Research Technologies Svetlana Kulmagambetova1, Kulyash Bainiyeva2, Valentina Makhatova



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MAGNT Research Report (ISSN. 1444-8939) Vol.4(4). PP. 192-202, 2017


Research Technologies
Svetlana Kulmagambetova1, Kulyash Bainiyeva2, Valentina Makhatova2, Anar Abuova2, Zhanar Yessenamanova2, Mansiya Yessenamanova2, Thomas Wuensch3


1M. Utemissov West Kazakhstan state university, Uralsk, Republic of Kazakhstan

2Kh. DosmukhamedovAtyrau state university, Atyrau, Republic of Kazakhstan

3University of Passau, Passau, Germany

Abstract: The main task of education is to prepare high-quality specialists, who will be able to realize themselves in the labor market. In this connection, there is the reform of education and introduced technical innovations. However, teaching system is traditional – the teacher transfers the knowledge to students. This approach reduces the student's interest in the educational process and the creative thinking is not forming. In this regard, it is necessary to introduce the principle of a research-training program, in which the student will search for a solution. This will enable the student to expand scientific horizons, to develop research activities and creative thinking. Therefore, this article provides two main methodologies of research training. Achieving this goal requires scientific methods of analysis and synthesis, summarized experience of domestic and foreign scientists on the considered issues. The first type of research training is a problem-based learning. This method is based on the use of heuristic methods and consists of eight terms. Problem-based learning can be used as part of a class, subject or all academic course. The second type of research training is the discussion. Discussion involves conferences, debates, forums and symposiums. Thus, students will be able to solve the problems collectively, exchange ideas and to learn how to work in a team. Thus, the research training can increase students’ motivation to raise their success level and develop the necessary personal and professional skills.
Keywords: research principle; problem-based learning; scholarly discussion; taxonomy of educational objectives


1. Introduction

Research principle of pedagogy involves independent research work of students, modeling or repeating the real process of scientific research and scientific discovery [1, 2]. The ideas of students’ self-educational attainment were even in ancient pedagogy and pedagogy of the Renaissance. Modern pedagogy suggests introduction of research models in the educational process associated primarily with the name of John Dewey [3, 4]. He outlined the main stages of thinking as a way of solving problems. He formulated the idea of ​​learning reliance on direct experience (our own experience of intelligence and experience of other people, including the past) and the interest of students. Dewey proposed and put into practice the idea of ​​"Dewey school", in which learning situation begins with identifying and organizing covert and overt repertoire of students’ knowledge, followed by their systematic initiation into new ways of dealing with the subject under study [5, 6].

Research is defined as "information retrieval process of an object from a large array of data" [7]. Research is a "process and result of research activities aimed at making socially significant new information" [8].

In the foreign pedagogy, there is a very conventional division of research and research technologies [9-11], but since both types of technologies are based on students’ productive activity in problem solving and independent scientific and practical research, we will not separate them.

The main characteristics of research training in comparison with the traditional are defined by changes of students’ position in the educational process, its initiative, subjectivity nature, from which, in turn, follow the specific terms of research training activities [12-14]. However, in the post-Soviet countries, the tendency of transfer to research training is not significant; this is due to the fact of distrust of the new teaching methods [15]. In this connection, there is a need to address the major research teaching methods.

The combination of research training and students’ own experience puts the teachers in particular difficulties. Students’ experience and knowledge often seem too limited to be followed in setting targets of educational research. However, the requirement of significant experience is high, so they cannot be ignored for the "subject content" itself.

One of the characteristic tendencies of development in line with the research study is the study of problems related to the vital needs and interests of students. In choosing issues, there is a need to consider prior training and experience of students, their capacity to study the problem. Problems should arise naturally from the experience and needs of students themselves.

Essential characteristics of learning based on the research approach is students’ reflection, which is in three areas: thinking process, emotions and the concept of training in personality development [16]. Reflection usually occurs in the process of analyzing the lessons held in small groups [17].

