The paper justifies the relevance of the research problem, formulates the object, subject, purpose, tasks, hypothesis, methodological foundations and methods of study. The state of development of the problem is considered, for which a short analysis of sources and various approaches to the problem are carried out. The theoretical and methodological foundations and pedagogical conditions of the preparation of a future teacher for strengthening moral and spiritual education are revealed. The following factors are put forward as pedagogical conditions: integration of educational programs in the compulsory educational discipline and the special course; ensuring that a future teacher learns the criteria of moral and spiritual education and methods of diagnosing its level; inclusion of a future teacher in such types of vocational and pedagogical activities as: designing, modeling, conducting and analyzing a lesson on specific topics within a special discipline from the point of view of strengthening moral and spiritual education. The concept of preparing a future teacher to strengthen moral and spiritual education in the educational process is proposed, as well as the methodology for organizing the experimental part of the study aimed at verifying the effectiveness of the proposed concept. Criteria and indicators of readiness of a future teacher to strengthen moral and spiritual education in the educational process, including cognitive, operational-activity and motivational-attitude components, are disclosed. In conclusion, the fidelity of the hypothesis put forward is confirmed.
History teaches that the most important reason for the death of once developed civilizations was the moral and spiritual decomposition of people, and above all the power and capital of the wealthy. By the 21st century, this problem has not only become even more urgent, but its dependence can lead to the death of all mankind. The mankind has never experienced a more appalling political, geopolitical, socio-economic and environmental situation than in the modern world. All this is a consequence of the educational policy of states and the underestimation of the importance of moral and spiritual education. Such facts as the glorification of the collaborators of Hitlerite fascism, the appearance and activation of neo-fascists are rightly interpreted by some authors as “an unusually black time for our entire planet” (Alferov, 2019). At the same time, it is emphasized that it is easy to turn morally and spiritually underdeveloped people into rampant neo-fascists. The latter is evidenced by many examples. The authors are especially concerned by the fact that the current educational system focuses young people on freedom from such values as conscience, God, morality, and that within the framework of modern programs for the introduction of digital technologies and the promoted ideology of transhumanism, the soul of a person is killed, and the devil primarily kills the soul of a person (Katasonov, 2018).
Solving the problems of strengthening the educational function of teaching and preparing a future teacher for it, it is first necessary to talk about strengthening moral and spiritual education, because it is a substrate for solving the problems of all other areas of education. All this led to the formulation of the problem of study: what are the theoretical and methodological foundations, concept and pedagogical conditions for preparing a future teacher to strengthen moral and spiritual education in the educational process.
The object of the study as a whole and the proposed paper is to strengthen the moral and spiritual education of schoolchildren in the educational process, and the subject is the concept of preparing a future teacher to strengthen moral and spiritual education, including targeted, meaningful, active, diagnostic components.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose and tasks result from the object, the subject and problem statement: to reveal the theoretical and methodological foundations, the essence of pedagogical conditions and the concept of preparing a future teacher to strengthen moral and spiritual education in the educational process.
In addition to the well-known philosophical provisions the methodological basis of the study included I. Kant’s thesis on the unity of the sensual, rational and moral in the process of knowledge: structural-systemic, personal-activity, anthropological, axiological, synergistic approaches and methodological provisions of pedagogical science on the unity of learning and education, on the unity of substantive and procedural aspects of learning. The following research methods were used – observation, modeling, laboratory experience, analysis, comparison, interrogation and diagnostic methods. In addition to traditional didactic principles, the principles of dialogics, problematic and emotional learning, critical saturation and critical correctness, and interdisciplinary communication were implemented.
It was suggested as a hypothesis that the process of preparing a future teacher to strengthen moral and spiritual education in the educational process will be an effective subject to the following pedagogical conditions: 1) integration of educational programs in the compulsory educational discipline and the special course; 2) ensuring that a future teacher learns methods for diagnosing the level of moral and spiritual education of students; 3) inclusion of students in such types of vocational and pedagogical activities as designing, modeling, conducting and analyzing a lesson on specific topics within a special discipline from the point of view of strengthening moral and spiritual education. For all these conditions, the invariant methodological setting was the thesis of the need to immerse students (both schoolchildren and students) in the world of ideas about good and evil when discussing global problems and for this to maximize the potential of problem-dialogue learning.
