Abstract: The article discusses the main factors of personal development and the dynamics of their role in the modern world. It is shown that an organized system of education, a teacher, is no longer a priority source of personal development: such a source is the electronic media that are today having a mostly negative impact on personal development. The paper considers the prognosis of the new trends in personality development: decentralization of the universities functioning; identification as the main source of personal development via electronic information sources; development, active use of educational films and video courses, the formation of positive stereotypes of mental activity in the individual. It is substantiated that the answer to the question of what and how to teach in a higher education institution autonomously is impossible, without analyzing the role of various sources of personality development and, in particular, a detailed philosophical, sociological, and psychological analysis of the role of modern electronic means for the formation of personality.
Keywords: state of the higher education system, mental activity, sphere of the unconscious, sources of personality development, electronic sources, network development of personality
(Simplified Chinese:) 摘要（Galina A. Berulava Mikhail N. Berulava：高等教育系统中人格发展的新理论平台）：本文旨在讨论影响个人发展的主要因素以及这些因素在现代社会背景下的动态关系。结果显示，有组织的教育系统，教师，已不是个人发展的首要影响因素。电子媒体代替教师，成为个人发展最重要的影响因素，并对个人发展产生了极大的负面影响。本文对人格发展新趋势给出几点预期：大学功能的去中心化; 通过电子信息资源进行的身份认同成为个人发展的主源; 发展，教育电影和视讯课程的积极使用，形成个人心理活动的积极刻板印象。事实证明，分析人格发展的各种影响因素，特别是从哲学、社会学和心理学方面对现代电子手段对人格形成的影响所作的详细分析，是解答在高等教育机构中教什么和如何教这一问题的必要条件。
(Traditional Chinese:) 摘要（Galina A. Berulava Mikhail N. Berulava：高等教育系統中人格發展的新理論平台）：本文旨在討論影響個人發展的主要因素以及這些因素在現代社會背景下的動態關係。結果顯示，有組織的教育系統，教師，已不是個人發展的首要影響因素。電子媒體代替教師，成為個人發展最重要的影響因素，並對個人發展產生了極大的負面影響。本文對人格發展新趨勢給出幾點預期：大學功能的去中心化; 通過電子信息資源進行的身份認同成為個人發展的主源; 發展，教育電影和視訊課程的積極使用，形成個人心理活動的積極刻板印象。事實證明，分析人格發展的各種影響因素，特別是從哲學、社會學和心理學方面對現代電子手段對人格形成的影響所作的詳細分析，是解答在高等教育機構中教什麼和如何教這一問題的必要條件。
Zusammenfassung (Galina, A. Berulava & Mikhail N. Berulava: Eine neue theoretische Platform für die Persönlichkeitsentwicklung in der Hochschulbildung): Der Artikel beschäftigt sich mit wichtigen Faktoren der Entwicklung der Persönlichkeit und ihrer dynamischen Rolle in der modernen Welt. Es wird gezeigt, dass das organisierte Bildungssystem, und der Lehrer / die Lehrerin, keine vorrangige Quellen der Persönlichkeitsentwicklung mehr sind: Eine solche Quelle sind die elektronischen Medien, die heute einen immer größeren negativen Einfluss auf die persönliche Entwicklung haben. Es werden die prognostizierten Trends der Persönlichkeitsentwicklung betrachtet: eine Dezentralisierung des Funktionierens von Universitäten; die Definition elektronischer Informationsquellen als Hauptquelle der Persönlichkeitsentwicklung; die Entwicklung und aktive Nutzung von Lehrfilmen und Videokursen; die Bildung positiver Stereotypen der geistigen Aktivität einer Persönlichkeit. Es wird gezeigt, dass es fast unmöglich ist, die Frage zu beantworten, was und wie man an einer Universität unabhängig lehrt, wenn die Rolle der verschiedenen Quellen und insbesondere die Rolle der modernen elektronischen Mittel bei der Bildung der Persönlichkeit nicht einer detaillierten philosophischen, soziologischen und psychologischen Analyse unterzogen wird.