Research training is aimed not only at the educational attainment. In the course of it, students form general learning competences:


  • research for knowledge;

  • training the basic mental actions and operations – analysis, synthesis, generalization.

  • promoting a culture of reflective thinking;

  • skills of selecting activities and decision-making;

  • training the discussion, the formation of a discussion culture;

  • emotional and personal development in the process of learning activities;

  • emotional and intellectual reflection of training, including simulation and role modeling.

This approach has two variants of implementation [18]:

1. Research approach of practical and cognitive-applied orientation – the learning process is built as research for new applications, practical information (new knowledge about the ways of activity).

2. Research approach of epistemological orientation – the learning process is constructed as research for new theoretical knowledge, new cognitive orientation.

In education practice, the formation of this approach is implemented in the actual research training, organized by the means of appropriate algorithms and models, problem-based learning, project method and other technologies.



2. Material and Method

The methodological basis of the research are the statements of dialectical materialist philosophy on the theory of knowledge, the leading role of the activities in personality development, the dialectical unity of theory and practice.

To achieve this goal, there was used a complex of complementary research methods:


  • Theoretical methods: analysis and study of specific philosophical, psychological, educational, scientific and methodical literature on the research problem; analysis of training documentation, general theoretical methods for analysis and synthesis.

  • General logical methods: study and generalization of pedagogical experience in the research problem, educational practice conceptualization.

There are applications of methodological orientations defined in terms of information paradigm and the theory of self-organization.

Research training is based on the peculiarities of the human mind. The process of educational attainment is built to facilitate the process of human comprehension, memory and practical use. It is reflected in the principles of psychological research training, set out in the 60s by famous psychologist J. Brunner.:

1. The subject content must have leading, core concepts.

Each subject must include several of such concepts, not more than five to seven. Their selection helps students to structure all the received knowledge, uniting it within "basic" concepts, building their own knowledge system.

2. All the facts and particular concepts must be linked with dedicated core concepts.

Thus, the teacher helps students to develop their own system of knowledge. Firstly, the teacher conducts the oft-repeated concepts with basic, gradually teaching the students to carry out this process on their own. Even when students are able to do it themselves, the teacher should periodically refer to them by asking questions or asking to make a link of the studied material with the basic concepts.

3. It is advisable to use the "spiral" study of the basic concepts.

At different stages of the program, students learn repeatedly not only the learning material, but also the basic concepts at the increasingly sophisticated level.

4. In the course of training, it is necessary not only to impart knowledge to students, but also to teach them the basic techniques of cognitive activity.

The main methods of cognitive activity now find expression in general educational competencies listed above. The implementation of this principle ensures the independence of students in the learning process and an opportunity for them to learn in the course of a lifetime.

5. It is necessary to put students in the position of the researcher, the discoverer.

The importance of this principle implementation has been already said above.

Research training is characterized by a sequence of generalized stages of the learning process[18]:

1. Statement of the problem, the search for its formulation with different points of view;

2. Search for the facts for a better understanding of the problem, its refinement, finding ways and possibilities of its solution;

3. Maximum wide search for new knowledge, information, case studies, promotion of ideas that will help to solve the problem; evaluation of information, knowledge, ideas and examples are not conducted until the students do not formulate them;

4. Search for a solution, in which the information is selected, acquired knowledge is analyzes, expressed ideas become a subject of analysis and assessment;

5. Generalization of selected information, formulation of ways in solving problems, search for solutions by others.

These stages of learning activities clearly show the main differences of research training and the traditional one. Firstly, knowledge is not given to students in the final form; it is available to them in the form of a problem that they have to solve on their own. Knowledge becomes not the purpose of education, but a means to solve the problem. Students understand the need in new knowledge (without it there is no possibility to solve the problem). This significantly increases their motivation and activity. Secondly, students’ activity and independence in the class is much higher. Students are divided into groups, in which they specify the problem, determine the sources of knowledge and information they need, work with these sources and summarize the resulting solutions of the problem. Of course, the teacher does not remain as a silent observer, but he or her assists the groups only when there is a need.