To implement the first condition: 1) the points of convergence of topics of the compulsory course, preceding the special course, with moral and spiritual problems, as well as with questions of the special course, were identified; 2) a special course was developed and introduced, which includes such issues as the image of a holistic person in scientific and parascientific knowledge, the laws of space and earth evolution and human evolution (law of Harmony, law of Love, law of Conscience, law of Freedom of Choice, law of Karma, law of Reincarnation) in their scientific and parascientific interpretations; the concept of sin and its levels in religious and parascientific interpretations. This is caused by the fact that in the face of global changes in the modern world and the observed crises in all spheres of life, it is impossible to solve the problem by traditional approaches alone. This thesis is revealed in our publications (Meretukova, 2016, 2017), so we will not dwell on it. The second pedagogical condition was aimed at assimilating the system of diagnostic methods by a future teacher, with the help of which it is possible to identify the real attitude of students to value-based phenomena and the presence of these values in their lives. Thus, the methods of pedagogical diagnostics were used according to Shchurkova (2001), methods related to the situation of free choice and reflected in questionnaires with conditional titles “What I love – what I hate”, “Do I know those I know”, “Whom do I wish the good”, “Do I need a lot for happiness?”, which provide information about the attitude of students to axiological phenomena. The third condition involved the following types of student activities: 1) choosing topics of lessons within a special discipline, planning (modeling) a study in the context of strengthening moral and spiritual education of schoolchildren; 2) drawing up a summary plan (model) of the lesson, which was adjusted by the teacher; 3) conducting a lesson at the first hour of the laboratory-practical class, in which a student group played the role of schoolchildren; 4) the second hour of the laboratory-practical class included oral collective critical analysis and evaluation of the student’s lesson.
Theoretical training of students was carried out during lectures and seminar classes, and practical preparation to plan, conduct and analyze the training session – at the laboratory-practical classes, where, in addition to active and interactive forms, the methods of problem learning and well-known pedagogical techniques, such non-traditional technological techniques as interpretation, intonation, instrumentation, initiation, innovation were used according to Shchurkova (2018).
To solve the problem under study, it was necessary to address the essence of such concepts as “soul” and “experience”. This is not a completely traditional, but legitimate approach, because it is these phenomena that can be considered as substrates of moral and spiritual education, the soul as an object of sublimation, while the experience as a way of sublimating it. In this regard, it should be noted that the concept of “soul” (Greek – psyche, Latin – anime) is interpreted as the inner, mental world of a person, his consciousness; a combination of psychic phenomena closely related to the body, in particular feelings and aspirations; good soul, mean soul; in religion and philosophy – a special intangible substance independent of the body (Philosophical Encyclopedic Dictionary, 2002). Many works of ancient, medieval and later thinkers, philosophers are devoted to the essence of the soul. The scientific controversy around it does not stop until now. For example, these days foreign and domestic scientists write about the soul as the energy of a person, that the body is the place of the soul, that the soul can be visualized using the latest methods, for example, the Gas Discharge Visualization proposed by academician Korotkov (2006) emphasizing that the processes of consciousness, soul, human upbringing belong to a non-physical dimension, where the hidden energies are expressed. Besides, it is argued that the most important factor in the renewal of society is culture as the “cultivation of the soul” and that “the hour of reassessment of values has come, that Western civilization is dominated by the pathos of career achievements, the pathos of winning. This pathos and numbers with large zeros seized our country... But for the soul, business is also destructive” (Pomerantz, 2013, p. 26). The need to return the soul to domestic pedagogy and education is rightly emphasized by the authors of pedagogy textbooks: “having rejected the soul, pedagogy and education turned into a soulless machine, thereby violating the law of unity of spiritual and bodily in a person (Podlasy, 2013). It is emphasized that the methodological thesis that a person is characteristic of seeking support for his behavior not in natural instincts, but in the moral-spiritual layer and moral instinct of consciousness is not taken into account in the educational process, and that the absence of this instinct enhances such qualities of immature souls of morally and spiritually low-educated people as intolerance, irritability, aggressiveness (Bondarevskaya, 2006). The validity of this statement can be confirmed by such a common phenomenon today as bullying.
