Traditions And Innovations In The Sphere Of Upringing: Prospects And Risks

Abstract

The article presents the research results on the influence of traditions and innovations in sphere of upbringing on the development of this sphere. It is obvious that for the development of upbringing it is important both to introduce innovations and to preserve traditions, so it is important to study their role in upbringing, as well as the conditions under which they become mechanisms of its development. The article highlights the following issues relevant to sphere of upbringing: under what circumstances traditions and innovations in upbringing transformed into effective mechanisms for development of this sphere? Which traditions and innovations are useful for upbringing of modern students? In the course of the research collective work on these issues, traditions and innovations were analysed in the framework of the main aspects of upbringing: goal-value, organizational-managerial, methodological. The role of traditions and innovations in the development of the sphere of upbringing in educational organizations is revealed. Their positive role in student‘ upbringing, and the risks associated with them were characterized also. The results of this research will help to implement innovative processes in the sphere of upbringing, minimizing the risk of destabilization of this sphere and the disorientation of the teaching staff caused by them. They will help to preserve well-established traditions in the field of upbringing, while minimizing risks of non-reflexive use by teachers of these traditions, inertness in work, closeness to truly productive innovations and, as a result, transformation of traditions into a retarding factor of upbringing.

Keywords: Upbringingschooltraditioninnovation

Introduction

The development of culture, and the sphere of upbringing - as one of its components, is always a two-component process. On the one hand - this is а spread of certain established traditions in this area, and on the other - is the introduction of innovations. Both have an influence on the modern school. Therefore, the study of the role of traditions and innovations in the sphere of upbringing is an actual and useful research designed to identify both their prospects and the risks for the development of this sphere. Despite a number of studies ( Dinamika, 2011; Kovaleva, 2003; Lazarev, 2008; Poljakov, 2007; Poter, 2018) devoted to the problem of traditions and innovations in education, the issue of their influence on the development of upbringing remains open.

Problem Statement

Innovations‘ introduction and maintaining traditions are important for education development. It is important to investigate their role in education as well as conditions under which they become its development mechanisms.

Research Questions

Under what conditions do traditions and innovations in character education turn into effective mechanisms for the development and what traditions and innovations are useful for education of modern schoolchildren?

Traditions in the sphere of upbringing

We will consider the traditions in the sphere of upbringing as the established and often used in the practice of upbringing some kind of its components: goals, content, forms, methods, etc. Innovations in the sphere of upbringing are improvements introduced or have been already introduced into the practice of upbringing, that is to say, components, which previously were not used: goals, content, forms, methods, etc. Moreover, improvement, in our opinion, can be absolute, that is, it has no analogues (which is a rare phenomenon for the sphere of upbringing), and relative, that is, it is new in the work of a specific teacher, educational organization, regional education system, etc.

Innovations in the sphere of upbringing

Innovations in the sphere of upbringing are improvements introduced or have been already introduced into the practice of upbringing, that is to say, components, which previously were not used: goals, content, forms, methods, etc. Moreover, improvement, in our opinion, can be absolute, that is, it has no analogues (which is a rare phenomenon for the sphere of upbringing), and relative, that is, it is new in the work of a specific teacher, educational organization, regional education system, etc.

Purpose of the Study

To reveal the most important traditions and innovations in modern school character education and to define their role in it is the purpose of the study.

Research Methods

Starting the research, we sought to identify the most important traditions and innovations in modern school upbringing and determine their role in its development. For this purpose, we used the following methods: theoretical analysis of scientific literature on the research problem; analysis and generalization of the past and modern constructive experience in the sphere of upbringing; content analysis; humanitarian expertise; questionnaire and method of narrative (description).

