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Meaning of life values ​​and resolution of non-standard situations in the “teacher-student” system

The study of the phenomenon of the meaning of life, in our opinion, must begin with the concept of meaning. The following points are common to different studies of the concept of meaning.

1. The meaning is represented in the mind of the subject in the form of a construct that has a fairly stable independent position.

2. Meaning, being a dominant entity, forms the relationship between individual processes and phenomena in the structure of the personality of the subject.

3. The meaning in one way or another determines the nature of the interaction of the subject with the world, including regulates the behavior and activities of the subject.

4. The system of semantic constructs is a significant psychological characteristic of the personality of the subject.

The phenomenon of the meaning of life appears, in our opinion, in the form of a kind of global semantic construct, generalizing and implicitly containing the whole system of semantic constructs of the subject. The system of semantic constructs includes, among other things, meanings associated with a person’s professional activity, which are formed, developed and actualized in it and at the same time largely determine the features of its implementation. Thus, the professional (and other) meanings of the subject and the meaning of life as a whole mutually form and mutually develop (affect and are affected) each other.

Both in foreign (V. Frankl) and in domestic (N. A. Astashova) psychological science, the phenomenon of the meaning of life is often revealed through a system of so-called “existential” values, which means the personality values ​​of the subject, which are on a par with moral values ​​(and above them) and defining the whole spectrum of human relationships: with oneself, with people around, with humanity as a whole.

In the future, we will consider the meanings as personal values ​​of the subject, significant enough to form a stable relationship with himself and the world around him on a worldview level. Accordingly, a group of values ​​associated with the professional activity of the subject is distinguished, that is, mainly related to the subject and object of professional activity. In the case of the teacher’s professional activity, the object is a person, and the subject is the mental and physical qualities of a person, which the teacher forms and develops as part of his professional activity.

The formation of personal values ​​among teachers associated with their idea of ​​the meaning of life takes place throughout life and is largely determined by the specifics of professional activity and their self-determination in it. The meaning-life values, in our view, are mainly motivational in nature and determine the life activity (life and activity) of a person on a global plane, as a system of meaning-forming motives of the highest level of generalization. Pedagogical orientation is the most representative motivational education, which fully characterizes the personality of the teacher. Therefore, the assumption that there is a relationship between the pedagogical orientation and the totality of the teacher’s life values ​​is quite acceptable.

In order to more expressively show the connection and correlation between the orientation of the personality and the phenomenon of the meaning of life, a system of life-meaning values, we use the following assumption. If the pedagogical orientation is the peak formation of the motivational sphere of the personality, then the system of life-meaning values ​​is the peak formation of the "existential" sphere of the personality. Moreover, by the "existential" sphere of the personality we mean the totality of representations and relations of the subject that determine his worldview.

In domestic and foreign psychology, the personality orientation is revealed both through motives and through the values ​​(relations) of a person. Such a twofold understanding of the orientation also testifies to its connection with the totality of life-meaning values, that is, personal values ​​associated with the idea of ​​the meaning of life. The high position of life-meaning values ​​in the hierarchy of motives of the teacher’s personality (similar to the position of the desire for self-actualization in the pyramid of Maslow’s needs, but not identical to him) determines the nature of how these values ​​affect the teacher’s behavior, activities and relationships with other people. While individual motives and values ​​determine individual, rather narrow sides of a person’s life (“tactical” level), the phenomenon of the meaning of life affects all sides, the whole person’s life in all the variety of its manifestations (“strategic” level). This circumstance makes it possible to discern a single, common basis for the most diverse actions of a person, the system-forming nature of which provides the opportunity to analyze and predict many aspects of professional activity.

At the “strategic” level, life-meaning values ​​influence the professional activity of a teacher and determine his interaction with students. The nature of the interaction of the teacher with the students is especially pronounced in the course of resolving non-standard situations.

By non-standard situations in pedagogical interaction we mean situations when at least one of the participants in the interaction goes beyond the role that meets the criteria for the normal course of the pedagogical process in the teacher’s view. Therefore, even “insignificant”, at first glance, non-standard situations are perceived by the teacher as crisis moments that stand out against the background of “routine” cases due to the fact that the teacher does not have ready-made, developed ways to resolve non-standard situations.

