International Journal of Educology, 2002, Vol 16, No 2
An Educology of Values Education:
The Attitudes of Thirteen to Fifteen
Year Old Teenagers Towards Spiritual
Values: Priorities, Change and
Some Pre-Conditions.Elvyda Martišauskienė,
Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania
An analysis was conducted in Lithuania of teenager
attitudes towards spiritual values which function in both
micro- and macro-environments. The data obtained in this
contemporary investigation were compared with those
registered two decades ago, in the authoritarian type of
society of that time. The focus of the study is on the
peculiarities of teenagers’ attitudes towards spiritual values
in different types of secondary school.
Spiritual values underlie the spread and development of
all manifestations of human existence. Positive attitude
towards spiritual values is of utmost significance as it
presupposes adequate value orientation, and it guarantees
successful realization of spiritual values. For these reasons,
attitudes towards spiritual values acquire the status of
universally acceptable seeking and, in this way, they properly
have a prominent place among the key educational issues.
While studying the attitudes towards spiritual values,
noticeable split in opinions can be observed due to
observable differences in the treatment of spiritual values as
such, as well as due to the issues of different approaches to
their genesis, classification and selection. In search of the
possible answers to the above mentioned problematic issues,
the author, in the majority of cases, tends to rely on the key
ideas of the following philosophical theories:-- neotomism,
personalism, existentialism, humanism and phenomenology.
Consequently, the universally acknowledged
transcendental values – truth, goodness, beauty, and holiness
– are considered to be the most important spiritual values.
On the one hand, they all are closely inter-related with
one another, and only this kind of inter-related effect
enables the individual to establish adequate relationships
with different objects of the world that surround him
(natural and supernatural phenomena, as well as other
individuals and him/herself). It is the holistic system of
values that is acceptable, from the educological point of
view, as it is based on the spiritual centre of the individual
(A. Maceina) or on the centre of self axis of personality (R.
Assagioli, G. Colombero) or on the spiritual initials (K.
terms, that harmonizes the individuals’ relationship with the
On the other hand, the subsystems of spiritual values
(religious, moral, cognitive, aesthetic) are not equally
significant. They differ in the form of existence of objects
that condition the relationships of the individual. These
forms of existence of objects referred to here are material
existence, spiritual existence and the Absolute Spirit. The
subsystems of spiritual values also differ in the degree of
impact that is exercised on individuals themselves. As early
as in the times of ancient Greece and Rome, it was known
that only moral values (that relate to the notion of goodness)
influence the human being as a personality that is capable of
establishing authentic relationships with the world; whereas
cognitive values (relating to truth) and aesthetic values
(relating to beauty) direct the individual towards the objects
of creation, and those values primarily obey the rules and
norms of logics and aesthetics with somewhat weaker
impact on the individual him/herself. Religious values
(relating to the notion of holiness) manifest themselves
through the relationship of the individual as the product of
creation towards the Creator and towards other individuals
as creations of God. Religious values can only spread on
the basis of moral values. In this respect, moral values
become central ones among all spiritual values. The aspect
of holiness enables those values to realize relationships on
the highest level, i.e., “places them on the transcendental
(God-like) horizon where freedom is the outcome of the act
of grace” (A. Anzenbacher, 1995, p. 161), and where
Mention should be made of how higher values imply
lower ones in the holistic system. That accounts for the
necessity to regard the subordination of values adequately in
the processes of investigation of attitudes towards spiritual
values. This subordination is affected by many factors
(political, social, philosophical, psychological, educological
and others), the interface of which often results in the fates
of single individuals as well as the fates of whole states.
Thus, attitudes towards spiritual values are closely related to
the historical events of a certain nation. This fact allows us
to state the topicality of the issues under discussion and to
point out the importance of the pre-conditions in the formation
of values. It is appropriate to survey the processes in
After World War I, Lithuania became an independent
state with the possibilities of fostering the highest spiritual
values. At that time, the efforts of S.Šalkauskis, the famous
Lithuanian philosopher and educologist, to give the highest
spiritual values the status of paramount educational objectives
were especially noteworthy. He urged educators and
educologists to encourage the learners’ positive and conscious
attitudes towards the essential forms of goodness
(theological view of the world, science, morality, art,
healthy body and the like). However, the realization of all
those ideas was aborted as Lithuania became incorporated
into the Soviet Union a year after the start of World War II.
In the fifth and sixth decades of the twentieth century the
repressive political system under the Soviets prevented all
educological processes from taking their natural course of
development; religious, national and moral values were
excluded from the context of social life. In the seventh to
ninth decades, with the totalitarian system gaining in power
and new generations growing up under its influence,
intensive efforts were made to declare the adherence to the
ideals of truth, goodness and beauty that carried a strong
political colouring. At the same time, the effect of those
politically-biased ideals was somewhat softened by the ideas
of humanistic and cognitive theories of psychology that
reached Lithuania in the works of J. Piaget, L. Kohlberg, A.
Maslow, C. Rogers and others, as well as by the mature
thought of Lithuanian authors (L. Jovaiša, B. Bitinas, J.
gaining experience, scope and maturity in general, with
greater emphasis on attitudes towards moral values in
particular, as deeper insights were identified and
investigated with reference to the issues of ethical ideals,
professional moral orientation, the individuals’ moral
position as well as the study of possibilities for the
development of certain component parts of values
From the present-day perspective, all those instances of
educological research could be qualified as the partial
representation of the state of secondary school learners’
spiritual development. But the results of that educological
research cannot be overestimated as they often surpassed the
immediate needs of that time.