Teacher’s activity in the class depends on the complexity of the subject and the level of groups’ development. In recent decades, many foreign teachers adhere to the idea of ​​three levels of research training. At the first level, the teacher poses a problem and outlines the method of its solution. The students on their own must carry out the search for solution. At the second level, teacher poses only a problem, but the method of its solution student must search on his (her) own (there is possible a group and a collective search). At the third level, the formulation of the problem, as well as the determination of the method and solutions’ development are carried out by students independently, the teacher only outlines the area, in which students need to find the problem.

In formulating the problem, the teacher evaluates students’ skills and abilities, choosing the complexity of class assignment. There are several levels of complexity of class assignments and educational objectives, which are combined in taxonomy (Taxonomy – hierarchical sequence). The famous American educator B. Bloom has developed one of the first taxonomy of learning goals in the 50s of the twentieth century. It is obvious that if a student can succeed only the first level of goals, his knowledge and general learning skills will be low. Reaching the higher levels indicates a higher success level and the overall students’ development.

Taxonomy of educational objectives [19]:

1. Knowledge – memorization and reproduction of studied material on facts or theories. At this level of complexity, the student is able to learn, remember and repeat what he or her has learned.

2. Understanding – ability to interpret, explain or translate material from one form to another (from verbal to mathematical or graphic and vice versa), the assumption about the future course of events or phenomena, predicting the consequences of results.

3. Application – ability to use the material in specific circumstances or new situations. Application of rules, methods, concepts, laws, principles and theories in new theoretical or practical and concrete situations.

4. Analysis – ability to split the material into components that its structure was clearly seen. The isolation of parts of the whole, revealing the relationships between them, principles’ realization of organization of the whole. It is necessary to understand not only the materials’ content, but also its internal structure.

5. Synthesis – ability to combine elements to get something new. For example, there is the action plan, scheme of generalized relationships, the connection of knowledge from various fields in order to solve a problem or to develop a plan to solve it.

6. Evaluation – ability to assess the value of material (scientific data, research material, literary work) for a specific purpose, to evaluate the logic of building material, conclusions’ accordance with available data, the significance of a particular product activity. Suggestions should be based on clear criteria – internal (structural, logical) or external (accordance with intended purpose). Criteria are determined by the students or by someone else.



Research training imposes specific requirements for teacher activities:

  • Put the students on formulating their ideas and concepts, expressing them explicitly.

  • Face the students with phenomena that are in conflict with the existing ideas.

  • Put the students on making alternative explanations, assumptions, guesswork.

  • Give the students the opportunity to explore their assumptions, for example, by means of the experience or small group discussions.

  • Give the students the opportunity to apply new concepts to a wide range of phenomena and situations to understand and appreciate their practical value.

Based on the overall sequence of steps in research training, there are developed specific algorithms for constructing academic hours (Table 1). The following three models are based at different levels of complexity of class assignments. The first one is designed for the level of knowledge and understanding, the second includes the application, the third includes all of the six terms of B. Bloom’s (1984) taxonomy.


Table 1. Models of academic hours for research training



Model’s name

Stage of assignment

1.


Concepts’ formation

1. Objects’ listing

2. Listed objects’ grouping

3. Naming or categorization of groups

2.


Data interpretation

1. Main features’ identification

2. Interpretation of obtained data

3. Hypothesis making

3.


Application of rules and principles

1. Hypothesizing, prediction of consequences

2. Explanation or substantiation of predictions and hypothese

3. Checking the assumptions


2.1 Problem-based learning

Problem-based learning is "one of the types of education, based on the use of heuristic methods". It refers to research technologies and research training. It was firstly applied and described as a technology in the 70s in Canada (Ontario). The background of the problem-based learning is a problem statement by teacher or student, which can be both practical and theoretical. The solution of the problem is carried out by students individually or (more often) in small groups. Wherein, the academic hour is based on the algorithms of research training. A special algorithm of problem-based learning assignments will be given below. Problem-based learning can be used as a part of class assignments; there can be organized study of the whole topic or even a school subject.