The "extreme" nature of non-standard situations contributes to the actualization of the entire system, the entire hierarchical structure of motives and relations of the teacher: from the "highest" life-meaning values ​​to the "deep" needs that make up the subconscious. The organization of the hierarchy of motives, the degree of their actual subordination, as well as their awareness and awareness of the connections between them are the main factors that determine the effectiveness of the influence of higher motives (up to meaningful values) on concrete actions and professional activities of the teacher as a whole.
The pedagogical orientation as a system of dominant motives of the teacher’s personality acts in some way as a prototype of the phenomenon of the meaning of life and allows us to evaluate the role of life-meaning values ​​in the teacher’s professional activity and in its interaction with students.

In our study on the influence of the teacher’s pedagogical orientation on resolving non-standard situations in the “teacher-student” system, it was shown that the interaction of students and teachers is largely determined by: 1) the dominant position in the structure of the pedagogical orientation of a particular group of motives, condition the teacher’s tendency to one or another aspect of pedagogical interaction (communication, work with educational material, achievement of personal interests); 2) the teacher’s awareness (reflection) of his own motives at the procedural or productive level. At the same time, the effective (“tactical”, situational) level of reflection of the teacher’s own motives determined the predominantly destructive, and the process (“strategic”, supra-situational) predominantly constructive resolution of non-standard situations.

Taking the results of this study as a basis, it can be assumed that the teacher’s lifelong values ​​similarly affect his interaction with students, including in unusual situations. The individual specificity of the phenomenon of the meaning of life, in our opinion, is dominated by positive (life-affirming, humanistic) or negative sense-life values ​​and the degree of their representation in the mind of the teacher. It should be noted that the dominance of negative meaningful life values ​​and their weak awareness correspond to the destructive interaction of a teacher with students, and vice versa, the dominance of positive meaningful life values ​​and a high level of their awareness correspond to constructive interaction.

Thus, the level of awareness of the meaning of life values, the propensity of the subject to reflection are individual indicators of the formation of his ideas about the meaning of life. On the contrary, the tendency to abandon the search for the meaning of not only life, but also simpler events and phenomena of reality, indicates a low level of formation of a person’s worldview, his “existential” sphere.

For clarity, we offer a small sketch:

After a hard day's work, the teacher returns home and, in a fit of despair, mutters on the go: “How tired I am! .. There are no problems in the end and edge !!! All this simply does not make sense! .. "

Stop! Here it is - the first step on the road to "existential" suicide!

The connection between non-standard situations and the meaning of life is seen in creativity, in a creative approach to professional activity and, in particular, in a creative approach to resolving non-standard situations in the interaction of a teacher with students. Meaningful life values ​​determine the behavior and activities of a person, being updated in specific situations, relationships, and “subject-subject” interaction. Naturally, in the most extreme, non-standard situations, life-meaning values ​​are manifested most vividly in their entirety. But this is only one plane in which the relationship between the resolution of non-standard situations and the phenomenon of the meaning of life is revealed. In another plane, the possibility of the formation and development of life values ​​in the course of resolving non-standard situations is revealed.

The ratio of professional and personal in the system of meaning-life values ​​is individual for each person. Naturally, the nature of the influence of life-meaning values ​​is not limited to the scope of professional activity and extends not only to non-standard situations of subject-subject interaction, and vice versa, is not limited only to the non-professional side of human life. The predominance of the professional or nonprofessional component in the structure of the phenomenon of the meaning of life is not, in our opinion, the primary characteristic if they are harmoniously combined with each other. However, the dominance of positive or negative values ​​in the structure of the phenomenon of the meaning of life, as well as the degree of awareness of life values ​​are significant factors that affect all aspects of human life.

Despite the high importance of the reflection factor, it seems to us that the phenomenon of the meaning of life is not included in the structure of self-consciousness, but is an independent global personality construct, which has mainly motivational nature, that is, has a certain motivating force, while self-consciousness acts as a condition for the formation and development this motive power.

Imagine that a person’s self-consciousness is “fast asleep”, that he is guided by some “momentary benefits” when making decisions, that he does not have established ideas about his life path as something holistic and accessible for understanding. At some point, an event occurs that is quite unusual in a number of other events, so that the existing “passive” way of life ceases to be possible, so that the “amorphism” of existence is not a very acceptable way to settle your relations with the outside world and yourself in it. Then the values ​​of the “high level of generalization” are manifested in full force, then the driving moment of the meaning of life becomes significant and most effective. And if life-meaning values ​​are not formed or do not correspond to reality, then this event, or rather, the reaction of the subject to it, his thoughts and actions under changed conditions will serve as a significant impetus for the formation and development of these values.

Therefore, the resolution of non-standard situations, from the point of view of the phenomenon of the meaning of life, can be considered only as one of the most effective ways to improve the global worldview levels (“existential” sphere) of the teacher’s personality.
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