A new stage in the development of attitudes towards
spiritual values started in the last decade of the twentieth
century when Lithuania regained its independence. That
period has been marked by the following developments:--
(a) a swelling of a new wave of interest in spiritual values,
(b) a rediscovering of the key ideas which had begun in the
third and fourth decades of the 20th century (as it turned out,
the special funds of departments had been guarded much
better than the borders of the state) and (c) a pouring of
multiple ideas into Lithuana from the West. Spiritual
values, though, could not always find their way into the
hearts of the Lithuanian people, who had been long
suppressed by the totalitarian socio-political system.
Instead, many would rather embrace pragmatic and
hedonistic values and allow them to flourish.
Presently, complex changes in the socio-political system
of the country which are accompanied by steps in
educational reform make it urgent to study change in the
value orientation. Educological research becomes more
imperative than ever before. It involves many different
aspects of spiritual education, starting with its holistic
ranging to its subsystems of national identity (I. Dirg
between spiritual values and different types of
Šukys, I. Tilindien
Scope and Focus of the Study
An investigation was made of a sample of thirteen-tofifteen-
year-old teenagers’ spiritual maturity-shaping from
an educological point of view. The process of maturityshaping
was treated as a continuous process. The focus of
this research report is on the analysis of the initial stage of
the process, viz. the teenagers’ attitudes towards key
spiritual values. The aim of this initial investigation has
been to determine the extent and character of the spread and
change of the attitudes towards values among the sample of
thirteen-to-fifteen-year-old teenagers. The intention of the
research has been to identify the peculiarities of attitudes
towards spiritual values as well as the socio-educational
preconditions for their development among thirteen-tofifteen-
year-old teenagers. The specific objectives of the
investigation were:-- (1) to identify the preferred values
among contemporary thirteen to fifteen-year-old teenagers,
(2) to compare differences in the attitudes towards spiritual
values of the teenagers twenty years ago, who lived under
the conditions of the totalitarian system, and those of present
day teenagers, (3) to identify the similarities and differences
in the attitudes towards spiritual values among teenagers
who presently study in different types of school.
Organizational Structure of the Research
A complex methodology of research was used in the
investigation. Firstly, the projection model method was
applied when the teenagers were asked to list qualities of a
spiritually rich personality that spread from a single centre,
like the rays of the sun. Then, the teenagers were asked to
select two or three qualities from their own list and define
them in terms of the content they attached to those qualities.
Secondly, the methodology suggested by M. Rokeach
was used. This made it possible to determine the teenagers’
hierarchical grouping of both terminal and instrumental
values in relation to how important the teenagers found
them for a spiritually rich personality in general. There
were seven bands formed in the process of evaluation of the
teenagers answers. The highest-ranking band comprised the
values that the teenagers placed in the first and second
positions. The very high-ranked band, correspondingly,
included the values, placed as third and fourth. The
normally high-ranked band, then, included the values from
the fifth and sixth positions. The average band contained
positions seven to twelve, and the insufficiently high band
included positions thirteen to fourteen. The low-ranking
band included positions fifteen and sixteen, and the very
low-ranked band held positions seventeen and eighteen.
Further in the investigation, this methodology will be
referred to as the methodology of vertical ranking. It served
well to identify the highest and lowest-ranked values in the
study of attitudes towards values.
Thirdly, the method of horizontal research was used to
disclose the teenagers’ attitudes towards values on the basis
of the descriptions of spiritually rich personality offered to
the teenagers. In the process of analysis of the description,
the teenagers were asked to rank all the values into the
following bands:-- (1) very important, (2) important, (3) not
very important, (4) unimportant, -- according to its
respective significance to the spiritually rich personality in
general. This methodology served to disclose the scope of
attitudes towards spiritual values. The horizontal ranking is
marked in the text with the asterix sign [*] which helps to
spot the averages of data; the highest average signals the
highest level in the attitudes respectively. In the vertical
ranking, on the other hand, the lowest averages signal the
highest level in the attitudes.
For the fourth method, the test of sentence completion
was used. With the help of that test, the relationships of the
teenagers to different objects of reality were investigated as
well as their relationships to spiritual values.
The sample included 1255 secondary school students.
There were 324 students of town secondary schools, 72
students of village secondary schools, 192 students of the
humanities stream, 162 students of the sciences stream, 205
students of Catholic orientation schools, 197 students of
arts, 70 students from sports schools, and 33 students from
youth schools. In addition, the data obtained in 1982-1983
from 218 teenagers were also used in the analysis.
Statistical analysis of the data was done with the help of the
Attitudes Towards Spiritual Values
As noted earlier, the key spiritual values are comprised
of truth, goodness, beauty and holiness. These values were
investigated with the help of several methods, and the values
were presented in their concrete realizations which disclosed
the content of the values. In conformity with the logic of
educological research in general, the key parameters of the
investigation were the general concept of the content of
values and the dynamics process of expressing personal attitudes
towards certain values. With the help of M. Rokeach’s
methodology that is usually applied to studies with
the aim of identifying value orientation, it was established
how thirteen-to-fifteen year-old teenagers ranked terminal
values according to their importance for the spiritually rich
personality. The data about the spread of values according to
the degree of their importance are given in Table 1.
