PROBLEM OF INFORMATIVE SELF-STUDY FORMATION DURING THE ORGANIZATION OF INDEPENDENT WORK IN THE PROCESS OF FUTURE FOREIGN TEACHERS TRAINING IN THE HIGHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS OF UKRAINE
The need for the formation of self-study in education, beginning from the university, is mainly stimulated by modern requirements to specialists, including foreign language teachers as well. Modern specialist thinks creatively, is able to find information, knowledge and skills individually and in the right time and correctly use them. He is able to accept non-standard, original decisions based on fundamental knowledge. He should have a commitment to lifelong learning, flexibility to adapt to changing situations, think self-critically, see difficulties and find ways of rational overcome. He has to be able to use previously acquired knowledge, think creatively, work competently with information, be sociable, and work independently to develop personal morality, intelligence and cultural level. To form such a specialist it is necessary for the student to be not a passive contemplative absorber of scientific information or a diligent performer but to become a creative converter of the information that is studied. Extensive publications on the theory and methodology of independent work, published in the 1980’s were based on the position: independent work of students is an independent activity, during which the self-study is formed as an integrative personality trait. The student learns the necessary knowledge and acquires skills only if he is included into the independent work as for clarifying the goals and objectives of training, its volume, search and supply of information, forecasting possible outcomes of his own activities under certain conditions and their implementation.
Fundamental changes in the further development of the theory and practice of independent work were held in 1993 after the approval of the “Regulations on the organization of educational process in higher educational institutions” by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (Order № 161 from 02.06.1993). For the first time in native practice in the governmental document it was underlined that independent work is the main means of mastering the learning material at the time free from obligatory classes. In addition, the content of such individual work in a particular subject is determined by the curriculum, teaching materials, teacher guidelines and tasks. Independent work is provided by the system of teaching tools chosen to study a particular subject (textbooks and teaching aids). Teaching materials should include exercises for self-control on the part of the student as well. So, independent work is a form of learning in which student learns the necessary knowledge, acquires skills, trains to work systematically and creates own style of mental activity. It’s one of the most effective means of increasing cognitive activity.
According to these documents, the learning process at the university is focused on the formation of an educated, harmoniously developed personality, capable of continuous updating of scientific knowledge, professional mobility and quick adaptation to dynamic processes in the educational, social and cultural spheres, areas of engineering and technology, systems of management and work organization in a market economy. Independent work is seen as a method of learning, a form of organization of cognitive activity, a means of attracting students to independent cognitive activity and, finally, as a kind of educational activity of students. Talking about the system of students self-study organization we consider independent work a complex multidimensional pedagogical phenomenon that includes a system of self-united structural and functional components that form a coherent unity subordinate to the objectives of training, education and development in the context of indirect management and self-regulation. It is a part of the educational process, ensuring unity of theory and practice and directly affecting the content and nature of higher education, changing the requirements for specialists’ training. It has integrative and cross-cutting nature, forecasts and lays the foundation for the development of independent research work as the highest form of self-deployment of future specialists during their professional development in higher educational institution.
The organization of independent work as the educational system has the following main elements: objective (s), contents, forms, methods and means of activity; planning, monitoring, self-monitoring and evaluation of results; conditions of implementation. This is the process of organizing independent work on specific requirements (standards, rules, principles) and giving it the desired shape in order to achieve this goal in the best way. The organizational elements can be conditions which are divided into external (method of management, place of study, equipment) and internal (student’s personality, level of knowledge, motivation, interest) and results.
Planning of individual work involves compliance to requirements:
training time given for the individual work is regulated by working curriculum and should be at least 1/2 and no more than 2/3 of the total student study time allotted for studying a particular subject.
The effectiveness of the organization of independent work is provided by implementation of the following principles: consistency of purpose, objectives, forms of self-study; individual approach to students; differentiation and individualization. The main objective of the self-study organization is to create psychological and pedagogical conditions of development initiatives and intellectual thinking in the classes of any form. The basic principle of the self-study organization should be the transfer of all students for individual work with the transition from formal performing of certain tasks with the passive role of the student to cognitive activity with the formation of own opinion in solving issues and problems.
Analysis of regulations of the educational process shows that independent work searches for compliance with a number of requirements: didactic and psychological readiness of the student to perform different kinds of tasks; explaining the necessity of individual work in general and specific tasks to encourage positive motivation of students; specifying objectives of a subject or a topic; determining the content of tasks; development of tasks of different kinds of difficulty according to defined levels of learning; developing specific situations involving non-standard problem solving; providing students with detailed methodological recommendations on the tasks; developed evaluation system, algorithm of doing tasks, sample preparation performance; implementation of an individual approach to self-study; individualization of the self-study; a permanent feedback with students; using credit technology of training; developing accounting standards of student workload during independent work.
Control over the independent work plays a special role in the system of its organization. It is carried out by a teacher or a supervisor who defines the purpose, specify educational goals and the models of student activity under the guidance of a teacher in the performance of individual tasks (reproductive, developmental, partly retrieval, research). The important is also the need to create a positive motivation at all stages of joint activities; preparation of students for performing individual work; control of effectiveness of self-study organizations and permanent correction in all cycles during the performing tasks of all levels of complexity; evaluation of the effectiveness of self-study organization; evaluation (self-evaluation) of the formation of students special knowledge and skills of cognitive activity (desire to work, intensity, satisfaction with the results), emotional (mood to work together with teachers, health, performance).
Independent work of students is provided through a system of teaching tools chosen for the study of a particular subject, such as: curricula; teaching programs for all standard and optional subjects; programs of educational and other types of practices; textbooks and teaching aids; scientific, professional monographic and periodic literature; instructional and teaching materials, guidelines for seminars and laboratory classes; individual semester tasks for individual work; control tasks to seminars, practical and laboratory lessons; tests for academic subjects to test the mastering of content of modules; training materials for students for independent work with professional literature; guidance for individual educational and research tasks; guidance for course, diploma and master’s works; lectures; electronic books, electronic lecture notes; sets of tests.
Independent work of students of foreign languages is planned, organized and carried out with the aim of mastering the main types of speech activities (formation of skills of listening, reading and translation of texts, oral and written expression of ideas, grammatical construction, etc.). It contributes to the deepening and expansion of knowledge, formation of interest in the cognitive activities, mastering techniques of learning process, development of cognitive abilities of the student. It is concluded that the independent work of students in a foreign language is defined as a form of cognitive activity of students in the classroom and at home, on the instructions of the teacher, but without his direct participation. It forms the personality traits such as independence, cognitive activity, and creative attitude to the objects of activity. The purpose of independent work in a foreign language is to activate the cognitive activity of students in the learning process, develop their language skills and skills to assist those with poor training of foreign language skills to form their own supplement to their knowledge and freely navigate the flow of scientific information. Three main aspects of the study as part of independent scientific organization problems of mental work have been determined: sociological, psychological, didactic and methodical. The sociological aspect includes issues related to the study of conditions and motivation of independent educational activity of students. Psychological and didactic aspect covers education and students’ self-independence and creative activity. In methodical aspect rationalization of individual work is associated with the culture of mental work of students.
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