Raising students’ creativity in university practice

UDC 378
Publication date: 01.03.2021
International Journal of Professional Science №3-2021

Raising students’ creativity in university practice

Markova Gulfiya Almyansurovna
Khaliusheva Gouzelle Rastiamovna

1. Candidate of pedagogical sciences,
associate professor, Federal State Budgetary Educational Institution
of Higher Education "The Orenburg State Agrarian University",
2. Candidate of pedagogical sciences,
professor of Military Academy of Logistics
named after General of the Army A.V. Khrulev
Abstract: The article highlights the problem of developing the student's creativity, and contains a summary of the results of the experiment. At the present stage, Russian society is experiencing a number of complex political, economic, social and cultural events. This period is characterized by the increasing importance of the recognition of achievements in various spheres of human activity by society. An important indicator is the development of creative abilities of the individual, which determines the relevance of this study. The authors presented an overview of the research done by domestic and foreign scientists in the field of creativity. The authors present the data of an experiment in which students of two higher educational institutions of Orenburg took part.
Keywords: creativity; educational process; value orientations; creative abilities; educational environment.

The modern society is characterized by rapid development which affects all spheres of social, political, and scientific life. Life in a society requires a person to be flexible in thinking, to use extraordinary ways of solving problems, to be able to anticipate, predict, and model the situation despite the difficulties. Therefore, the problem of the formation and development of such a quality of personality as creativity is becoming increasingly important. The question how university students are prepared for professional creative activity, whether graduates have managed to realize themselves as competent creative specialists, is of particular relevance.

It should be noted that until recent times education in the higher education system was focused primarily on the formation of knowledge, skills and abilities, was of a reproductive, informational nature, and only convergent thinking developed. Urgent problems force pedagogy to develop a new direction – the development of human individuality (Ariarsky M.A. [1], Bashmakov A.I., Bugakova E.V., Ilyin E.P., Kudryavtsev V.T., Popov V.V., etc.). In pedagogy, there is a reorientation of education to the development of a creative person who has creativity. One of the most pressing problems of education today is the organization and implementation of such a pedagogical process that would promote the development of creativity in unity with the main areas of individuality. The goal of modern higher education is the person as a subject of development.

The research of the whole direction in the psychology of creativity, known as «creativity», was carried out by the following foreign scientists: Fryer M. [4], Guilford J. [5], Halpern D. [6], Lubart T. [8] , Shepherd D. K. [12], Sternberg R. [123, Storfer M. [14] , Smith V., Taylor S. [16], Trick H., Wallach M., etc. Most researchers focus their definition of creativity on personality traits or qualities. So, J. Guilford believes that creativity can be defined as a set of abilities and other traits that contribute to successful creative thinking.

The problem of developing creativity in the psychological and pedagogical literature has also been studied in the context of other, broader areas. Thus, the phenomenon of creativity in psychology is studied, indicators, properties, factors that promote and hinder its development are considered (Bogoyavlenskaya D. B.  [2], Lindsney G.). Currently, methods of developing students ‘creative abilities are being actively studied and put into practice (Morozov A.V., Chernilevsky D.V. [11]), and ways of developing students’ creative potential are being revealed (Chernetskaya N.I. [3], Chepel T.L.), the means of forming a creative personality in various types of activity are considered (Bespalov G.V., Kornilov S.A., Petrov V. M. [15], Saakyan O.S., Khramtsova E.V.).

However, the analysis of the literature on the subject of the study showed that in the current pedagogical practice, the indicated problem is far from being resolved. Most teachers are not focused on developing students ‘ creativity. The main contradiction is that on the one hand, there is a real need for the development of individual creativity, and on the other hand, there is no didactic support for the work of teachers, the forms and methods of using adapted educational material for the development of creativity are not studied. Despite the social order of society, the education system continues to train no more than good performers [7]. The problem of developing students ‘ creativity is not at the center of professional and pedagogical interest.

New socio-economic conditions have changed the paradigm of vocational education, and with it the model of the pedagogical system and, accordingly, the technology of training [10]. One of the most important tasks of professional education is the creation of pedagogical conditions for the development of creative abilities and personal qualities of the student, which he needs for creative activity, regardless of the future specific profession. Such abilities that ensure the successful solution of complex professional tasks, including the development of new types of work, include the ability to critically comprehend the situation, the ability to analyze and synthesize, put forward hypotheses, i.e., anticipate possible solutions or ways of these solutions. Systematic thinking, understanding of cause-and-effect relationships, and competent justification of their decisions distinguish a creative specialist from a so-called performer.

Within the framework of the traditional educational process, these qualities of a specialist could not be increased systematically, i.e. effectively, since each teacher saw in his own way the specific tasks of the intellectual development of students. This is the essence of the problem we are trying to solve. The answers to these questions were to be determined experimentally.

The solution of the set tasks led to the use of a system of research methods that complement each other:

— methods of theoretical research: analysis of philosophical, psychological, pedagogical and linguistic literature;

— methods of empirical research: pedagogical observation; questionnaires, surveys, interviews, testing; statistical processing of research materials.

An ascertaining experiment was conducted on the basis of higher educational institutions of the city of Orenburg (Orenburg Institute (branch) Moscow State Law University named after O. E. Kutafin (MSLA) and Orenburg State Agrarian University). 200 students took part in the survey.

The purpose of the ascertaining experiment was to determine the degree of development of students ‘creativity, as well as to identify the students’ attitude to this problem and to understand its significance for the educational process as a whole.