Attitudes towards Terminal Values (the Vertical Cut)
Cognition 2.6 5.7 7.5
Creative work 3.1 3.5 6.2 31.0
Self-respect 7.0 12.9
Active life 8.9 7.1 10.9
Interesting job 3.8 6.8 9.0
Exciting life 4.7 7.1 10.5 30.2
Equality, brotherhood 6.9 7.8 10.6
M. Rokeach’s identified group of terminal values comprises
only the domains of cognition (truth), beauty and morals
(goodness). It is evident that in the domain of cognition
(truth) the teenagers give preference to wisdom ( χ = 3.44).
Nearly half of all learners (45 per cent) rank wisdom in the
highest bands (positions 1 to 6). It is noteworthy to point
out in this place that intellectual capacity in general ranks
high not only in everyday life situations, but in the
philosophical tradition as well where it is placed next to
spirit (‘nous’ in Greek, ‘intellectus’ in Latin). However,
cognition as a means of constant personal growth and selfimprovement
is ranked not too high (insufficiently high and
low ranks) by more than one third of all the learners who
took part in the investigation. The dimension of beauty is
placed on a still lower ( χ = 4.61 – 4.98) band. Nearly half
of all the participants of the investigation (47.2 per cent)
rated lowest the value of responsiveness to works of art and
objects of nature, and even 56.2 per cent expressed similar
attitudes to creative work.
Teenagers’ attitudes towards moral values present the
scale of split opinions. The value attitudes fall into certain
categories according to the type of objects to which those
attitudes are related. The categories are attitudes towards
self, friends, family and nation. According to the underlying
features that are decisive in choice and decision-making, the
attitudes are grouped on the naturalistic and humanistic
levels. The former, according to A. Anzenbacher, can be
further subdivided into direct or indirect hedonism
manifestations; and the second one into self-perfection or
well-being of other individuals. The methodology that we
used could not embrace the third level, that of faith.
As can be seen in Table 1, the teenagers expressed the
most favorable attitudes towards their own health ( χ =
2.44), but this value belongs to the group of values that are
qualified as indirect hedonism. The objects of direct
hedonism were rated lowest:-- an exciting life ( χ = 4.69), a
comfortable life ( χ = 4.28). When the attitudes referred to
the humanistic level, i.e. the perfection of self, like inner
harmony, self-respect, there was a wide diversity of opinion
along all ranks. It is noticeable, however, that lower and
very low ranking instances could be observed while rating
inner harmony whereas more very high and high ranking
instances occurred with reference to self-respect.
The teenagers’ attitudes towards their family members
could be qualified as extremely positive. As many as 67.1
per cent of learners placed a happy family life on the highest
rank ( χ = 2.60). A true friendship was ranked as one of the
highest values (60.9 per cent; χ = 2.57), and similarly
came a mature love (49.3 per cent; χ = 3.35). On the other
hand, equality, when understood as equal possibility for
everyone, was rated by lowest ranks, which leads to the
conclusion that the foundations of value attitudes towards a
true friendship, a happy family life and a mature love are far
from being stable.
The teenagers’ attitudes towards national security
qualified that value as unimportant for them personally ( χ
= 4.89); more than a half (54.4 per cent) of the learners
ranked that value on the lowest rank, and nearly one fifth of
them (23 per cent) placed it on the very low rank. There
may be different causes attributable for that:-- either poor
comprehension of the role of national security, or the
considerations that there are no potential threats for the
national stability, or other sort of causes could be
responsible for the data.
The teenagers’ attitudes towards terminal values were
also investigated with the help of other methods (sentence
completion method, for instance) which made it possible to
verify the adequacy, consistency and conditioning of value
attitudes; it also provided a possibility to investigate those
values that teenagers of their age tend to prefer. The data are
presented in Table 2.
towards Terminal Values (the Horizontal Cut).
The opposite sex 0.2 22.0
Father 0.6 45.5
Nation 1.1 39.9
The data revealed that the church ( χ = 3.48) and God (x
= 3.42) were treated most positively by the students as the
values responsible for faith. On the other hand, the very
positive teenagers’ attitudes towards friends ( χ = 2.82),
mother ( χ = 2.77) and the teachers ( χ = 2.47) came close
to their positive attitudes towards a happy family life, a true
friendship and a mature love. On the other hand, the
teenagers’ attitudes towards nation, nature and art were
somewhat similar to those expressed towards national
security, beauty and creative work.
The teenagers’ attitudes towards instrumental values
were also revealed with the help of M. Rokeach’s
methodology that is used to identify value orientation. They
are shown in Table 3.
towards Instrumental Values (the Vertical Cut)
High Average Insufficient
Imagination 3.8 5.1 8.3 24.7 15.6
Self control 5.9 10.0 11.3 39.0 14.4 12.6 6.8 4.11
Arrogance 4.8 4.8 6.1 24.3 10.4 13.1
Tidiness 8.6 12.3 13.0 33.4 10.3 9.9
It is evident that teenagers tend to give priority to moral
values, among which honesty comes first ( χ = 2.87).
