Self-Knowledge Of Future Specialist In Vocational Education


The subject of the study, in this regard, is a professional or specialist training who knows himself, his subjective reality, the features of his consciousness and who owns his own thinking as an instrument of his activity. We are talking about the experience of self-knowledge as a system-forming element of the educational and professional activities of a future specialist. It is necessary to comprehend both theoretical and methodological bases and principles for constructing the process of developing future specialist’s experience of self-knowledge, which ensures his psychological reasonableness. The article presents the results of a study related to the substantiation of the experience of self-discovery as a humanitarian content of proficient training of teachers in future teachers and in identifying ways to form this experience in the process of university training. The study methodology is built in the context of the ideas of humanitarian and anthropological as well as cognitive approaches. The novelty of the study lies in clarifying the essence of the experience of self-knowledge as a humanitarian component of the content of future teacher professional education; in the substantiation of textual and dialogical activities as a leading method of forming self-knowledge experience. The results are partly launched into the programe of pedagogical training of the B.B. Gorodovikov Kalmyk State University. The materials are intended for undergraduates and graduate students who study the humanitarian principle of education.

Keywords: Cognitive approach, experience of self-knowledge, humanitarian and anthropological approach, self-awareness


In the history of the development of vocational education and training there have always been a question aimed at clarifying its content. Today, the revision of the content of vocational education is associated with its humanitarization, focusing on the specialist humanitarian culture. The culture implies the activity that includes “sociological”, “culturological”, “anthropological”, “personological”, “metaphysical” levels of being in the profession (Tulchinsky, 2005), when a professional is able to perceive himself in the context of social relationships, ethical values, essential integrity, social and cultural identity, and independence of mind.

In the current situation, the priority is not the professional competencies of a specialist related to knowledge of the subject area of his activity, but an understanding of himself in the profession, the ability to be effective in the system of communication with people and his readiness for dynamic changes in different situations (Shipilov, 2021). It is important for a professional to be “a reflexive agent of industrial and sociocultural innovations” (Leskova, 2016). He is to have knowledge of his own inner world, which allows him to improve the level of so-called soft-skills and self-skills (Goleman et al., 2008; Lippman et al., 2015; Shipilov, 2021). This allows one to have psychological intelligence (Appelbaum, 2003; Seager, 2006), which includes the ability to introspection and introspection , learning one’s emotions, spiritual involvement of self-image, deeper knowledge of another person, and openness to varieties.

Problem Statement

In the system of higher professional education there is a predominance of theoretical training and a lack of practical skill training. Allocating time in universities aimed at self-knowledge is considered something unnecessary. As shown by a survey of university graduates (50 people from the Republic of Kalmykia) conducted as part of this study, the vast majority of them admitted that they lack knowledge about their own internal processes, about a person and the characteristics of interpersonal interaction. The solution to this problem may lie in the need for closer look at the internal resources of students as well as the experience of self-knowledge that is the “core” of the content of professional education.

Research Questions

The subject of the study is the training of specialist who owns a “spectrum of subjective functions” and carries out “his own education” (Leskova, 2016), knows himself as a subject of knowledge and self-knowledge, understands the subjective reality and the peculiarities of his consciousness, manages his own thinking as an instrument of professional activity. The process of developing such vocational education involves the development of a humanitarian component of the content of vocational training and the humanitarian principle implementation. This principle is understood as a regulator that is based on the fundamental features of human beings, is corresponded with the logic of the subjective reality when designing the system of education (Belova, 2007). The need to develop the experience of self-knowledge among future specialists as a system-forming quality of educational and professional activities is urgent.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of our study is to describe the experience of self-knowledge as a humanitarian component of the content proficient training of potential specialists from the position of humanitarian and cognitive approaches and to identify methods for its development among students during the educational process in Higher Educational Institutions.

Research Methods

In the study, there were used the methods of analysis, comparison, questionnaire, projective testing, observation, dialogue, content analysis.


There are many authoritative studies devoted to the problem of professional development and specialist self-development. In particular, there have been proposed several ways one can improve professional skills of teachers and specialists from the standpoint of the following methods: valuable and ethnic (Isaev & Shiyanov, 2005), competence (Zimnyaya, 2003), and personality-oriented (Serikov, 2016). Despite a wide range of works, this problem is still poorly studied from the standpoint of the Humanities and Antropology, in the framework of psychology of consciousness and from the perspective of cognitive research. The content of professional education and training of specialists needs to be studied precisely from these positions.

A lot of fundamental works are devoted to the issues of developing the content of vocational education, taking into account the context of personality development and focusing on the subjectivity of the future specialist (Isaev & Shiyanov, 2005; Leskova, 2016, etc.). There is a growing number of studies that reveal the role of the development of a person self-awareness, his reflective skills and metacognitive abilities in the educational process (Dweck, 2012; Karpov & Skityaeva, 2005; Klarin, 2017, etc.). All this testifies to the trend of turning education towards the “inner man” and structuring scientific and pedagogical knowledge, taking into account the humanitarian component.

