In President N.A. Nazarbayev’s Message entitled “The Third Modernization of Kazakhstan: Global Competitiveness”, the fourth priority of the development of our state is the improvement of the quality of human capital. An integral and important part of human capital is an education whose role is particularly significant in the new model of the country’s economic growth. The tasks of the education system are the development of the abilities of critical thinking and the skills of independent information search. A priority direction is the formation of IT knowledge .
With regard to the President’s targets, Case method, in our opinion, as an interactive method of training, meets the requirements for the education system. Case method is a synthesis of problem-based learning, information-communicative technologies and research method. This method, which ensures the application of theoretical provisions in practice, is popular in modern higher education in connection with the orientation of graduate preparation for market inquiries. Work on situations that can meet the student in future practical activities, promotes the acquisition of the basics of professional competencies, shapes cognitive interest and positive motivation for learning.
The source of case creation is life itself “in all its diversity”, an education that defines the goals and objectives of education and upbringing, a science defined by analytical activity, a system approach and other scientific methods. In accordance with this, the cases are divided into practical, educational and research. A practical, “current” model of the situation, can be reduced to training of students, knowledge retention, skills and behavior skills (decision-making) in this or that situation. The training case reflects typical situations that a student may face in life. A feature of the training case is the priority of educational and upbringing aspects. The research case is aimed to forming the skills of information retrieval, carrying out scientific activity, therefore it is aimed at “strong” students .
Fiction, journalistic and scientific literature make it possible to create cases that can be used in the study of pedagogy, psychology, disciplines of the legal and economic cycles, almost all general educational disciplines. Materials from the media increase the cognitive interest of students, actualize knowledge of the chosen profession. In addition, works of fiction contribute to the formation of spiritual and moral values. Scientific articles, monographs contribute to a detailed understanding of a question, give descriptions of phenomena from various aspects. The case must be based on real events that cause students’ interest. Such cases can cause a feeling of empathy, contain problems that students understand.
Case method has its inherent characteristics. A.M. Dolgorukov refers to the advantages of the case-study method to the acquisition of skills in solving practical problems, teamwork skills, improving the skills of generalizing the results of work and its design, discussion skills .
The method of teaching is understood in didactics as an orderly way to achieve educational and upbringing goals. There are three large groups of methods in modern didactics:
1) methods of organization and implementation of the educational process (verbal, visual, practical);
2) methods of stimulating and motivating educational and cognitive activities (methods of stimulating interest in learning – motivation, cognitive games, learning discussions, methods of stimulating debt and responsibility – a method of explaining the subject purpose, requirements for subject learning, encouraging and punishing in learning);
3) methods of control and self-control (methods of oral control and self-control, written control and self-control, methods of laboratory and practical control and self-control) .
The case method can be thought as a complex system in which simple methods of cognition are integrated. It includes modeling, “brainstorm”, problem method, presentations, description methods, classifications, discussion, game methods that fulfill its role in the case-method.
Let’s consider the stages of work on the case and the methods used in them.
1. Preparation for the lesson by the teacher and students
At this stage, the most important are the questions that need to be studied and examined. The teacher formulates “problems”, focusing on the purpose and objectives of the forthcoming activity. While determining the content of work, it is necessary to take into account the specific features of the audience perception of the educational material. Systemic, sequential submission of questions, its classification, allocation of reference schemes, tables, etc. facilitates the successful solution of case-problems.
Establishment of a list of recommended literature has considerable importance, which is necessary for students to learn a topic.
2. Individual independent work of students with a case. In preparation for practical situation solution, the students work with the teaching and methodological support, provide and study additional information (related facts, positions, options, alternatives) for the solid grounding of the educational topic material, tasks.
It can be work in libraries, with the Internet base, interviewing of practitioners, etc. Students become visual, distributing or other illustrative material, booklets “Work with case”, a list of recommended literature.
It is important to start designing a lesson plan after having a clear purpose, objectives, content, methods and forms of work.