Findings

We considered traditions and innovations within the framework of three main aspects of upbringing: goal-value, organizational-managerial and methodical. In the course of the study, it became evident that the traditions and innovations that we identified and analyzed in the sphere of upbringing do not always play a definitely positive or definitely negative role. Rather, we can talk about their ambivalent character. Moreover, some of them can play their role only under certain conditions, which were also revealed during the research

Goal-value aspect of upbringing

Among the most well-established in the practice of Russian schools of traditional goal-values mindsets of teachers in the sphere of upbringing we can distinguish the following ( for more details, see: Beljaev, 2016; Perspektivnye modeli, 2005; Selivanova, 2013). Firstly, it is the upbringing of the axiological attitude of students to their Motherland. This tradition of our school plays a positive role in the formation of Russian civil identity of the younger generations, educating future citizens who are interested in the preservation of important national values based on maintaining social harmony in our multinational country and who are ready for constructive social action for the good of their Motherland. Secondly, it is the upbringing of the value attitude of students to the health. It can play its positive role in the prevention of dangerous for students’ health dependence and the formation of their habit of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Thirdly, it is the upbringing of the students' value attitude toward work, which plays a role in the vocational guidance of students, in the formation of important self-service skills, and in the education of the culture of everyday life. Fourthly, this is the upbringing of students' value attitude to culture, which is useful in terms of the formation of positive stereotypes of cultural behaviour of students, the development of the aesthetic taste of children, and the expanding of their horizons.

We can identify two the most significant new goal-value guidelines for Russian schools in the sphere of upbringing. The first one is the education of the information culture of the students. It can play a positive role in acquiring important to his personal development skills to recognize and resist the manipulation of various information sources ( Kruglov, 2014; Pinchuk, 2013). It also helps to understand the possibilities and boundaries of the use of information and communication technologies ( Zemba, 2013; Pjelfri, Gasser, 2011) and to understand the dangers associated with the virtualization of human life. The second guideline is the education of a personality focused on achieving individual success, which is important for the development of the child's commitment, increasing his responsibility for his future, increasing his chances to achieve results in the chosen field of activity.

The above-mentioned traditions and innovations can play their positive role if the process of achievement of these purposes in school is based on the following ideas:

  • the initiation, organization, conduct and analysis of educational events by teachers together with children;

  • support for the child's internal motivation to participate in events initiated by teachers and creation of situations for the child's self-determination;

  • support for the child's internal motivation to participate in events initiated by teachers and creation of situations for the child's self-determination;

  • assistance to the child in the search for the personal sense of his participation in the carried-out activities and the skilful organization of the process of emotional experience of this participation;

  • involvement of children in such cases, which would not be detached from the realities of modern life;

  • such an organization of children's activities, which they would subjectively perceive as the acquisition of an important experience for themselves;

  • the coincidence of the values that teachers try to pass on to children, with their own values.

However, the above-mentioned goal-oriented attitudes of teachers can play a negative role in upbringing, leading to opposite effects. For example: to promote the levelling of the values of the Motherland, health, work, culture in the child's mind; to provoke imitation of socially approved behaviour by children; to form a personality incapable of seriously reflecting one's own actions; formalize the work of the teacher, take away his time, cause rejection of the idea of upbringing, ultimately leading to professional burning out. This negative role may be due to the fact that the process of reaching teachers' professional goals in school is reduced to a simple set of activities: having mainly propaganda character; not having an eventful significance for teachers and students; based on explicit or implicit compulsion to students‘ participation; estimated by their quantity, and not by their importance for the child's personal development.

Besides, the excessive absolutization by teachers of this or that goal-valuable priority of upbringing or its separate component can also have negative consequences. For example, the reduction of patriotic upbringing only to the military-patriotic may have the risk of militarization of consciousness of children. The excessive attention of teachers to creation of the "hothouse" health-saving subject-spatial environment in school can prevent the children from perceiving imaginary and real dangers for their health, educating hypochondriacs, poorly prepared for life outside the school and their home. The excessive activity of teachers in acquainting children with the dangers of their use of psychoactive substances has a risk of developing unwanted cognitive interest of the child to these substances. Absolutization by teachers of the organization of work-study and work-labour of students with insufficient attention to the organization of work-care can lead to formation of students’ attitude to work as to a duty or punishment. Excessive focus of teachers' attention on the development of students' knowledge about culture to the detriment of the organization of children's emotional experience of meeting with culture, their own reading of these or those objects of cultural heritage can contribute to the development of "emotional deafness" of children.

