Comparative analysis and ways of development of students' creative potential within university educational environment

Фотографии: 

V.D. Povzun, professor, Dr.Hab.

V.D. Povzun, professor, Dr.Hab.
A.A. Povzun, associate professor, Ph.D.
V.V. Apokin, associate professor, Ph.D.
Surgut state university, Surgut

Key words: creative potential, self-appraisal, educational environment.

Today creativity as one of the most important components of human activity plays a key role in various socially important spheres of public life. Considerable attention is paid to the analysis of artistic, scientific-technological, intellectual creativity, teachers' creativity is also of interest. At the Russian Popular Front conference in Rostov-on-Don in March 2013 the President of the Russian Federation urged to approach the solution of the state social and economic problems creatively but not straightforwardly.

However, the sphere of sport, including sports and teaching process as its essential component, is covered in view of creativity only in a few papers, and sports teachers, so far, are offered "only the most general guidelines in their rise to creativity" [1]. Athletes' creativity, as well as creative specifics of sports are covered in publications, mainly in so-called technical-aesthetic sports, in their supreme manifestations close to art [2]. As a result, the idea that distinguishes “creative" and "uncreative" sports is being spread, and at the same time, the unsolved problem of the essence of creativity in sport and its specifics in different kinds of sports activity is advanced.

On the other hand, the modern approach to sport is shown in the recognition, first of all, of its "heuristically - achievement value" and understanding of sport as a special type of creative search activity [3]. Creativity as a spiritual and practical activity results in high sports results and achievements and stimulates further development of physical and spiritual qualities of participants of physical education and sports activity [4].

Agreeing with this approach, we believe that to understand the sources of creativity and its psychological mechanisms one is to consider it as an integral process, which is can not be done without relying on the understanding of human personality as a single system, as creativity is a phenomenon of integral personality. In this case the basic effort for a person, the source of his life and development, is the pursuit of self-importance, which is displayed in the peculiarities of regulation by a person of his vital activity and specific creative activity [5]. Therefore, the essence of our approach to understanding of creativity will be in the concept “importance" and, accordingly, we will consider creative potential as "strive for own importance", "cultivation of importance of own personality" that emphasizes the main idea, namely, human desire for self-worth [6]. Such an implementation of own importance, and hence the creative potential is the closest and the most natural for an athlete seeking to rise to the top.

Considering the potentials of the university educational environment in the development of this variant of creative potential (CP) of students of sports department, we have already noted [7] that to succeed in this work its original state should be taken into account, and stressed the fact that the state is quite specific and is characterized by the high level of claims to the creative abilities rather than their presence [7]. The temporal pattern shows that the total profile of the creative potential of students does not change fundamentally over five years of study, and the university as an educational institution and university education as such, play, at least not the main role in the development of creative potential and formation of creative skills of young people. And if the university considers it necessary to influence the development of the creative potential of its athletes, its primary task is to seek adequate ways to provide such an influence.

The search direction within the university should be based primarily on the intellectual component of the CP, as it is typical for a creative person to have a stronger than for the majority of people desire for importance of own personality, and it is appropriately shown in increased creative, including cognitive and intellectual activities. D.B. Bogoyavlenskaya [8] draws attention to it, interpreting intellectual activity as exactly intellectual initiative. Intellectual activity is an integral characteristic of some hypothetic system with the key components presented by general mental abilities and motivational factors of intellectual activity.

As there are other situations for athletes focused primarily on achieving result in sport to implement their creative abilities as "strives for own importance", we tried to determine the intellectual component by comparing the creative potential of students of sports and non-sports departments, where the process of studies is theoretically based on obtaining of an intellectual result, so is to be focused on the intellectual component.

The purpose of the study was to find the ways of enhancement of the university educational environment to provide efficient conditions for creative self-fulfillment of students of sports departments.

Materials and methods. The self-appraisal method was used as the most convenient and adequate method of analysis of personality formation and as an approach to estimation of creative potential. The integrated creativity test by Sharov was applied as a criterion of students' ideas on the level of their creative abilities.

We used as an approach to assessment of creative potential one of the most affordable and adequate methods for the analysis of personality formation - a method of self-evaluation, and the Sharov’s test to estimate individual’s creative potential as a criterion of students' ideas of the level of their creative abilities [9]. The study was conducted at the physical culture and medical departments of Surgut State University in 2011-12 academic years in all courses of study. The study involved 257 male and female student-athletes and 559 medical students aged 18-23 years.

Results and discussion. Our results of the self-estimation of creative abilities are presented in Tables 1 and 2.

Table 1. Distribution of levels of self-estimation of personality’s creative potential in groups of 1-5-year students of physical culture department (in %)

Self-appraisal level

1st course

2nd course

3rd course

4th course

5th course

inadequately low

low

below the average

average

15

26

15

6

6

above the average

31

37

30

32

44

high

33

33

25

56

38

very high

21

4

30

6

12

inadequately high

Table 2. Distribution of levels of self-appraisal of personality’s creative potential in groups of 1-5-year students of medical department (in %)

Self-appraisal level

1st course

2nd course

3rd course

4th course

5th course

6th course

inadequately low

low

below the average

5

6

5

2

2

average

26

28

41

26

24

23

above the average

24

27

23

31

23

26

high

12

18

12

24

30

28

very high

8

20

18

12

19

21

inadequately high

30

2

-

2

2

-

 

Despite the fact that tables are usually not very obvious, the original differences of self-appraisal of freshmen and the gradual elimination of these differences until the final years of study can be marked. Moreover, these differences are more quantitative rather than qualitative, and the similarity between the faculties becomes even more apparent when comparing the graphic profiles of creative potential, presented in Figure. We emphasize that both the differences between the departments and between courses are insignificant, i.e. the situation with the students’ creative potential in sports and non-sports departments does not change fundamentally during all the years of study.