3. The organizational part of the lesson consists of presenting the topic, purpose and procedure of the lesson, giving the case. It is recommended in cases to give a detailed description of practical situations, accurately put the questions, specify tasks.
4. Verification of the absorbing of theoretical material on the topic. Before proceeding to work on solving the case situation, it is necessary to check the level of absorbing of the theoretical material. Methods to verify the assimilation of new material can be an oral frontal interview, cross-checking, work on cards, testing, etc.
5. Student teamwork. Teamwork on the case-situation develops the ability to cooperate, collectivism, creates responsibility, instills skills of self-control and self-evaluation .
The most optimal for teamwork, in our opinion, is the method of “brainstorm”, which stimulates the creative activity of students. The result is the issuing of a wide variety of ideas by students in certain period of time.
The next method is a creative analysis of ideas in order to find a constructive addressing of the problem.
A special place in teamwork has a discussion, where students present options of the situation solution, arguing. At this stage of the work, the skills of putting a question, arguing the answer are improved. Students come with arguments, listen to others, analyze the result, design and model the solutions and actions. During the discussion, students find contradictions, mistakes, inaccuracies, defend the opinion of the team.
The result of the discussion is the adoption of a single, most optimal solution, the formation of skills of solving non-standard problems and the development of logical thinking.
6. Registration of the results of work by the students. At this stage students presenr results of the work and use the presentation as an effective way of information of presenting. Widely distributed multimedia presentations are slides containing a few fragments of texts, drawings and the illustrative part (images). According to scientists N.V. Akimova, Yu.A. Bessonova, the usage of presentation in the study of speech or linguistic material allows to structure it by highlighting key issues (linguistic terms, categories) using color, changing the font, heading, etc. The presentation in Russian language classes assumes the active creative activity of students: collecting and processing material, streamlining information, creating slides, project defence and project discussing. The ability to present an intellectual product, to show its merits, maximizes the skills of public activity and participation in the discussion, becomes a demonstration of speech and logical skills of students. Communicative moment according to the opinion of scientists is one of the keys in the process of such training activities and involves the development of appropriate language competencies .
7. Summing-up by teachers.
Different methods of conducting studies using the case method suggest different approaches to student evaluation. When applying the case method, students’ abilities are evaluated to analyze a specific situation, to make a competent decision, to think logically, therefore, the score is shown for the discussion or presentation, measured by the level of student activity, for the prepared written works. It is necessary to pay attention to the novelty and originality of the problem solution, the brevity and clarity of the presentation, the quality of registration of the problem solution, the ethics of the discussion, the activity of all the team members .
The role of the teacher in the application of case method is enormous. The activity of the teacher, who uses the case-method in his practice, – creativity, which promotes the development of students’ critical thinking. To create an interesting case, questions for its analysis, the teacher should conduct creative work, which includes research, methodical and constructive activities. Versatile pedagogical activity consists of several interdependent functions.
1. An epistemological function that is associated with the formation of new knowledge in the taught discipline and methods of teaching and upbringing.
2. The design function assumes the definition of the specific content of the work, the implementation of which will ensure the planned result. It is connected with the creation of a holistic model, consisting of logically interrelated goals, specific tasks, content, methods, tools, curriculum of teaching. Design function of the teacher also includes consideration of interests, motives, degree of their satisfaction with students, taking into account the material base of the university. The creative activity of the teacher facilitates the systematic synchronous use of instructor-led and extracurricular time, in which the optimal methods and methods of instruction are applied.
3. Prognostic function, which involves the setting goal of the activity and its tasks, the prediction of the result, the consideration of possible deviations from the intended goal, the definition of the stages of activity, the distribution of time, the planning of optimal activity.
4. The organizational function, through which various stages of the organization of the educational process are realized. It is important to emphasize the activity of the teacher in the audience, where he introduces the opening and closing words, divides the group into teams, says the topic theme, determines the discussion questions, supports the business mood in the audience, assesses the students’ contribution to the search for information, and analysis of the situation. When advancing the topic and issues of discussion, it should be remembered that case analysis and the ability of students to find an effective form of presenting the result of search activity in the audience is a difficult stage of the lesson. In this regard, the teacher needs to teach off-site advisory activities. The teacher can constantly support students’ interest, set the pace and direction of the lessons.