Organizational-managerial aspect of upbringing

Let us turn to organizational-managerial traditions and innovations and their possible role in the sphere of upbringing. Among the most established in the practice of Russian schools of organizational-managerial traditions can be identified the following.

Firstly, it is the consolidation of the functions of upbringing for certain categories of pedagogical workers in school (deputy director for educational work, teacher-organizer, counselor, class leader, etc.). This principle of the organization of the upbringing process plays its positive role in the management of upbringing in school, as it facilitates the implementation of the functions of planning, organizing, motivating and controlling the upbringing activity of teachers. However, the negative role that such a principle of organizing the upbringing process in school can play is more significant. It narrows the educational possibilities of school, as it can hamper the development of the personal and professional position of the educator in those teachers who do not have the corresponding functional; it prevent the creation of teams of class teachers because of the reluctance of subject teachers to be included in the problem of upbringing; it prevents the creation of all- school collective of teachers-educators, and, consequently, the educational system of school.

Secondly, it is the organization of the upbringing process through an annual cycle of all-school key cases. This principle of organization of upbringing in school facilitates the solution of the problem of planning upbringing activities in school and classes; intensifies the process of collective formation in classes; promotes the expansion of the asset of students who sets the standard forms of behavior for other children and acts as a kind of guide for the way of life of the children's collective; gives an opportunity to express themselves in activities and communication to those children who, for various reasons, can not do this within the framework of class communities. The negative role of this tradition lies in the fact that making all-school key cases an absolute priority over all other joint activities of teachers and schoolchildren creates a risk of narrowing the activities of primary children's associations of students, and, with strict regulation of their forms and content - the risk of activity‘s monotony, boredom and absence of so important in the child's upbringing expectations of tomorrow's joy.

Thirdly, it is the organization of upbringing process in school through class communities. The positive role of this tradition lies in the fact that it gives the teacher an opportunity to rely in upbringing work on the friendly groups of children that are already in the class and already existing class leaders, to solve the problems of the age development of children, to apply methods appropriate to the age characteristics of children of this class. In class communities, the child develops his communication skills, learns to build relationships not only with those, whom he‘s chosen, but also with those with whom he simply has to be together. The existing class community gives the child a sense of personal security, the opportunity to experience such an important sense of belonging to the group, provides favorable conditions for his self-realization. However, there are also risks. For example, the excessive concentration of teachers on the organization of upbringing only through class communities reduces the amount of individual work with the child, narrows the circle of intergenerational communication between children in the educational organization and, in addition, it may give rise to the risk of forming conformal attitudes in the child, a "herd feeling".

Fourthly, it is the organization of the upbringing process through children's associations of interests (circles, sections, studios, scientific societies of students, bodies of student self-government, etc.). This principle of organizing the upbringing process in school compensates for the deficiency of the previous one. In particular, it provides great opportunities for intergenerational communication between schoolchildren; gives children a chance to try themselves in different social roles and different types of activity significant to them; allows to discover new abilities and new qualities; forms positive self-esteem, self-confidence, strengthens motivation for activity; creates favorable conditions for communication of children with like-minded people, for entering into attractive for them children-adult communities that are significant for their personal development.

Fifthly, it is the involvement of students’ families in planning, organization and analysis of the upbringing process in school (both through its traditional forms, such as parental committees, and through innovative like of Trustees and Management boards). This tradition gives teachers the opportunity to coordinate goals, content, ways of upbringing with parents of students; gives parents the opportunity to participate directly in educational activities organized by school; allows teachers to influence families who do not perform their educational functions. Possible negative role of this tradition can be connected, first, with the risk of unprofessional interference of parents in the matters of school education, adoption of unprofessional decisions.

Sixthly, it is the organization of the analysis of the upbringing process in the pedagogical collectives. The positive role of this tradition lies in the fact that it can give greater meaning to educative activity of the teacher; improve its components such as goal setting, the choice of forms of work with children, the study of the results of the upbringing of students, and the organization of individual consultations with parents. In addition, a well-conducted analysis may allow a better evaluation of the quality of upbringing in school.