In the process of problem-based learning, there are formed and developed students’ knowledge, skills and abilities [11]:


  • ability to identify the important issues; a broader understanding of the essence of the problem and its relation with different areas of knowledge.

  • argumentation, including skills of problems’ integration (synthesis), hypothesizing, critical evaluation of available information, data analysis, decision-making.

  • general learning skills necessary for students’ development an independent subject of the study; responsibility for the process and the result of the work.

  • ability to search the knowledge needed to identify and solve problems.

  • skills needed to communicate in small groups, including the ability to assess their own progress, the progress of the other group members and the group in general.

In organizing a class assignment of problem-based learning, it is necessary to observe the following steps:

1. Problem statement. Teacher describes the problem field, for example, a phenomenon or a process that needs to be explained. At this stage, it is important to avoid the mini-lectures and follow the rules of the problem statement.

2. Understanding, problem’s discussion.

Students discuss the problem in small groups or pairs. The teacher can help them in discussion by asking leading questions or issues. In this case, the teacher must remember that this stage is not the solution, or even a plan creation to deal with it, but only a provision of a springboard for learning. The students formulate a hypothesis to solve the problem.

At this and all subsequent stages, it is important to assign roles within small groups and record all the results.

3. Discussion of what is known about the problem.

4. Possible solutions’ development (in small groups).

5. Developing a plan to solve the problem.

The problems are reformulated into objectives and specific actions of the group members (to find information on specific sources, to ask, to conduct monitoring and experiment etc.). The assignments are distributed among the participants of the micro-groups, their duration is defined. We emphasize that the group itself distributes the assignments among themselves; the teacher can help with advice, but intervenes when it is necessary (if the assignments are distributed not in a uniform manner, the certain student will always get the assignment of the same type). Make sure that the assignment occur alternately between students in the micro-group.

1. Work on material selection.

Depending on the purpose of the study material and the time available for the teacher, the work can be carried out directly in an academic group or outside of it. Students work independently, primarily individually in accordance with distributed assignments.

2. Collected material generalization in small groups.

Each member of the group tells about the work done and information gathered. It creates the overall picture. There is produced structure of problem’s solution. There is a public defense of a solution (in other small groups). If the problem is not solved, the group returns to the first stage, reformulating the problem. In this case, all the work is done outside the classroom under teacher’s consultation.

3. Knowledge systematization gained in solving the problem, the full theoretical definition of knowledge, its connection with practice.

Here is a very detailed algorithm of problem-based learning technologies. Often, the stages 2-5 are "mixed" during work in small groups. It is possible, if the students have a wide experience of effective work in small groups and in solving the problems. In the initial stages, there is a need in monitoring the consistent implementation of all steps in order to teach students scientific and reasonable way of solving problems.

Teacher regulates the micro-groups by asking questions. We have already mentioned that late or too active intervention negatively affect students’ success level. Here is a more detailed description of the issues that teacher may ask:

1. Questions relevant not only the subject, but also the course of discussion in the group – one of the most important means of facilitating learning. This can help to keep the group attention and prevent confusion. These questions can help the group members to focus more consistently on the available information and concepts. Knowing how and when to ask appropriate questions is one of the fundamental skills of a good teacher;

2. Questions that may cause the process of reasoning in students. If a student asks more information about this issue, the teacher may ask: "What do you hope to find? What are the reasons for you to ask this question?";

3. Questions on the establishment of relationship or generalization;

4. Incomplete questions and issues that require long-winded answer, but not questions to be answered "yes" or "no";

5. Questions putting the students along a different path;

6. Questions on definition of mechanisms, causes and consequences of problems. The teacher can ask: "What process could be causing this problem? What mechanisms are involved?";

7. Questions asking students to explain and give a definition of the terms they use;

8. Questions of higher order (more complex). For example, in the discussion, it is useful to ask: "How do we decide what to do?" – and then – "What would be the best solution?"