Schlüsselwörter: Stand des Hochschulsystems, geistige Aktivität, Sphäre des Unbewussten, Quellen der Persönlichkeitsentwicklung, elektronische Quellen, Netzwerkentwicklung der Persönlichkeit
Аннотация(Галина А. Берулава & Михаил Н. Берулава: Новая теоретическая платформа развитя личности в системе вышего образования): В статье рассматриваются основные факторы развития личности и динамика их роли в современном мире. Показано, что организованная система обучения, педагог, уже не являются приоритетными источниками развития личности: таким источником являются электронные средства информации, которые оказывают сегодня в большей степени отрицательное влияние на развития личности. Рассмотрены прогнозные тренды развития личности: децентрализация функционирования вузов; определение как основного источника развития личности электронных источников информации; разработка, активное использование учебных фильмов и видеокурсов, формирование позитивных стереотипов психической активности личности. Обосновывается, что решение вопроса чему и как учить в вузе автономно, без анализа роли различных источников развития личности и в частности детального философского, социологического, психологического анализа роли современных электронных средств на формирование личности невозможно.
Ключевые слова: состояние системы высшего образования, психическая активность, сфера бессознательного, источники развития личности, электронные источники, сетевое развитие личности.
One of the most important tasks of modern society is to raise the level of higher education, since only that can lead to an increase in the scientific and technical level of our society, the development of innovative technologies in the economy and the production sector.
Nowadays, modern education system is subject to criticism from the side of both scientists and practitioners. However, the analysis of the problem is mainly reduced to particulars without its analysis in the general methodological and theoretical perspective. There is a consensus that the higher education system requires fundamental reforming. The reason is that it has less and less influence on the development of a young man, on his professional development. Accordingly, higher education institutions are challenged to increase the role of the higher education system in the professional development of young people.
One can’t help taking into account (since education is initially global in its nature) the global trend in the development of the higher education system, namely, the transition to online learning.
Today, the replacement of mid-ranking specialists with artificial intelligence is becoming a trend in the world due to the high level of the machines’ productivity and the better quality of their work. Accordingly, universities cannot but take into consideration that there will be a need in the near future, above all, for highly professional specialists – generators of new ideas and technologies. It is highly likely that that will happen quicker that we expect, since the development of technology takes place primarily owing to qualitative leaps.
At present, behind the scenes, outside the scope of discussion is the fact that the decline of the university role in personal development, which has been in progress for many decades, has happened thanks to the fundamental change in the rating of the main sources of personality development.
In the recent past the main sources of personal development used to be the family and an organized system of education (school, university), now electronic sources of personal development have taken the dominant place. Television continues to play a significant role as it does not require the personal activity of the individual. The less is the role of the family in the life of a young man, for objective reasons it is happening, the greater is the role played by the media, the Internet: the average impact time of those is increasing.
The role of organized learning is becoming less and less significant, because it is not able to counter with the powerful factors that give priority to electronic means concerning a young man, such as psychological comfort in learning information, the efficiency of learning (the information is perceived not only through visual or auditory analyzers, but always in their emotionally saturated synthesis, and learning always takes place in accordance with the individual motivation that obligatory accompanies a powerful positive emotional component). With the help of the Internet, a person can work at a genetically defined pace, in accordance with his level of concentration, his cognitive strategy, which is very comfortable (Берулава, Г.А., & Берулава, M.Н. [Berulava G.A., & Berulava], 2012b).
They consider as an axiom in psychology that only a talent can form a talent, although the teaching profession is rather widespread and such a great number of talented teachers is impossible in principle (Bruner, 1996; Выготский [Vygotsky] (1965). As a source of information presentation, a teacher has long been unable to compete with electronic sources of information. Realization of this fact requires changes in the content and technologies of personal development at the university, learning with maximum reliance on the use of electronic sources of information. This is, first of all, the creation of educational films (where information would be given only by outstanding and first-scale scientists and specialists), the creation of special educational channels, where each lesson is accompanied with the support of the video series – today that does not occur on a centralized size and scope. Therefore, newly opened online educational platforms should win a priority place in education.
A necessary solution to the problem could be the creation of training studios. Each study unit should ideally be accompanied by a training film, video series. Only that can compensate the lack of necessary resources of the teacher. It could be the most interesting films which neither entertainment program, nor a detective film could compare with. Currently, we in no way use the phenomenal possibilities of television and its technologies or other electronic means influencing a person. At the same time, the resources that are being spent today on creating endless soap series that young people do not watch do not form a new generation of scientific stars.
Could it be said that a teacher will not be needed in the long run, as mid-level specialists in industry? No, in the realm of human relations it is not possible. A very important role of the teacher still remains relevant – to teach independent work, to teach to analyze, synthesize, systematize information, to debate, because creative thinking is formed only in discussion. Thus, a modern teacher should be, above all, an organizer of the learning process with a high level of psychological training.