Seventh, this is the involvement in the process of solving of upbringing school tasks resources of other social subjects (for example, cultural and sports institutions, public organizations, industrial enterprises, etc.). On the one hand, this traditionally plays a positive role in expanding the material base for the organization of the upbringing process in school and, consequently, in expanding the opportunities for the child's self-realization; in involving other adults and children in the upbringing process of school and, consequently, in providing new opportunities for students to get acquainted with other people, with other pictures of the world, with the forms of behavior of other social groups, for mastering the experience of behavior in new social situations. On the other hand, the excessive and unreasoned use of extracurricular resources can also hamper the child's personal development, forming a consumer, infantile type of behavior.

The last decade was marked by a number of innovations introduced into the practice of organizing upbringing work in Russian schools. The following has become new in the organizational and managerial aspect of school education.

There was a reduction in the administrative posts of teachers responsible for upbringing. On the one hand, one can see some positive role in the removal of administrative barriers for the free creativity of teachers with a developed personal and professional position of the educator. However, the negative role of this innovation is more obvious, and it consists in reducing the real methodological assistance to teacher educators, in the risk of delaying upbringing because of the lack of understanding of the specifics of upbringing work by the deputy director for training activities.

There was an expansion and intensification of the control of the upbringing process in educational organizations. While this allows the subjects of management to receive the exact information they need about upbringing in school, this innovation can have a number of negative consequences. We can distinguish the following: because of the waste of time on the reporting documentation, the teacher reduces the time for direct upbringing work with children; intensive and comprehensive control forms a fear of making mistakes and, consequently, narrows the possibilities for creativity, provokes mistrust, leading to loss of the teacher's self-esteem and decrease in his professional motivation; there is a risk of substitution of motivation, when the teacher works primarily not to get the proper upbringing result, but for self-presentation and the praise of the administration.

Precedents of network interaction of various social subjects began to arise in the solution of upbringing problems ( Alieva, 2015). The positive role of this innovation lies in the fact that different forms of the network interaction of the subjects of upbringing give them the opportunity: to exchange the experience of upbringing with a large number of interested specialists, to gain access to a wider base of information resources, to attract highly skilled specialists to interact, to look at this or that problem of upbringing through the eyes of other subjects, to find alternative solutions to the problems of upbringing. In addition, de-hierarchization of teachers' interaction typical for network reduces the sense of fear of sanctions, stimulates creative activity and initiative of network participants. This innovation is not without risks. The most serious of them is a risk of emasculation of the content of the network interaction, when it is used by its participants not to solve the real problems of education, but for satisfaction the needs for leisure communication, the sense of belonging to a particular community, the experience of one's own importance, etc.

The new Federal State Educational Standard of General Education (FGOS, 2009, 2010, 2012) has made changes in the organization of the upbringing process within the framework of mandatory after-school activities. The positive role of this innovation lies in the fact that the school has the opportunity to allocate additional time for the organization of upbringing in the extracurricular activities, as well as payment for the work of teachers organizing this activity. Distorted understanding by teachers, heads of schools, and officials of the essence of the extra-hour activity introduced by the new standard can play a negative role in upbringing. In particular, there is a risk of manipulative compulsion of children to attend after-school classes, the risk of imposing extra-school activities on the part of teachers as compulsory, the risk of turning extra-curricular lessons into "lessons after lessons", the risk of substituting personal results of after-school activities with subject results ( Stepanov & Stepanova, 2011).

The new standard regulated the upbringing process organized in school by the obligatory Program of the upbringing and socialization of students. The positive role of this innovation lies in the fact that, through the requirements of the Program of Upbringing and Socialization, there is a stimulation of the pedagogical collective to create a schooling life that fosters the upbringing, to support the children's self-government, and to search new forms of upbringing work with children. However, the study of the practice of introducing this innovation in Russian schools shows that this positive role is leveled by the fact that in practice the Program is transformed from the brief meeting requirements that meets the needs of school into a formal document that primarily meets the requirements of inspection organizations.

