Development Of Social Creativity Of University Students In Teaching Humanitarian Language Disciplines

Abstract

The results of a study of the complex of abilities of social creativity among students of a technical university are presented: the general integral indicator, the qualities of a self-actualizing personality, social sensitivity and the ability to adequately interpret non-verbal behaviour. Difficulties and deficiencies in the development of social creativity are identified: low efficiency in generating ideas and creating original artistic products, indecision in implementing new plans, inconsistency in decisions and inability to complete complex cases, insufficient critical thinking, self-doubt, unwillingness to be convincing in resolving conflicts; the lack of formation of the qualities of a self-actualizing personality, which form the basis of its mental health and integrity, in particular a positive attitude towards people, autonomy, auto-sympathy; low social sensitivity, in particular the inability to interpret individual and non-verbal group behaviour based on the analysis and correlation of various signals. The identified deficiencies in the development of social creativity are taken into account while creating a special psychological and pedagogical developmental program in the context of teaching students of a technical university in humanitarian linguistic disciplines, in particular, speech culture. Special attention was paid to making a creative environment based on the principles of problematic issues, incompletion and transparency, lack of criticism and promotion of the initiative. The results of the test experiment confirmed the effectiveness of the implemented program.

Keywords: Creative educational environmentsocial creativityself-actualizing personalitysocial sensitivity

Introduction

Various socio-psychological factors can explain the renewed interest in the study of social creativity in psychology and pedagogy. In the modern changeable world self-realization and well-being of an adult, personality is mostly determined by its readiness for a non-standard life situation, which requires awareness and creative use of the acquired socio-communicative experience. In this regard, there is a change in the value system of education in the direction of teaching students the ability to demonstrate their creative individuality, freedom of expression, authenticity and self-confidence. In higher education, a creative contextual approach to vocational education is relevant, which implies the formation of future specialists' need for independence and responsibility, as well as their willingness to creatively solve professional problems of varying complexity and participate in open, constructive interaction (Filchenkova, 2019, p. 3).

In terms of theoretical analysis, the importance of studying social creativity is explained by the contradiction that has arisen between the creative person needed by modern society and the insufficiently developed private conceptual foundations of creativity, especially its socio-behavioural component.

In psychological science, the phenomenon of creativity has been actively studied not for long, in the second half of the 20th century, both by foreign and domestic researchers. As a result, approaches focused on the search for sources of creativity and approaches focused on the analysis of the creative process have now taken shape. The first group includes three main approaches: psychoanalytic, coming from Freud, and defining creativity as a way to resolve intrapersonal conflicts; humanistic, describing creativity as a manifestation of the natural potential of a healthy person (Maslow, 1999, p. 32); and defining psychometric creativity as a genetically determined ability, which is the interaction of two opposite types of thinking: divergent – holistic, intuitive, and convergent – logical, linear (Guilford, 1965, p. 75). The approaches focusing on the description of creativity as a process include associative (the ability to find distant associations in the process of finding a solution to a problem) and a gestalt approach that analyzes the creative process as a specific restructuring of a holistic situation. Because the manifestations of creativity in the personality structure are diverse, different types of creativity are currently being studied as independent phenomena: creativity of thinking, behaviour, emotional, social creativity. In the foreign and Russian psychology, the attention of many researchers is particularly attracted by the phenomenon of social creativity (Eremina, 2015; Fisher, 2005; Golovanova, 2011; Sorokina, 2010; Torrance, 1964; Valueva, 2009; Voronkova & Tchaikovskaya, 2015; Voznyuk, 2019). The authors describe social creativity as a complex of abilities and personality traits that allows understanding and analyzing the causes and dynamics of various social situations, as well as find effective creative, non-standard solutions in situations of interpersonal interaction. It is proved that people with a high level of social creativity are more successful in their profession and life. A search is underway for conditions and factors that ensure its formation at different stages of personality growth. According to some authors, the formation of a creative environment is an essential factor in the development of social creativity (Emelyanova et al., 2017, p. 29; Khazratova & Druzhinin, 1994, р. 84). It assumes the conditions of problematic situations, dialogue, judgment-free views and lack of criticism, acceptance, as well as the use of modern active learning technologies. Game, problem and design methods, as well as socio-psychological training, are a priority.

However, despite recent actively conducted studies, one has to admit the fact that a generally accepted theoretical model of social creativity has not yet been developed in psychological science. Also, the work of modern researchers often contains interchangeability and unclear differentiation of the concepts of "social creativity" and actually "creativity", "social intelligence", "social competence." These facts indicate both the complexity of the identified problem and the debatability and ambiguity of its understanding (Arkhipova et al., 2019, p. 727).

There is also a lack of work on the problem of studying the factors of social creativity in the context of training and education, as well as in the context of vocational education and specifically subject-matter training for students. This circumstance determines the relevance and novelty of research in this area (Belyaeva et al., 2020, p. 432).

