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Worldview and its influence on the structure of the motivational sphere of a senior student
The process of the formation of a scientific and moral worldview among schoolchildren is usually considered in psychology as a phenomenon of a non-psychological order. Psychology is willingly inferior to this area of human consciousness to the social sciences. Meanwhile, the entire previous analysis of the changes that the emerging worldview is introducing into the psyche of older schoolchildren convinces us that it can and should be considered in a psychological aspect. But this becomes especially distinct when we want to understand the needs and aspirations of a person; in his intentions and actions, in the features of his personality.
Let us dwell on the consideration of this issue. We have already said that in the course of development, not only individual processes and functions, not only ways and mechanisms of behavior, but also the incentive forces of development, that is, the needs, interests and aspirations of the child, change.
Analyzing what happens to the drivers of behavior in adolescence, we pointed out that an extremely important event takes place here, namely, that a teenager is already largely able to be guided in his moral behavior by the requirements that he makes for himself and those tasks and goals that he sets for himself.
We pointed out that such a transition from “reactive” following requirements from the outside to actively building one’s own behavior in accordance with one’s own ideal, model, is the turning point that characterizes a fundamentally new stage in the driving forces of child development.
However, we also pointed out that during this period of development the ideal model that the adolescent is aimed at is still very unstable, too specific and global, and his own self-demands require constant support from others. It is this that gives rise to many features of the personality of a teenager and determines the instability of behavior that is so characteristic of him.
The first thing that attracts attention when considering the driving forces of behavior and activity of an older schoolchild is that the whole system of his needs and aspirations is streamlined, integrated by the emerging worldview. If the adolescent’s demands on himself are still very chaotic and often can not withstand competition with his other motives, then the young man’s demands on himself, supported by his views and beliefs, become much more stable and effective. In other words, under the influence of the worldview, a fairly stable hierarchical structure of the motivational sphere of the senior student arises, in which the motives associated with his views and beliefs, with his intentions and decisions are decisive.
In essence, we have already characterized this feature of older schoolchildren, showing a completely different psychological nature of the choice of a profession in children of middle and older school age. But, in addition, in our study of the motives of the educational activities of schoolchildren , the process of hierarchizing motives, which occurs in connection with their awareness and enrichment, was established experimentally.
Recall that in this study it was found that learning activity is prompted not by any one motive, but by many motives that are in a complex relationship with each other. Here are the motives of a broadly public plan (the desire to become a useful member of society, gain a place in life, gain the approval of others, prepare for the chosen profession), and the motives coming from the educational activity itself (interest in knowledge, pleasure from the work done, intellectual effort) , and motives of a negative order (fatigue, boredom, difficulties of the material), and motives not related to the teaching, but standing towards it in one way or another (rewards, punishments, competing needs and desires, etc.). All these motives, acting in a complex complex and interweaving, ultimately determine each act of behavior of a student associated with his educational activity.
But, in addition to the fact that the motives of learning are different in terms of their relationship to educational activities, they differ from each other in the function that they perform as drivers of student behavior and activities. This primarily refers to the broad social motives of learning. Some of these motives, being extremely important in essence, can nevertheless be very little effective; others, on the other hand, as secondary to teaching, can have a very great incentive power. For example, motives associated with understanding the need for teaching for a future profession in primary school age and even among adolescents, as a rule, have extremely weak motive power. Therefore, students need some additional motives that are directly related to their needs today, otherwise they can not always overcome the motivating forces acting in the opposite direction; hence the need for rewards, punishments, marks. At the same time, understanding the importance of education for their future at these elementary school ages is still a true motive for learning, since without this teaching would have lost meaning for children and no encouragement or punishment would have forced them to learn. Following A. N. Leontyev, we called the first, so to speak, “known motives” “meaning-building”, the second - “directly inducing” or “actually acting”. The study found that for the implementation of educational activities, especially in primary and secondary school age, the presence of “sense-building” (that is, distant “known” motives) and directly motivating motives are also mandatory. Only their combination is capable of ensuring the normal course of educational activity during the indicated periods of child development (apparently, other types of complex activity, for example, labor or social activity, also require an appropriate system of motives at these ages).
The situation is different in senior school age: here the transition of “known motives” to directly inducing ones is often carried out. For the successful progress of the educational activities of students of this age, it is no longer necessary to have additional motivation that supports their intention to study well, connected with prospects for the future. Indicative in this regard are research materials showing the attitude of older students to the mark. Unlike adolescents, for whom the mark was primarily a sign of encouragement or censure, an expression of public opinion and a means of gaining a certain position (recall the “naked pursuit of marks”, typical in the middle grades of the school), for many older students it becomes only an indicator of their level knowledge and a means of facilitating admission to the university (not without reason one of the students of the X grade said that “a mark, as such,” he was no longer interested in, since he “long ago lost pride in his grades”).