Some teachers do not know what to do with pauses that arise in discussion. The teacher must learn to allow silence. When communication stops or becomes quiet, wait 30 seconds and someone starts talking. The pause can help to ask the group or ask someone to generalize.

Proper problems’ features:

1. Effective problem should arouse interest in students, motivate them to a deeper understanding of the concepts that have been presented. It must relate the subject to real life that the students were interested in solving the problem.

2. Good problem requires students to make decisions or statements based on facts, information, logic, and/or relationships. The students should be required to state all decisions and give all the reasons following the studied material or broader knowledge. The problem is to stimulate students to identify the necessary generalizations, important information, steps and procedures required for its solution.

3. Good problem requires the cooperation of all the members of the group to solve it. Students must conclude that the strategy of " divide and govern " is not effective.

4. The initial questions in the problem must include one or more of the following characteristics:



  • Not limited with a single correct answer

  • Linked with knowledge

  • Debatable point that involve diverse opinions.

This strategy allows students to work in groups using the knowledge and ideas of everyone, but not go to the individual work to identify the problem.

5. The problem is to represent students' existing knowledge in new theoretical and practical interpretation and link new knowledge with the concepts (concepts) in other courses and/or subjects.

6. Evaluation of students’ work in problem-based learning.

Evaluation is carried out in the same manner as in the evaluation of small groups and may be an individual or group as a whole. In addition to the mark in points, it is recommended to give a meaningful assessment, which would contribute to the development of students’ general learning competencies and their ability to work in a group.

1. Critical assessment – sufficiently or insufficiently developed ability to understand the essence, to identify and analyze problems, whether the student is able to propose and test the hypotheses in compliance educational objectives.

2. Self-education – how the student can use the important sources of material to apply previous knowledge in solving current problems, demonstrates initiative and seriousness, can prepare, organize and conduct the work in a small group.

3. Group participation – sufficiently or insufficiently is engaged constructively and contributes to the progress in the group; demonstrates the commitment and responsibility for the group progress, is able to provide and accept constructive feedback, contribute to the harmony (coherence) in the group.

4. Humane attitude and skills – sufficiently or insufficiently understands individual strengths and limitations, integrates the physical, biological and behavioral components in each issue, listens to conflicting opinions, how tolerant he or she is to the others.

The teacher can assess students’ skills in problem-based learning organization or to give them a chance to evaluate their actions by their own based on the criteria listed below:


  • Knowledge of the process;

  • Understanding the purpose of problem-based learning, familiar with the problems and understanding of what the students can learn;

  • Attitude;

  • Enthusiasm, as a teacher interested in teaching students, pays attention to the planned group discussions, provides timely and complete assessment;

  • Skills;

  • Asks broad and provocative questions, avoiding the mini-lectures, is able to send a team to the alternative sources of information and learning materials, to help the group to focus on the study of issues and objectives, provides a change of direction, arranges feedback when it is necessary and evaluates the process, promotes critical thinking and examines the available materials, helping to create a comfortable atmosphere for learning.


2.2 Discussion in the educational process

Discussion is a method of conversation and dispute resolution. Currently, it is one of the most important forms of educational activities, enabling students’ initiative and reflective thinking. In contrast to the conversation as the exchange of opinions, discussion is called conversation-debate, the conflict of opinions, attitudes etc. However, it is a mistake to think that discussion is purposeful, emotional, upholding existing formed and unchanged position. Discussion is peer conversation between teachers and students, planned in the academic group and the problems of a different nature. It occurs when there is a question, to which there is no single answer. People formulate a new, more satisfying answer in terms of all parties. As a result, it can be a general agreement, a better understanding, a new look at the problem, a common decision.



Discussion – focused and orderly exchange of ideas, opinions, views in the group to form an opinion of each participant and to search for truth.