5. Communicative function, which is oriented to the subject-subject relationship between the student and the teacher. Case method promotes effective learning through active participation of students. Communicative activity of the teacher involves the providing of a culture of interpersonal communication for students, building communication based on trust, empathy, cooperation. Teacher teaches to create and develop relationships in a positive emotional mood, to establish contact and to correct the situation of communication, to develop the ability to persuade, immediately formulate thoughts. In this regard, it is important to have a tolerant attitude towards the student and the ability to delicately criticize.
6. Educational function, which aims to form the spiritual and moral values of the student, his general and professional socialization. In the implementation of this function a huge role is played by the teacher’s diplomacy, his ability to “catch” the mood, the true motivation of the student.
The purpose of carrying out case studies is to organize the work of students in the selection, systematization, analysis of the material to prepare for the performance of research work. The teacher realizes the presentation of the course, determines the terms and methods for performing assignments, introduces the assessment system to the students, divides the group into teams, and so on. There is a confronting into the problem situation. In regard to the lack of time, the control over the completed tasks of the case can be organized remotely. Course materials are posted on the training site. Students can use the Internet communities as a platform for tasks discussion; here also the results of team work are published. The teacher observes the activities of students, reviews the work, corrects inaccuracies and determines the readiness for the final presentation of the case. The process of work on the case should not only teach students to find the necessary information, find the optimal solution to the problem, but also replenish the case file with their own problem situations, thereby placing the student in the rank of ally, active figure in the learning process. Here is an example from our practice of using case studies in Russian language lessons.
The purpose of our work was to pose the questions, to form a hypothesis hypotheses, to shape a plan for self-paced study materials to the topic with which students worked in libraries. One of the objectives of the lesson was the promotion of electronic learning technologies, and therefore the electronic copyright textbook of S. Uskenbayeva was actively used on the lessons. The content of practical tasks, tests and text was enriched with information about the scientific discoveries of medicine. The teams worked with great interest, because the tasks of the electronic textbook were focused on the students’ cognitive activity. Except demonstrating the team method of teaching, the teacher also used problem training applying various means of Internet technology. The usage of scientific and research activities in the teaching and cognitive process is facilitated critical thinking creation. A case method was used to implement this goal, which is often used for distance learning. The topic of discussion and subsequently of student research work was the problem of abortion among youth.
Integration of the means of Internet technologies into the educational process is possible with the use of e-mail, participation in forums, chatting, etc. The students participated in the 7th International Student Scientific Forum, which was held in Moscow. The scientific works generate great interest of the participants and were discussed in the studied language, which actualized cognitive activity also in extracurricular time. Students improved their writing skills, worked with network resources, with the help of which the tasks set by the teacher were solved. These means have a great pedagogical potential in the educational process of higher education: their integration contributes to the better professional training of future specialists. On the lessons were showed the Internet resources exhibited in the “Russian language” community, which was created by students and used in extracurricular individual work of students in the learning process: 1. hotlist (list of Internet sites according to study topic); 2. multimedia scrapbook (a list of multimedia resources with links to photos, audio files, video); 3. Subjects samples (links to text and multimedia materials with discussion of acute social and conversation topics); 4. WebQuest (research activities of students on the discussed topic using Internet resources) .
Versatile work contributed to the actualization of quasi-professional communication, focused on the formation of the linguistic competence of the future specialist (skills of business communication, competent business correspondence, enhancing the culture of international business communication).
This experience is one of the ways to solve the problems posed by the modern education system.
We believe that the professionalism of the teacher includes the unity of his theoretical and practical readiness for the implementation of pedagogical activity and characterizes his creative potential. The functions of the teacher, identified in the article, are the mechanism for realizing the tasks in inculcating critical thinking, the ability to independently search for information, IT knowledge generation.