Psychological Characteristics of Student’s Creative Potential and Their Changes in University Educational Environment

Фотографии: 

V.D. Povzun, professor, Dr.Hab.
A.A. Povzun, associate professor, Ph.D.
V.V. Apokin, associate professor, Ph.D.
N.L. Ivanova, postgraduate
Surgut state university, Surgut

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

Estimating the potentials of the university educational space as a specially organized educational environment in development of students' creative potential, we proceeded from the characteristic of this potential as a drive for personal importance [3] and its specificity. Regarding their creative qualities' maturity, the students evaluated the factual level of their self-assessment as very high, and as for the structure of their creative potential's profile, we didn't notice any essential changes in it within five years of education, plus the profile's structure over the entire educational period remained intact [1]. This allowed us to assume that, during the research process, the students demonstrate only high levels of aspiration, and excessively increased rates of development regarding their creative qualities. In such a situation, the university has to organize a purposeful activity, focused not so much on the development as on the reassessment of the development level of a student’s own creative potential, its adaptation to the challenges of modern society and, as a consequence, the removal of contradictions between the requirements the university lays out for a student and their own willingness to develop as individual, to build up their own creative potential and not just simulate the process.

Fluctuations in the number of students with various levels of self-assessment, including the ones with inadequately high levels, indicate that changes still occur in the self-assessment of the students' creative potential, although the permanence of the profile's structure, on the one hand, says that these changes are not of high quality and most likely reflect the attempt to maintain the originally formed status quo, and on the other hand, that the influence of the university, if it exists, is only has a purposeless, but even disorganized too [2]. To completely understand the problem status and organize actions on changing the situation, we tried to identify the priority qualities of an individual that characterize its creative potential. Due to the fact that CP (creative potential), according to A.S. Sharov, is characterized by 18 psychological characteristics, we supposed that if the structure of the student’s creative profile is not changed, a reconstruction of those psychological characteristics' hierarchy takes place most likely as an attempt to adapt to the university conditions and requirements.

The purpose of the study was to analyze the self-assessment of value orientations of students of the sports faculty of Surgut state university and reveal the priority personal qualities, characterizing their creative potential.

Materials and methods. An experiment was conducted at the physical culture faculty of SurSU during the academic year 2011/12 at all courses of study. The study involved 257 male and female students of the faculty aged 18-23 years. A.S. Sharov's test of assessment of an individual's creative potential was used to identify the students' view about their creative capabilities [4]. During the test the students were asked to answer eighteen questions, having assessed the degree of the produced qualities' manifestation in relation to themselves to a 10-point scale. Since each question stands in for a specific personality psychological characteristic, reflecting a certain quality of creative potential development, we determined the extent of that quality in a student as a result of testing using self-assessment. The higher the score of the quality's self-assessment was, the greater was its extent, with the exact same score being able to be spotted repeatedly. An average value was calculated for each psychological quality. As a consequence, a table of priority personal qualities with average values was created for each course, set by each member of the group. The result is presented in Table 1.

Table 1. Distribution of creative potential characteristics in descending order of average value