As noted above, moral and spiritual education is also associated with such a phenomenon as “experience”, which is interpreted in some sources as a state of mind, expressed in the presence of strong feelings, impressions experienced by someone, and in a broad sense as equivalent to the content of consciousness. The methodological discourses of I. Kant, who affirmed the fusion of morality and experience, and that the sign of the truth or falsity of knowledge can be the holistic correlation of the sensual, mental and moral seem quite interesting. According to Kant, morality is generated only in the experiences of the consciousness of the subject of knowledge (as cited in Bondarevskaya, 2006).
Today the problem of experience is actualized in almost all fundamental concepts of personality-oriented education. One of the first modern educators-researchers who turned to the concept of “experience” and revealed it as a way and condition of assimilating one of the elements of socio-cultural experience and hence as one of the four elements of the content of education – the experience of emotional-axiological attitude to the world, was academician of the Russian Academy of Education, Lerner (1994), who argued that without emotional experiences, a value-based attitude is not formed, therefore, as a way of assimilating the content of education, it must accompany each level and any method of assimilation, as well as any method of learning. Frankl (1990) expressed similar thoughts about the relationship of experience and values, and distinguished the values of experience out of all values, and emphasized that values cannot be taught, they need to be lived (experienced). Sharing the point of view of Frankl and relying on his ideas, domestic scientists (E.V. Bondarevskaya, S.V. Kulnevich) note that the role of education is to help students learn themselves, wake their conscience, responsibility, worry (live) their education in the search for values, in good deeds, experiences of love, and at the same time show good support so that they feel the faith and love of their mentors (Bondarevskaya, 2006).
To intensify the experience, some researchers attach great importance to the creation of pedagogically effective situations-events in the educational process (Serikov, 2007). Although the authors talk about the educational process in special educational institutions of a closed type, this idea can be extrapolated to the educational process in ordinary secondary and higher educational institutions. This point of view complies with the thoughts of another author, who believes that such pedagogical situations in the educational process of a higher school can cause moral and spiritual catharsis due to contact either with an aesthetic object or with an object of moral value (Safronova, 2011).
To implement the above approaches, it was necessary to maximize the educational and developing potential of problem-dialog learning technology, for which a future teacher was focused on mastering its theory and practice.
According to the developed concept, it was further necessary to ensure that students understood the following issues: 1) criteria for moral and spiritual education, 2) factors that strengthen moral and spiritual education in the educational process, 3) methodology for organizing the educational process.
Regarding the first issue it was determined that the criterion of education as a whole is the nature of attitude to such highest values as Good, Beauty, Truth, Conscience that determine the foundations of human life, and that a person can be considered educated if: a) his behavior in different life situations meets the principle of Good (promotes the good of another person); b) he perceives Beauty (harmony of form and content), strives to preserve and multiply it; c) his intellect is developed, and he is able to know objective Truth as something independent from his will and the will of other people, realizes his place in the grandiose space of the Universe and his personal responsibility for the Fatherland and humanity on Earth” (Shchurkova, 2001), d) realizes that Conscience is the highest form of consciousness and that the amount of conscience is directly proportional to the level of personal development (Podlasy, 2013).
Since one of the key concepts of research is the term “spiritual” and the definition of criteria for moral and spiritual education is associated with it, it should be noted that the problem of spiritual education has long occupied the minds of theoretical scientists and practitioners. Some authors associated spiritual education with the education of religious feelings, with the introduction of sacred scriptures to knowledge and the performance of religious rites, others – with the addition of art to the world, and some – with a generalized humanitarian meaning, meaning the improvement of all aspects of the inner world of man, and, finally, with the meaningful interaction of the subjects of the educational process, as a result of which a system of existential values is formed and personality acquires the meanings of life (Vlasova, 2017). To understand the essence of spiritual education, one must first determine the concept of “spirituality” considered in different sources both as a universal human phenomenon, and as a subjective reality of a person, and as the meaning of human life, which is based on Absolute values (Good, Beauty, Conscience, Love, Truth). Hence, summarizing different interpretations, it can be argued that is not just education, erudition, knowledge of art and even scriptures, but the the Absolute Ethical Values, the laws of cosmic evolution and human evolution in their parascientific interpretation, human involvement in living and non-living nature, in the universe and the Creative Power that created it, the harmony of a diverse and at the same time united world, as well as the desire to improve oneself and the world around.
