Conservative Personality Development System In The Context Of Russian Educational Development Trends
The article attempts to comprehend how relevant the ideas of the conservative personality development system are to the modern demands of society and the state. In the modern educational space, there is a question of revising content and technology of education. How to organize the process of shaping the values, ideals of the learner, finding new forms of communication with the youth. We identify contradiction between the demands of the society and the state education policy, and propose to include the ideological component of Russian conservatism into the substance of the personality development educational process. The main trends in modern society include change of the technological paradigm and, as a result, change of communication platform; lack of time due to the rapid development of the society. We criticize the ongoing trend of deideologization of the system of education and personality development, and propose an alternative methodological approach - the concept of reideologization. Reideologization is understood as an endowment of the educational process with the ideological imperatives. Conservative personality development system will allow restoring the process of socialization as well as reorienting the learner to master cultural norms while restoring the mechanism of social inheritance. Education and personality development are not only closely related, but they are also two aspects of a single process of socialization of the individual.
Keywords: Conservative personality developmentsocializationeducation technologies
In modern society there is a struggle for the minds of the younger generation. The issue of personality development of modern youth is, in our opinion, the most relevant.
The rapid changes that we have witnessed over the past few years are forcing us to look for new approaches not only to education, but also to personality development. Communication with the youth audience, which is not only the most socially active, but also aggressive (as shown by recent political events in a number of countries), has become particularly relevant today. The battle for young minds takes place at the forefront of the world arena. What happens when a school is asked to ignore the personality development of the younger generation, and to deal only with education, as it was in the 90s, we see today by the attitude of modern youth to the events both within the country and to international events.
Modern challenges for education
Today it is understood that socialization is a two-way process of constant transmission of social norms, cultural values and behaviours by society to the individual throughout his or her life, allowing the individual to function in the society (Kovaleva, 2014).
This bilateral process is being transformed in modern conditions. In our opinion it is advisable to include to the main trends in modern society as factors that have significant impact on the development of new approaches not only to education but also personality development technologies, the following:
change of technological paradigm and, as a consequence,
change of communication platform;
evolutionary changes in the human population that determine the psychological and behavioural characteristics of modern youth;
time pressure due to the rapid development of society and all processes occurring in modern society.
Modern sociologists are sounding the alarm: the process of socialization, the development of cultural norms has been disrupted. The mechanism of social inheritance is broken (Moiseeva, 2014). The experience of the previous generation may be denied. If the family still orients the young person to the ideal of a highly educated person, the modern society through the media orients him or her only to the ideal of a successful consumer. What is the role of education system in this context?
Education vs personality development
In the post-industrial era, education becomes the most important element of society, and personality development becomes one of the general goals of education (Novikov, 2015a). This means upbringing of citizens – socially active, creative members of society who have mastered the system of universal and national values and ideals, capable of transforming production, economic and social relations, participation in management; having a sense of civic responsibility for their lives and the lives of their families, for the results of their activities, for the preservation of nature, for the fate of the country and the world.
Traditionally, the personality development of the individual is considered as the process of entering the social environment, mastering the skills of practical and theoretical activities. Personality development is a multifaceted process of learning the experience of social life and social relations. It is through personality development that people learn to live together and interact effectively with each other. A person actively participates in the development of the culture of human relations, in the formation of certain social norms, roles and functions, the acquisition of skills necessary for their successful implementation. The result of social personality development is the development of self-regulation and self-consciousness of the individual, the formation of his or her active life position. The main institutions responsible for the personality development are: family, educational institutions, Church, and other organizations such as professional, youth, sports, non-formal and other parties.
In this article we wanted to analyze the changes that have occurred in Russian society over the past decades. We wanted to consider what is meant by personality development, what is the specificity of the conservative system of education, what are the modern society's demands to the education system.
We criticize the modern personality development component of the education system of Russia. We formulate recommendations for reideologization of the education system based on the conservative value system, built on raising a citizen, on a sense of duty, love to motherland and the exaltation of family values.
