperation with other experts. In the second case the teacher is able to build contacts and ways to apply knowledge obtained together with students in a wide range of areas of human activity (child-adult projects and research).

In order to achieve the required level of pedagogical professionalism we need to come up with a new, different approach to the organization and implementation of professional training of teachers. Profound psychological, philosophical, methodological knowledge about man, and human activity, workings of mind and consciousness should serve as the foundation of such training. Using all this as the basis for development, the teacher has to master existing meta-subjects and fundamental knowledge out of objective realities while understanding its limitations and current directions of research. The teaching practice has to be implemented at the best schools serving as experimental platforms, where concepts and pedagogical methods can be further elaborated and fine-tuned, and the key result of the teaching process shall be the ability to develop scenarios for learning situations. As for the skills of design work and research activity, the students will be able to obtain those skills not only within the walls of their own college, but also in other scientific groups and teams, which deal with promising, breakthrough projects.

In this respect it is necessary to establish regular international contacts and meetings dedicated to the most important global problems in education, so that we can share with the international community our solutions to the problems. These solution are based on the current research and projects within thought-activity methodology framework. Among the approaches this methodology utilizes are educational content design, evaluation of educational performance and efficiency, new, promising forms of pedagogical work, ways of knowledge renewal in education, development of abilities (e.g., comprehension), etc.

This article analyzes current methodological approaches to the educational systems development and establishment of a new pedagogical world view and professionalism based on the thought-activity concepts.

 

НИИ ИСРОО: технологии прорыва