Elements of Discussion[3]:

  • group of persons acting normally in the roles of the instructor and participants;

  • appropriate location and time;

  • communication process is the interaction of participants;

  • interaction includes statements, listening and the use of non-verbal means of expression;

  • focus on educational objectives’ achievement.

The interaction in academic discussions is based not just on the successive statements, questions and answers, but on meaningful self-directed members –students’ attitude to each other and to the teacher for in-depth and comprehensive discussion of the ideas, points of view and problems. Communication encourages students to look for different ways to express their thoughts, increases susceptibility to new information, new point of view; these personality results of academic discussions directly implemented on discussed in the groups training material. Essential feature of educational discussion is a dialogical teacher's position, which is implemented in specific organizational efforts; he sets the tone for the discussion, following its rules by all participants.

It would be unrealistic for the teacher to expect that discussion in an organization succeed by itself. Experience has shown that teachers slide to the usual picture of control, fearing that disordered lively discussion can bring the learning process out of control. Many teachers replace the self-organization of students' direct control. The desire to "squeeze" the discussion and make it leaner often leads to the transformation of it in the exchange of questions and answers between the teacher and students. If the teacher wants to change the relationship with the group and to achieve a better understanding, the only recommendation is to try to hold discussions and not dwell on failure. That is how the teacher and the students reach understanding of how they think and act, acquire mutual arrangement.

Academic discussion is focused on the implementation of two groups of objectives of equal importance:

1. Specific-content objectives:



  • awareness of young people of contradictions and difficulties related to the issue under discussion;

  • updating previously acquired knowledge;

  • creative reconsideration of opportunities for knowledge application and etc.

2. Organizational objectives:

  • distribution of roles in small groups;

  • compliance with the rules and procedures for joint discussion, fulfillment of the role;

  • collective assignments’ implementation;

  • coherence in discussion and a common generic approach development, etc.


Table 2.Comparative characteristics of communication in traditional learning and discussion

Characteristics

Normal conversation

Discussion

Who speaks more

Teacher: two-thirds of the time

Students: half the time or more

Typical FAQ behavior:

  1. Teacher asks

  2. The student response

  3. The teacher assesses

There is no questions or answers

Mixed questions of teacher and students

Phrase exchange

Multifold, littlerapidphrases

Slower and longer

Questions

It is not the question what is important, but the students’ knowledge

What is important is the meaning of the question

Answer

It is "correct or wrong". The only correct answer for all students

It is "agree or disagree". The correct answer – a variety of answers

Assessment


«Correct/wrong». Only by the teacher

«Agree/disagree». Both by students and the teacher

The research on the use of discussion in various learning environments suggest that it is inferior to direct presentation on information transmission efficiency, but it is highly effective for securing information, creative interpretation of studied material and value orientations’ formation (Table 2).

There are three stages in discussion: preparatory, main and stage of summarizing and analysis.
2.3 Preparatory stage

The preparatory stage usually begins 7-10 days prior to the discussion. Academic discussion, while teaching a group how to conduct it, must be well prepared. The preparation and conducting requires the teacher to create a temporary group (up to five people), whose objectives are:



  • preparation of the discussion: definition of the topic of problematic issues; selection of material that all the students have to learn before the discussion; check the readiness of micro-groups to discuss; scoping rapporteurs or experts (if it is necessary); preparation of training facilities, information materials, means of fixing the progress, etc.

  • selection of a form of discussion (for example, transition to a project, etc.);

  • "brainstorming";

  • rules’ development;

  • review and reformulation of the discussion process, goals, problems, if the discussion reached a deadlock;

  • identify and discuss differences in the points of view;

  • providing opportunities for participants to vent feelings, share experiences arising from the students as a reaction to what is happening in the academic group.

Unlike the discussion in the educational process, educational debate is conducted when all students have full information or the amount of knowledge on the topic of discussion, otherwise its effectiveness is low.
2.4 Main stage

There are three things important for the teacher during the discussion: time, goal and summary. The discussion begins with a conversational gambit of a leader, which should not take longer than 5-10 minutes. In the introduction, he must reveal the main points of the topic and outline the issues for discussion.