The education system also does not take into account the changes in the role of the main sources of information and the historical stage of development of scientific and technological progress in regards of continuation to fetish the textbook role (Berulava G.A.& Berulava M.N., 2012a). The activity in the field of scientific and technical progress, with consideration for its colossal dynamics, is becoming restrictedly professional and its specificity at a particular historical stage can only be understood by highly skilled scientists and specialists. But due to the fact that high-quality generators of ideas and technologies do not, as a rule, write textbooks, they are often written by interpreters and popularizers of the average hand, who represent the achievements of a particular science rather poorly. Therefore, the history of the development of various sciences of a decade, and often centuries ago, is sometimes studied in school and in a higher educational institution, sometimes in one direction due to the preferences of the interpreter.
The second important aspect that had to be constantly kept in mind dealing with the education system is the aspect of upbringing, personal development, which also remains behind the scenes – education is now viewed, including the university, as self-sufficient value. However, the diagnosis of the formation of the conceptual apparatus and factual material, without taking into account the motives of life, the personal qualities that have developed in a person, is absolutely meaningless. Practice shows that a good professional cannot exist if he has negative personal qualities. These are absolutely interconnected things. And personal qualities in this regard are priorities. At university it still exists as a certain optional work.
Sociological researches indicate that every year the role of television is becoming an increasingly negative factor in the formation of personality. We see this by the colossal growth of aggressiveness, by the wild acts of sadism on the part of adolescents, the decline in the general level of culture, and the lack of basic moral qualities of the personality in many young people. The transition of television to commercial rails, its pursuit of ratings, which provide super-profits, provide orientation of television to the increasingly base demands of young people. It is television that forms the most negative personality traits: aggressive and non-intelligent behavioral patterns, pathological forms of emotional response (people communicate only on the verge of constant hysteria and systematic humiliation of interlocutors without any arguments, without forming ability to hold a discussion).
Elevating the anti-moral behavior to the rank of standard has become a mass phenomenon, namely the ubiquitous sale of your personal life and the lives of your loved ones at various shows, notwithstanding the consequences for a person and his dearest and nearest. The development of young people in modern conditions takes place on the basis of the internalization of these negative forms of mental activity, which are transformed into behavioral, communicative, emotional, mental stereotypes, which are also already a form of the unconscious – the most stable basis of behaviour. Another quite large group of people has been formed, it consists of not only retired artists, but also young people who consider appropriate to look into other people’s personal lives and have the right to discuss and condemn it. They are unable to realize that it is dishonorable, embarrassing and not acceptable in the society of decent people.
Commitment to the daily demonstration of misfortunes and catastrophes undoubtedly forms an increased anxiety among young people, a depressed image of the world, an uncertainty in their abilities which leads to the lack of optimism as character traits. We practically do not see on the screen positive news, the display of high moral actions and just smart people. As a lifestyle, as a behavioral stereotype, the desire for outrage is formed, for the so-called “beautiful life”, for consumption, to increase; in order to have these the young man considers it possible to destroy not only other people, but above all, his own personality always leads him to an utter failure in life.
Unfortunately, the Internet today exists for young people not as a source of self-education, but as a source of entertainment. For many students, the formation of a desire to capture every minute of their lives in photos and videos is also a source of imitation of the so-called stars for a significant part of young people. Sending and exhibiting photos to complete strangers, picking up the number of “likes” indicates internal emptiness and poverty, loneliness and lack of realization due to the fact that people successful professionally and personally do not spend hours in social networks, as they save their time, inner world and personal life.
It should be especially noted that since personality development occurs as an acquisition of forms of the reference group behavior, young people today more than ever need socially promoted positive patterns of behavior, communication and emotional response (Берулава, Г.А. [Берулава], 2008).
Once again we would like to emphasize that determining the issue of what and how to teach at a university without analyzing the role of various sources of personality development and, in particular, a detailed philosophical, sociological, and psychological analysis of the role of modern electronic means for the formation of personality is impossible. However, this problem today is practically not discussed in any way in a wide information field. At the same time, the role of television is becoming increasingly destructive; it has already formed in many young people negative life motives, stereotypes of destructive behavior, aggressive communication and emotional response, unproductive thinking stereotypes. At the same time at the core of their life motives is not the professional creative activity, the acquisition and generation of new knowledge.
Television continues to be a very important source of the formation of these values among young people. But it forms only two basic values and the accompanying motivations – the formation of the value of consumption and the value of entertainment. At the same time, the main value of a person – the value of creative self-realization based on the formation of the motivation of scientific and research activities for decades has remained behind the scenes. Without forming this value and this motivation, it is impossible to raise the question of the development of fundamental science and the latest technologies.
