Participants of an international seminar at the FEDI RANEPA discussed how and why should human potential be developed

01 July 2021
Participants of an international seminar at the FEDI RANEPA discussed how and why should human potential be developed

An international seminar on “Educational and professional standards in the development of human potential and professional capital: problems, results, prospects” was held on June 30, 2021 at the Federal Education Development Institute of the RANEPA.

Lev Semenovich Vygotsky, a classic Russian psychologist, stated more than once that a child with developmental handicaps, “would be able and knowledgeable, it’s just that he doesn’t want to”. “Speaking these words, he emphasized that in order to work with children with developmental difficulties, one must first create a social situation of development,” said Alexander Asmolov, Director of the School of Future Anthropology of the Institute for Social Sciences (ISS) of the RANEPA, Head of the Department of Personal Psychology of the Psychology Department at Lomonosov Moscow State University, opening the seminar.  

In diagnosing the development of personality in general, the scientist stressed when discussing the pedology of complex and difficult childhood, we must move from the diagnosis of selection to the diagnosis of development, relying on the zone of proximal development. The latter helps build a bridge that can be removed when the child has mastered the new abilities.

In the 1930s L.S. Vygotsky’s work “The Problem of Mental Retardation” was published. In a polemic with Kurt Lewin, a number of classic principles were formulated, on the basis of which we still discuss today such issues as the problems of integrating children with developmental handicaps into society.

“Our conference today is initially interdisciplinary. Its core value is to find ways to humanize the world in which people and children (as I said it) with developmental handicaps live. Without recognizing these children as special, their special childhood, regulators such as the federal state development standards cannot be built,” Alexander Asmolov stressed.

The seminar was attended by international expert Kristel Manske, founder and head of the Institute of Brain Systems (Hamburg), a leading European expert in the field of inclusion – pedagogy and psychology of children with different types of disabilities: Down syndrome, autism, general learning disability, etc.

“We have to learn to communicate and interact with children so that we can overcome their challenges together,” said the speaker, presenting “The Challenge of Inclusion: How can children of different abilities learn together, achieve excellence and be integrated into society?” report. At the same time, “the more significant the children’s problems are, the higher level of should be our level of awareness in our work.”

“All children, including those with Down syndrome, should be given the opportunity to become what they are as human beings: self-aware recognized full individuals,” she quoted H.F. Hegel, one of the creators of German Idealist philosophy. The speaker emphasized that if innate abilities are not cultivated, they are lost. The main pedagogical tool is, in her words, “the educator’s sparkling eyes”. Kristel Manske specifically tunes her colleagues at the Hamburg institute to a high inspirational note before each meeting with the children – Anton, Ralf, Julia, who are still just beginning to master speech at the level of individual sounds and expression of elementary emotions.       

In her seminal 45-minute presentation, the speaker shared her experience building social speech in 3-5 year old children with communication behavior disorders. She reminded that according to L.S. Vygotsky, learning disability and other developmental disorders are primarily a social problem.

Co-education of children with and without disabilities has been and remains a necessary educational, strategic and political decision, participants noted.

Dean of the Faculty of Psychology of the Russian Orthodox University (ROU), Professor at Moscow State University Boris Bratus, Deputy Dean for Educational Work of the Faculty of Psychology of ROU Peter Kolomeitsev, leading researcher of Research Center for Strategy, Design and Legal Support of FEDI RANEPA Vladimir Zagvozdkin took part in the discussion following the report.

Psychology Department of the Russian Orthodox University (ROU) was the main partner of the event.

The international seminar on “Educational and professional standards in the development of human potential and professional capital: problems, results, prospects” was organized as part of activities of the ISS RANEPA Center for Advanced Social Research, a scientific center of international standard, established in 2020 to implement the objectives of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research of Human Potential as part of the grant provided by the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia.



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