Sportization of physical education as core chronotope in health-promoting educational space



Associate Professor, PhD E.A.Cherepov
South Ural State University, Chelyabinsk

Keywords: time, space, chronotope, health-promotion education, secondary school, physical education sportization process.


It is the time concept that plays a key role in architectonics of educational processes. Education process subject is included in time processes not only as an observer, but, more importantly, as a participant and actor, with the ways and flows of events being largely dependent on him. Having no influence on physical time, a human being is still in control of his/her own life processes with their rhythms, ways and structure, and it is the subjective time concept that comes most close to this dependence being described and interpreted. Retrospectively, all events line up in a chain of linear interrelations, with the past, present and future being strictly and invariably connected, albeit there is no doubt that future can in no case be predefined for the reason that it largely depends on unpredictable human activity. Activity of a human being viewed as (a) complex macro-system; (b) living organism and (c) social creature – flows in what may be called different time scales with different relative speeds within the frame of standard physical time.

Subjective time is the measurable duration (qualitatively different from objective time) that helps reflect in our consciousness (based on the mental memory database) a chain of past, present and expected events, conditions and relations [8]. It is highly psychological and is determined by the intensity of individual sentiments, accumulated experience, imagination and temperament. Subjective time contributes values and assessments, emotions and feelings of variable intensity to the actual ongoing processes.

Education process efficiency considerably depends on how well de-archived and reactivated the traces of past events and conditions stored in brain neuron structures are. Despite the fact that such traces may not be found for future events, an individual still can model on a mental level the upcoming events and their probabilities. The subconscious modelling and forecasting process of that kind forms a basis for a sort of pre-programming of future situations, behavioural models and activities that play a determinant role. By doing that, the individual shapes up a future time flow based on the informational model of the future created in his own consciousness. This is a specific feature of the future subjective time.

It is the joint educational process where the educator subject sets conditions and opportunities for the learning subject for their direct and indirect interactions that an “educational space” – as a special form of people’s unity – is formed through. Semantics of “educational space” as a notion has been well explored in publications of national researching educators. Their findings may be summarized as follows: educational space may be defined as: the socially determined environment of emerging connections and interrelations [4]; the integrity formed by compelled sub-spaces to facilitate positive active personal attitudes and productive cooperation of developing subjects and relations, with the medium being considered an important element of the development process [8]; the integrity of public relationships that offer progress vectors for educational systems acting to shape up and develop a personality. In addition to the above specifications, we would make an emphasis on the health promotion aspects of the school educational space. In view of the modern negative trends in the adolescent health standards due to a variety of health impairment factors both in the educational process and public life [7 et al.], we believe that the school mission will give a top priority to the health-promotion educational environment (based on mutual responsibilities of the process subjects) to facilitate – through active partnership and cooperation of the subjects and environment – the relevant health-development priorities and agenda in the students as an important element of their personality development and progress.

Many leading natural scientists maintained that there are no ways to sort out the spatial and temporal elements of the processes and events in reality. G. Minkovskiy, for instance, found that “space as such and time as such totally pass away to the kingdom of shadows, and what remains of them is only some union of these notions that exists independently” [3]. To denominate this specific unity, the term “chronotope” (chronos – time, topos – place, Greek) was introduced to define the continual integrity of the spatial and temporal dimensions interrelated with the cultural and historical aspects of events and phenomena. Neurophysiologist A. Ukhtomskiy was one of the first to apply this notion when stating the following: “In the context of chronotope, there are no more abstract points as they are replaced by live events indelible from existence; and there are no more abstract curves in space as they are replaced by “universal lines” that tie the long gone events with the events going on right now, and through them we are connected to the events disappearing in distant future” [5]. A. Ukhtomskiy viewed chronotope as a dominant of consciousness and as the excitation focus motivating the body to take concrete actions in a specific situation. The chronotope concept enables an individual to enter the space-and-time field where our lives flow. By fixing the “now-and-here” state of a cultural event, the chronotope identifies its duration and variability. Furthermore, the chronotope sets a frame for “space and time being merged” and for the individual human interactions with the space-and-time specific eventual process being established. “Chronotope in its existence as dominant for us means the experience of past generations expressed in verbal form and traditions that seeks to ripe and open up in action to become visible for everyone” [5]. M. Bakhtin was one of the first to apply the chronotope concept in philology and aesthetics and to come up with an idea of the continual connections of spatial and temporal relationships in the context of humanitarian knowledge. The M. Bakhtin concept refers to chronotope rather as the modus of cultural senses than the universal philosophical category. Moreover, chronotope is viewed as not only the unity of time and space but as the acute sensation of this unity that pulls into the emotional whirlpool everybody who nears this semantic focus of the cultural-and-historic phenomenon” [1]. The spatial-and-temporal semantic unity gives rise to the mutual gravitation effects in individuals since it urges them to actively cooperate to enter the semantic environment; and it is through this cooperation that sentiments go back to the past to give place to the present senses and motivations that, in their turn, give birth to aspirations focused on the future.

