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Teacher about the meaning of life and human acme in modern society
In modern society, there is a contradiction between the tasks facing the school as a social institution for the development of the child and the degree to which they are implemented during the educational process. The task of forming the personality of the student and creating conditions for the emergence and realization of his need for finding the meaning of life, for establishing ideas about the meaning of human life and his “acme”, that is, the peak in personal and professional development (Bodalev, 1998; Chudnovsky, remains far from solved). , 1997).
Psychologists' research has revealed the importance of solving the problem of becoming in children during the period of schooling such an important personal neoplasm as the meaning of life. It is it that binds together the past, present and future of the child. The meaning of life, as shown by V.E. Chudnovsky creates a system of checks and balances that allow, on the one hand, to stably resist external influences and go his own way, and on the other hand, not to become a slave of his own hobbies, coordinate his interests with the interests of society (Chudnovsky, 1995, 1997).
Obviously, the model of the carrier of high life meanings should be, first of all, the teacher, in communication with which it is possible that the schoolchildren will have ideas about the meaning of life, acme, and then their development and enrichment during the period of school apprenticeship. Psychologists say that only a person can educate a person. The basis of such education is interpersonal communication between teacher and student. But in practice it turns out that just such communication with teachers is not enough for the child. Our studies have shown that at the present stage of development of society, among the possible factors that influence the formation of the meaning of life among adolescents and high school students, the effects of parents or their own experience are in the first or second place, and communication with teachers steadily occupies one of the last places (Weiser , 1998, 2001, 2002).
The question arises: why is this happening? To answer it, first of all, it is necessary to understand whether the modern teacher is a carrier of high life meanings? What are the teacher's ideas about the meaning of human life (broadly), a person as a professional? What is the specificity of the personal meaning of teachers in the modern conditions of the transitional stage of the existence of our society? How does the humble economic situation of a modern teacher affect his ideas about the meaning of his life, about the possibilities of development as a person and as a professional, about the ways to achieve his acme in the current life circumstances?
In our study, we proceed from an analysis of the specifics of the teaching profession conducted by V.E. Chudnovsky: “It is the future affairs of those whom the teacher teaches and educates that make up the true meaning of his life” (2002, p. 178). In his opinion, “the profession of a teacher is one of the most meaningful” (2002, p. 178). We suggested that in modern conditions, the teacher still remains a carrier of high life meanings. However, the crisis state of society has an impact on their implementation in the educational process and on the definition of peaks in personal and professional development (acme). The methods of our study included questionnaires and conversation after questioning, initiated by the teacher himself. The work used a questionnaire on the meaning of life and acme, proposed by V.E. Chudnovsky, A.A. Bodalev and their staff. The analysis of the questionnaire is contained in the work of G.A. Wiser (2002).
The study was conducted in schools in Moscow and the Moscow region (2002-2003). In total, 75 teachers took part in it. Age distribution: up to 30 years - 6 people, from 31 years to 40 years - 27 people, from 41 years to 50 years - 20 people, from 51 years to 60 years - 16 people, over 60 years - 6 people. Distribution by education: higher - 73 people, secondary special - 2 people. The work was carried out with teachers of physics, mathematics, computer science, literature and the Russian language, history, biology and geography, and primary classes.
Analyzing the results of questionnaires and conversations with teachers, we took into account the need for a comprehensive review of the phenomena “meaning of life” and “acme”: “meaning of life” and “acme” in a broad sense and their concretization personally for the questioned, as well as the limitations imposed by the research method itself ( Bodalev, 1998; Miracles, 1997; Weiser, 2002). It should be noted that the questionnaire is quite informative, although it does not completely reveal the respondent's ideas about the meaning of life and acme. Thus, conscious phenomena are manifested in the responses. However, a person also has unconscious ideas about the meaning of life and acme, which remain outside the scope of the study. In addition, the questions of the questionnaire help to some extent the translation of these ideas into the realm of consciousness, therefore, the researcher identifies mostly phenomena that are actually recognized, and there are certain difficulties in isolating what was already spontaneously realized before the questionnaire began.
The information content of the questionnaire is determined by the fact that it directs a person to comprehend the richness of his own life experience and the experience of his generation, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the wealth of experience of parents and the immediate environment (especially significant people), the experience reflected in literature and art, since in it, as if in parallel, questions were projected on the person questioned personally (about the meaning of his life, about his highest achievements), and questions of an abstract nature (about the meaning of human life, his acme, etc.). There are no direct questions in the questionnaire regarding the correlation of ideas about the meaning of life and acme, but such information can be obtained on the basis of a qualitative analysis of the answers.