Nearly two thirds of all learners (61.4 per cent) rated
honesty in positions 1 to 6. Other moral values that were
considered important by the teenagers were responsibility
( χ = 3.20) and sensitivity ( χ = 3.47); their positive
ratings exceeded the negative ones. That relationship went
down with reference to forgiving ( χ = 3.71), and positive
and negative ratings appeared equally balanced with
reference to altruism (χ = 4.0), whereas the ratings
changed in the opposite direction with reference to
obedience ( χ = 4.78). One fifth of all learners gave it a
very low rating. It should be noted that the teenagers tended
to disapprove of demonstrating high ambitions and
displaying arrogance. A considerable number of learners
(36.5 per cent) ranked arrogance very low ( χ = 5.16). In
conclusion, it should be pointed out that the teenagers’
attitudes towards themselves were rather superficial from
the moral point of view; the emphasis was laid on selfevident
characteristics that can be easily observable in the
majority of cases; to give just a few examples:--
independence, χ = 3.98; self-control, χ = 4.11. Other
values that are related to indirect manifestations of
hedonism (e.g. capability) or those that can only potentially
direct towards seeking expressions of humanism showed the
following pattern of spread:-- politeness ( χ = 3.31),
courage ( χ = 3.61), cheerfulness ( χ = 3.85), tidiness ( χ =
4.04), capability ( χ = 4.45).
A similar attitude could be observed with reference to
intellectuality. Education ( χ = 3.56) was rated higher than
intellectuality ( χ = 3.93). That could be a sign of deeprooted
spiritual powers in the individual. The dimension of
beauty, on the other hand, got into the lowest band. The
values like openness to novelty and versatility of views ( χ
= 4.88) as well as imagination ( χ = 4.96) did not look
appealing to the teenagers. The above discussed data allow
us to conclude that the attitudes of teenagers towards
spiritual values in both the existential and behavioural
aspects display similar tendencies. Those tendencies were
further investigated with the help of other procedures of
As it was stated, the teenagers were asked to design their
own model of realistic, spiritually rich personality; they
were also asked to rank spiritual values in the concrete
description according to the importance of those values for
the spiritually rich personality in general. In that way, the
first procedure helped to reveal attitudes towards a concrete
spiritually rich personality, and the second procedure made
it possible to create a model of the ideal spiritually rich
personality (‘ideal’ here is used in the meaning ‘desirable’,
as a general type, and not a concrete personality description).
These procedures of investigation made it possible to
establish what values the teenagers could observe in their
micro-environment, what notions they chose to name them,
and which spiritual values they gave priority to and
qualified as the most important ones in the macroenvironment.
The data are presented in Table 4.
towards the ideal and concrete spiritually rich personality.
The ideal personality
The concrete personality
Seeking meaning 269 21.4 66 5.2
Responsiveness to beauty 291 23.2 253 20.2
A sense of humour 518 41.2 67 5.3
Openness to change and novelty 342 27.2 5 0.4
Inventiveness 382 30.4 32 2.5
Independence 571 45.5 28 2.2
Cheerfulness 383 30.4
Courage 520 41.4 52 4.1
An active life 360 28.7 25 1.9
Unselfish care 766
Balanced interests 285 22.7 74 5.8
Tolerance 351 27.9 140 11.1
A sense of duty 462 36.8 152 7.8
Intolerance of carelessness 271 21.6 247 19.0
Devotion to one’s job responsibilities 303 24.1 52 4.2
Self-sacrifice 408 32.5 32 2.5
Spiritual unity 258 20.5 515
Believing in God 269 21.4 236 18.7
The investigation revealed that the teenagers of that age
showed a good understanding of the importance of spiritual
values. As many as 86.5 per cent of the statements that were
independently shaped by the teenagers about the spiritually
rich personality corresponded to the content of description
of spiritual values. The dispersion of the spiritual values
was characterized by the following tendencies. Only the
value of responsiveness was ranked high by all the
teenagers. Especially in its form of sympathy, the value of
responsiveness permeated nearly all other attitudes towards
the concrete spiritually rich personality (as pointed out by
89.4 per cent of all the participants of the investigation); it
also exceeded by one fifth other value attitudes in respect to
the evaluation of the ideal personality. On the other hand,
the value of honesty (telling the truth, fidelity) was pointed
out as the most important one only in respect to the ideal
spiritually rich personality (79.4 and 61.9 per cent
respectively). As we could observe (in Table 3, for
instance) those values were ranked highest among
instrumental values as well, especially with reference to the
On a somewhat lower level appeared dignity (respect,
authenticity in a way) and responsibility (responsibility for
one’s action, intolerance of carelessness) in the situation
when not all empirical manifestations were considered
important by the teenagers. But altruism (devotion to one’s
job responsibilities, self-sacrifice), solidarity (balanced
interests) and tolerance in both positions were placed on the
lowest level. All of the results lead to the conclusion that
with moral values dominating along other spiritual values in
a general sense, they remain of a narrow range, especially in
the micro-environment, and their valuations mostly depend
on immediately observable manifestations of empathy.
A different pattern could be seen with reference to faith.
It was universally acknowledged by the teenagers in its
existential aspect, but the picture changed completely in its
instrumental aspect where only one fifth treated it in the
same way ( χ = 2.49). It is interesting to note that the same
ratio remained in the situations when the teenagers were
asked to rank their family members; the level of
understanding of the importance of spiritual unity was twice
as high in comparison with the analogous attitude towards
the ideal spiritually rich personality. On the basis of those
data, it could be asserted that one fifth of the teenagers
reached that very high understanding level of faith on the
notional level through their empirical practices; that kind of
experience is typically not rich enough at their age.