The changes also have concerned the organization of the school's interaction with the parents of students, in which information and communication technologies were introduced. The positive role of this is obvious: the intensification of communication between teachers and parents about the problems of upbringing of their children, the opportunity for teachers to receive "feedback" from their parents; the possibility of organizing online consultations for parents on parenting issues; increase the availability of relevant information about the problems of upbringing for parents on the websites of educational organizations. The negative role of this innovation is also obvious: the risk of the predominance of correspondence and the gradual reduction to zero of direct communication between teachers and students‘ parents.

Methodical aspect of upbringing

The methodical aspect of upbringing is represented by the following most important forms and methods of upbringing work with children that are traditional for Russian schools.

First, the involvement of students in group forms of joint activities - such as collectively creative events, meetings, games, hikes, excursions, talks, discussions, etc. ( Mercer, Hennessy, & Warwick, 2017; Woodfin, 2000) Their positive role in upbringing is that they contribute to the process of collective formation in children's associations, the development of children's organizational skills, sociability, reflection, responsibility, initiative. However, such forms of work have also their drawbacks. If in their use the educator always relies on the same children's asset or assumes the functions of planning, organizing and analyzing these forms, does not try to involve other children in them, giving them the opportunity to realize their creative or organizational potential here, there is a risk of the formation of a negative attitude of the child to group work and, as a consequence, all activities loose the educational effect.

Secondly, the involvement of children in volunteer good deeds, which play a positive role in the development of empathy, mercy, responsiveness in children, and in acquiring an important experience of participation in socially important affairs. However, if this tradition is transformed into a peculiar to the fashion, the trend imposed from outside, then there is a danger of substitution as a childish motivation (when the main motive for the child's participation in such cases is not actually help to those in need, but self-presentation) and pedagogical (when such affairs are carried out not for personal development of the child, but for reporting or stimulating extra charges to salary).

Thirdly, the use in upbringing work with children elements of popular culture. On the one hand, the positive role of this pedagogical tradition is obvious – it contributes to the formation of socio-cultural identity of the child. However, excessively persuasive and inappropriate use by teachers of elements of national culture in work can lead to the formation of indifferent or even negative attitude to native culture.

The innovative component of the forms and methods of upbringing is not great because of the conservatism of the institution of upbringing. Most of them, in fact, are only slightly modified, and sometimes even simply in a new way called traditional forms and methods of upbringing (for example, quests, case studies, etc.). The most obvious innovation here is the forms of interaction between teachers and students with the use of the Internet and mobile devices (electronic diaries, on-line consultations, SMS messages, creating groups on the Web, creating pages and websites of classes, schools, etc.). Their positive role is that being attractive to the modern child, they may increase his motivation to cooperate with teachers and other pupils. They may enable this interaction by representatives of other organizations (educational, cultural, sports). They also give the teacher additional opportunities (in particular, temporal, environmental, informational) for the organization of the upbringing process. There are also obvious risks of using these forms of interaction, in particular: the risk of negative impact of the Internet on the physical, mental and moral health of students (cyberbullying, trolling, involvement in antisocial groups, etc.); the risk of substitution of real communication with virtual communication for the teacher and child; risk of formation in the child of stereotypes of behavior peculiar to own virtual images created by them in a network that leads to formation of inadequate identity of the child.

Conclusion

The results of the conducted research, in our opinion, can be useful in a solution of the problem of overcoming imbalance in development of the sphere of upbringing, which is connected with the situation of the permanent reformation of the country characteristic of the recent years. They will help to implement innovative processes in the sphere of upbringing, minimizing the risk of destabilization of this sphere and disorientation of pedagogical collectives in their choice of priorities and forms of work with children. They will help to preserve well-established traditions in the field of upbringing, while minimizing the risks of non-reflexive use by teachers of these traditions, inertness in work, closeness to truly productive innovations and, as a result, the transformation of traditions into a retarding factor of upbringing. The results of the research, thus, will allow specialists to build competently the strategy of the development of upbringing, understanding what role traditions and innovations play in it, and under what conditions they become effective mechanisms of this development.

Acknowledgments

The work is performed within the State task ISED RAE for 2017-2019 (No. 27.7091.2017/BCh).

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2019.02.02.55

Online ISSN

2357-1330