Analysis of the results. The concept of “the meaning of life” in a broad philosophical sense is interpreted by teachers in two ways: 1) only as a characteristic of the distant future (“guiding star to which you go all your life”, “the peak that you want to achieve”, “what man lives for, the most important his goal (s) ”); 2) as a characteristic of the movement, connecting the past, present and future, which reflects the significant specificity, quality of the life process itself, and not just its prospects, its long-term result (“creating conditions for the conservation and development of man as a biological species, at its best manifestations ”,“ the continuation of the human race and the transfer of accumulated knowledge ”,“ a huge set of goals and methods for achieving them ”).
In psychological terms, the concept of "meaning of life" is revealed through the prism of a teacher solving problems:
. “I and society” (broad social meanings: “to bring more benefits to society, civilization”, “to study, teach and do good”, “to preserve the beauty of the Earth, to stop the degradation of the nation”, “to educate a person - its continuation, child, student,” “Constantly creating an atmosphere of goodness and love”);
. “Me and my relatives” (group meanings: “children, grandchildren, good relations with them, understanding”, “family, children”, “the need for me in others: children, relatives”, “respect in the team”);
. “I am for myself” (individual meanings: “spiritual and professional improvement of a person”, “achieving harmonious coexistence with what surrounds you - people, objects, nature”, “the ability to do what you love, family and material well-being”, “realization their creative, cognitive and other opportunities ”);
. “Me and my cognitive sphere” (cognitive meanings: “knowing the laws of nature and using them to help a person”, “knowing oneself and other people”);
. “Me and my emotional sphere” (emotional meanings: “moral satisfaction from work, art, communication with loyal friends, from excursions”, “happiness for me and my family, work that should be fun ... people who stopped work, quickly faded away ”).
Even when the concept of “meaning of life” is revealed, teachers identify such important components as the transfer of knowledge and the upbringing of the younger generation. The inclusion of these components in the content of the meaning of life was most fully manifested when teachers formulated the meaning of their own life. The problem of education is revealed through the attitude to their children and to their students. Moreover, individual and group meanings are actually refracted through broad social meanings, enriched by the teacher’s high aspirations not only to transfer knowledge, but also to educate a real person, develop his creative abilities, instill in him the skill and desire to work.
The meaning of their life is recognized by teachers as the desire “to educate worthy people from their own children and schoolchildren,” “to help children so that they find their place in life, to transfer their knowledge to students, to cultivate love for nature and care for it,” “to transfer experience and knowledge ". The most important component of life’s meaning, according to the teacher, is self-development and creativity: “realize yourself creatively, humanly and socially”, “develop yourself”, “realize professional ideas”, “professional achievements”. Teachers also consider “knowing the unknown”, “the ability to enjoy and enjoy life”, “well-being in the family and respect in the team”, “happiness, love” as components of the meaning of their life.
Note that, fully and deeply revealing the content of the concept of “the meaning of human life” (96%), only a part of the respondents tried to formulate the meaning of their own life (85%). Only one teacher does not connect the meaning of his life with teaching: "I see myself in business and in God at the same time."
The contents of the concept of “acme” teachers reveal through the concepts of the top of a person’s life path, distinguishing between two development plans: personal and professional. The content of the concepts “meaning of life” and “acme” most often intersect. The intersection area is represented mainly by the concepts of "self-improvement", "need for people", "professional achievements." Particular attention is paid to self-improvement as an endless process in the development of personality and professionalism: “the top of the life path cannot be reached completely; a personality is formed all his life, and there must always be a peak beyond the turn that you will strive for, otherwise the meaning of life disappears ”; the peak of professional development is “a creative person who is constantly finding new forms of his participation in common affairs”.
The content of the concepts “meaning of one’s own life” and “acme in one’s life” also often overlap. The following concepts are in the area of intersection: “need for other people”, “ensuring a worthy life for one’s family”, “ability to give good knowledge”, “deep knowledge of one’s subject, ability to transfer knowledge to children”, “respect from colleagues”, “ happiness, understanding in the family, love. ” The moment of birth of the meaning of life and the fateful events sometimes coincide: “it turned out to be fateful that I became a teacher for life,” “I saw the meaning of life when I came to school to teach children.”