The article attempts to comprehend how relevant the ideas of the conservative personality development system are to the modern demands of society and the state.
As the famous sociologist Omelchenko (2015) noted in his article
Subcultures, generations, solidarity? On the issue of conceptualization of new forms of communication among young people": "The youth as an object of analysis, education and control is of concern to all adult agents of society. It usually comes to the attention of politicians, journalists and researchers when it comes to serious social cataclysms, changes, spontaneous youth unrest. The intensity of interest in the youth theme depends on events that cause panic, call into question the possibility of predicting the future and maintaining the status quo achieved by political groups in power. Such events raise the question of the possible mobilization of young people in order to control the situation and prevent mass protests and revolutionary innovations"(p. 480).
According to a study by the FOM (Fond Obshchestvennoe Mnenie, Public opinion foundation) (2013), 50% of parents surveyed are supporters of lax parenting: "I believe that you need to be friends with your own child to have a trusting relationship". But a third of respondents keep children in rigor: "to develop morality" and "to be obedient." By the way, the main requirements of parents to children, according to the survey, "not to contradict, try to clearly fulfil the requirements" and "respect the elders, not to be rude." And remembering their own childhood, most respondents speak about such main requirement of their parents as "be at home in time to in the evening".
At the same time, according to the FOM (2014a), among the tasks with which the school copes poorly, respondents primarily point to the instillation of patriotism and morality (these positions were noted by 25% of the survey participants).
According to the majority of Russians participating in the FOM survey (2014b) on the spirituality of society («Is spirituality growing or decreasing in the country?»), today there is less spirituality in the life of our society than it was in the Soviet years, but more than in the western countries. 30% of respondents believe that in recent years the level of spirituality in Russian society was growing, 37% are confident in the opposite: it decreases. According to the Russians, such factors as "personality development process", "faith in God", "cultural development" and "raising the level of education" could contribute to the growth of spirituality.
In fact, the question of the content of personality development is traditional. "As the embryo in the womb repeats in a fantastically accelerated time scale the entire evolution of life on Earth for a billion years, the growing people for 20 years must master the culture that humanity has created for 4 million years. To learn and "catch up", in order to then stay at the forefront of its further development," says academician Novikov (2015b).
In the article we consider the trends in the upbringing of younger generation, explore the conservative personality development ideas, identify contradiction between the demands of society and the state education policy.
The following research questions are discussed in the article:
What changes have occurred in Russian society over the past decades in the views of education and personality development?
How modern trends in society correspond to the conservative system of education?
What is the specificity of the conservative system of education?
What are the modern society's demands to the personality development system?
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is, on the one hand, to identify the needs of the modern social environment in terms of guidelines for the education and personality development of the younger generation. On the other hand, the analysis of how the conservative system of education is able to realize the task of combining educational and personality developmental functions within a single educational process at school.
We examine the modern personality development component of the education system of Russia. We formulate recommendations for reideologization of the education system based on the conservative value system, built on raising a citizen, on a sense of duty, love to motherland and the exaltation of family values.
The methodology of the research is the criticism of the concept of deideologization of the system of education and upbringing, as well as the approval of an alternative methodological approach – the concept of reideologization. Reideologization is understood as an endowment of the educational process with the ideological imperatives. This is clearly seen in the ideology of Russian conservatism.
At the first stage of the study, the approach of the first half of the nineties of the last century was analysed, when in the domestic pedagogy dominated naive delusion to get rid of ideology as a form of false, mystified consciousness, hiding from man the true reality. Russian scientific and humanitarian community actively introduced a methodological approach, according to which the social sciences should develop irrespective of ideological postulates, principles and preferences mode, moreover, the ideology itself as a form of mystified reflection of reality supposedly should die out and go into oblivion. It was even believed that an ideologized person ceases to be a person just as much as he is ideologized. At the same time, under the cover of the struggle against any forms of ideology, the ideology of liberalism was aggressively imposed on Russian society in the last decade of the twentieth century. Western, liberal principles of world perception and liberal standards of education were implanted.