The formation of such motivation and such competences, mediated by the formation of productive mechanisms of mental activity is impossible without the formation of the value of creative activity – as the major value of human mental activity. It is impossible to forget that the formation of the creative thinking of a modern student should be mediated by the formation of productive mental stereotypes that allow them to be used automatically, through the sphere of the unconscious, which is possible through daily mental gymnastics. That, in turn, should ensure the daily enjoyment of creative activity, which ensures the formation of the habit of creative activity and, accordingly, the need for it. All these activities form the image of scientific, creative activity for the young deemed as prestigious. Every activity must necessarily be accompanied by the formation of communicative and emotional stereotypes of productive personal and business communication at the university. They just need to be formed – they should not form spontaneously. The presence of such patterns of mental activity is a guarantee of professional and personal self-realization in most intellectual activities and ensuring the status of the intellectual elite (Bodenhausen, & Lichtenstein, 1987).
The challenge is that very often a non-creative teacher acts as a source of scientific information, yet it is widely known; only a creative teacher can educate a creative person. At the same time, the interest to such information is not stimulated by the colorless, non-emotional form of presentation. At this background, the information noise received from various shows which has the role of an informational novelty simulacrum, as a rule, is accompanied by a powerful emotional background, although it also carries a negative impact (Berulava G.A., 2009). Unfortunately, today the place of scientific information is increasingly occupied by mysticism, medieval insanity. The propensity to scientific analytical thinking is neither formed by the media nor by the educational system which apparently were obliged to have done the aforementioned objective.
One of the most important reasons for the absence of any positive changes in the modern practice of teaching is the discrepancy between the cognitive style of the student and the style of the presentation of educational information in a textbook or teacher. The thinking style of young people today due to constant communication with the media is predominantly figuratively emotional. Students’ minds less and less gravitate to abstract constructions. At the same time, the foremost acquired information is that which has a significant emotional impact. These facts work against the verbal, declarative style of presentation of educational information, which leads to the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance (Фрит [Frith], 2010, p. 257).
The foregoing leads us to conclude that today’s technologies for presenting educational information do not correspond to the thinking style of the modern youth, the development trend of which increasingly contradicts the verbal, disjunctive, formal-logical constructs of a textbook and teacher. Entry into the era of the information society destroys the current evolution of human thinking. The massive impact of the media actually closes the phase of reflection for the person – the most important phase of the formation of mental structures.
I would like to dwell on another aspect that is very important for the higher education system. Today, students do not form an understanding that the opinion of a single scientist and a single author is not the ultimate truth, an understanding that any scientific concept can be subjected to criticism and revision. It is not a secret that none of the existing scientific concepts dominating at a certain historical stage remained without revision, and often without a fundamental change in the view of it. Any theory is temporary and may be changed to opposite views in the future. Therefore, the most dangerous thing that a modern university does is – fetishize and sacralize the meaning of certain theories and concepts described in textbooks. But knowledge is by nature always probabilistic.
Many prominent scholars point out that the trouble with the modern education system is that it is more often similar in its functions to a museum and reflects more the past than the future. Young people should be turned not to the past, but to the future – without it there is no progress. Those scientists are right who say that in the Internet era, the role of the teacher, the teacher, has changed dramatically. As a means of transmitting information, the teacher is practically not needed, it can be downloaded from the Internet. The task of the teacher today is to form pupils’ creative thinking mechanisms, self-learning mechanisms. The combination of these stereotypes constitutes an individual strategy of mental activity and, as a result, an individual image of the world. Thus, the negative influence on the formation of creative mental activity is the tendency of the university to the fetishization of the role of certain probabilistic concepts and the conceptual apparatus accompanying them. Concepts are assigned a special, often sacred role, suggesting that already assigning a name to a phenomenon is practically its explanation. This phenomenon in science is called nominative error. We can agree with those specialists who note that a modern university should not form students’ deterministic approach to understanding reality (today it undoubtedly dominates in presenting information and in textbooks and teachers), teaching the young man to look for a causal relationship, building which very often leads to false conclusions. At the same time, the metaphor of the “web of causes” has long been used in science. This means that after the occurrence of an event is very difficult, and most often it is impossible to find any one reason – it is, as a rule, an individual combination of the influence of various factors.