Problem Statement

We have conducted our research on indicators of social creativity among university students. The author's program aimed at its development was worked out and implemented. We believe that the formation of social creativity of students is possible in the context of the implementation of a special psycho-pedagogical program in the framework of subject teaching of humanitarian language disciplines, in particular speech culture.

Research Questions

The subject of our study is the social creativity of students in the context of humanitarian and language subject educating at a university. In the process of conducting the research, the following tasks are solved:

  • Development own criteria-based diagnostic model; 

  • Based on this diagnostic model to explore the characteristics of social creativity among university students based on an analysis of the data of foreign and Russian Studies presented in the scientific literature;

  • Development and testing of a psycho-pedagogical program for the development of social creativity in the context of subject-based education of students in the humanities of language disciplines, in particular, speech culture.

Purpose of the Study

The article aimed to study and development of social creativity in the context of subject-based learning of students speech culture.

Research Methods

This study is based on the following psycho-diagnostic methods:

1) The methodology for determining the level of social creativity of a person, developed by Batarshev;

2) Questionnaire POI (Personal Orientation Inventory), written by Shostr, presented in an adapted edition of Aleshina, Gozman, Zaika, Croz, named "Self-actualization Questionnaire" (SAMOAL);

3) A diagnostic technique for the level of development of the ability to adequately interpret non-verbal behaviour, developed by Labunskaya (2009, p. 230).

Findings

The participants of our research were first-year students of the Faculty of Chemistry and Physics of Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University named after Alekseev at the age of 17–18 in the amount of 42 people, including 14 young men and 28 girls. At the first stage, students were diagnosed with indicators of social creativity. The general level of social creativity was identified. The qualities of a self-actualizing personality, the ability to adequately interpret non-verbal behaviour as components of social creativity were studied. Correlation analysis of all diagnosed indicators was carried out to determine the system structure of a person's social creativity. Initially, we identified the level of social creativity based on students' self-esteem by scaling their behaviour in non-standard life situations.

It included the ability for creative social interaction, the ability to behave constructively in conflict situations, the ability to collaborate. The results of the study showed that more than half of the students (62 %) demonstrate average values of social creativity, the rest have high (19 %) and low (19 %) values.

Students point out their main difficulties: lack of efficiency in generating ideas and creating original products, indecision in implementing new plans, inconsistency in decisions and inability to complete complex cases, insufficient critical thinking, self-doubt, unwillingness to be convincing in resolving conflict situations.

Psychologists of the humanistic school regard social creativity as a quality of a self-actualizing personality. According to Maslow, a self-actualizing personality is a healthy, mature personality, living meaningfully and entirely, fully realizing his talents, abilities and personal potential (Maslow, 1999).

The results of the methodology allowed identifying the general level of students' self-actualization and compile a personality profile, including indicators of 11 qualities. Low rates of self-actualization (SA) were detected in 38 % of students, average indicators were found in 47.6 %, and high rates were found in 14.4 % of students. Thus, most students have medium and low rates of desire for self-actualization. Further, a profile of the qualities of a self-actualizing personality was revealed among the students. The results showed that in many qualities (the need for knowledge (NK), spontaneity (S), contact (CON), flexibility in communication (F), students generally have average indicators. Students have the highest percentage of high values in terms of time orientation (TO) (47 %), self-actualizing personality values V) (38 %), general creativity (C) (38 %). These facts mean that many students positively assess their present state of things, share the values of a self-actualizing personality, which include truth, goodness, beauty, justice, order. They strive for a harmonious life, and healthy relationships with people, demonstrate a creative attitude to life (Figure 01 ).

Figure 1: The manifestation of qualities of a self-actualizing personality among students (in %)
The manifestation of qualities of a self-actualizing personality among students (in %)
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However, many essential qualities that form the basis of mental health and the integrity of the individual are deficient in some students. Qualities revealed the highest percentage of low values: a look at man's nature (MN) (42.9 %), autonomy (AU) (28.6 %), auto-sympathy (AS) (23.8 %). This result means they have a distrust of people, dependence, unstable self-esteem, self-doubt (Figure 02 ).

Social creativity also manifests itself in behaviour. We studied this indicator by identifying exceptional social sensitivity to the feelings and attitudes of others, their ability to recognize them by verbal and non-verbal signals and interpret correctly. The students demonstrated this ability through the decision of a series of projective creative tasks taken from Labunskaya's methodology (Labunskaya, 2009, p. 229).