From the point of view of the idea of ​​humanitarianism, the student is the one who learns, and not the one who is taught. Authorship, “self” is important in education. The humanitarian component of the vocational education content is associated with the internal processes of student’s personality, with the processes of his self-perception, self-knowledge and self-awareness. In the psychological and pedagogical literature, self-knowledge is defined as the process of knowing oneself, one’s potential and actual features, personal and intellectual characteristics, features of the character, and relationships with other people, etc. The lack of clearly defined methods of self-knowledge leads to the lack of the development of the entire system of ideas of a person about himself as a subject of professional activity.

The scientific study of the phenomenon of self-knowledge goes back to the idealistic philosophical tradition, based mainly on the natural science, social and psychological as well as personal approaches. Today it is important to look at this phenomenon in the context of the problem of the content of professional education of a future specialist from the standpoint of humanitarian and cognitive approaches.

As demonstrates the analysis of pedagogical research shows, the problem of self-discovery in pedagogical sciences at the empirical level of the investigation of personality received little research attention very little (Belova, 2007; Khazykova, 2021). In fact, was not sufficiently well defined the question of how to learn the self-knowledge tool in the educational process has not been worked out. The problem is that the considered that the processes in question take place “inside” the personality and and remain unveritable not lend themselves to rationalization. Besides, they are difficult to measure. From a cognitive point of view, a person acts simultaneously as an object and a subject of cognition.

The research methodology is based on the ideas of the humanitarian and anthropological approach (Bim-Bad, 2002; Isaev & Shiyanov, 2005) as well as interdisciplinary knowledge in the field of cognitive sciences (Damasio, 2010; Karpov & Skityaeva, 2005; Klarin, 2017; Lakoff & Johnson, 2009), which allows you to cover the external (objective) and internal (subjective) sides of education. The formation of the experience of self-knowledge of future specialist, in the of this methodology, appears as knowledge of the content of consciousness of the individual in the conditions of educational situations.

The methodological foundations of this study also include the ideas about textual and dialogical nature of humanitarian knowledge (Leontiev, 2001), the understanding of which allows us to objectify the phenomena of subjective reality in a sign and make them the subject of the study. Therefore, textual and dialogical activity is considered as the leading activity in the system of the educational process (Belova, 2007).

About 400 students the B.B. Gorodovikov Kalmyk State University undergraduates from the Department of Engineering and Technology, Department of Management and Law, Department of Pedagogical Education and Biology took part in the pedagogical experiment as regards the development of self-knowledge. The novelty of the research lies in clarifying the essence of the experience of self-knowledge as a humanitarian component of the content of proficient training of potential tearcher the model of textual and dialogical educational activity as a method of including the experience under study in the content of vocational education.

So, the experience of self-knowledge is singled out as a “unit” the Humanitarian Education, and as the element of professional awareness and a humanitarian component of the content of the proficient training of potential specialist. This refers to the content, which, according to Yu.V. Senko “not given, but assigned”. It is built in cultural environment, no only “their own” culture described in the books, but in the environment, but also the culture of a teacher and a student (Senko, 2017). Relying on the knowledge of the humanitarian model of education and on cross-disciplinary field of cognitive investigations, it was discovered the experience of self-cognition includes knowledge, skills, abilities, creativity and attitudes about the knowledge of the content, functions as well as structure of one’s own consciousness by a person. By consciousness, in this case, we understand an integrative manner of being of a person, displayed in their ways to understand the state and circumstances of their activity, relate to this sphere and make them the subject of practical transformation (Slobodchikov & Isaev, 2013). The consciousness of a particular person is closely connected with his subjective reality.

Understanding the subjective reality as an “internal” individual-subjective experience, inherent only to a given individual, and information embodied (encoded) in a certain brain neurodynamic system as well as understanding the structure of human consciousness, made it possible to identify three levels of the object of knowledge, which constitutes the integrity of the experience of self-knowledge that we are studying. Among them are the following: 1) The content of consciousness (sensations, emotions, thoughts, experiences, images, ideas, etc.); 2) Functions of consciousness (attention, perception, thinking, etc.); 3) Structure of consciousness (personal position, I-image, I-concept).

The experience of self-knowledge implies the experience of self-reflection in its procedural manifestation. This feature, correlating different kinds of the main cognitive processes, displays in different types of cognitive features of human’s consciousness (Karpov & Skityaeva, 2005). It is fixed in our mind store it and realized due to self-awareness, self-representations, “self-directed” associations. The formation of the experience of self-knowledge is possible in the context of cognitive learning, which “is based on the principles of consciousness and activity of the individual in the educational situation, on procedures and strategies that recognize the importance of metacognition and mediating processes” (Klarin, 2017). This approach takes into account the main connection between man’s knowledge and the with peculiarities of the embodied nervous system embodied in the body (Lakoff & Johnson, 2009).

