Education Of 21st Century: Search For A New Research Methodology


The article deals with the problem of modern education, aimed at the development of generic, basic human abilities. At each historical stage of development of human civilization, the question was raised about the specifics of knowledge and experience that must be passed on to a specific generation. This article attempts to clarify the features of the humanitarian principle as a regulative in the construction of a modern education aimed at the development of the human in man. The necessity of the development of humanitarian models of education, allowing forming such abilities is grounded. The questions that the authors pose in this study relate to identifying those aspects and perspectives of interdisciplinary knowledge which make it possible to clarify the principle of humanitarianism and determine the conditions for its implementation in teaching practice. The purpose of the study is to clarify the characteristics of the humanitarian principle in the context of interdisciplinary knowledge. The principle of humanitarian in education is disclosed in detail. The results of the study are presented, clarifying the data principle from the standpoint of interdisciplinary knowledge. The conclusions are made about the implementation of this principle of humanitarianism in teaching practice. Particular attention is paid to the dialogue as the main condition for building the educational process in the context of humanitarian ideas.

Keywords: Humanitarianprinciplemodelinterdisciplinarytextdialogue


Over the past decades, the sociocultural situation in the world and the situation in the field of education have changed dramatically. There is an urgent need to reflect on the development of man and mankind. Countries, nations, societies need to realize “True Being is Noospheric Being”, which is able to ensure the future life of mankind on the basis of the so-called “Great Logic of Socioproduct Evolution” (Subetto, 2005). In connection with this, a new perspective of the vision of pedagogical objects, which were born by our time and circumstances, as well as a proactive position in the construction of a new reality, is required. Among such objects there is a person's subjectivity in education and a model of the educational process that is adequate to the tasks of becoming a 21st century human culture. It is necessary to recognize that traditional education is fragmentary and narrowly subject. Admittedly, according to V.I. Slobodchikova does not provide the most important thing - the development of generic basic abilities of the individual. First of all, it is the ability to “be a man”, to realize one’s own internal processes and to build one’s relations with the world “in a human way”. And the output of pedagogical thought in wider contexts is necessary. In the words of B.G. Kornetov, even beyond the limits of the study of "great thinkers of education" and "great pedagogical texts" (Kornetov, 2018).

Over the past decade, the world has changed beyond recognition. And time itself challenges the person. Israeli scientist Yuval Noi Harari, who studies the problem of predicting the future of intelligence and consciousness, in his book “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” states that our world today is filled with diverse and useless information for us (Harari, 2018). Paradoxically, this is a fact: in an era of immense information flows and unrestrained creativity, people turned out to be misinformed and do not have real knowledge. First of all, it concerns the knowledge about ourselves, about our subjective reality - about what we call the inner world, sensations, feelings, thoughts, attitudes, feelings, emotions, values, meanings. Knowledge about a person is not fully reflected by pedagogy in the context of the dynamics of the development of a particular person. Man knows a great deal about "the general man," but a separate, concrete representative of the human species does not know himself — that is the problem of all the problems. Therefore, today there is a danger that Harari warns about: governments and corporations can “crack a person” by subjecting him to manipulation and disorientation (Harari, 2018). Today, there is a danger that an underdeveloped human being, who does not know himself, can turn into a “cog”, “function”, “machine” that is controlled by others and to which he himself does not have access. Of course, this threatens the very existence of human civilization and culture.

At each historical stage of development of human civilization, the question was raised about the specifics of knowledge and experience that must be passed on to a specific generation. Our time is the era of post-industrial society, unprecedented scientific and technical discoveries and computer information technologies. It is also characterized by the period of “futuroshoka”, experienced as a stressful state of people in response to rapid and diverse changes in reality (Toffler, 2008). Against the backdrop of unprecedented technical progress, the consciousness of the “mass man” does not have time to adapt to new realities. Today, there is a contradiction between the subject-technocratic awareness of people and the lack of their own human (humanitarian) education.