Such a change in attitude to the mark occurs because “known motives” are included in older students in the general system of their views on life, on their future, on their purpose. They are supported at this age by the students' desire for self-determination, their self-esteem and all the moral code that is emerging in them. And it is precisely in this that “known motives” derive their incentive power.
Thus, the research materials show that the transition of “known motives” to “directly inducing” and, consequently, a change in the function of “known motives” is closely connected with the outlook formed in high school age.
However, in addition to this pattern, research materials have found another. It turned out that the hierarchization of motives is also associated with their awareness and generalization.
An analysis of the totality of learning motives found that numerous specific learning motives motivate students to learn because they are embodied (“crystallized”) by some more general and deeper need, specific to students of a given age. Moreover, students of primary and secondary school age, as a rule, are well aware (and call) these particular, specific motives, but they do not (and never call) the basic general need that is embodied in them. For example, children on the verge of schooling often motivate their desire to go to school and learn that “there are guys,” “there is fun,” or that they will mark them at school. However, experimental conversations and experimental games in the school showed that in fact the school attracts them precisely by teaching as a serious socially significant activity that can satisfy their cognitive interest and provide them with a new position among others. Therefore, in this case, the children do not realize their most essential needs; they see only those directly acting motives lying on the surface that, although they stimulate their learning activities, are still not able to determine the entire system of their behavior.
This discrepancy between the real complexity of motivating learning activities motives and the narrowness of their awareness was revealed in adolescents. In the study, it was found in the presence of two opposing trends characterizing the motivation for learning in the middle classes of the school. On the one hand, teenagers dream of skipping school, they are sure that they want to play, walk, ski, and that they are tired of school, that teaching is a difficult and unpleasant duty for them, from which they are not averse to free themselves. And in a certain sense, it is so: they really want to relax directly - take a walk, skip school. However, these same students, being put in the process of experimental conversation before the opportunity not to go to school and not to study, resist this prospect, looking for more and more excuses for their refusal.
In reality, the resistance to the direct impulses of the student is provided here by the deeply social, but not realized by the students themselves need to stay at the level of those requirements that society imposes on them as students. After all, leaving school, stopping to study - this means for a teenager to lose his social position, his public face.
The situation is different in senior school age, where the deep true motives of students are associated with their future, with their self-determination, are well aware and at the same time are really valid. Such a change in the motivation of learning is accompanied by the following interesting process: the older the students, the less motives they call as the motivators of their behavior, the more generalized these called motives are and the more effective they become. All this testifies to the hierarchization of his motivational sphere taking place in the development process of the schoolchild (especially the older age) on the basis of awareness and generalization of the motives of his behavior and activity.
The hierarchization of motives cannot but affect the behavior of students: after all, each given act of student behavior and the entire system of their behavior as a whole are the result of a certain way of established motivational trends, and until the child learns to recognize the motives of his behavior and activities and actively manage them , he will be subordinate independently of it to the developing internal and external circumstances.
Indeed, in the same study, we find evidence that, up to senior school age, students do not know how to control their motivational sphere: they either act along the line of the most powerful, directly acting motive, or try to master their behavior, and often seek external support for this, allowing them to receive support for the implementation of a consciously accepted intention.
The lack of sufficient awareness of the motives of their activities and the ability to manage them in middle school students creates the situation that is so characteristic of this age: the maximum discrepancy between the ideal plan of semantic, “known motives” and real behavior prompted by directly acting motives. In adolescence, therefore, the motives of both of these plans have not yet been brought together.
On the one hand, there is a plan of sense-forming motives that arose as a result of adolescents' own views and future prospects.
These motives arouse their desire and even intention to act in the corresponding direction and, if they do not act according to the accepted intentions, they have a feeling of dissatisfaction, dissatisfaction with themselves. In other words, these motives meet the very essential needs of the student, connected with the ideal plan of their own requirements for themselves, which arises very early and in adolescence becomes already quite significant. On the other hand, the schoolchildren have a whole system of needs and aspirations, formed under the direct influence of everyday life practice; they can diverge from those needs that a schoolchild has in connection with the emergence of an ideal plan for his life. Perhaps this discrepancy should primarily explain the internal conflicts in adolescence, which often lead teenagers to serious breakdowns.
