Development Strategy of Transcultural Component of Innovative Thinking of Future Teachers

Abstract

The paper justifies the relevance of the inclusion of the transcultural component in the structure of innovative thinking of future teachers and the definition of ways that form this component. The authors highlight the increasing internationalization of relations between society and, therefore, the educational system, the need to overcome national and cultural barriers to the formation of a transnational identity of an individual as an important element of the future of mankind. Transculture is considered as a complex socio-psychological education of a personality based on the characteristics of a person’s worldview. The difference between transculturalism and multiculturalism is considered. The authors emphasize that an innovative type of thinking helps to determine the ways in which cultures are connected without reducing them to community and to see and understand humanity as a whole in a new way. The authors strongly argue that the component structure of innovative thinking should be expanded through the introduction of another component – transcultural, since it is this component that allows effectively building pedagogical interaction in a multilingual educational space. The formation of a transcultural component is described in detail and criteria of its formation are highlighted: sociocultural and personal. The content of the module “Transcultural Communication” is widely presented, the results of the experiment are analyzed. It is proved that the proposed strategy allows increasing the level of formation of the transcultural component, and ways of further research on its effective formation are identified.

Keywords: Innovative thinking, transcultural thinking, future educators, training system

Introduction

The modern stage of social development and, therefore, the educational system is the internationalization of relations, the need to eliminate national and cultural barriers to the formation of transnational identity of an individual as an important element of the future scenario of all mankind. An innovative type of thinking requires the creation of peculiar “bridges” between differences, the connection of cultures without reducing them to community and, in general, a new vision of culture. It is impossible to understand cultures as closed systems in the modern world, since an increasing number of mobile students study outside their cultural context, the audience is becoming more multicultural, and this is a certain “challenge” for teachers who are responsible for learning outcomes and education of the citizen of the future. Quite often, the educational needs of “minority groups” are not taken into account, which may jeopardize their educational level. On the other hand, the increased attention paid by a teacher to the carriers of a “different” culture may negatively affect the training of the main group cohort. Traditional education, theoretically detached from the problem of intercultural interaction, and in reality daily facing the need to solve a variety of overdue tasks in a multicultural community of students, is becoming ever more distant from real life. In this regard, the issue of training teachers capable of creating a transcultural educational space in which the interests of each student, regardless of nationality and culture, could be realized as effectively as possible, is becoming ever more urgent.

Transculture is considered as a complex socio-psychological education of a person covering the main characteristics of a person’s worldview (interests, motives and norms of behavior, attitudes and beliefs, goals and semantic guidelines), allowing him to perceive the world holistically and impartially, summarizing the vast experience (scientific, sociocultural, practical) accumulated by all cultures of world civilization, overcoming the isolation of native culture, its traditions, linguistic and value determinations. This opens up the possibility of self-realization in “supra-cultural” activities. Moreover, a person who relates himself to transculture is not necessarily a cosmopolitan, he may have clearly expressed traditional orientations (national, religious, etc.) (Egorychev et al., 2018).

The term transculturalism, unlike, for example, multiculturalism, is not limited to transmission and reception of information taking into account the specifics of communicants in the process of interaction of the groups of different cultural origins, it involves the unification of individual cultural elements in a new cultural environment. At the same time, transcultural society is compared with an interethnic family, where parents belong to different cultures while children belong to each of the parental cultures, and at the same time not to any of them (Ortiz, 1983). The prefix “trans” implies overcoming differences between cultures, which are usually considered as relatively inflexible systems of thinking and behavior. Such cultural “barriers” can be eliminated using special methods that allow a communicant appealing to culturally “neutral” anthropological universals (König & Rakow, 2016). Transculturalism is a search for common interests and beliefs (Slimbach, 2005), it promotes a dialogue and cooperation between people and welcomes diversity, while preserving individuality and national identity (Smith & Segbers, 2018). Thus, the formation of a “transcultural” component is necessary when describing phenomena that go beyond cultural boundaries, that are common, universal for different groups of people. In particular, anthropological universals include intellectual and educational activities, which, being common to all groups of people, cannot be limited to a specific cultural environment.