In the domain of mind and reason, in both positions
intellectuality was given high rankings (49.4 and 32.2 per
cent respectively) whereas seeking meaning appeared
among the neglected values, especially in the microenvironment.
These results lead to the conclusion that even
though education and wisdom were ranked higher than
intellectuality and cognition (see Tables 1 and 3), those
former values were not adequately related to searching for
meaning in life. And beauty came lowest among all the
rankings. Out of four empirical manifestations that the
teenagers were asked to rank, only the generalized
responsiveness to beauty was ranked as very high by one
fifth of the teenagers. Again, the values like creative work
and a sense of humour appeared among the neglected ones
in the micro-environment of the teenagers.
The data of the investigation of the teenagers’ attitudes
towards instrumental values, in comparison with terminal
values, revealed that only the position of faith changed
when the latter got from the highest position to the last but
one position. Faith, however, was ranked higher than
beauty in the micro-environment. The teenagers’ attitudes
towards spiritual values are generally conditioned by many
factors. The questions arises as to how much of the change
can be attributed to the influence of the socio-political
system and to educational reform.
Socio-Pedagogical Pre-Conditions of the
Attitudes of Teenagers towards Spiritual Values
These preconditions are understood as a complex of
factors in the socio-pedagogical situation. The effects of the
situation are recorded in the change of attitudes that took
place in the last two decades. In this way, the attitudes of
contemporary teenagers were compared to those of the
teenagers of that time who studied under the conditions of
the totalitarian system in the same types of school. We had
218 respondents of the previous investigation (carried out in
the period of 1982-83) and 285 present-day teenagers who
met the requirements of the present research.
After 1990, when Lithuania regained its independence,
the socio-political situation in the country changed at all
levels and structures. It should also be noted here that in the
previous investigation the teenagers’ attitudes towards
spiritual values were studied only in their moral aspect. For
this reason, the comparison was drawn between the
teenagers’ attitudes towards five moral values. The methods
of the two investigations were similar. In both cases the
goal was to find out the highest (the most positive) attitudes
towards the ideal spiritually rich and moral personality
(according to the value descriptions) and attitudes towards a
concrete spititually rich and moral personality (according to
the independently chosen and listed important values). The
data are presented in Diagrams 1 and 2.
the ideal personality in the soviet period and the agers towards a concrete personality in the soviet period
present day and the present day
It is evident that contemporary teenagers attach more
importance to moral values, with the exception of the value
of sensitivity, to the ideal personality. The teenagers’
attitudes towards honesty (35.6 per cent) and responsibility
(32.1) display the biggest difference. That could be
accounted for by the positive changes in the teenagers’
attitudes towards spiritual values that function in the macroenvironment.
The attitudes towards the micro-environment, though,
present a different picture. Contemporary teenagers, with
only slight exceptions, tend to downgrade the spiritual
0 50 100 150
0 20 40 60 80 100 120
a sense of duty
honesty / honourability
attitudes of teenagers at present
attitudes of teenagers in the soviet period
values of their family members. A very clearly-marked
difference is observed in the evaluations of a sense of duty
(26.9 per cent). It should be noted that this value had the
highest factorial weighting (0.2383) among all other values
under discussion in the soviet school. On the other hand, in
the totalitarian system, the content of the value of a sense of
duty mainly consisted of obedient implementation of the
directions given from the position-holder above. In this
way, the observable regression in the teenagers’ attitudes
might be the outcome of the processes of deeper
conceptualization of the content of moral values in the
changed situation. We refer here to the explanations
provided by the teenagers as to why this value is important
for a spiritually rich personality. The data convincingly
show that 39.0 per cent of all teenagers evaluated all the
spiritual values on the basis of moral criteria, and another
35.0 per cent of teenagers applied the same criteria for more
than half of the values under discussion.
It is worth noting the differences in attitudes within the
same period. The gap between the attitudes towards a
concrete personality and the ideal spiritually rich personality
show which spiritual values find their immediate
actualization in the concrete lives of teenagers and to what
degree favourable conditions for their internalization are
created. The data can be seen in Table 5.
ideal and concrete spiritually rich personality between the
soviet period and present-day time.
Teenagers’ attitudes in the
Values Present-day teenagers’ attitudes
+ 2.0 Sensitivity + 20.1
- 33.1 Fairness - 53.7
- 5.7 Responsibility - 41.1
- 0.9 A sense of duty - 30.9
- 0.7 Honesty - 45.9
The plus (+) before the number means that the concrete
personality is ranked higher than the ideal personality;
conclusion that teenagers in the soviet period felt lack of
fairness in the majority of cases whereas present-day
teenagers tend to feel lack of all the above mentioned
values, with the exception of sensitivity which has the
highest factorial weighting (0.661) in the teenagers’
attitudes towards spiritual values. Present-day teenagers
realize the importance of these values and have a desire for
them. Then, the micro-environment, which is devoid of
these values, has painful effects on the teenagers which, in
turn, makes the processes of internalization of values more
complicated. The situation can be characterized as a kind of
paradoxical one. There is no ‘directing’ in the value
functioning from above and the levels of the practical
realization of values in every-day relationships diminish.
This leads to the development of pedagogical problems.