When developing the research methods, we referred to on the experience of self-cognition in correspondence of metacognitive processes, quite difficult for people to understand and without its own “final product”. They do not manifest themselves directly in any characteristic of activity, behavior, communication, but can be indirectly tracked through one of the important cognitive processes - attention. Consequently, it is the work with this direction that should form the basis for the selection of the content and the choice of methods for their professional training. What does it mean? How should the attention of students be managed without violating the principle of humanitarianism?

What is needed is an activity that will allow students, on the one hand, to receive tools for internal introspective work, and on the other hand, to have the freedom of value-semantic choice. The textual and dialogical method provides such an opportunity. This method consists in translating impersonal educational information into the author’s address text and in the dialogic comprehension of such a text (Belova, 2007). Both textual and dialogical activities make it possible to realize yourself as an “author” and an “addressee” of the statement, to receive information about subjective reality through its symbolic expression.

In the course of this study, there were developed options of textual and dialogical authorial projective techniques let students learn and form the experience of self-discovery through training activities with their attention. Among them are the methods of narrative, discourse analysis and the method of reconstruction of the lesson. The narrative allows the individual to gather some data about surroundings and oneself, to organize some random phenomena into the definite sequence of events, to create the corresponding and complete story and that allows a person to understand oneself more thoroughly.

The discourse-analysis as the set of analytical methods of comprehension of various texts and expressions linguistics, sociology and psychoanalysis. As the example of authentic methodology the author’s methods that were used in the study, the project methodology of discourse-analysis “My goal”. This is a series of sequentially unfolding questions that allow attention to snatch out internal objects that are not given in awareness. Questions like “What do you think about…”, “How do you feel about…”, “What does… mean to you”, “Why is it important to you…” make it possible to realize the levels of your thinking.

The method of reconstruction of a training session is an opportunity to “go through” the training situation again and realize one’s subjectivity. This is a reflective analysis by the student of his participation in the educational process at the lesson, the perception of his behavior and actions during it. This method was developed on the basis of the “concept of practicality” by D. Kahneman, who explores the problem of the relationship between the “experiencing self” and the “remembering self” when taking into account cognitive and situational factors and understanding the psychological processes that govern our judgments and decision-making (Kahneman, 2011).

In the course of the study, there were faced “difficult problems of consciousness”. It was found that at the initial stage of work with students, in fact, not all 100% paid attention to themselves as an object of knowledge. The subject remained in the center of their attention. In the process of experiment, literally after a few lessons, most students learned to distinguish between objects, process and subject of cognition. It was found that the degree of self-cognition and interpretation of the phenomena of subjective reality depends on many factors that still need to be investigated. Among them are as follows: the ability to distinguish between “experiencing self” and “remembering self”; value level of self-consciousness; cognitive-linguistic personality traits; the nature of interpersonal relationships in the study group, etc.

We can only talk about the qualitative results of the study, believing that those humanitarian phenomena and phenomena in question are rather difficult for quantitative measurements. The issue of developing the content of vocational education requires further search as regards new ways to improve the content of vocational education in accordance with the trends in the development of neurodidactics and post-non-classical science.


In the course of work with students, the relationship between knowing oneself as a carrier of content, functions, structure of consciousness and the results of their educational activities was found. The relationship was revealed among students and undergraduates based on the analysis of their statements, resumes, essays, presentations, videos, professional and personal self-development programs. It has been noted that “self-knowledge”, which can be considered as the basis of the psychological intelligence of future specialists, affects their ability to have a dialogue with another person, their well-being, and qualitative changes in relation to their profession.

At the intermediate stage of the study, besides the positive changes in undergraduates to learning, other indicators of their personal development were found, i.e. improvement health, increased interest in professional and personal development, motivation to professional and personal and initiative development and project activities related to humanitarian issues, etc. After three months of working with students according to the program of the experiment, 79 % of them noted that they became less tired in the classroom and their interest in their future profession had increased, while at the ascertaining stage of the experiment, 96% reported fatigue and anxiety about their professional future. It was concluded that the results of education and the well-being of future specialists are directly related to the formation of their experience of self-knowledge.

The results of this study are at the stage of completion and partly introduced into the educational program of KalmSU . The worked-out and collaborative mode of working with undergraduates connected with the formation their experience of self-discovery is implemented into the process of several academic disciplines and project activities. The analysis of methods as regards working with students gives us grounds to draw a conclusion about the effectiveness of the developed program for the formation of self-knowledge experience among future specialists.


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23 December 2022

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Belova, S. V., Khazykova, T. S., Botova, S. N., Artaeva, G. V., Chubanov, I. I., & Mandzhieva, A. O. (2022). Self-Knowledge Of Future Specialist In Vocational 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- ISCKMC 2022, vol 129. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 198-205). European Publisher.