1st course

2nd course

3rd course

4th course

5th course

Demanding

Purposeful

Resolute

Authoritarian

Sociable

Optimist

Optimist

Intelligent

Demanding

Demanding

Intelligent

Sociable

Purposeful

Sociable

Resolute

Purposeful

Intelligent

Energetic

Optimist

Intelligent

Sociable

Demanding

Sociable

Resolute

Optimist

Resolute

Resolute

Authoritarian

Intelligent

Purposeful

Authoritarian

Authoritarian

Competitive

Purposeful

Principled

Energetic

Heuristic

Demanding

Heuristic

Competitive

Principled

Energetic

Revolutionary

Principled

Energetic

Revolutionary

Competitive

Principled

Innovator

Authoritarian

Competitive

Principled

Innovator

Competitive

Heuristic

Innovator

Practical

Optimist

Energetic

Innovator

Heuristic

Innovator

Leader

Leader

Leader

Reformer

Leader

Reformer

Reformer

Practical

Practical

Revolutionary

Independent

Revolutionary

Revolutionary

Leader

Reformer

Practical

Independent

Reformer

Flexible

Flexible

Flexible

Practical

Flexible

Independent

Independent

Heuristic

Flexible

Independent

It should be borne in mind that, because the use of the exact same score was allowed immensely for self-assessment, the average value, obtained in this way, may reflect not so much the personal as the common attitude, regarding the importance of this quality. In this case, preferred qualities can be considered the ones that, according to the respondent, are "correct" in terms of the view of the social environment in which he/she is found, and the ones which he/she demonstrates or pretends doing so, because "that's how it is" and not because "that's his/her opinion". In order to check the extent to which this rating conforms to the student's personal attitude to the importance of this quality, we conducted a step-by-step ranking of personality qualities according to their significance; that is by the frequency of their presence in a certain place, by counting the number of people who gave each quality the maximum value. The speed, with which this number decreases, reflects the degree of significance for the respondent and allows the determination of the primarily and secondarily important qualities, like characteristics of creative potential. Such qualities will be the ones he/she deems truly correct, which, in his/her opinion, he/she should demonstrate to achieve success as well. Their conformity or not with the average values ​​reflects the presence as well as the degree of a person's internal conflict, the contradiction between the personal view about themselves and the forced demonstration of qualities, which, in the second case, enable relatively easily to avoid a number of situations that arise in the university educational environment and imitate the success in various types of activity.

We provide the classification data of the qualities on five maximum values, i.e. on a 50% scale. In our view, this limit is not only sufficient, but also the most objective one, since the self-assessment level of the maturity concerning an individual's creative qualities in our groups turned out to be high and shifted to the right of the average value. The result of such a ranking is presented in table 2.

Table 2. Distribution of creative potential characteristics in descending order of maximum score frequency

1st course

2nd course

3rd course

4th course

5th course

Demanding

Purposeful

Purposeful

Authoritarian

Demanding

Optimist

Optimist

Resolute

Reformer

Sociable

Intelligent

Sociable

Competitive

Heuristic

Purposeful

Purposeful

Demanding

Authoritarian

Resolute

Heuristic

Resolute

Resolute

Intelligent

Optimist

Resolute

Sociable

Authoritarian

Energetic

Sociable

Optimist

Authoritarian

Heuristic

Principled

Innovator

Principled

Heuristic

Practical

Sociable

Competitive

Competitive

Energetic

Principled

Innovator

Intelligent

Intelligent

Principled

Energetic

Revolutionary

Purposeful

Authoritarian

Competitive

Competitive

Reformer

Principled

Innovator

Revolutionary

Intelligent

Demanding

Demanding

Leader

Flexible

Innovator

Independent

Energetic

Energetic

Innovator

Leader

Leader

Revolutionary

Independent

Reformer

Revolutionary

Heuristic

Practical

Revolutionary

Practical

Reformer

Practical

Leader

Reformer

Leader

Flexible

Optimist

Independent

Flexible

Independent

Independent

Flexible

Flexible

Practical

First of all, we notice that there are not any fundamental differences between Table 1 and Table 2, and so the demonstrated and the preferred qualities are not contradictory. The student genuinely trusts in what he/she chooses and believes that these qualities are what will give him/her the result; what will enable him/her to creatively fulfill himself. Such constancy and cohesion in the choice of both priority and unpopular qualities is extremely characteristic in the first two courses, but is preserved throughout the education process to a greater or lesser extent. There are practically no radical attempts of changing the psychological characteristics that define creative success: students are free to choose and just pick the preferred quality, i.e. there are mostly the same qualities for both leaders and outsiders. At a minimum, this means that there are not any contradictions between the student and the university environment, and that the situation regarding the development of the creative potential in terms of the student's personality in the university educational environment serves everyone, plus it would be great if there was not always an intact profile form of creative potential [2] to give the reason to believe that the student demonstrates what does not, actually, exist. With this in mind, we come to the conclusion that, on the one hand, the university, as an educational institution, and the higher education as such, do not play a dominant role, to say the least, in the development of creative potential and the formation of creative qualities in young people. On the other hand, if the university finds it necessary to influence the development of its students' creative potential, then its primary task will be to find the appropriate ways to exert this influence. We have attempted to find approach toward the alteration of this case by analyzing the rankings further.

Results and discussion. First of all, we note that a student comes to the university already with a certain level of self-assessment of creativity and a set of personal qualities, which means that for the sake of the organization of work and the development of the student, as well as the reassessment of the students' own level of creative potential, the university must take that level into account. Since the gradation of the average value and the high level of evaluation, in terms of priority, conform, we can confidently state that the student demonstrates precisely the qualities that reflect, in his/her opinion, the high level of development of his/her creative potential and provide a demonstration of it. Moreover, the first five qualities are gaining an average of more than 8 points, i.e. students are confident for their correctness as well as their rank. A serious failure, experienced by a student, can only alter this situation, on account of the creative aspiration.