Interdependence of Teenagers’ Attitudes
towards Spiritual Values and the Type of School
One of the major objectives of the educational reform is
to establish a system of profiles with a certain subject
groups bias at the secondary education level. It seems
meaningful to study how varied content of learning that is
registered in the curriculum affects the learners’ attitudes
there was a selection of meaningful correlations made
between spiritual values and the school profiles with certain
subject groups bias. Then, the averages of the choice of
values were calculated which speak for a particular level of
the teenagers’ chosen values (see Table 6).
The data in Table 6 display how the attitudes of
teenagers from different types of school towards spiritual
values differ. It is evident that knowing real life is the most
important value for learners of all types and profiles of
school, with a special emphasis on this value expressed by
the learners of art and sciences profiles of school. The
learners of Catholic schools and of the profiles of
humanities and sports profiles closely follow the first group
of learners in their attitudes. Positive attitudes towards
aesthetic values are more characteristic of learners of art,
catholic and town general education schools. But when the
attitudes of learners of those profiles schools are compared
to their attitudes towards cognition, a clearly-marked
regression in the attitudes of learners of sports, sciences and
humanities is evident.
The learners’ attitudes towards moral values as the
foundation for all human existence are favourable in all
types of school. The highest rankings for moral values are
given by learners of Catholic schools, followed by the
rankings of learners of sciences and youth schools. Both
groups of learners place self-respect and a happy family life
high, but their attitudes towards instrumental moral values
are among the lowest ones. The value of national security is
in general very low-ranked, with somewhat higher rankings
given to it by the learners of sport, Catholic and general
education schools. It is noticeable that the teenagers of the
same types of school express very favourable attitudes
towards instrumental moral values as well as towards faith
which might lead us to the conclusion that the teenagers are
able to establish links among those values.
To summarize, the most favourable attitudes towards
spiritual values can be observed among the learners of
Catholic schools, with somewhat gradually lower in rank
attitudes expressed by the learners of art schools, town
general education schools, sport schools, sciences and
humanities, village general education schools and youth
schools respectively. We consider it very important to know
those tendencies in learners’ attitudes a priori before
planning other educational processes. It seems especially
important to be aware of the distinct differences in attitudes
towards instrumental moral values and aesthetic values.
1. The dispersion of the groups of spiritual values
according to the teenagers’ highest favourable rankings
looks like this:-- moral values, cognitive values,
aesthetic values. The values of religious faith get the
highest positive ranking on the existential level, and on
the instrumental level those values are placed only
somewhat higher than the aesthetic values.
2. Contemporary teenagers tend to give priority to:-- (a)
honesty, sensitivity, dignity and responsibility – among
the moral values; (b) wisdom, education/selfdevelopment,
intellectuality – among the cognitive
values; (c) faith – among the religious values; (d) a sense
of humour – among the aesthetic values.
3. There is a distinct change in teenagers’ attitudes towards
spiritual values observed as an outcome of the fall of the
totalitarian system. The teenagers tend to express more
favourable attitudes towards moral values that generally
function in the macro-environment, among which
honesty, responsibility and fairness are ranked highest.
But a more negative attitude is evident towards the
values that function in the micro-environment, like a
sense of duty and sensitivity. Mention should be made
that especially sensitivity gets lower ranking among the
other values functioning in the macro-environment as
well. For that reason, the processes of the
internalization of spiritual values pose a number of
serious pedagogical problems.
4. Different types of school and profiles of general
education seem to affect the teenagers’ attitudes towards
spiritual values. The cognitive values are most
favourably ranked by the learners of sciences and art
profiles learners, with somewhat lower recognition
given to them by the learners of Catholic and the
humanities profile learners; the aesthetic values are most
favourably treated by the learners of art, as well as the
learners of Catholic and general education schools; the
moral and religious values are most valued by the
learners of Catholic, sport and general education schools
and the learners of Catholic schools seem to show the
broadest and deepest-conceived attitudes towards
spiritual values in general.
Colombero, G. (2001):
About the Author
The author of the article has been investigating the issues
of teenager education in the last two decades. At the start,
the focus of the research was on moral education of
teenagers which resulted in the defence of a PhD
dissertation on the theme, “Fifth-to-seventh-form teenagers’
ability to evaluate behaviour manifestations as an important
condition for the development of moral position,” in 1985.
The author has the following published works:
“Peculiarities of teenagers’ moral attitudes” (1994) and
“The development of teenagers’ moral evaluations” (1997)
and a number of articles in collections of research
At present the author is doing research in the field of the
peculiarities of spiritual manifestations of the seventh-toninth-
form learners as well as investigating the preconditions
of personality development. The following
articles were published in this field: “Fostering the essentials
of human nature and the process of education” (1994),
“Pedagogical assistance to teenagers in their spiritual
growth “ (1997), “The concept and expression of
spirituality” (1998), “The activity of class head-teacher as
an important factor in the teenagers’ spiritual growth”
(1997), “On some specific peculiarities of senior teenagers’
spiritual growth in present-day school” (1998), “The
religious aspect of senior teengers’ spiritual growth”
(2000), “The attitudes of senior teenagers towards spiritual
values” (2001), “Emotional internalization of values in the
years of adolescence” (2001). The monograph “Spirituality
of teenagers as a pedagogical phenomenon” is now in the
process of preparation.
