The content of professional education remains to be an important issue nowadays. Moreover, contradictory life aspects in Russia call for appropriate steps of the controlling organizations and the educational system. The socio-ecological contradictions between the society and nature require special attention and an adequate professional training, due to their growingly acute status, and are in the center of our attention.
In other words, harmonization of the current and future relations between people and nature, is only possible if every citizen accepts the socio-ecological values, which should be included in the number of professional skills. It should be mentioned, that the value problem has always raised a question of their source. It is established, that human needs are a primary reason for the development of potential environmental values (S.L. Rubenstein, A.N. Leontiev, V.N. Myasishev et al). The complex nature of human needs requires a similar variety of environmental values to satisfy them (N.F. Reimers). The values include natural, psychological, ethnic, labor, social and economical ones, and, to our opinion, should also contain educational and environmental aspects.
Each value group has its specific determinants and forms. For example, the natural (biological) values stand for the environment´s ability to satisfy human needs of physical existence; warmth, radiation and magnetic wave supplies and their preservation; healthy and clean air, water and soil; balanced food and relaxation; protection against overpopulation and etc. Specific natural values that can satisfy the above mentioned needs are the biological resources: a full range of the biosphere components, directly consumed natural resources, as well as food, recreation, energy, territory and etc.
Another environmental value - psychological - satisfies human needs of feelings and realization of ethologo-behavioral potential. This value is represented by the so called «ethological landscape» (combination of environment with the second and third nature, which help create a favorable «behavioral climate»). Moreover, the psychological value reflects the beauty and perfection of the surrounding reality and determines the esthetic value. This property let satisfy and develop human senses, in particular, the esthetic senses that appear during the perception of the real objects in nature, their forms, sizes and colors. Esthetic perception of the surrounding fulfills cognitive, social and communicational functions of the environment through nonverbal information. This influences human´s behavior, his self concept and interpretation of his surroundings. Psychological and esthetic values of the environment are presented by the biological resources, Earth spheres (lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere), recreational, touristic, historical, cultural and natural significant sites, and other objects.
Ethnic value of the environment can satisfy human needs to reproduce ethnic (national) individuality. Life of an ethnos and its development depend on how effective it satisfies its need to reproduce, for example, homeland landscape, national history and ethnic heritage; the ethnic second and third nature enshrined in the folk-memory; necessary cultural environment kept in the ethnic consciousness; social living conditions to save national face (N.F. Reimers). These needs could be satisfied by some specific resources: environmental, anthropo-ecological, genetic, informational, material, immaterial and labor.
Defining social values of the environment, scientists pay attention to their indirect nature and to the fact, that they are an important condition for satisfying social (socio-economical) needs. The latter include, for example, providing civil freedoms and guarantees; communication; freedom of cognition and self-actualization; need to be needed by the society and self; availability of education to different social groups; understanding own sex and age and following the related social rules; creation of a family as a social unit and etc. The most important indirect social values of the environment are the natural conditions and resources of a society; different elements of social field (law, economy, psychology and etc); cultural heritage. Closely related to social are the labor values of the environment, which satisfy human needs of work and orientation in the surrounding environment, temporal changing of this surroundings, organization of job as a process between the nature and society. The labor need can be satisfied by means of resource, territorial, anthropo-ecological, ethnic, informational and other potentials of the environment, used for the purposes of human activities.
Economical value of the environment is a basis for development and successful functioning of the society. It meets social needs of satisfying other society´s necessities. That is why, many scientists see economical needs as the most important, as they determine the whole life of the society. Another point of view shares N.F. Reimers, who thinks, that economical needs have an auxiliary character, and appear only then, when a person tries to satisfy his other needs. Obviously, this position opens the way for managing the growing number of different needs. So, social goals should not be determined by economical needs, but rather by the other. Not the economy should be the final goal, but people, their wellbeing and health. And economy is only a mean to achieve it. Economical value of the human environment is revealed in the availability of and one´s access to food, housing, clothes, household articles, tools, recreation, information, self-expression, family as an economic pattern; as well as industry and household waste recycling in order to preserve and restore the environment.
The educational value of the environment, to our opinion, plays a special role in this process. Some of its elements are to be found in the other types of values. And the history of education shows, that scientists have always been interested in this problem. The fact, that nature influences the personality development, was discovered as far back as in ancient times. It should be cleared up, that nature at that time and context was regarded as the biological disposition of a child that via upbringing could be transformed into personality traits. Later in the middle age, despite the fact, that the antique cultural heritage was neglected and religion ruled all life spheres, study materials in educational institutions contained some ideas about the environment. They were aimed though at human feelings and spirit, rather than explained the world. Modern history proves, that it is necessary to continue to study the educational potential of the environment, and use it for the training of the growing generations.
To sum up, the socio-ecological values have an integral character; they unite biological, psychological, ethnic, labor, social and economical and, to our opinion, educational components; each of them has its specific form. This potential should find its place in the socio-ecological education, in order to value the environment, form reasonable needs and satisfy them following social standards.
- Reimers N.F. Ecology. - Moscow, 1994.
- Reimers N.F. Environmental management. - Мoscow, 1990.
- Shilova V.S. Socio-ecological education it school. Monograph. - Мoscow. - Belgorod, 1999.
The work was submitted to III international scientific conference «Actual problems of science and education», Cuba, March 20-30, 2009, came to the editorial office on 17.02.2009.