Figure 2: The results of the distribution of the sample of tested students by structural indicators of the ability to adequately interpret nonverbal behaviour (in %)
The results of the distribution of the sample of tested students by structural indicators of the ability to adequately interpret nonverbal behaviour (in %)
See Full Size >

It is a series of drawings aimed at identifying the ability to understand non-verbal signals of the interlocutor. The methods include 8 "tasks," combined into four groups, the solution of which indicates the level of development of many abilities. This questionnaire measures indicators for 8 subscales, including the diagnosis of the adequacy of the interpretation of the states and relationships of a person based on his posture (D1), the diagnosis of the interpretation of emotional states of a person based on his facial expressions (D2), the diagnosis of the adequate interpretation of intellectual-volitional emotional states and relationships on basis of individual non-verbal behavior (D3), the diagnosis of the adequate interpretation of attitudes, relationships of people included in non-verbal interaction (face-pose) (D4), the diagnosis of the adequate interpretation of non-verbal behavior in conflict (D5) and agreement (D6),the diagnosis of the adequate interpretation of non-verbal behavior in the dyad and group (D7) and the diagnosis of the adequate interpretation of non-verbal behavior when correlating expression in primary states by determining the relationships and differences between psychological content of various elements of non-verbal behavior (D8). The integral result was also determined according to the method (D).

The results showed that the tested students successfully interpreted some signals of individual non-verbal behaviour of people: facial expressions (66.7 % – high values), postures (19.1 % – high values, 57.1 % – average values), correlation of posture and facial expressions (42.9 % – high values, 47.6 % – average values). The most significant difficulties were caused by more complicated tasks, in which it was necessary to interpret individual non-verbal behaviour based on establishing connections between facial expressions and remarks (85.6 % of the students showed low values). The difficulties were also caused by the tasks in which it was necessary to interpret relationships between people according to non-verbal signals in dyads and groups (95.2 % of students showed low values). In general, the integral result of students' social sensitivity and insight is quite high: 33.3 % showed high values, 52.3 % – medium values and 14.4 % – low values.

The identified deficiencies in the development of social creativity were taken into account when devising a particular psycho-pedagogical developmental program in the context of teaching students of a technical university in humanitarian linguistic disciplines, in particular, speech culture. The goal of the implemented program was to create conditions for the development of social creativity of students of a technical university in the process of learning the culture of speech. The following tasks were solved:

1) identification and development of students' creative abilities in communication;

2) building up a creative environment;

3) the use of innovative forms and educational methods.

The study is based on

  • the principles of the personality-activity approach in learning,

  • a variety of forms and methods of educational work,

  • collegiality and collective responsibility of students and the teacher for the results of activities,

  • dialogue communication,

  • creating a free creative atmosphere of self-expression for each student,

  • realism in solving culturally significant problems based on real resources that can be accounted for and used.

The program included lectures where students received the necessary theoretical knowledge: mastered the rules of effective communication, communicative competence, analyzed psychological barriers in communication, received practical recommendations, formed motivation to activate their creative potential. The program also included practical classes, during which students did exercises on the development of flexibility, speed and original thinking, empathy, skills of effective interaction in groups. In the process of studying specific topics of speech culture, various teaching methods and developing psycho-technologies were used.

Examples of the application of such teaching methods are as follows. In the classes on the topics "Orthoepic norms of the Russian language", methods of creating oral dialogues are used. The group discussion "Morphological Norms of the Russian Language" includes the methods of a group discussion in the framework of the training "How to prevent morphological errors in speech?" A lesson on the topic "Text as a Speech Product" becomes more effective when using the press essay method (written round table). A lesson on the theme of "Expressiveness of speech" is conducted using methods of expressive reading aloud, creating cinquains, monologues on behalf of inanimate objects. A lesson on the theme of "Business papers" is based on an analysis of the constructed situations. A lesson on the theme of "Speech etiquette" can be conducted as role-playing the game "Basic Formulas of Russian Speech Etiquette." In the lesson "Methods and Means of Speech Interaction," debates and training are used. The lesson "Public Speech" is held as an oratory tournament.

The teacher paid particular attention to providing the conditions of a creative environment through problematic situations, situations of incompleteness and openness, encouraging many questions, making emphasis on students' independent development, on the analysis of observations, feelings, generalizations, comparisons.

The results of the control experiment confirmed the effectiveness of the implemented program. The number of students with a high level of social creativity has significantly increased, whereas the number of students with a low level of social creativity has significantly decreased. Educational and self-esteem anxiety has decreased.

Conclusion

The results of the study showed that there are difficulties and deficiencies in the development of social creativity among university students:

1) the average level of social creativity;

2) the undeveloped qualities of a self-actualizing personality, which form the basis of its mental health and integrity, in particular, a positive attitude towards people, autonomy, auto-sympathy;

3) low social sensitivity, in particular the inability to interpret individual and non-verbal group behaviour based on the analysis and correlation of various signals. The identified deficiencies in the development of social creativity were taken into account when developing a particular psycho-pedagogical developmental program in the context of teaching students of a technical university in humanitarian linguistic disciplines, in particular, speech culture. Particular attention was paid to building a creative environment based on the principles of problematic cases, incompleteness and openness, lack of criticism and encouragement of initiative. The results of the control experiment confirmed the effectiveness of the implemented program. The number of students with a high level of social creativity has significantly increased, while the number of students with a low level of social creativity has significantly decreased. Educational and self-esteem anxiety has decreased.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

27.02.2021

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2021.02.02.109

Online ISSN

2357-1330