The article theoretically and empirically proves the possibility and necessity of interpenetration of traditional and innovative teaching technologies in primary school teacher training. Through experimental work the authors justify the efficiency of the higher school lectures, developed on the basis of the authors’ technology of intellectual-developmental education, which requires the presentation of educational information in the form of the sum-total of developmental tasks aimed at developing students’ analytical and synthetic perception, thinking, imagination, semantic memory. “Acceptance” and the accomplishment of developmental tasks are achieved due to the anticipation of the desired result using hidden clues. Anticipation sin spire students to have a positive emotional reaction to the tasks and a sense of confidence in their intellectual capabilities, thereby actualizing their internal inducements to action. The case method at such lectures serves as a separate instructional technique: students solve specific professional pedagogical problems, relying on the lecturer’s assistance. The article also presents an innovative experience of lecturing on basic subjects for future primary school teachers using such learning strategies that will prepare them for methodological activities in primary classes on an unconscious, intuitive level, through “insight”. The authors suggest a didactic model of students’ “immersion” into innovative professional activities, which will form their universal instrumental learning actions. The authors substantiate the conclusion that the balance between traditions and innovations ensures the manifestation of intellectual freedom for all educational process participants in higher education.
Keywords: Interpenetration of oppositesintellectual freedomlearning technologiesprimary school teachertraditions and innovations
The pedagogical community needs a new worldview, which determines the readiness of a student to meet himself at a new level of self-organization of his intellectual capabilities. However, the intellectual development is not limited to the formation of a student’s cognitive and operational experience, but its focus is on expanding and enriching the content of human subjectivity, will, motives, and emotions.
The relevance of the article is determined by the fact that modern realities require the pedagogical community to understand the need for interpenetration of traditional and innovative forms, methods of organizing the training of future schoolteachers for the level of primary general education.
The philosophical law of the unity and struggle of opposites answers the question: why the development takes place, seeing it not in an external impact (jolt, explosion), but in the internal contradictory tendencies, in struggling of well-established, conventional with “newly”.
Traditional and innovative forms of training in higher education are sometimes different, sometimes contrary, but they are always identical in their right to co-exist. The unity and struggle of traditional and new, stable and changeable, declare itself in the process of development, transition to a new quality of students’ education.
Currently, there is a constant discussion about the relationship between traditions and innovations in education. First, it is important to define the interpretation of the term “innovation”.
The concept of innovation arose and developed in the logic of a new, not existing before, or significantly modified. Thus, in the middle of the 20th century, Barnett (1953) characterizes innovation as a reality that is qualitatively different from the existing forms of human life, including traditions.
Reflecting on innovations in the education system, Rich (1975) also emphasizes the novelty as their main characteristic: it is a new project, method, or idea introduced into the education system
Researcher Ogurcov notes that usually innovations are opposed to traditions, and modern society is associated only with innovations. The author fairly believes that in this case the society “completely loses any stability, any invariant characteristics”, to which he refers “values and norms of society” (Ogurcov & Platonov, 2004, pp. 488-489).
According to an analytical survey that summarized recent studies, OECD countries have noted a slowdown in the growth of systemic innovations in the educational practice of primary and secondary education (Vincent-Lancrin et al., 2019), which shows the return of teachers' interest in traditional education, for example, Vincent-Lancrin et al. (2019) write: "Learning by memorizing and drilling is often op-posed to active learning. However, they can also go hand in hand" (p. 28).
Modern innovations in higher education are now somehow subordinated to the idea of “customer-oriented education”, the implementation of which makes learning more interesting for the student (Cua, 2012; Jones, 1997).
The proponents of preserving traditions in the higher education system adhere to the point of view of J. Morgan, who speaking at the seminar of the National Research University Higher School of Economics in 2012, suggested that the decline in the quality of higher education and the gradual extinction of fundamental science is the consequence of the orientation of education to the interests of the student as a client of the education system (Ivanova, 2012).
The authors of the article adhere to the concept of the “golden mean” in this issue, because any extreme is undesirable and even dangerous. It is the “golden mean” where you can find the balance and harmony of the presented approaches to the organization of higher education.
We posed the following questions in our study.
Which source of information is the leading one when training a primary school teacher: a lecturer or multimedia cases, video cases?
How can innovations be combined in the training of primary school teachers with the lecture form of higher education?
What is the didactic model of students “immersion” into innovative professional activities that combines traditional and modern forms of education?