At the second stage of the work, it was argued that there is a more adequate position of considering ideology as a factor affecting the course of formation and development of society, where the focus is on the analysis of the functional content of ideology, that is, attempts to consider not only the social origins of ideology, but also how the functioning of ideologies changes social reality, and what functions it performs in society. In accordance with this position, it is argued that it would be extremely erroneous to consider the process of educating an individual as taking place in ideologically sterile conditions. Education and ideology are not only closely interrelated, but also different aspects of the single process of socialization of the individual. Personality development contributes to the transformation of the child into a person, a full member of the team, group, society as a whole, the development of the spirit of citizenship, patriotism, instilling moral norms of behaviour, the formation of a carrier of certain ideological, cultural, religious principles of worldview. Personality development is considered as a form of socialization of the individual – a system of mechanisms that turn the individual into a person, that is, a carrier of socially significant qualities. Ideology forms the content of the personality development process, defines the ideal of the personality development.
At the third stage of the study, the key approaches of the conservative system of education were identified. In the ideology of Russian conservatism, the human person is considered as the main factor determining the state of society, which means that the educational process should be directed to the formation of the individual. Personality should not be understood as a "weak-willed creation of external conditions," according to Tikhomirov (1997), it is necessary to proceed from the personality, not from external conditions, therefore it is necessary to change the personality, instead of changing social system. It is necessary "to consider the content of the person as the most important, and not this or that constitution of external conditions" (p. 25). The idea that the root of social life lies in the individual was shared by Yu. N. Govorukha-Otrok, for whom it was obvious that "it's all about the man": "If a man falls, if the living spirit disappears in him, then any reorganization of forms will be useless." Therefore, the main danger for the state is not the concern for the maintenance of a particular socio-political system, but the problem of possible "spiritual impoverishment of the individual" (Tikhomirov, 1986, p. 10).
From the point of view of Menshikov (1901)
"...erroneous suggestion that happiness is outside of us, forces the modern person to invest all capital of the soul into reorganization of the outside world, in creation of comfort, roads, buildings, utensils, clothes, jewellery, dwellings", while "the Kingdom of God is within you", which means "it is possible and necessary to be happy right now, at this moment of life, without waiting for an infinitely distant, chimeric "Golden age" Happiness is near, available, it is in us. Knowing this, we would pay more attention to the inner world, and not to the external" (p. 154).
Vvedensky (2016) was inclined to see the "meaning of personal life" and the "meaning of the whole world history" in the "meeting and explanation of our two selves: the real and the phantom, the reality and the double. Which of these two I wins - the rebellious, doubting and falling I of the outer man, or the pacifying, transparent, pure and incorruptible-sensitive I of the inner man - this, after all, determines the character of the nation, the era, the "spirit of the time" (p. 19).
Statehood and subjectivism are two principles that form the essence of the political life of the people. From the point of view of conservatives, the domestic system of personality development should be based on following these principles. Within the framework of conservative personality development, a synthesis of these principles is necessary. The nature of the state is subjective – the basis of the formation of the state is the will of the subject. Within the theological concept of the formation of the state, consistent with conservatism, this subject was God. It was the divine will that gave birth to the state. The subjective principle of formation of the state is reflected in the process of existence of the state, embodied in the personality of the ruler. The ruler receives sanction to the divine authority of God. The monarch thus becomes not only the vicar of God on earth, but also the successor of the subjective essence of the state, he brings to the state a personal beginning.
Naturally, within the framework of conservative thought, the structure of the soul is likened to the structure of the state. A number of thinkers proceeded from the fact of the substance of the soul. In the substance of the soul is seen, in the end, the prototype of the personality of the monarch. The monarch manifests his state substance in what is a kind of ideological centre.