This similar pattern testifies primarily to the lack of qualitative differences at departments in the conditions ensuring the development of CP, and little differences in the intellectual component at the physical culture and medical departments, except for the only difference that medical teachers initially face a larger number of students with the extremely high level of self-appraisal.

Fig. Comparison of the creative potential profiles of students of the physical culture and medical departments of SurSU

We do not dare to judge whether it is good or bad, but would like to draw attention once again not only to consistency over time, but at the same smooth graphical picture of the profile, which suggests that the observed high level of self-appraisal reflects some other processes that occur in the cases when a person claims for his own importance, but has no psychological or any other basis for their implementation, rather than high creative potential [7].

Clearly, in this case the organization of the university activity on formation of creative potential should be completely different. And when choosing it one must first take into account the fact that self-appraisal can be optimal and suboptimal. "High”, "above the average" and "average” levels of self-appraisal are optimal. Our result (Tab. 1) shows that the vast majority of such people is like this, and their number is not reduced below seventy percent anywhere. And it is good, as this state of things enables to speak not so much about development as the use of the students’ creative potential. However, anyone who has tried to organize student activities beyond the standard requirements or not supported by guaranteed success, faced not so much the desire to participate in it, as the desire to avoid it, which is hardly possible with high creative potential. And we assume that the smooth profile structure we have mentioned before is a reflection of this very state that enables to speak not so much on inadequately high as about unreasonably high level of self-appraisal, meaning that only the high level of claims is possible.

Individuals with exaggerated self-assessment are characterized by the desire to avoid failure at all costs, so they give up the goals that are at least to some extent threaten to turn into a failure. Their defense mechanisms are activated, with the preference for the strategy of type of "guaranteed success", so educational and professional activities usually below capacities because there is no activity to achieve more difficult goals. The unwillingness to accept the fact that capacities are lower than claims makes these people avoid any situations where this inequality might be found. So self-confidence is formed not based on the available success, but on the absence of failure, and gradually this confidence becomes unreasonably high. First failures are ignored, explained by chance, external causes, repeated failures are accompanied by strong emotional reactions, sometimes of affective nature, which may lead to the decrease of the strength of the activity motive and even its refusal. It provokes a difficult emotional state - inadequacy affect, mainly caused by the resistance of the established stereotype of overestimation of own personality. The inadequacy affect arises as an attempt of persons with exaggerated self-assessment to protect themselves from the actual circumstances and save the usual self-esteem. Resentment and injustice experiences help a person to feel good, be on a due level in his own eyes, consider himself a victim, which itself raises him in his own eyes and eliminates dissatisfaction with himself. As a consequence, the need for excessive self-appraisal is satisfied and there is no need to change it, i.e. to get involved in self-control. There are inevitable conflicts with the society that has different ideas of this person, his abilities, capabilities and value in the society. The inadequacy affect is psychological defense, it is a temporary measure, because it does not solve the main problem, namely - the radical change of the non-optimal self-appraisal causing adverse interpersonal relationships.

And here the university not just can but has to organize a purposeful work not so much on development as reorganization of creative potential, adapting it to the challenges of the modern society and, consequently, relieving tension between it and a person. Changes in the number of inadequately self-confident students (Tab. 1), especially in the medical department, suggests that changes in the self-appraisal of own creative potential still occur. But the immutable profile structure (Fig. 1) indicates on the one hand that these changes are not of good quality, and most likely reflect attempts to preserve the established status quo, and on the other - that the impact of higher school, if there is some, is not purposeful and unorganized. In such a situation, the students’ ideas of their own capabilities, including creative ones, are formed not due to the accumulation of success, but by avoiding the amount of failures, and therefore the situation is not only invariable, it can hardly change.

Moreover, this situation looks less attractive in the educational system initially focused on the intellectual component of creative potential, which confirms our findings.

Conclusion. The priority personal qualities, serving the basis in implementation of personal creative potential are to be defined for complete understanding of the state of the problem and organization of activities intended to change the situation, since only a person capable of realizing it to the maximum in different situations is able to estimate himself adequately and fulfill himself in the future.

References

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  2. Derkach, A.A. Trainer’s creativity / A.A. Derkach, A.A. Isaev. – Moscow: Fizkultura i sport, 1982. – 239 P. (In Russian)
  3. Lubysheva, L.I. Olympic culture and sport in the modern society / L.I. Lubysheva // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury. – 1999. – № 12. – P. 23–25. (In Russian)
  4. Povzun, V.D. Capacities of the university educational environment in development of creative potential of sports faculty students / V.D. Povzun, A.A. Povzun, V.V. Apokin // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury. – 2013 – № 1. – P. 94–95. (In Russian)
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  7. Sharov, A.S. Psychology of human cognition / A.S. Sharov. – Omsk: Publ. h-se of OmSPU, 1994. – 130 P. (In Russian)
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Author’s contacts: apokin_vv@mail.ru