Judging by the fact that not even one quality gains eight points on the 2nd course yet, such failure does occur, although it is hardly likely to be experienced by a student as a very serious one. Even if their confidence drops, regarding the fact that these qualities can boost their own importance, the willingness to change something fundamentally is absent from them and the list of preferred individual qualities practically does not change. This reveals either the extreme confidence of the student in his own correctness, or that the education environment created by the university does not sufficiently affect these views and doesn't encourage the student to adequate self-assessment and reassessment of his own creative potential.

Nevertheless, the time for changes has come. In the 3rd course, the quality "optimist", which is such a significant one, "disappears" from the list with the significant qualities, and falls to the penultimate position in the rankings. This fact gives reason to believe that the future ceases to be unambiguously promising for the student, and the latter comes not only to realize, but also to desire to change something in his life. That is why such characteristics as "resolute" and "energetic" are beginning to join the group of significant personality qualities, which as a fact, without a doubt, shows his willingness for action. Unfortunately, we cannot describe the direction of such an action and admit that it may be fully oriented out of the university educational environment, although that's the most opportune time for the university to involve a student into various types of creative activity. Bearing in mind that such qualities, as "reformer" and "innovator" are found together with the outsiders of the given list, such a rotation may reflect the student's willingness to defend his/her own position rather than change it. However, this is the best time for the organization of the student's activity area, stimulating his/her search in various areas of creativity. But, on all counts, the life of a 3rd-year student doesn't change much; time gets wasted and, as a result, the first place among the personality qualities regarding the self-assessment of the personal creative potential of the 4th-year students is held by "authoritarianism". As an attitude to life, it is the absolute confidence that one has over his own correctness and the willingness to defend that correctness, not with logic and arguments, but with power. Authoritarianism is evident in expressed centralization of management functions and in maximum suppression of the initiatives of others, preventing them from the consideration and determination regarding the issues of the mutual vital activity. Orders and instructions, encouragements and punishments act in the capacity of providing mechanisms. And such a conversion, apparently, has an effect, just as with the 5th course where "optimist" is found among the significant qualities and "innovator" is replaced by the "reformer" quality, i.e. after the desire to simply improve a situation, the desire to change it comes and, most likely, in one's own favor. The confidence in one's own correctness, considering the average score of the preferred qualities, again tops 8; almost the maximum value. Lastly, one can only rejoice that there is no desire to destroy everything: such a quality, as "revolutionary" is among the outsiders in the list.

It ends pretty much the same, as it begins: with regards to the 5th course, in the list of average values we have a list of almost the same qualities as in the 1st course, with the only difference being a higher average value, and, thus, almost the maximum confidence of the student in his/her high level of development of his/her creative potential.

Conclusion. The results of the studies are deplorable showing that the current actions being taken in the university educational environment to help a student in the adequate evaluation of the level of development of the creative potential, specifically the level of personal qualities in general, are not enough. Exaggerated self-assessment of some students, inadequate interpretation of life phenomena and striving "to seem", but not "to be", reluctance in taking the responsibility for personal life along with the dominant ambitions using power are the worrying indications of problems both in the student environment and in the society in general. The university educational environment has extensive resources to ensure the influence on development of the adequate self-assessment of the student's personality, including the estimation of the level of development of his creative potential, but many of them are being applied inefficiently and not to the full.

References

  1. Povzun, V.D. The potentials of the university educational environment in development of creative potential of students of sports faculty / V.D. Povzun, A.A. Povzun, V.V. Apokin // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury. – 2013 – № 1 – P. 94-95. (In Russian)
  2. Povzun, V.D. The comparative analysis and ways of development of creative potential of students of sports faculty within the university educational environment / V.D. Povzun, A.A. Povzun, V.V. Apokin // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury. – 2013 – № 7 – P. 85-88. (In Russian)
  3. Sharov, A.S. Reflection in personality development / A.S. Sharov // Proceedings of the conf. “Reflection, education and intellectual innovations”. – Novosibirsk, 1995. – P. 224-225. (In Russian)
  4. Sharov, A.S. The system of value orientations as a psychological mechanism of regulation of human life: doctoral thesis (Psych.) / A.S. Sharov. – Novosibirsk, 2000. – 383 P. (In Russian)

 

Author’s contacts: apokin_vv@mail.ru