International Journal of Educology, 2003, Vol 17, No 1&2
The Problem Method
in Teaching Philosophy:
An Educology of Teaching
Lithuania, Vilnius, Lithuania
This is an attempt to clarify principally some
fundamental ideas clustered around the concept of the
formal conditions which would constitute a fruitful studying
of philosophy. First, an ideal study situation would require
the student to participate in the object-subject dialogue;
philosophical studies are an active dialogue between the
text and the subject. Next, philosophy is a paradigmatically
and historically institution, grounded on the notions of
discipline, autonomy and authority. The idea is that we are
currently facing a crisis in philosophy, and this crisis
constitutes a major problem for the studies of philosophy.
The metamorphosis of the concept of philosophy in
contemporary philosophy is related to the new problem of
the dialogue and interconnections between the object and
the subject, new ways of conceiving the truth and a renewed
social force of philosophy. New perceptions of the
interconnections of the student and philosophical knowledge
raise anew the problems of objectivity. Philosophy has lost
its autonomy and strict authority.
The importance of the problem method in teaching
philosophy is evident. The very nature of philosophy as a
humanitarian science implies a dialogue between the object
under study and the subject (student). What is it –
“philosophical training”, “philosophical teaching”? This is
not simply information on the history of ideas. It is rather
developing the individual’s thinking. Every opportunity of
developing our personal abilities to make decisions means
the attainment of a new level in our philosophical education.
Whenever we show more independence in our critical
thinking and decisions-making we have made progress in
our philosophical education.
There are two tendencies in applying the problem
method in teaching. First, in natural and exact sciences
solution of a problem means an instrumental conditioning
when the subject chooses from two or more alternatives,
himself raises questions and deals with them. In the second
tendency the problem is considered to be contained in the
matter of study itself, and the formulation of the problem
and the structure of its solution should be found in the
content of the matter. Thus, in this case the problem has no
instrumental limitations, the subject can not invent the
problem himself, the problem is partially “thrust on”. So, in
the humanities (philosophy) the problem method (teaching)
depends on the both parts of the “dialogue”: on the matter
of study and on the researcher. We shall consider only
some aspects of the problem method that are of significance
in teaching philosophy.
Philosophy as a Technique
In teaching philosophy the peculiarities of the matter are
often neglected and automatically the routine “technical”
rules are preferred. This means that the scope of
philosophical themes, “problems”, tasks is strictly regulated
or even determined a priori (depending on the institution, its
In a society in which the official and commonly
accepted truth is or should be predominant, the problem of
freedom of creation, of thinking never arises. Philosophers
in such a society encounter a clear and a single task – to
relate this single truth, “to hammer” its principles, rules and
definitions into the student’s head. There is not, and can not
be, a problem, because there can not be a different,
somebody’s own opinion (e. g., in the former philosophy of
Marxism). In a society guided by the ideology of
monologism, philosophy and its teaching can and must be
strictly regulated. Technical rules can be applied there, and
the problem method itself is perceived as a technique. This
means that the problems that should be answered by the
teacher can be strictly listed. A problem is understood as an
alien thing brought into philosophy from the outside. The
problems are “presented”.
In such a kind of philosophy, the object of study – or
rather “analysis” – is the sum total of knowledge or the
totality of fragments (citations), it is the knowledge which is
understood as something finite, a certain intellectual datum.
The philosophical truth is explained exclusively through the
meaning of a term, and the term is explained through its
usage and the affirmation of its application. The fact of the
presence of a term in a philosophical dictionary is
considered an adequate proof of its strictly limited sphere of
application. One should only learn it. On learning many
terms, those “basic” in particular, one can ostensibly
understand the general problems of philosophy.
The task is ostensibly fulfilled: the student has been
“acquainted” with philosophy.
Importance of Studying
a Text in Raising a Problem
The specific nature of philosophy resists its regulation
by methods of technical sciences. Philosophy, being an
uninterrupted creative process, a continuous solution of
fundamental questions devoid of commonly accepted
technical rules, allows no regulation.
One of specific features of philosophy is its “working”
with the text which should be read and understood. The text
is the tool of philosophical thinking. The tool of philosophy
is concepts, language which develops in time. As M.
Bakhtin puts it, “text is the primary datum (reality) and
starting point of any humanitarian science” (2: 292). There
is everywhere a real or an implied text. An investigation
becomes asking and answering questions, i.e. a dialogue.
We ask no questions from nature, and it gives no answers.
A naturalist questions himself and in a certain way
organizes his observation or experiment, whereas in the
study of man and society (humanitarian and social sciences)
we constantly deal with the questions that are already there,
expressed in the form of signs, notions, metaphors, texts,
and we do our best to perceive them.
thought. Such a way of study means a dialogue, because we
ask the author (philosopher) questions and find answers in
the text. The text and its understanding (not a description or
explanation) is exactly the “axis” on which all
methodological problems of philosophy are centered.
To study a text of natural and technical sciences means
just obtaining information, whereas reading philosophical
texts is a dialogue, a discussion between the philosopher’s
text, author’s experience on the one hand and the student’s
knowledge on the other. However, this is not just an
individual interaction between the student and the text. The
student comes with all his store of knowledge gained from
his social medium. In this case, of significance is also the
students’ specialty. “I find what I know.” First, he
understands the things that are already known to him.
However, the stock of knowledge (at least of a student) is
not large. Philosophical texts, both those belonging to the
past and present, in many cases are “alien” to the student,
because his knowledge and experience has been
accumulated even on a lower level of generalization, in
another “paradigm” of teaching. It is here that a conflict
appears first of all, i.e. a problem arises. How should I
understand a strange experience and of what use is it to me?
