Self-Actualization And Formation Of The Civiс Position Of Students Of Pedagogical Specialties

Abstract

The article dwells on self-actualization as one of the most important processes of forming a holistic personality. It emphasizes the timeliness of the problem under consideration due to the realities of modern civil society. The author provides evidence of the need for in-depth self-study and self-acceptance for an individual’s further development and transformation. The structure and components of a self-actualizing personality are considered, as well as the need to study the mechanisms of the personality formation in the process of educating students. The article presents data of the study of the level of self-actualization among future teachers and acting teachers. Based on the research results, the main difficulties of self-actualization and professional activity of teachers are highlighted. The author makes an attempt to prove the interrelation of the process of forming a student’s civic position with the process of becoming a self-actualizing person. The concept “civic position” is considered in the framework of a comparative analysis. The author analyzes the structural components of the concept “civic position of the individual” and draws parallels in the content of the characteristics of a self-actualizing person and a person with a formed civic position. The possibilities of implementing the selected characteristics through volunteering, students’ participation in competitive professional events and making portfolio in the process of acquiring professional competencies are being explored. As one of the tools for shaping the activity of a person in society, the process of structuring the electronic portfolio of students in the framework of vocational training is considered.

Keywords: Civic positiondevelopmentmotivespersonalityself-actualizationsociety

Introduction

Self-actualization and its structural components in the system of a holistic personality have been relevant for scholars and practitioners for a long time (A.G. Maslow, G. Allport, K. Rogers, A.A. Bodalev, A.G. Asmolov, A.A. Derkatch, A.K. Markov, etc.). Studying this issue is important for the psychological-pedagogical science due to the contradictions of modern society, in which only a self-actualizing person can realize oneself in the instability of economic and social spheres, actively accepting the realities of life and being capable to reflect and transform these realities within the humanist paradigm through self-understanding, self-acceptance and maximum realization of capabilities and abilities. An analysis of the structure of a self-actualizing personality leads to an understanding of the structure of the personal attitude, which is reflected in the expressed civic position of an individual. In the process of development, an individual passes through both a personal and social development; these growth vectors should be parallel along the whole path of individual formation. An individual is always in the process of becoming (becoming a personality) and continuous interaction with the world (Kryuchkov & Orlov, 2018). The urgency of the problem under consideration is caused by serious changes in the education system of Russia, where new pedagogy and new approaches to training and education are connected with the new requirements of the federal standard for the personality of a teacher.

Problem Statement

The goal of modern education is to bring up a harmoniously developed and socially responsible person. This goal presupposes creating conditions for the development of tutoring, support for community initiatives and volunteering. These are the main accents placed in the most important state documents. The Presidential decree “On the national goals and strategic objectives of the development of the Russian Federation” is aimed at creating the conditions and opportunities for self-realization and the disclosure of each individual talent. Active and talented youth is the main value of any civilized, cultural society, therefore the issue of forming the civic position of students - future teachers - becomes most relevant given the tendency in society to weaken the civic activity of the younger generation.

The teacher’s professional standard emphasizes the development of a teacher’s value system, which is a subject-driven mechanism of self-realization manifesting itself through the content of pedagogical activity, structural and semantic components of the culture of the modern teaching and educational environment, as well as the teacher’s professional self-realization as a person and citizen (Kolpakova, 2015).

The concept of “civic position” is studied in the pedagogy by N.N. Voloboeva, A.M. Andresyuk, N.F. Kritskaya, T.N. Balobanova, D.V. Kirillov, etc., and is generally defined as the union of the main areas of activity of an individual including cognitive, motivational-moral and behavioral areas (Ryazanov, 2015). All these are the components of a holistic personality; their development is influenced by external factors, the conditions of the main area of activity and the efforts that an individual carries out independently. In the content of this concept it is necessary to emphasize the ability for self-development, which is actively formed and consolidated during the period of study at school. Thus, a teacher who possesses these qualities can form the basis for shaping attitudes towards the state, civil society, and a person as a citizen. The solution of the problem may be within the humanistic paradigm aimed at the development of components of the self-actualizing personality of a future teacher in the process of his/her professional development. It is necessary to study the forms and methods of formation of the structural components of self-actualization of students in the university environment.

Research Questions

3.1. How are the concepts of self-actualization and civic position connected? What are the similarities and differences in the structural components of these concepts?

3.2. How a task of a teacher to form of a student’s citizenship can be realized through the desire for self-actualization?

3.3. What contemporary indicators of self-actualization can be found in future teachers and acting teachers?

3.4. What forms of activity introduced into the practice of a university with the teachers training programs contribute to the formation of the civic position of the future teachers and their self-actualization?

Purpose of the Study

This article presents an analysis of the current situation in the training of future teachers as competitive professionals. The author studies the approach to the formation of personal qualities of a teacher, contributing to the development of an active subjective position which allows forming and transmitting the knowledge, values, moral qualities of the personality, reflecting the socially conditioned attitude of a person towards oneself and society. Analysis of the structural components of self-actualization and their comparison with the components of an integral personality with a formed civic position will allow developing more effective approaches to the education of a new generation of teachers meeting the requirements of the times.