It is clear that education in the conditions of such sociocultural situation should move towards humanitarization and the resolution of problems associated with the preservation of the “human” identity of a person. The principle of human-shaped education of a person should become fundamental today, and this means that education should become a means of identifying and realizing human capabilities in relation to oneself and the world around us (Khutorskoy, 2011). The goals of education should be correlated with the ideas of “growing a viable community of people” (Slobodchikov, 2005). Nowadays there is a need for consciously managed and value-oriented co-development of man, society and nature, when the satisfaction of the vital needs of people can be carried out ecologically, without prejudice to the interests of new generations, nature and the whole Universe. The principles of building our future social institutions should be compatible with the principles of organization that nature has formed to maintain the web of life (Capra, 2004). This means that education in the 21st century should provide the person with the experience of “awakening”, the experience of holistic thinking, dialogue, self-awareness, and proper human development.

Problem Statement

This article attempts to clarify the features of the humanitarian principle as a regulative in the construction of a modern education aimed at the development of the human in man. Understanding the principle of humanitarianism as a principle of building education, aimed at the establishment of the integrity of a person, involves understanding pedagogical knowledge in the context of an interdisciplinary field of study. It requires an appeal to the entire array of scientific and practical experience, allowing to see and understand a person in his multidimensionality and in the dynamics of individual and personal development. But first it needs to clarify the phenomena of man and human integrity.

Attempts to understand the essence of man and embrace his integrity have been made throughout the history of the existence of philosophical and educational thought, beginning with Plato and Aristotle. Searches for answers to questions about a person can be found in the works of L. Feuerbach, I. Kant, as well as in the studies of B.G. Ananeva, A.G. Asmolov, M.M. Bakhtina, V.S. Bibler, B.S. Bratusja, L.S. Vygotsky, E. Husserl, S.L. Rubinstein, M.K. Mamardashvili, K.D. Ushinsky, K. Rogers, E. Fromm and many others. They reveal the ideas of perfection, the spiritual formation of the "incomplete" person, the idea of the developing integrity of the person and the cultural foundation of human evolution. Depending on one or another understanding of a person, his place in the world, originality, meaning of existence, pedagogy, at different stages of his development, gave fundamentally different answers to the questions: who and to whom, how and what, why, why, for what reason teach and educate.

Currently, pedagogy, among other sciences of man, is reaching a new level of understanding educational problems and is trying to revise its methodological foundations. Research is being conducted from the perspective of a subject-genetic approach, which allows building life-coaching as the vital navigation of a person (Latschenberger, 2016). The search for existential meanings of education. According to Yu.V. Senko, one of the researchers in this field, is the essence of modern education not so much in filling as in cleansing, removing the superficial, accidental, in restoring the true, in-depth in man (Senko, 2017).

The vast majority of modern concepts and programs for the development of education, as noted by V.I. Slobodchikov, there is a fundamentally new dimension - the humanitarian-anthropological. It is within the framework of such a measurement that a fundamentally new task arising in education today can be solved, connected with the development of basic, generic abilities of a person, allowing him to be and defend his own humanity (Slobodchikov, 2005). These abilities relate, first of all, to the self-consciousness of a person, the development of his reflexive sphere, his subjective position and ability to enter into dialogue - with the world, with other people, with himself.

One of the serious problems of education is that the school (secondary and higher) does not know how to work with an empirical personality - a specific individual, who is in his dynamic of consciousness and in his situation of development. As I.A. rightly notes. Kolesnikova, in general, a person has accumulated a great deal of information in various fields of knowledge, but at the individual and personal level a specific representative of the human race has almost no information about himself that allows him to live and develop consciously (Kolesnikova, 1999). The misunderstanding of the whole dynamics of real relations in the educational process is the reason why the next progressive pedagogical idea stumbles at the stage of its implementation into practice.

Today pedagogy needs an essential analysis, a synthesis of facts and phenomena that are associated with a subjective, empirical personality in education and which allow us to develop truly humanitarian educational models that allow individuals to accumulate the experience of "being a Man." This is, in fact, the experience of authorship, the experience of holistic, reflective thinking and control of its subjective reality. And, in this regard, pedagogical science today faces fundamentally new tasks that are associated with the implementation of the humanitarian principle, which allows building the educational process in various systems, at various levels, taking into account the development of basic human abilities. Pedagogy should not pass by interdisciplinary knowledge, which opens today new perspectives of the vision of the “inner person”.