Objective of the study was to give theoretical substantiations for physical education sportization process viewed as a system-forming chronotope of the modern health-promotion school education space.

Study results and discussion

Apprehension of the chronotope concept gives a new impetus to the health-promotion agenda in the school education space since it makes possible to trigger reflection and personality development mechanisms in the schoolchildren to encourage partnership and cooperation for exchange of values and social and cultural senses by the subjects of the educational space (schoolchild – educator – family) in particular and the society on the whole.

Apprehension of dual nature – as provided by P. Bourdieu [10] – of the subject of education in the context of its biological and social origins in their interconnections with space and time – makes it possible to separate the relevant anthropogenic-and-social sub-spaces within the educational space –that is largely social in its essence. Physical sub-space may be viewed as the nature-determined environmental medium including, among other things, motor field as the poly-modal interpretation of the space mastered by the subject through its motor activity. The anthropogenic-and-social sub-space as an abstract category may be interpreted as the heart of social and cultural values and the prerequisite for the educational process subject – to form the motivations and abilities for the subject’s activity design, self-assessment, self-fulfilment and reflection processes (see Figure 1).

Subjective time, in the informational images reproducing process, points to the past and present physical existence of knowledge, situations, events and processes with a special emphasis on their importance for the schoolchild, and thereby predetermines attitudes and triggers reflections of the latter. In modern studies of the subject matter [2, 6 et al.], most of the researchers consider the notion of “attitude” as the broadly viewed personal learning process that essentially is determined by two interrelated functions of human consciousness that is the reflection of reality and the subjective attitude to the latter. Therefore, the personality formation process requires that we should, first of all, offer and establish personal-senses-driven content of the educational process with the relevant life/ career priorities, values, sympathies and antipathies. And physical education is the only education process component that sets direct objectives and priorities for the health-promotion agenda of the school education process. However, many research studies for the last few years report very poor level of the personal-senses-driven content of the traditional physical education curricula that provide little if any motivations, settings and opportunities for the pupils' interests being factored in by the physical education process design.

Figure 1. Logical model of the health-promotion environment

It is modern sports viewed as a social phenomenon that may be highly beneficial in the relevant objectives being attained – as the sport competitions are always very emotional in the interpersonal and intergroup sentiments and offer multiple ways for self-fulfilment, self-control and socialization of an individual in a multiple variety of sport roles and arenas for the relevant social roles offered to an individual. These objectives may be attained only through the trainee being fully involved in collective activities of his/her peers reasonably controlled by the tutor/ educator, with the modern sports being ideal for such joint activities.

It is the reflective awareness of the health risks by the schoolchild that will act as a sort of trigger for the relevant psychological adaptation mechanisms and lead him/ her to accepting the importance of motor activity and forming a positive attitude to physical education and sports. The firmly established interest to the physical education and sport activity, in its turn, will help bring the schoolchild to the situation when physical practices are appreciated, among other things, as a source of psychosomatic satisfaction – which was mentioned by P.F. Lesgaft as the “uplifting feeling of pleasure”. It is through this process that the image of potential future healthy and active personality will be formed with the relevant physical culture and sport values being internally accepted (“interiorated”) by the individual; as a personality cannot be limited (as generally stated by national psychologists B.S. Bratus’ [2] and D.I. Feldstein [6]) only to what the person has mastered and can do – but it is rather determined by the individual system of relations to the world, people and own personality and the personal aspirations and goals.

Conclusion. The physical education sportization process will be viewed as a system-forming chronotope of the health-promotion school education space. It is through this chronotope that the relevant sub-spaces will be united into an integral, open and mobile health-promotion school education space.


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