Stages of discussion:

  • Problem statement;

  • Participants divide into groups;

  • Discussion of problems in groups;

  • Presentation of results;

  • Continuation of discussion and progress review.

Methods of introduction to discussion: presentation of a problem or case study; demonstration of a film, material (objects, illustrations, archival materials, etc.); experts’ invitation (people quite knowledgeable in discussed matters); current news; sound recordings; dramatization, role-playing; stimulating questions – particularly questions like "what?", "how", "why?", etc.

In planning the preparatory stage, there is chosen a form of discussion and after the introduction, the discussion continues in the selected form.



Forms of discussion [20]:

Round Table – conversation, which involved small groups of students (5 people) that successively discuss the raised issues;

Expert Group Meeting (1) – usually 4-6 participants with a pre-assigned chairperson, who discuss the targeted problem and then sets out his or her position. The rest of the group is a silent participant, without having the right to intervene in the discussion. This form resembles a television "talk show" (for example, “What? Where? When?” – an intellectual game show well known in Russian-language media) and is effective only if you select all relevant topics;

Expert Group Meeting (2) – the group is divided into micro-groups during the preparatory stage; each independently micro-group discusses the problem and selects the expert who will represent the views of the group. On the main stage, the discussions is going on between the experts- representatives of all groups. Groups are not allowed to intervene in the discussion, but they may, if it is necessary, take a "time out" and recall the expert for advice.

Forum – discussion similar to Expert Group Meeting (1), in which the group enters into an exchange of views with the "audience" (group);

Brainstormingis conducted in two stages. At the first stage, the group split up into micro-groups putting forward ideas to solve the problem. Stage lasts between 15 minutes and 1 hour. Strict rule: "The expressed ideas are recorded, but they are discussed". The second stage is to discuss the ideas that were put forward. Wherein, the group that expressed the idea does not discuss it. To this end, each group sends a representative with a list of ideas to the next group, or there is a group of experts formed in advance, which does not work at the first stage.

Symposium – is more formalized in comparison with the previous discussion, in which participants act with statements (abstracts), presenting their point of view and then answer the "audience" (group). Symposium is effective in lessons aim at generalization of material. To ensure that all students will report, there are usually several symposiums per year.

Debates – clearly formalized discussions built based on pre-fixed performances of representatives of the two opposing, competing teams (groups) – and denials. One of the variant is the so-called "Parliamentary Debate", reproducing the procedure of discussions in the British Parliament. This discussion begins with a presentation by representatives from each of the parties, and then the Tribune is available for questions and comments from participants alternately from each side;

Court session – discussion, imitating the proceedings (hearing).

Cross-topic discussion is one of the methods of critical thinking development technology: "Critical thinking development by reading and writing". Cross-topic discussion requires a topic that brings together two opposing points of view. At the first stage, each student individually writes three or five arguments in favor of each of the viewpoints. The arguments are summarized in small groups, and each micro-group presents a list of five arguments in favor of the first point of view and five arguments in favor of the second. Thus, there is a general list of arguments. The group is divided into two groups – the first group consists of those students, who are closer to the first point of view, the second – those, who are closer to the second. Each group ranks their arguments in order of importance. The discussion takes place between groups in a cross mode: the first group expresses its first argument – the second group it denies – the second group expresses its first argument – the first group denies it, etc.

Training Dialogue – requires a topic with two opposing points of view. At the preparatory stage, the group is divided into four groups with two pairs defined in each of the group: one will defend the first point of view, the other – the second. The group is preparing for the discussion – reading literature on the subject, selects examples etc. At the main stage, the group immediately sits down on fours, while discussions take place between the pairs. When the discussion is almost finished, the teacher gives the task to the pairs to switch their roles – those, who defended the first point of view, must uphold the second and vice versa. Wherein, the arguments, which had already made, should not be repeated. The discussion continues.