Khomyakov (2016) refracts the subjective-personal principle in the social sphere and comes to the conclusion – "the more developed in individuals and peoples is the personality, the stronger and more fruitful the world role of the one who has such an identity" (p. 202).
Tikhomirov (1984), in the spirit of subjectivism, as loftily and reverently as if he characterized the monarchical principle of rule, defines the essence of personality: "I am a subject, quite separate from the surrounding world, conscious, reasoning, acting on the environment and perceiving the impact, having the power and freedom... All this together is what we call a person" (p. 342).
There are a number of approaches in Russian conservatism with regard to the content of the principles according to which a person should be formed. In particular, Astafjev (1980) sees the mission of the national system of education in the fact that it should express "the worldview of the people, whose spiritual and mental interest is focused on the spirit itself, on the inner man, in his fullness" (p. 44).
A Russian thinker's interpretation of the concept of nationality can be considered as a vivid evidence of the embodiment of the philosophical and subjective principle in the fabric of Russian conservative ideas (Pustarnakov, 2014). Of the three components of triad – religious ("Orthodoxy"), political ("autocracy") and philosophical ("nationality"), it was the nation that was theoretically the least developed. There are quite contradictory approaches to how to interpret the principle of nationality in Russian conservative thought.
Khomyakov (2016) interpreted the nation as a national consciousness, which will lead to the emergence of the people's sense of their individuality (p. 197). From these positions, the Russian thinker denied the possibility of imposing alien principles, including universal principles, considering that "the imaginary universal humanity is nothing but the imposition of a foreign nation" (p. 184). Therefore, "any private activity, both personal and national as well as universal is useful only when it is imbued with people's individuality..." (p. 202).
However, the state, forming the personality, is obliged to restrain within certain limits socially destructive forms of manifestation of human individuality. The state as a person, personified in the monarch, unites other persons, that is, its citizens. The educational and transfer link between the individual and the state is the family. The family is seen as a mini-state that reproduces state relations at the micro level. The father in the family is likened in conservatism to the monarch in the state. The family enters the life of every person much earlier than the state. Through the family, a person learns social and cultural norms, passes the initial stages of the process of socialization. In a healthy state, only healthy families are possible. The disintegration of the state always begins with the disintegration of the family, with the devaluation, first of all, of family values and norms of organization of family life.
The self-consciousness of the subject developed in the process of education is thus akin to the natural desire of Nations and States for identity and independence. Liberalism, isolating a person from his socio-political and spiritual-ideological space (that is, from the family and the state), destroys the essence of man, which can be compared with an attempt to separate the turtle from its shell or getting a snail from its shell in order to obtain a genuine turtle or snail.
In the modern educational space there is a question of revision of the content and technologies of education. How should the process of transmission and formation of values, ideals of the younger generation be carried out? This raises the urgent question of finding new forms of communication with young people. Our findings intend to extrapolate the ideological component of Russian conservatism into the structure of the educational process in the modern Russian school.
The main trends in modern society include change of the technological paradigm and, as a result, change of communication platform; lack of time due to the rapid development of the society. Conservative personality development system will allow restoring the process of socialization as well as reorienting the learner to master cultural norms while restoring the mechanism of social inheritance.
Within the framework of the Russian conservative system of personality development, the person was proclaimed the purpose and meaning of the educational process. At the same time, the result of personality development, that is, the citizens of the country, should be similar to the instruments sounding in the orchestra, where the worldview of each person, like the music extracted by the instrument outside, pours out into the harmony of sounds, into a wonderful musical work called the state. The educational role of the state is to unite many human souls around a common idea.
Authors of scientific research thank the rector of K.G. Razumovsky Moscow State University of technologies and management (the First Cossack University), Doctor of Economics, professor Valentina Ivanova, for a creative atmosphere, so necessary for implementation of scientific projects.
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