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the research is to substantiate the possibility of not only maintaining the balance between traditions and innovations in the training of future primary school teachers, but also of mutually enriching the latest and traditional ways of organizing their educational activities. Achieving the purpose is accompanied by solving the following tasks.
Theoretical and empirical justification of the didactic model of primary school teacher training, including traditions and innovations
The study of the students’ attitude to traditional and innovative didactic tools.
The research conducted was based on the methods of the theoretical analysis of literary sources; pedagogical experiment; the survey of 85 students.
The empirical part of the study was conducted from 2012 to 2019 on the basis of Pskov State University.
The study of the problem was conducted in three stages.
At the first stage, the theoretical analysis of literary sources was carried out;
At the second stage, experimental practical training of future primary school teachers was organized at the faculty of educational technologies of Pskov State University;
At the third stage, understanding and generalization of the research results were conducted.
Theoretical analysis of the scientific literature has shown that there is a certain contrast between the lecture and case forms of acquisition of educational information by students. The essence of the latter form is to create and complete specially designed (multimedia, video or printed) teaching materials in a special set (case) and transfer them (forward) to students (Lysova,2013).
Some modern researchers (Akhmetova et al., 2016; Lifintseva, 2016), following the traditions of Russian philosophers, thinkers and teachers, refer the training of future teachers “to the internal or spiritual content of cultural life and human activity” (Lifintseva, 2016, p. 34), which “cannot be left to a soulless machine, even if it is very smart and practical” (Lifintseva, 2016, p. 35). The question is about the impossibility of depriving students of live communication, live words and actions with the teacher.
Our position in this discussion coincides with the opinion of the American Institute of business and Economics (AIBEc) Professor P. Ekman, who believes that “cases” cannot replace lectures: “You cannot spend all your time just analyzing specific examples, because this forms a stereotypical, biased approach to solving similar problems, and a student will not be able to rise to a higher level of generalization. …The value of such exercises, if they do not have a theoretical “filling”, is small”. The same point of view is shared by the Russian scientists Fedyanin and Davydenko (2000), who used the above quotation in their article.
Using pedagogical observation and questionnaires of the “Primary education” programmed students, we have made sure that lectures, in their classic form, really do not arouse interest and intellectual emotions in the audience, who figuratively call them “dictations”.
Already in 2013, in the article “Practical Implementation of the Competence-based Approach on Innovation - type Lectures”, we presented the first experience of using the technology of intellectual development training aimed at managing the development of students’ intellectual structures in the form of interactive lectures at higher schools (Solovjova, 2013). The methodological idea of this technology is to divide educational information into logical elements; to construct on their basis a series of tasks that develop students’ thinking, analytical and synthetic perception, imagination and semantic memory; to ensure the “acceptance” and success of their performance by students due to anticipation of the result using hidden clues. The “hidden clues strategy” not only makes the lecture “economical” in terms of the time spent, but also causes students to feel confident in their intellectual capabilities, a positive emotional response to tasks, and actualizes internal motivations for action. Information, transformational, integrating and coordinating functions of traditional lectures are implemented through printed text materials presented to students. The case method at such lectures functions as a separate method: students are invited to solve specific professional pedagogical situations “here and now”, relying on the help or assistance of the lecturer and co-students.
A little later in our practical activities for training future primary school teachers we began to implement our next innovative idea (Solovyeva & Karpovich, 2019). During lectures on basic (fundamental) academic disciplines, we actively began to use teaching techniques of the educational process of primary schools, in order to prepare future teachers for methodological activities through “insight”, on an unconscious, intuitive level, and to increase the level of their methodological competence. In other words, the educational material mastered in pedagogical universities should be considered not only as the medium of the scientific content of school education, but also as the medium of the future methods of its implementation in primary school lessons.
The conducted analysis of the epistemological foundations of lectures that integrate subject and methodological knowledge in the minds of future teachers also revealed the potential for students to form universal instrumental learning actions (recoding, interpretation, identification, paraphrasing, forecasting, and others) (Solovyeva & Vitkovskaya, 2019).
Further search for the optimal combination of innovations and traditions in preparing bachelor students for work in primary schools led us in 2019 to develop a didactic model of “immersion” into innovative professional activities (Vitkovskaya et al., 2020). The implementation of this model in the practice of the university provides a “deepening” of students into the theory and complication of their practical activities by increasing the degree of independence and creativity in conditions of the lack of information. The components of the model are: the introduction and motivation cycle, the operational cycle, the development cycle, the engagement (implementation) cycle, and the assessment cycle.