In the course of discussions, each participant performs a specific role and strictly adheres to the role with responsibilities. To improve efficiency, the distribution of roles should be done in advance; a single student within a year should try out all the roles. Roles should be the following:



  • Leader – solves all the objectives of discussion, involves all members of the group into discussion,

  • Analyst (critic) – asks questions to participants during the discussion, he takes the proposals, ideas and thoughts with a grain of salt.

  • Recorder (secretary) – captures all that relates to the problem; usually presents the opinion of a micro-group for the entire group.

  • Observer – evaluates the participation of each member of the group in a discussion based on pre-selected (by the teacher) criteria.

  • Time Keeper – compliance with the period of discussion. Depending on the form and objectives of a discussion, there are possible and other roles. In the course of discussion, the teacher is required not to provide critical statement or his or her own thoughts.

Productivity in idea generation increases, when the teacher:

  • provides time for students to think about the answers;

  • avoids vague, double-barreled questions;

  • draws attention to each answer (does not ignore any answer);

  • changes the course of student's reasoning – expands the thought or changes its direction;

  • refines and clarifies the statements, asking clarifying questions;

  • warns against excessive generalizations;

  • puts the students to present deeper thoughts.


3. Results and Discussion

To conduct better learning and understanding of possibilities of knowledge use in practical activities, it is necessary not just to read and learn the material, but also to discuss it with another person. Vygotsky and many other researchers have argued that intellectual growth is a product of both internal and external (social) processes [21]. They talked about the fact that a higher level of thinking arises from the relationship or the dialogue between people. Korotaeva, analyzing their study, adds: "In combined generation and discussion of ideas, people come out on the level of thinking, greatly surpassing the capabilities of individual subjects. Collectively and in private conversations they view the problem from different angles, agree or argue, track differences, allow them and weigh up the options" [18].

In conducting academic discussions, significant place belongs to an atmosphere of friendliness and attention to everyone. Thus, the absolute rule is the general attitude toward interested students when they feel that the teacher listens to each of them with equal care and respect – as to the person, as well as to expressed ideas.

Summing discussions, the teacher usually stops at one of the following points of discussion: summary on the main topic; review of submitted data, factual information; summation, an overview of what has already been discussed and the issues to be further discussed; reformulation, retelling all conclusions made up to this point; discussion analysis up to the present moment.
3.1 Summarizing and analysis stage

The summary at the end of discussion is not so much the end of the reflection on the issue, but a reference point for further reflections, possible starting point for transition of the following topics to the study. It is important to think in advance about the form of the summary, which corresponds to the course and content of discussion. The result can be supplied in a simple form of a short revising the discussions, main conclusions reached by the group, the prospects or in a creative way – creation of a poster or the release of a wall newspapers, collage, an essay, a poem, a miniature and other possible outcomes in the form of schemes (clusters), etc.

Analysis and assessment increase the pedagogical value of discussion and develop students’ communication skills. There must be analyses not only of specific-content objectives’ implementation, but also organizational.

Thus, involving the students in the research process, instead of the traditional teaching, teachers greatly increase students’ interest in learning.


4. Conclusion

Research principle in pedagogy is able to involve students directly in the learning process in comparison with traditional teaching. This principle requires the student to provide a free and creative approach to solving problems. The main methods of research training is problem-based learning and discussion.



The main features of these methods:

  • Problem statement. Teacher gives the topic that requires a collective decision;

  • The teacher is involved in discussion, but does not occupy a dominant position and allows each student to express his or her views;

  • Review of the problem from a different perspective. This gives students the opportunity to come to a common result;

  • The teacher does not give a direct answer, but provides consultations in problematic issues.

The purpose of these methods: creative thinking development, expanding scientific horizons; collective research work skills’ formation and development; skills’ formation to apply theoretical knowledge and modern methods of scientific research in professional activity.

Thus, the introduction of the research principle and its integration with the real educational process will contribute to the formation of such personality traits as creativity, mobility, ability to work in groups. This contributes to a high-quality specialists’ formation.


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