The data obtained as a result of processing the questionnaires allowed us to draw the following conclusions:

Only 32.2% of the surveyed students studying in 1-3 courses believe that creativity is inherent in everyone, and it can be developed. 36.3% of respondents noted that the ability to create is a natural property of a person, and that is why not all people have creativity from birth. 19.1% of students attributed the presence or absence of creativity to the social conditions in which the personality grows and develops. 12.4% of respondents admit that they have never thought about this question at all.

At the same time, the vast majority of respondents (77.2%) are aware of the importance of developing creative skills and agree that creativity is the key to a successful career in any field of activity. 15.7% of respondents believe that «this personality characteristic is necessary only for people of creative professions, art». 7.1% of students do not consider creativity to be a professionally significant quality.

However, when asked which professions are particularly needed for creativity, only 7.3% offered the answer «all without exception». The majority of students believe that creativity should be possessed primarily by representatives of creative professions: artists(9%), designers(7%), musicians(6.6%), actors(5.8%), writers and poets(5.1%), cultural figures, artists(4.7%), architects(3.2%), fashion designers(2.1%). For comparison, 1.7% of respondents said that creative abilities should be developed in lawyers and politicians, 1.3% consider them professionally significant for programmers, 0.6% — for translators. This indicates that not all students are aware of the social need for creative specialists.

Assessing their readiness to show creative abilities in the classroom, the overwhelming number of respondents (64%) says that «only sometimes are they capable of creativity». 11.6% of students show these abilities very rarely, and 0.8 % consider creativity not the best quality of a person and do not tend to show their creative abilities in the learning process. 12% of respondents say that they » strive to realize their creative potential in every class.» 11.6% offered their own version of the answer to this question.

Perhaps the explanation for such contradictory results of the survey of students should be sought in identifying their understanding of the term «creativity of the individual». We asked the respondents to explain what exactly they understand by «creative abilities of the individual». It should be noted that only 6.3% of respondents found it difficult to give any answer to this question. The remaining 93.7% reveal this concept quite fully, but not always correctly, while mentioning only some of its aspects, which indicates that they do not understand the essence of the phenomenon under study. Thus, 36% of students described «creative abilities» as «creative». In fact, creativity is more correctly defined not so much as a certain creative ability or a set of such, but as the ability to create, and these concepts are very close, but not identical [9]. 15% take as a basis the psychological definition of «creativity», interpreting this concept as «non-standard, extraordinary thinking, the ability to think creatively». Among other definitions of» creative abilities of the individual » that deserve attention, «the ability to create something new» (8.6%), «the ability to creatively approach problem solving» (7.1%), «fantasy without borders, rich imagination» (4.5%), «the ability to stand out from the gray mass, the crowd» (2.6%), «the ability to see the world differently» (1.5%), «the ability to bring any idea to life» (0.4%), etc. The most correct interpretation of the concept was given by 7.1 % of respondents, describing it as «the ability to create / express oneself in creativity».

70% of respondents say that the leading factor influencing the development of a student’s creativity at the university is «the individual qualities of the student himself». 12% of respondents assign this place to the «professionalism of teachers». 9% believe that the incentive to develop creative skills is the opportunity to receive high marks for the results of their activities. A small percentage of respondents (2.2%) note that the quality of textbooks, as well as the use of computer technologies in the learning process, play a crucial role in the development of student creativity.

In this case, 65.6% of students understand «the development of creative abilities» as «offering a large number of original ideas and non — standard solutions», 20% — «constant involvement in the course of the lesson, active use of knowledge on the subject», 11% — «ingenuity and a sense of humor», 1.5% — «meeting all the requirements of the teacher».

To the question of what changes should be made to the training at the university in order to train creative specialists, respondents offered a wide variety of answers: «inclusion in the curriculum of special trainings on the development of creativity»(11.2%), «holding various competitions, KVN, Olympiads»(13.5%), «application of creative tasks, business games and «round tables» in the learning process(9.4%), «special courses, electives»(8.2%), «creative works on relevant topics»(6.7%), and many others.

It should be noted that the majority of respondents consciously approach the study of a foreign language, considering the knowledge of it necessary for themselves. At the same time, 31% of students prefer creative tasks, and 20.6% of respondents prefer speaking tasks that also require finding their own, non-standard solutions.

Among the main conditions for the realization of their creative abilities, 39.3% of respondents put in the first place «a favorable psychological situation in the classroom», 26.9% — «awareness of the significance of what is happening for the students themselves», followed by «creativity of the teacher» (20.6%), «the prospect of successfully passing the test/exam» (4.9%), «the desire to impress others» (2.3 %).

Considering the process of creativity development not in isolation, but in the framework of its interaction with the process of the formation of value orientations, we also suggested that the subjects assign a rank number to each value in descending order of these concepts for the individual. During the analysis of the survey results, it was found that the priority values of students are the values from the group of universal (life, health) – 40.8% of respondents and interpersonal communication (love, friends) — 33%. It should be noted that the values of self-realization (creativity and the very possibility of creative activity) occupy not the last place in the overall scale of values of the subjects.

Thus, summing up the results of our study, we can state the following:

— most of the students surveyed understand the importance of creativity as a requirement for highly qualified specialists, but their understanding of the essence of this phenomenon is not clear enough;

— if the teacher purposefully does not develop the creative skills of students, then in the traditional pedagogical conditions of the educational process, it is carried out spontaneously.

The analysis of the results of the study confirms our assumptions about the relevance of this problem, about the need for further searches for optimal ways to solve it.


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