So, the course begins with traditional lectures aimed at introducing students to the content of those technologies that they will learn and, in the future, use at their lessons in primary school. The teacher presents the most interesting components of technologies to students, shows their effectiveness in teaching primary school students, and gives vivid examples.
After a general introduction to the technologies, students are invited to choose one of them for detailed study, subsequent development and presentation during a practical class. It is important to note that at this stage (the operational cycle) the teacher demonstrates a sample of such a practical lesson, completely based on the algorithm of one of the technologies, in other words, conducting a master class.
Next, students (let us call them developers) in pairs or groups create a project that aims to master the selected new technology theoretically and practically, to prepare a lesson in which all other students in the group (let us call them participants) will learn this technology in action, being “inside what is the content intended for assimilation” (Kolesnikova, 2006, p. 18). That is, if the lesson is dedicated to the technology of the “Project method”, the entire class is developed as a learning project, if the subject technology is the “Flipped classroom”, the class is developed as the analysis and application of theoretical principles learned by the students themselves in working with the Internet sites. During the preparation of practical classes, the teacher acts as a consultant and tutor to students, accompanying, monitoring and correcting their independent work.
The interpenetration of traditional and innovative methods of organizing the educational activities of future teachers continues in the cycle of “involvement”, implemented in seminars that go back to ancient Greek and Roman Schools, as a combination of messages, debates of students, comments and conclusions of the teacher. In this didactic model, students first learn the educational goals and content of the technology being studied in the traditional way, get acquainted with the list of literature and Internet resources on its use in primary school, and then, within the framework of the simulation strategy, play the role of junior schoolchildren when students-developers conduct a fragment of the lesson on the basis of the educational technology under study. This structure of seminars allows everyone to effectively learn the principles and techniques of the new technology: both those who develop the lesson and those who learn from it (Bruno & Dell’Aversana, 2018; Bubnys, 2019).
The final element of the model – the assessment cycle – includes both self-assessments, where students-developers analyze the pros and cons of the lesson, as well as the assessment of students-participants using the “Six hats of thinking” technique.
The construction of this training model, which involves the implementation of the idea of interpenetration of innovations and traditions, was also initiated by the results of the survey of 85 students-future primary school teachers conducted in 2017 and 2018 on the results of their study of the discipline “Innovative technologies in education”. The students were offered the list of methodological tools used in this discipline, and were asked to evaluate on a 5-point scale how effective each of them was in mastering the technologies under study.
It turned out that students almost equally appreciated the importance of both traditional (the teacher’s lectures; the reports prepared by the students; watching video recordings of the lessons) and innovative tools (participation in simulation games; building a practical lesson based on the strategy of “staying in the content”) in their own preparation for innovative professional activities.
Thus, the pedagogical philosophy of interpenetration of traditions and innovations in primary school teacher training presented in this article focuses higher education on educational activities, which pay special attention to the development of intellectual freedom for all its subjects, both students and teachers. The intellectual freedom of the teacher, in particular, can be expressed in the use of an original method of solving a pedagogical problem (in relation to traditional methods and techniques of teaching).
In the framework of this pedagogical outlook the subject-subject model of the educational process, which requires a teacher to perceive the student with his “pros and cons”, a teacher appears in front of the students in an open position, without hurrying with his own truth, offering them the opportunity to express and develop in dialogue their individuality and creativity, manifests vividly.
Due to the diffusion processes between traditions and innovations in the training of primary school teachers, there is a so-called synergetic effect, which neither traditions nor innovations alone can provide in the educational process. Namely:
there is a combination of external and internal forces that ensure the self-organization of future primary school teachers, who are indirectly led to the productive path of developing their methodological competence;
students master universal ways of processing and organizing educational information, which (even if not always consciously) will be transmitted to primary school students;
the conditions for the development of intellectual freedom for all subjects of educational activity at the university – both students and teachers – are created.
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18 December 2020
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Solovyeva, T., & Vitkovskaya, I. (2020). Philosophy Of Interpenetration Of Traditions And Innovations In Primary School Teacher Training. In O. D. Shipunova, & D. S. Bylieva (Eds.), Professional Culture of the Specialist of the Future & Communicative Strategies of Information Society, vol 98. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 624-630). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.12.03.63