Research Questions

The questions that we pose in our study relate to identifying those aspects and perspectives of interdisciplinary knowledge, which make it possible to clarify the principle of humanitarianism and determine the conditions for its implementation in teaching practice. What layers of this knowledge today are especially important for pedagogy to clarify the possibilities of developing and implementing educational models that ensure human integrity? We are talking about the search for new methodological vectors of pedagogical research that would solve questions about the mechanisms of the processes associated with the formation of the subjective position of the individual, when it is not “formed”, but when it forms itself. We need to get scientific knowledge about the laws of education construction, providing the expansion of human consciousness and the development of its ability to manage their own life activity. Pedagogy, focused on the person and his consciousness, cannot “stew in its own juice” - a wide and multidimensional coverage of the entire psychological and educational reality is needed.

In our study, we rely on the ideas of the essential foundations of education presented in the framework of the humanitarian-anthropological approach (A.G. Asmolov, M.M. Bakhtin, V.S. Bibler, B.M. Bim-Bad, B.S. Bratus, F.E. Vasilyuk, V.P. Zinchenko, M.K. Mamardashvili, S.L. Rubinstein, V.I. Slobodchikov and others). This approach considers human reality in its entirety and in all its spiritual, mental and physical dimensions; correlates education with the development of general, generic abilities of a person; reveals the means and conditions for the formation of a "complete person" - as "the subject of his own life, as a person in a meeting with the Other, as an individual in the face of Absolute Being" (V.I. Slobodchikov). From the point of view of this approach, humanitarianism appears to be the main quality and important result of education.

The content and technology of education in the context of the humanitarian model of education are rather deeply covered in the textual-dialogical concept of humanitarian education (Belova, 2007). It is revealed that the content of education aimed at the formation of the integrity of a person is the text, and its form is dialogue. A text is any message (in any language) that allows to reveal the meanings of the relationship between the author and the addressee. Such a “author” and “addressee” in one person can be a specific person. And understanding this requires further deepening into the essence of the internal processes of the self-developing personality. The ideas of the concept in question require further development, taking into account the new knowledge that the sciences of man have today

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of our study is to clarify the characteristics of the humanitarian principle in the context of interdisciplinary knowledge. Let explain how we see the content of the concept of humanitarianism. There is a broad and narrow understanding of the term "humanitarian." A broad understanding encompasses all the problems of a person: his social being, culture, human selfhood, and his special understanding is connected with the knowledge of “the human proper in man”, with the knowledge of human subjectivity (Slobodchikov, 2005). In our study, we consider both the broad context of humanitarian pedagogical phenomena and the narrow understanding of humanitarianism. Usually the concepts of humanitarianism and humanitarization are considered in relation to the concepts of humanism, humanistic and humanization. I.A. Kolesnikova understands by humanitarianism the “content-semantic attribution of a particular phenomenon in the Earth's Man’s Measure” as the embodiment of the humanistic principle of human-like character in the system of thinking, behavior, relationships, content of professional activity (Kolesnikova, 2013).

A.B. Orlov, speaking of the relationship between humanitarian and humanistic and referring to the studies of C. Rogers, stresses: the external world cannot be a source and means of humanization, since it itself needs humanization (Orlov, 2002). "The moral progress of a person has a different source and other means." It is impossible, believes A.B. Eagles, to humanize a person from the outside, one cannot form humanistic convictions in him, only from within one can create conditions (psychological) in which a person will come to these convictions, freely choose them (Orlov, 2002). For us, this sounds like a methodological approach to the need to awaken the internal reserves of the individual, to search for the best ways to shape her humanitarian thinking.

In the content of the concept of humanitarian, G.L. Tulchinsky allocates its main core - the concept of freedom. Freedom is the source of the creation of a new reality, the revelation of new worlds (Tulchinsky, 2004). A person is a carrier of freedom, the ability to transcend into another. A manifestation of this ability is the mind, the mind, everything that is usually associated with intellectual, spiritual activity. It is important to note that not only a person is a carrier of freedom, but a person whose boundaries "are determined and defined precisely by the limits of freedom as responsibility, that is, of responsibility."