Problem Statement

What are the strategies for the formation of a transcultural component of innovative thinking of a future teacher and the methods for diagnosing its formation?

Research Questions

The subject of the study is the process of forming the transcultural component of innovative thinking of future teachers.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to identify and introduce optimal strategies for the formation of a transcultural component of innovative thinking of future teachers and to diagnose the levels of its formation.

Research Methods

The future educators will have to implement the knowledge and experience gained during the training process in unknown and developing conditions, they will need a wide range of cognitive and meta-cognitive skills, essentially representing the components of innovative thinking. The study developed and described the components of innovative thinking:

1. Research – ability to objectively analyze and evaluate a problem in order to form a judgment.

2. Logical – ability to balance innovation and continuity, short-term and long-term prospects, ability to take into account the future consequences of actions, to assess risks.

3. Creative – creativity, ability to generate new ideas, develop new educational products and services, new research methods.

4. Communicative – cooperation and interaction based on the coordination of various points of view and interests, compromise, self-regulation, responsibility, adaptability to new conditions of interaction.

5. Transcultural – ability to holistically and impartially perceive the world, to unite individual cultural elements in a new cultural educational environment.

It is worth noting the special importance of purposeful formation of a transcultural component of innovative thinking in future educators, determination of methods and forms of the above component, development of adequate diagnostic tools for identification of levels of its formation.

Transculturalism is inextricably linked (in fact, it is one of the most important components) with the innovative thinking of a modern teacher in a multinational community, he acts as a kind of technology that allows successfully forming a socio-cultural space, filling it with universal meanings and values, understandable to representatives of all nationalities and contributing to the development of the culture of interethnic communication and interaction, while not destroying the peculiarity and uniqueness of each culture (linguistic, emotional, communicative, etc.). Transculturalism is a sociocultural, integrative quality of a teacher’s personality, which not only allows effectively performing professional activities, but also determines his readiness for an intercultural dialogue and pedagogical interaction in a multicultural and multilingual educational space.

Thinking is formed in the activity, in the interaction of a subject with the surrounding world, and the results of a thinking activity are recorded in concepts, judgments and are displayed in practical actions. Therefore, the transcultural component of innovative thinking of future educators is formed and manifested in interaction on the basis of universal human norms and values, universal for various groups of people. Relying on the conviction of researchers that an adequate understanding of other cultures is impossible without an understanding of the native culture (Safonova, 2004; Savignon, 1991), we highlight the criteria for the formation of the transcultural component of innovative thinking:

1. Sociocultural criterion: presence of theoretical knowledge on national cultures, stereotypes of behavior and perception; ability to become aware of oneself as a subject of native culture; ability to overcome negative cultural stereotypes.

2. Personal criterion: motivational and value readiness for intercultural communication; emotional-positive culture of communication, tolerance, empathy.

Findings

As an example, let us give the results obtained during an experiment conducted at the Department of Pedagogy and Teaching Methods of Togliatti State University in 2019-2020 in order to form the transcultural component of innovative thinking among students (67 people) studying in the direction of “Psychological and Pedagogical Education”.

During the study, the levels of formation of the transcultural component of the innovative thinking of students according to the criteria were diagnosed:

sociocultural – identification of awareness of national cultures, stereotypes of behavior and perception, expression of cultural identity of students (author’s diagnostic questionnaire; adapted methodology (Klimenko & Posukhova, 2018);

personal – identification of motivational and value readiness of students for intercultural communication, tolerance, empathy (observation, analysis of group discussions and exchange of views on tolerance, multifactorial test of V.V. Boyko “Communicative Tolerance”).

The diagnostics according to the author’s questionnaire showed that the level of awareness of students on the spectrum of national and confessional diversity of the Samara region is low. More than half of respondents (54 %) experienced difficulties in answering the questions. As a rule, students indicated that Christians and Muslims live in the region, single answers (less than 2 %) contained information on the representatives of Buddhism, even less (a total of 1 %) on the residents of the region who profess Judaism and Catholicism. The correct answer on the national composition of the middle Volga region (for example, representatives of 157 nationalities live in the Samara region) was not given by any of the students.