Regarding the second issue about the factors of strengthening moral and spiritual education as subjects of reflection by students, the following were considered:
- selected and appropriately structured content of education;
- principles, methods, techniques and forms of training, types of activities of students in training classes;
- formation of vocational and pedagogical culture, which includes, among other things, psychological and pedagogical knowledge and skills, suggestopedic culture, a culture of communication, pedagogical techniques and pedagogical abilities. The essence of these factors is revealed in our publications, so we will not dwell on them.
As criteria of of a future teacher to strengthen moral and spiritual education in the educational process, cognitive, operational-activity and motivational-attitude and their following indicators were determined.
: – essence, methodological foundations, tasks of moral education, factors of moral and spiritual crisis in the modern world; – ethical values, criteria of education in general and moral and spiritual, in particular, methods of their diagnosis; – relationship of the concepts of “conscience”, “consciousness”, “unconditional love” in their modern interpretation; – image of a holistic personality in scientific and parascientific (esoteric) interpretations; – laws of cosmic evolution and evolution of man, the concept of sin and its levels in religious and parascientific interpretations; – factors of strengthening moral and spiritual education in the educational process and their essence.: how to plan (model) and conduct a class in the context of strengthening moral and spiritual education in the educational process, carry out a comprehensive analysis of conducted and attended class and use diagnostic methods.: – shows interest in the problem of strengthening moral and spiritual education in the educational process, is aware of its importance and necessity, has a sense of professional duty and responsibility for solving the problem; – shows a responsible attitude to the preparation and conduct of a class; – takes an active part in the analysis of conducted and attended classes, accepts a critical assessment of classmates and a teacher on the conducted class and takes them into account in the subsequent class.
To diagnose the status of the above indicators in students, in addition to traditional evaluation tools, special diagnostic methods were used, which were indicated above when describing the third pedagogical condition, but in our modification. At the same time, there was a deviation from the tradition to distinguish control and experimental groups, and instead the orientation to the point of view of a number of authors (M.A. Danilov, V.S. Ilyin, F.F. Korolev), who consider the control group unjustified, and that the parameters of the experimental educational process should be compared with the parameters of the training process in mass practice, and not only in control groups.
To solve the problem, not only traditional methodological approaches such as structural-systemic, axiological, personal-activity, but also synergistic, anthropological, and the thesis resulting from the latter about the unity of sensual, rational and moral, i.e. instead of traditional dual – the triune methodology, were necessary. All this required a complex of pedagogical conditions: – integration of the compulsory educational program in and a special course; – inclusion in the content of the special course not only traditional, but also parascientific knowledge of the laws of cosmic evolution and human evolution, of the image of a holistic and harmonious personality; – ensuring that a future teacher learns the criteria and indicators of moral and spiritual education and methods of their diagnostics; – engagement of students in designing, conducting, analyzing and evaluating a training session on strengthening moral and spiritual education. The reliability and validity of the research results is ensured by a set of theoretical and methodological provisions, using general scientific research methods and methods specific to the social sciences and humanities being adequate to research goals and objectives. The obtained data from diagnostic methods indicate positive results, which was expressed in an increase of cognitive, operational-activity and motivational-attitude indicators of future teachers compared to their initial state and the state of such in other groups. This allows arguing about the validity of the hypothesis put forward. The of the study is to expand and deepen the general ideological idea and knowledge about the possibilities of strengthening moral and spiritual education in the educational process and the effective preparation of a future teacher for it. Theof the study is that its results can be used by school teachers, university teachers, and at professional development courses for teachers.
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17 May 2021
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Meretukova, Z. K., Chinazirova, A. R., Kuprina, N. K., & Blyagoz, N. S. (2021). Concept Of Preparing Future Teachers To Strengthen Moral And Spiritual Education. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization, vol 107. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 2307-2314). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.307