Man is the embodiment of humanitarian, the bearer of humanitarian thinking, humanitarian knowledge and humanitarian culture. In this regard, it is important to refer to the concept of the humanitarian system, which helps to understand the feasibility of certain types and ways of activities within the humanitarian-oriented pedagogical system. The term “humanitarian systems” was introduced by modern mathematician L. Zadeh to designate systems whose behavior is strongly influenced by a person’s judgments, perceptions, and emotions. The specifics of these systems are discussed in detail in the works of E.N. Gusinsky. A very important factor has been noted: the human way of solving essential, creative tasks involves the activity of the unconscious component of the psyche, therefore such tasks cannot be formalized in principle (Gusinsky, 1994). This raises the question of the boundaries of "humanitarian work" and the possibility of solving pedagogical tasks that imply one of the "unknowns" - the unconscious.

And here a question arises about the necessity and possibilities of the “access” of the individual to his own unconscious structures, with his own thinking in his dynamics of deployment. Our hypothesis was that building models of education based on the humanitarian principle requires reliance on interdisciplinary research in the field of neurobiology, neuropsychology, cognitive linguistics and other sciences that give an understanding about man as a carrier of consciousness and as the author of his education.

Research Methods

Expanding our research on the basis of the Kalmyk State University and the Chechen State Pedagogical University, we have studied the trends in educational science and practice and the possibilities of implementing the humanitarian principle in education using the method of theoretical analysis and the method of humanitarian knowledge (dialogue). In the course of our research, we found the following contradictions. At the level of pedagogy methodology, there are contradictions between the presence of diverse paradigms in education and the need to develop common fundamental principles for designing a humanitarian and holistic education. At the level of defining the goal of humanitarian education, we see contradictions between the need of a society for a person with human integrity and the dominant subject-centered orientation of modern school / university education. Contradictions at the level of content and technology of education arise between the need to include in the content of education a specific human experience objectified in meaningful texts of culture (iconic structures) and the undeveloped content of this content component.

Correlating the findings of the analyzed studies examining the humanitarian aspects of education (I.A. Kolesnikova, G.L. Tulchinsky, Yu.V. Senko, and others) we determined that the realization of the principle of humanitarianism occurs most fully through two main phenomena - text and dialogue. They, as two sides of the medal, keep us in the unity of the outer and inner sides of education. Text, as a system of signs, is an objective phenomenon that is accessible for study. A dialogue, as a way of knowing it, allows you to see a wide range of possible subjective meanings.

In this regard, we are interested in studies that reveal a person as a “text-dialogical system” and that have been made in recent decades in neurobiology, neurophysiology, medicine, and other sciences (K.V Anokhin, J. Dispenza, D. Rizzolatti, and others). To date, observations have been received and a sufficiently large amount of scientific data has been carried out, which allows in education to come closer to the real solution of the problems associated with teaching a person to manage the structures of his or her consciousness. In particular, we can see a new perspective of such a person’s characteristics as dialogic, referring to the knowledge about the so-called mirror neurons that we all possess and the concept that Giacomo Rizzolatti introduced to science (Rizzolatti, 2004). They were discovered at the end of the 20th century and give us an understanding of how the recognition of the actions and intentions of other people is based on our own repertoire of behavior. It is not uncommon for pupils to become infected by teachers with apathy, anxiety, mistrust, tension, and uncertainty. In the context of our pedagogical issues, we would like to emphasize that the process of transferring certain emotions by a teacher to a student, still at the “pre-subject” level, must be seen and taken into account as an important and necessary element of the content of education.


As part of our study, we conducted observations and a broad survey of students, in which 800 people participated, and revealed the dependence of students' attitudes to their education on the emotional state of teachers and the degree of their involvement in their activities. We paid attention to the inner side of the interaction of teachers and students. In particular, the most common occurrence in the pedagogical environment of universities can be called the “absent” (alienated) communication of teachers with students in an educational lesson. Students, as it turned out, "read" the behavior of the teacher and they unconsciously turn on the same pattern of behavior. Each person in a particular educational situation is a “textbook”: its features of perception, attention, behavior, thinking, actions (conscious or unconscious) are the main pedagogical task. Only on the basis of the solution of this task can problems of a different order be effectively solved — subject, culturological. Here for pedagogy, the question arises about the priority of the hierarchy of the elements of the content of education.

