Higher school is the main reproductional mechanism for spiritual and cultural national potential and personal development. It is base for bringing cultural and scientific achievements to next generation, it is condition of national security and progress in society development.
But as we see on practice, today´s graduates don´t have enough such important skills and personal features as independent critical thinking, flexible adaptation in changeable life situations, citizen maturity.
The reform of educational system has to be directed on deletion of existed demerits and contradictions because successes and failures in educational field used to reflect on whole society.
Final goal of education is declared in contemporary State Educational Standards of Higher Professional Education. It sounds as forming of citizen, professional and personal maturity of specialist. Therefore modern society has special demands to personality, one of the most important among which is personal maturity.
The system of higher education of psychologists is being criticized for distortion in direction of so called «academic» paradigm. Traditional contents of psychological education include rather fundamental psychological preparation which combines with minimal practical part. Even when we analyse such formal marker as quantity of educational time, determined by State Educational Standards of Higher Professional Education, we see, for example, that students with educational program on speciality «Pedagogics and Psychology» (050706) have number of weeks given for practical works equal to 20 and for theoretical course the number of weeks is equal to 156 (that is almost in 8 times more). Students with speciality «Psychology» (030301) have 180 weeks assigned for theoretical course and 25 weeks assigned for practical work (that is more than in 7 times less). Therefore such disproportion between «theory» and «practice» (with vivid prevalence of theory) is basically already laid in educational standards.
Also this situation is not characterized only by lack of time assigned for practical courses. The educational practice contents are also being criticized. So, M. M. Balashov, M. I. Lukyanov emphasize its fragmental nature, its limitation by one or two fields of professional activity. We also want to mention lack of student´s initiative in the matter of choice of topic and base for their practical courses.
Actuality of named problem is activating the search for new educational models which could combine in harmony academic and practical paradigms of psychological education (G. S. Abramova, I. D. Badmaev, I. V. Dubrovina, V. Y. Lyaudis, R. V. Ovcharova, A. V. Petrovskiy, V. I. Slobodchikov and others). As we suppose, the solution of this aim could be realized by addition to academic education a specialized preparation on material and in conditions of certain professional environment, organized in form of extra lecture-hall lessons.
In foreign researches the named problem has been solving by involving students of the humanities in socially useful activity (M. G. Gray, A. K. Optadge, R. Friker, S. Heshvindt, Sh. P. Klein). Unification of socially important service and formal academic learning is being realized in so called «Service Learning» programs.
Since early 1960-s the Service Learning programs have become actively incorporated in post diploma educational practice in USA and other countries. In such countries as Argentina, Portugal, USA programs of involving student youth in socially useful activity have been accomplished on the state level.
The principal directions of Service Learning programs are:
- Assistance in increase of educational quality in Higher School Educational Institutes: rising of motivation to learning, increase of effectiveness of educational-developing process, preparing of specialists needed on contemporary labour market.
- Personal development of students and their professional establishment: rising of self-esteem, self realization, getting possibilities to apply given knowledges in practical work with further receiving of working place.
- Forming of student´s citizen position, creation of clear example of young people´s active positive involvement in life of their country.
- Social support: involvement of students in organizing and realization socially useful activity in their own city, effective use of academic knowledges for pro-social activity.
In Russia elements of this program have found their application only during last decades of XX-XXI centuries. Development of Service Learning programs supposes accounting the specifics of Russian higher educational system, developmental level of incommercial municipal organizations, relation of young people to social activity. In general, elements of Service Learning program have started to be used by rapidly developing social organizations.
As we think, this scheme is rather spread in Russian higher educational institutes but by other names. For example, V.G. Chaika offers specially organized extra lecture-hall work program for students. In his researches students as volunteers were taking part in psychodiagnostical procedures, psychological consulting and training with pupils of 5th-11th classes of schools providing general education.
The results of experiment show that specially organized independent work of students leads to increase of educational effectiveness and positive changes in their motivational structure.
In system of professional preparation for psychologists one of the first places take practically oriented technologies of organization of practical work system which provide unification of theoretical preparation of future psychologists with their practical activity in social institutes and organizations, institutes of education, culture, health protection, business and state government.
Practical work is various by its contents and is based on principles of persistence and differentiation. Each kind of practical work has its particular aim: to prepare a specialist who, besides needed supply of knowledges, skills and experience also has ability to use them in his work effectively.
Practice promotes to increase a professional mastery of students, to develop skills of managing, organizational, diagnostic, correction and upbringing work. It helps future psychologist to realize his personal features, to take an initiative, to display creativity.
Professional training of specialists is inconceivable without getting by them common professional practical skills. Developing of common professional skills is taking place during the period of studying practice, which represents an accomplishment of complex studying goals included in separate program.
Industrial practical work supposes for student an independent accomplishment of certain educational and industrial goals (tasks) in condition of enterprise.
Final stage in higher educational preparation of psychologists is the diploma projecting - an accomplishment of complex task, which result is being presented to State Examination Commission in form of diploma project or diploma work.
A part of diploma projecting is pre-diploma practical work - an amount of time during which student has to complete the industrial part of given task (gathering of material, conducting of experiment, etc.).
This division in kinds of practical preparation is quite conditional and is done with the purpose of making clear methodic functions usual to separate kinds.
Student´s practical activity allows to solve educational and real practical goals during the same time. That is why an amount of tome given for one or another kind of practical work has to be considered as a period when that kind of practice is predominant but is not the only.
Basic directions of activity in improvement of practical preparation system for psychologists should be considered as:
- Rational spreading of kinds of practical preparation during educational period, relating to their volume;
- Creating a system of methodical support which could orient teachers on developing specific work plans of one or another kind of practical preparation and also which include educational and real practical goals (tasks) developed by teacher;
- Intensification of connection between practical preparation and future industrial activity of young specialists and also intensification of connection between theoretical educational course and practical activity of student who is learning within the industrial process;
- Deepening of practical preparation in development of organizational skills, getting an experience of working with people.
Successful activity in these directions is based on intensification of methodical work, strengthening of connection between education and industry, activation of teacher´s role in practical preparation of students. Therefore we can see that kind of strategy of educational process organization which, as A. M. Matiushkin said, leads to such results when development of cognitive activity is being accomplished not in form of learning different ways of solving problems but in form of development of creative thinking in conditions of didactically organized dialogue and group thinking.The first object of changing is the level of self-regulation of whole educational activity - self-organization of educational aims is being realized, motives of learning also change their whole structure.
It´s important to notice that all these new formations of individual and collective mind have not only narrow situational character but are spreading far over the borders of concrete educational situation. It´s not accidentally that in practice of modern institutes of higher education productive creative forms of organization of collective educational process are so well spread. Industrial teams, student construction bureaus, building brigades, student scientific research laboratories and so forth make character of education and character of work activity more and more close to each other in aspects of their social structure and direction on achievement product of full cultural value.
The article is admitted to the International Scientific Conference " Problems of national educational standards´ international integration "; France, Great Britain, 2007, April 20-27; came to the editorial office on 09.02.07