Discussing the ways of realizing the meaning of life and moving to acme, teachers consider two types of “barriers”: “barriers” “inside a person and outside him”. Internal “barriers” are qualities of the person himself, external are circumstances of his life in a specific place, at a specific time, in a specific environment. Comparing these barriers at different points in time, teachers note that “before, the role of external barriers was immeasurably less than now. Life has changed a lot. ” Speaking of spirituality, the low level of material life in modern society, teachers note the presence of contradictions between vocation and its life embodiment. “In the modern world, acme achievement is impossible. Profession (“calling”) is one thing, but survival (“piece of bread”) is the main thing. ” Among the factors that impede the realization of their potential are “the state’s policy towards the teacher and education as a whole”: “External conditions are not always favorable in order to be engaged in the goal, for example, you have to take a part-time job to support the family, the teacher’s salary is small”, “I would like my lessons not only to provide knowledge, but also that my students leave school prepared for life, especially the present. It is very difficult to achieve this. How difficult it is to become harmonious in the personal plan ”,“ We are now very limited: neither trips, nor theaters; you can’t buy books; you won’t write any magazines ... ”
The most complete attitude to modern society is reflected in the answers to the question of the relationship between the meaning of life and nonsense. “Many values in society have been revised recently. Life makes people spin, they have no time to think about the meaning of life. ” "The country has become a public animal." Emphasizing the decline in spirituality and culture in society, teachers note that “a cultured, educated person often looks like a black sheep.” Material disadvantage leads to the fact that "you have to spend time to overcome various" difficulties "instead of doing useful work." “I’m tired of sowing the rational, good, eternal for free. I am poor". One of the possible ways out of overcoming material troubles is “just to leave school. And look for your piece of cake. ”
Being the bearer of high life meanings, for the realization of which adults have not created the necessary conditions for schoolchildren, some teachers seek to change external barriers, believing that an important peak in personal growth is “the fight against injustice to the best of our ability”. Others express doubts about the significance of these meanings for people: “I thought that the“ high meaning of life ”is now even harmful. To achieve prosperity now, more “grounded meanings of life” are needed. ”
A partial analysis of the materials obtained in the study allows us to formulate preliminary conclusions.
1. In a modern Russian school, a teacher maintains his status as a bearer of high life meanings.
2. Assessing the current socio-cultural situation in the country as a situation of spirituality, the teacher realizes the need for the purposeful formation of high life meanings among schoolchildren, considers the formation of positive broad social, group, individual, cognitive and emotional meanings as a condition for counteracting advances towards asocial acme.
3. The teacher is developing a psychological readiness to be included in the activities for the formation of high life meanings, primarily among his own children, and then among his students.
4. At the same time, the teacher is aware of the crisis state of the country's economy and, from his own experience, feels the disastrous consequences of the so-called reforms, which led to a sharp decrease in his material situation, and sometimes even to poverty. Having no direct levers of influence on the country's economy, the teacher seeks a way out in search of various additional earnings, works in conditions of enormous physical overload, which does not allow him to carry out activities to develop sense-formation processes among schoolchildren.
5. A contradiction is created between what a teacher should do as a carrier of high vital meanings, and what he really can do as a person with limited psychophysical capabilities.
6. In terms of ways out of the current contradiction, teachers were divided into the following groups:
1) Teachers who show miracles of creativity in all areas. They find techniques that match their personality, use the achievements of pedagogical and psychological science in pedagogical activity, as well as the achievements of other sciences - economics, agriculture, sociology, medicine, etc. to organize your life, work and rest.
2) Teachers who concentrate the temporary resources of self on prosperous students. The time allocated to the formation of high personal meanings is unevenly distributed between children. There is a concentration of time for communication with your children and with students, with whom you can achieve good results in a short time. However, at the same time, children from dysfunctional families actually remain out of sight of the teacher. The contradiction is only partially removed: for dysfunctional children, the possibility of advancing to asocial acme remains.
3) Teachers who show duality in assessing the importance of high life meanings and who are characterized by a tendency to reduce the significance of these meanings in modern conditions.
4) Teachers who feel the need to master another profession, completely leave school (in business, religion, politics).
Thus, the crisis state of society in the economic and especially in the spiritual fields, the awareness of the impossibility of full self-realization, have a negative impact on the embodiment of high life meanings in pedagogical activity, on the teacher's definition of the peak in his development as a person and as a professional, on the movement to this peak.
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Teacher about the meaning of life and human acme in modern society
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