Today, in our information age, the problems of the human life world in virtual reality are widely studied. And this is another factor that pedagogy must take into account. Research conducted in this direction considers the experience of human presence in a virtual environment as a situation of plausible illusion when a person plunges into a believable imaginary world and believes in it (Slater, 2009). A modern student is a person who is influenced by such virtuality factor. “Psychological illusion of presence in an alternate reality” appears as a continuous cognitive process associated with the perception of objects and phenomena when the mind reacts to the fictional almost in the same way as it would in real reality (Pillai, 2013). Those opportunities that the information society opens up for a person today, offering him an “alternative life world” often lie outside the boundaries of spiritual and moral regulatives.

This means that in the field of education it is necessary to use this tendency - the construction of an “alternate reality”, but with keeping the subject of this construction in the focus of attention. What do we mean? The fact that design and modeling, if we consider it in the humanitarian dimension, must necessarily have an outlet to the person herself. Only the project that allows individuals, studying the subject, to study itself, can be called humanitarian. In this regard, we are interested in research in the field of cognitive sciences, allowing us to see not only “retrospective”, but, most importantly, “prospective content events” (Velichkovsky, 2006). Note that in teaching practice we often meet with retrospectiveness, with ready-made knowledge, with a culture that has already been accomplished.

Speaking of linguistic means, we turn to developments in the field of cognitive linguistics. Among the founders of this area of science are the names of N. Chomsky, J. Lakoff, L. Talmi, I. Filmore. Understanding the personality of the speech itself is the key to understanding oneself, one's intentions, personal characteristics, the degree of integration of his mental structures. Cognitive linguistics maintains close ties with psychology and biology, relying on experiments in which the brain is considered among objects. Gradually, the view is gaining ground that a person has a certain conceptual system (“preexistence”) before language emerges, and language, as a system of signs, is formed on the basis of and in interaction with this preexisting and further developing system (Kubryakova, 2007). That is, in the humanitarian paradigm, it is important for us not only the spoken word, but also the unspeakable word, the silence itself as a pre-speech factor.

Language is an integral part of human knowledge. The analysis of any phenomena in the language should be based on knowledge of human cognitive activity. In this regard, it is more important not knowledge of the language, but knowledge gained through the language and giving us an understanding of our thinking (Taylor, 2002). Based on data from cognitive linguistics, pedagogy can go into new contexts of the creative activity of the subject of education, which is associated with the creation of images, ideas, thought forms. Here it is important to keep in mind the figurative scheme in the form of a repetitive dynamic model of human perceptual interactions and motor programs through which we gain experience in structured and logical (Johnson, 1997). And on the basis of such models, one can consider the consciousness of a person who is currently in the educational process, as a space of different figurative schemes that are significant and which can be described as: container, balance, blocking, lifting restrictions, lifting a ban, attraction, set-score , path, connection, center-periphery, cycle, near-far, scale, part-whole, etc. (Oakley, 2007)


Studying the problem of the humanitarian principle of education from the position of interdisciplinary knowledge, we came to the conclusion that it allows us to consider the person in education at the same time as “part” and “whole”, as a system in the system, as the author of projected realities, as a carrier of consciousness and language reality. A person in the humanitarian model of education and his educational process appear as humanitarian systems. The objective conditions that characterize the way the external-internal interaction of the humanitarian system is openness, potential dialogue. The implementation of the principle of humanitarian in pedagogical practice requires an understanding of the specifics of the educational process on the internal plane - the process that takes place within an empirical person.

As shown by our study, the content of the concept of humanity, acting as a methodological guide in the design of holistic human education of the 21st century, makes it necessary to take into account in this design, first of all, such phenomena as: subjective, unconscious, consciousness, self-consciousness, text (word, language), personal freedom, dialogue. We are talking about the problem of internal freedom of the individual, her understanding of her own inner world, the nature of interaction with subjective reality, adequate ways of pedagogical support of her self-development. The analysis allowed us to find out the presence of insufficient use in pedagogical research of important knowledge and conclusions contained in interdisciplinary developments in recent years. Today, the issues of developing a humanitarian model of education, the content and technologies of such education, allowing to take into account the dynamics and "content" of the consciousness of the individual, require additional verification and clarification. How to take this into account at different stages of education and in different age groups – this issue in pedagogy remains important and open to study.


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29 March 2019

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Ivanovich, C. I., Alekseevna, K. O., Sarangov, K. T., Madov-Hazhievich, A. S., & Vladimirovna*, B. S. (2019). Education Of 21st Century: Search For A New Research Methodology. In & D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 58. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 225-233). Future Academy.