In high school age, under the influence of the formation of a worldview, that is, the emergence of students' system of stable views on the world, on themselves and on their purpose in life, under the influence of the fact that the young man is already beginning to understand himself and adequately realize the motives of his behavior, he has a kind of fusion of both planes - the motives of the ideal and the real. He begins to act less directly, less impulsively, he learns to think about his actions, make decisions and act in accordance with consciously set goals. The fact that such a process is taking place here was remarkably subtly captured on the basis of self-observation by the greatest expert in human psychology - L. N. Tolstoy. In his autobiographical story Youth, he writes: “I said that my friendship with Dmitry opened up a new outlook on life, its purpose and relationship. The essence of this view was the conviction that the purpose of man is the desire for moral improvement and that improvement is easy, possible and eternal. But so far I have enjoyed only the discovery of new thoughts arising from this belief, and the drafting of brilliant plans for a moral, active future; but my life went on in the same petty, confused and idle order.
Those virtuous thoughts that we went through in conversations ... only my mind liked it, not my feelings. But the time came when these thoughts with such a fresh force of moral discovery came to my mind that I was frightened by thinking about how much time I lost in vain, and at once, that very second I wanted to apply these thoughts to life, with the firm intention of never no longer cheating on them.
And from now on, I consider the beginning of youth. ”
In order to complete the characterization of the senior schoolchild, we will point out one more neoplasm that arises by the end of this period: at the senior school age, many qualities of the student’s personality are formed and stabilized, turning into stable character traits.
We said that personality traits begin to form very early and that they are either the assimilation of certain forms of behavior that occurs when the child needs these forms, or are the result of fixing the “protective reactions” that arise in children in connection with their unfavorable state affective sphere.
We also pointed out that initially emerging qualities appear only situationally and only gradually become permanent and stable character traits.
Psychologists involved in child development, as a rule, attribute this kind of stabilization and character establishment to high school age. We believe that this process, as well as other specific features of this period of development, is associated with the formation of a worldview.
According to our hypothesis, the transition from situational forms of behavior to stable personality traits implies the emergence of a child's conscious positive attitude towards the emerging quality. For example, a child may react with hostility and distrust of people, but such an attitude will turn into a character trait only when misanthropy becomes a “philosophy” of the subject, enters into his system of views on people, in other words, becomes an element of his worldview.
From this point of view, we can understand the psychological differences that exist between children with affective experiences and affective forms of behavior, on the one hand, and psychopathic children, on the other. Первые могут быть и упрямыми, и обидчивыми, и нелюдимыми и т. д., но они сами будут страдать от своего поведения и своих переживаний. Вторые, напротив, будут считать, что другого отношения люди и не заслуживают и что их поведение является правильным.
Конечно, справедливость этой гипотезы должна быть еще проверена и соответствующее исследование нами уже начато. Однако в ее пользу говорят наблюдения такого крупного детского психиатра и ученого, как П. П. Кащенко. На основании очень большого лечебного опыта он пришел к выводу, что особенности отношения его пациентов к своему поведению могут служить прогнозу: если ребенок, согласно его мысли, способен критически отнестись к себе и своему поведению, лечебный прогноз хороший, если нет, прогноз плохой.
В педагогике мы видим то же самое и в отношении детей нормально развивающихся.
* * *
Подводя итог рассмотрению психологических особенностей старшего школьного возраста, мы можем сказать, что в этот период происходят решительные сдвиги как в содержании мотивационных тенденций учащихся, так и в общем строении их мотивационной сферы и в механизмах побудительного действия мотивов. По содержанию на первое место выдвигаются мотивы, связанные с жизненным планом ученика, его намерениями в будущем, его мировоззрением и самоопределением. По своему строению мотивационная сфера юноши начинает характеризоваться не рядоположностью мотивов, а их иерархической структурой, наличием определенной системы соподчинения различных мотивационных тенденций на основе ведущих общественно значимых и ставших ценными для личности мотивов. Наконец, по механизму действия мотивы в старшем школьном возрасте являются не непосредственно действующими, а возникающими на основе сознательно поставленной цели и сознательно принятого намерения.
Следовательно, именно в мотивационной сфере юноши мы находим основные качественные сдвиги, составляющие главное новообразование этого возраста. Именно здесь лежит ключ для понимания всех особенностей этого периода развития. В этот период она становится опосредствованной мировоззрением и на этой основе сознательно управляемой.
К такому заключению об основных психологических сдвигах в развитии старшего школьника позволяют прийти данные соответствующих исследований и материалов, приводящие к положению о том, что развиваются не только психические процессы и функции, но развиваются и сами движущие силы поведения человека, при этом развиваются не только количественно и по содержанию, но и по своей психологической структуре.
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