Research Methods

5.1. To achieve the purpose of the study, an analysis of research works corresponding to the stated topic was carried out. Analysis of the research literature was aimed at the most complete disclosure of such basic concepts as self-actualization and civic position.

5.2. Method of comparative analysis made it possible to compare the main characteristics of a self-actualizing person and a person with a formed civic position.

5.3. Testing of students allowed determining the current level of development of self-actualization of students majoring in pedagogy.

5.4. The method of frequency-semantic analysis allowed making conclusions about the interest of students in sharing their achievements during the training.

Findings

The process of training a modern teacher is a complex process that is associated with the formation of future teachers who have not only professional competencies necessary for fulfilling their main activities, but also a whole range of qualities that will allow them to fully and constructively interact with the outside world and society, realize themselves as citizens and active members of public life. However, despite the large number of socio-philosophical, law, psychological and pedagogical literature that reveals the formation of a civic position of a person, only a few works are devoted to studying the process of acquiring a civic position of future teachers (Kazaeva, 2010).

When analyzing the structure of the concept of the civic position of an individual, the following components were identified.

1. Value orientations (motives) of an individual, which are formed and fixed in the micro society. Value selection.

2. Emotional-affective experiences in relation to the core values of an individual. Willingness to protect and share values.

3. Activity component provoked by emotional experiences. Implementation of civic values through direct or indirect participation in public life.

4. Reflexive component (awareness), which allows an individual to analyze what is happening, this component is responsible for the change of values, under the influence of the results of the activity component.

Based on the analysis of the considered structure, it can be argued that the civic position of an individual, as a rule, reflects in its diversity the whole life of modern society and becomes one of the components that influence the formation of the social status of a citizen. A modern educator actively broadcasts his/her civic position in relation to society, thereby determining the general cultural level of a student’s personality and, subsequently, the functioning of civil society as a whole. Motives of an individual associated with core values determine the direction of actions and allow an individual to take responsibility. Thus, the formation of a civic position is closely connected with the formation of an integral personality, and first of all, values and motives.

Research literature and fiction often describe the emotional rise of a person (the main character) and his/her ability to take actions, caused by threatening the values for which a person is willing to die, endure pain, sufferings and deprivation. “They can be called “higher values” because they, as a rule, are revealed to the best representatives of the human race, in the best moments of their lives, under the most favorable conditions” (Maslow, 2017, p. 149). The task of the teacher, with the help of the parents, is to create conditions under which a child penetrates the spiritual life, a life of a higher order and forms a moral system of values. Maslow (2017) believed that the best way for a person to understand what he/she needs to do is to find out who he/she is, since the path to moral and value decisions, to what is right, lies through the revelation of truth, reality, one’ own essence. The deeper a person knows oneself, one’s own desires and temperament, the way he/she works, his/her needs and aspirations, the basis for the summit experiences, the more naturally the situation of choice and determination of value priorities occurs.

Thus, the process of self-knowledge is the first stage in the formation of the main defining positions of an individual in society and the civic position of the individual in a more conscious period of development. This concept is close in meaning to the concept of self-comprehension - the knowledge and comprehension of oneself as a synthesizing center (Assagioli, 1994). Self-knowledge allows the individual to understand oneself better, eliminates the redundant psychological defenses and forms the basis for the next stage of development - self-actualization. Self-actualization is understood as a tendency towards maturity and a desire to manifest openly what is potentially inherent.

The structure of a self-actualizing personality and the characteristics of a self-actualizing subject include the concepts formulated by the respondents of the experiment of A.G. Maslow in the moments of “vertex experiences” with the recollection of deep aesthetic phenomena, such as creative ecstasy, maternal and parental love, childbirth, etc. The generalized diversity of these concepts can be reduced to the following characteristics: truth, beauty, wholeness, harmony, liveliness, uniqueness, sense of demand, completeness, justice, simplicity, order, freedom, and self-sufficiency.

Let us compare the maximum disclosed structural components of a self-actualizing person, represented in various humanistic concepts of Russian and world personologists and characteristics of a person with a formed civic position - an active member of a civil, cultural, civilized society, presented in a comparative analysis of interdisciplinary polysemy. The results of the comparison are presented in Table 01 .

Table 1 -
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As can be seen from Table 01 , the characteristics of a person with a formed civic position are closely related and seem to be a continuation of the characteristics of a self-actualizing person. Thus, both of these concepts are the definition of a psychologically healthy, mature individual striving for the full realization of his/her own potential, self-development for the benefit of the reference group, society, based on the accepted spiritual values of a given society, voluntarily appropriated by the individual. The process of forming a holistic personality capable of consciously transforming oneself and society implies a certain choice: values act as needs.