The adapted technique of Klimenko and Posukhova (2018) was included in the diagnostic toolkit aimed at identifying the type of identity, according to which students were asked to answer the question: when communicating with which groups of people and to what extent do they experience a sense of community? The students had to choose from the list which represented such communities as family members, students, residents of their region, citizens of Russia, representatives of the same nationality or religion similar to the interviewed students. At the same time, it was possible to indicate the same significance of several groups of people. The results of the survey showed that the students who took part in the survey most often feel intimacy with their family members (87 %), the second most important – those who share the views of respondents on life (61 %) and the representatives of their nationality (also 61 %). The students often feel intimacy and mutual understanding with fellow students (55 %). In general, it was revealed that future teachers have national identity, they identify with their family, with people who share their views on life and representatives of the same ethnic group. The second most important – territorial identity, the third – state and “universal identity”.

The basis of constructive relationships (including in the conditions of the educational process) is the ability to understand others, tolerance in communication, the ability to allow the “other” to be different (and to remain yourself), to remove the projections of their expectations. All of the above is included in the indicators of a personal criterion of a transcultural component of innovative thinking of future teachers, the levels of formation of which were revealed using the multifactorial test of V.V. Boyko “Communicative Tolerance”, which allows specifying behavioral reactions, strategies and individual attitudes in interpersonal interaction and communication.

It was revealed that the average level of tolerance in communication is typical for the majority of students (76 %). This level cannot be considered sufficient for a teacher, since it implies the presence of both tolerant and intolerant attitudes, which, in turn, suggest that a teacher can admit ridicule, neglect, reliance on negative stereotypes when communicating with students.

In terms of the numbers the students with a high level of tolerance in communication hold the second place (20 %). The respondents with a low level of communicative tolerance make up a small number of all respondents (4 %).

The synthesis of the results obtained through diagnostic methods, as well as in the process of observing and analyzing group discussions and exchanging views on tolerance through practical exercises, allows concluding the following: 17 % of respondents have a high level of the transcultural component, average – 64 %, low level – 19 % (Figure 1).

The formation of a transcultural component of the innovative thinking of future teachers involves the following strategies:

1. Inclusion of various situations that allow all students showing skills in transcultural interaction into the educational process.

2. Implementation of the dramatization method, which contributes to self-confidence among students, ability to overcome emotional barriers and to develop social skills.

3. Debates within the framework of the studied disciplines, a dialogue with various stakeholders on the specifics of communication and interaction in modern society.

Figure 1: Levels of the transcultural component of students’ innovative thinking
Levels of the transcultural component of students’ innovative thinking
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To form the transcultural component of innovative thinking of future teachers, the educational and practical module “Transcultural Communication” was developed and introduced into the content of the discipline “Professional Ethics”.

The purpose of the module is to form theoretical knowledge, practical skills and personal qualities of future bachelors of psychological and pedagogical education for the fullest realization of their professional opportunities within a transcultural context (Table 1).

Table 1 - Content of the training module “Transcultural Communication”
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Thus, the students learn to analyze transcultural communication data, effectively interact in a multicultural team, value and critically evaluate their own culture, critically reflect on the factors of transcultural communication and the use of their own transcultural communication skills in educational practice.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the objective perspective of the teacher’s activities realized on the basis of the transcultural component is expressed through a creative and constructive platform for the search for common collective forms of life, communication and interaction in a multinational society and the world educational space. The created transcultural component of innovative thinking will help a future teacher to adapt successfully in a multicultural environment by transferring the meanings and values of cultures of different peoples, which will ultimately contribute to successful integration in the professional sphere. Besides, transcultural literacy in professional pedagogical activities will allow a teacher developing sensitivity to the perception of individual, age, ethnic, national, cultural characteristics of all subjects of educational activity (Rakisheva, 2019).

We conduct research on the content of a transcultural component of the innovative thinking of future teachers.

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17 May 2021

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Cite this article as:

Akhmetzhanova, G. V., & Emelyanova, T. V. (2021). Development Strategy of Transcultural Component of Innovative Thinking of Future Teachers. 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. 24-30). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.4