The inefficiency of the modern education system is also related to the fact that it is traditionally focused on the development of the sphere of rational consciousness, focusing primarily on verbal-theoretical learning technologies. At the same time, the sphere of behavior, determined by the area of the unconscious, occupies an equally important place in the life of a person, in his professional and social success. It is this area that produces all sorts of stereotypes of communication, cognition, emotional response, motor activity. Stereotypes can be both productive and irrational, interfering with the effective self-realization of the individual (Фэйдимен, & Фрейгер [Fejdimen, & Frejger],1996).
Experts underline that, in fact, automatic, stereotypical behavior in humans prevails, since it is most appropriate in many cases, and in the others it is simply necessary. Many people either do not have the skills necessary to cope with everyday life problems, or have acquired the wrong skills and erroneous behavior patterns, some people do not know how to be friendly, how to talk, how to express anger in an appropriate way, how to reject unreasonable requests, etc. However, most of the human behavioral responses are automatic. Experts say that civilization is moving forward by increasing the number of operations that we can carry out without thinking about them (Хьелле, & Зиглер [Hjelle, & Ziegler], 1997).
It is necessary to stress once again that when developing the content and technologies of teaching in a higher educational institution, behavioral patterns formed by the students are not defined in any way, are not analyzed and, accordingly, are not taken into account. Consequently, there is a need to study existing stereotypical behavioral patterns and develop learning technologies aimed at creating productive professional and social stereotypes of mental activity in behavioral, cognitive, communicative, emotional spheres and correcting unproductive patterns of mental activity that make a young person’s livelihoods ineffective.
In turn, the formation of positive stereotypes of mental activity is the most important task of the university. However, today an insignificant part of the educational process takes place on the basis of the teacher’s understanding of the role of the sphere of the unconscious in the development of the student’s mental activity and the need for a focused and systematic formation of this sphere. Traditional educational technologies rely only on the sphere of rational consciousness, which is the basis of purposeful activity. However, the human psyche is also active due to the sphere of the unconscious, which is the regulator of the subject’s behavior.
The methodological error of the modern education system is that it focuses only on the formation of abstract-logical thinking, while the style of presentation of the textbook and teacher is also focused on this cognitive strategy. However, when it comes to solving practical, life problems, as well as many problems of professional activity, for example, managerial, practical intelligence is much more in demand, the most important component of which is implicit (implicit) knowledge obtained in the process of everyday life. Thus, modern learning technologies should appeal to the formation of productive cognitive stereotypes – cognitive phenomena that are actualized unconsciously (Берулава, Г.А. [Berulava, G.A.], 2010). It is established that the knowledge and understanding of human cognitive, communicative and emotional strategies of mental activity provides the possibility of their correction and consideration in a significant area of relationships. The lack of reflection on the prevailing stereotypes of behavior does not allow making any kind of mental activity sufficiently effective.
Acknowledgement of the provisions mentioned above should become a necessary trend of personal development in the system of higher education.
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- Берулава, Г.А. [Berulava, G.A.] (Ed.-in-Chief.) (2010). Роль стереотипов психической активности в развитии личности [Role of mental activity stereotypes in personality development] (Articles: Berulava, G.A., Berulava, M.M., Botasheva, Z.S., Nepsha, O.V., Sagilyan, E.M., & Splavskaya, N.V.). Moscow: Gumanitarnaya nauka.
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- Фрит К. [Frith D. Chris] (2010). Мозг и душа. Как нервная деятельность формирует наш внутренний мир. [Brain and soul. How nervous activity shapes our inner world.]. Moscow: CORPUS.
- Фэйдимен Дж., & Фрейгер Р. [Fejdimen Dzh., & Frejger R.] (1996). Теория и практика личностно –ориентированной психологии: методика персонального и социального роста [Theory and practice of personality-oriented psychology:Methods of personal and social growth]. Transl. from English. Moscow: Tri L.
- Хьелле, Л., & Зиглер Д. [Hjelle, L., & Ziegler, D.] (1997). Теории личности. Основные положения, исследования и применение. [Theories of personality. Basic provisions, research and application.]. Saint-Peterburg: PiterPress.
- [The authors have also published elsewhere on this and similar topics, e.g. in: IDE 2014, Volume 1, Number 3 (and) IDE 2018, Volume 5, Number 1]
About the Authors
Dr. Galina A. Berulava: Academician of the Russian Academy of Education, Psychologist, Professor, Rector of the International Innovative University, Sochi (Russia); e-mail: email@example.com
Dr. Mikhail N. Berulava: Academician of the Russian Academy of Education, Educationalist, Professor, Rector of the Moscow Innovative University, Moscow (Russia); firstname.lastname@example.org