The system of modern education today is undergoing significant changes. The relevance of change is due to changes in economic, social and political life. Studies of the self-actualization ability of acting teachers and future teachers show an insufficient level of its formation (Kolpakova, 2016). The ability of teachers to self-actualization was considered using the test “Assessment of the level of self-actualization of a personality by E. Shostrom” (Nikiforov, 2007). With this questionnaire, one can determine not only the level of self-actualization, but also consider the indicators of its structural components. Thus, the research conducted at Novgorod State University among students of pedagogical major demonstrates that the indicators of students’ self-actualization on average are close to 51%. The scatter ranges from 40% to 67%. That is, students in different ways strive for the most complete manifestation of their capabilities and abilities. Perhaps this is due to the personal formation of such structural components as values, the need for knowledge, self-understanding, etc. Although the super high score does not always clearly indicate self-actualization and may reflect the desired rather than the actual state, most self-actualizing people show results in about 50 to 65 points on most scales.

In the group under study, the scale of “values” is most fully represented; it comprises 67% which means the acceptance of such values of a self-actualizing personality as truth, goodness, beauty, integrity, and the absence of duality. The second most important indicator is “flexibility in communication” (61%), which means the ratio of the presence or absence of social stereotypes with the ability to adequately express oneself in communication. Students are focused on personal communication, they are not inclined to resort to false or manipulation. The next most significant indicator is the “creativity” scale (59%). It means that the creative abilities of an individual, characterized by the readiness to accept and create fundamentally new ideas deviating from traditional or accepted thought patterns, are also presented in the sample under discussion. Such components as spontaneity (40%) and self-understanding (44%) fell into the category of the least pronounced. This indicates that self-actualization has not yet become a way of life for respondents but is still a dream or aspiration. Students are guided not by their own tastes and preferences, but by external (social) standards.

To correct the current situation, one can apply the technologies used in pedagogy and psychology and actively implemented at the moment in student life. In this regard, we can mention the student professional skills competitions, where in the process of training for the competition and during the competition proper, in addition to professional skills, professional self-awareness and motives for carrying out socially significant activities for the benefit of society and the country are also formed. Another example is a volunteer movement, where, through an altruistic contribution to social life, a person develops oneself as a socially active and non-indifferent citizen who is able to uphold the ideals and values, ready for a subject-subject interaction with the state based on mutual necessity (Saglie & Sivesind, 2018), capable of both external and internal integrative interaction and group cohesion (Sidorenkov & Mondrus, 2012). One more example is making a portfolio (in electronic format), which is based on the ability to set a goal, anticipate a result, a capacity for reflection and adequate self-assessment and an assessment of one’s own result among others. Making a portfolio is a creative process that allows a student to take into account the goals achieved in a variety of activities (educational, creative, social, communicative) during the course of study. In the process of forming a portfolio, there is a desire to realize one’s creative potential. Compilation of a portfolio contributes to the development of the ability to analyze; it improves the skills of goal-setting, planning and organizing one’s own activities, helps structure existing knowledge, draw perspectives of professional career, personal growth and self-realization. Working with a portfolio has a positive effect on the development of students’ reflexive and evaluative skills. Self-actualization is not the final state of human perfection. No one becomes so self-actualized as to drop all motives. Every person always has talents for further development. A formed student’s portfolio indicates the student’s obvious progress in developing his/her thinking, skills, general and professional competencies, as well as the presence of self-esteem and creative approach.

One of the characteristics of a person in the process of self-actualization is free thinking and creativity. Such a personality trait gives an individual the ability to creatively relate to life in all its manifestations. In the absence of the possibility for an individual to realize self-actualization processes, the entire creative potential will be suppressed due to the general lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem, which may entail neurological manifestations. A creative person is, first of all, a person with an active lifestyle, capable of taking initiative. Present-day universities need to provide conditions for more effective realization of students’ personal potential, development of their qualities for further professional, socially significant activities, the formation of value orientations, including the formation of the value of a conscious civic position accepting the identity with the place where an individual life in national, cultural, economic and other meanings. It will allow students to take an active life position in civil society and effectively shape the student’s civic identity.

Conclusion

Training students for effective teaching at the university is a multidimensional process that requires students to develop teaching skills. Professionally important qualities necessary for students largely coincide with the characteristics of a self-actualizing personality: the ability to live in the present, self-understanding, self-acceptance, the presence of a stable system of ideals and values, the need for knowledge, the ability to form socially important ideals, flexibility in communication, creativity, the desire for self-actualization and implementation of potential abilities and capabilities. It is these significant qualities that make up the structure of a personality with a formed civic position understood as an integrative system of the attitudes of an individual to the law, society, the state, oneself as a citizen, events of reality and one’s own activities. The combination of the qualities of a self-actualizing personality makes it possible to determine the direction underlying the activities and actions, to determine the existential meaning and to build a society in accordance with universal human values. The formation of a personality capable of self-actualization allows building a civil society based on the development of each member, his/her awareness, respect and responsibility not only for oneself, but also for the preservation and development of the spiritual values of homeland.

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02 April 2019

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Kolpakova*, A. (2019). Self-Actualization And Formation Of The Civiс Position Of Students Of Pedagogical Specialties. In & V. A. Trifonov (Ed.), Contemporary Issues of Economic Development of Russia: Challenges and Opportunities, vol 59. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 908-915). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.04.98