In general, is this strange text worth being understood by
me? Maybe I should only learn it (to pass the exam)? The
student encounters the dilemma: first, is the text worth
studying if it is not worth understanding? Second, if it is
worth understanding, how should I do it?
And here again approaches of natural sciences and
philosophy are at variance. The natural scientist sees an
objective fact or regularity behind the text.
The philosopher is interested in the meaning of a fact or
knowledge shapes itself and develops. A philosophical text
is a process that develops in time, reveals its meaning in
time, in the continuity and therefore is perceived
consistently, in time, and in development. An interrupted,
“broken” philosophical text or its fragment (excerpt)
“begrudges” information, it is devoid of argumentation and
Understanding while reading a text is not only a means,
but also the very matter of cognition. Thus, a philosophical
text has a dual meaning: it is both the matter of understanding
and the means of understanding. Philosophical
knowledge (cognition) is the awareness of what thinking
had done in the past. However, it is also relevant for the
present. Therefore philosophical knowledge is not just an
object (of study) on which a sum of data and facts must be
memorized. This is the very activity of thinking, which can
be cognized to the extent to which the cognizing mind
reproduces it, assimilates, and accepts it as a matter of
significance to him (subject) at present.
Therefore a philosophical text should be complete. The
studying mind works following the logic of thinking
imposed by the author, it begins to understand the
connections revealed by the author; even the style of
thinking is of importance. This is the way to acquire
knowledge, but at the same time the tool of thinking
undergoes training – habits are being formed in it. This is
why philosophical problems could be understood only
gradually, passing from one philosopher to another, and
with the growing complexity of the problems.
Teaching and Solving a Problem
A problem arises when there is a conflict between the
present situation and the goal. The subject (student) tries to
attain the goal (to understand), but he does not know the
ways and means to attain it. Therefore he is in a difficulty,
and faces a conflicting situation: the problem of
understanding, memorizing, and assimilating the philosophical
text arises. (The situation as such is certainly created
by the teacher since he teaches a new and unknown subject.)
The conflict is removed when the problem is solved.
However, it is a long and tedious process.
While solving the problem, the student first of all goes
beyond the limits of the already known information. In the
initial stages of teaching, instructions and verbal confirmations
are essential. However, later, they lose their primary
function and become auxiliary (e. g., explanation of terms).
From teaching in the narrow sense of the word (explanation
of terms, verbal definitions) we pass on to the consolidation
of associations (the richer the knowledge, the more
associations), to the explanation of a conception, which
involves an active participation of the student. “Teaching
by solving problems is a combination of images, creation of
hypotheses and creation of strategies” (4: 586, 625). Thus,
time. We think that in philosophy the processes of solving
problems are essentially identical to the processes of
The Ways of “Removing”
the Problem, or the Process of Solution
According to the definition of R. L. Ackoff and F. E.
Emery, “the problem is a state of striving for a goal, which
does not satisfy the striving individual” (1: 115).
In the process of cognition the cognizing subject
encounters – a problem which he must resolve in one or
another way. Two alternatives of solution are possible: 1)
the individual facing a problem (and this implies
dissatisfaction, “discomfort” of thinking) can “change his
striving” (1: 115), i.e. reject the problem, refuse to solve it;
or 2) the individual can substitute the state of dissatisfaction
by a “state of managing” (1: 123), i.e. to face the problem
and to solve it (to attain the state of satisfaction). First, the
student realizes the problem and searches in his memory for
the elements of knowledge that could be helpful in solving
it. If he finds enough of them, the solution begins. If not
enough – two ways are open: either to reject the problem
(or merely to learn it in order to pass the exam) or to start
acting, to search, to acquire new knowledge in order to
solve it. The teacher’s task is to raise gradually the level of
the complexity of the problems according to the acquired
level of philosophical knowledge. Thus, to encourage the
subject (a student) to tackle the problem (to turn the
obtained however still dead information into his own) three
conditions are required: first – a sufficient context of
knowledge (information) to provide material for
considering, explaining and understanding the problem (in
this relation, it is very important to present as much of
systemic knowledge as possible); second – the subject’s
intention “to improve the situation” (M. Wertheimer, 7:
293) or desire to know, and third – the sufficiently trained
abstract thinking of the subject (this is also one of the tasks
of the delivered course of philosophy).
The Importance of Disposition
The level of the complexity and universality of the
problem, its open or reserved character propose the ways of
its solution. Usually two ways of solution are specified: 1)
solution through trial and error, i.e. a random, unfounded
and sometimes even useless series of actions; 2) solution
based on a consistent analysis, systematic and purposeful
The disposition (one of the core individual features trained
through teaching philosophy) in the processes of cognition
acts as an organizing factor.
fixing factor, when there is a statement: “things are like
this.” In this case, the disposition acts as a factor impeding
a creative solution. (The student learns some series of facts,
statements and definitions, because he has to pass the
exam); 2) as a tendency to complete the cognitive activities.
In this case the disposition is also a precondition of search.
The process of solving the problem, depending on the
prevailing tendency, can proceed either stereotypically when
the facts, and notions presented by the teacher are accepted
passively, by “learning”, “cramming”, or in a creative way,
by searching for an independent, heuristic solution
important to the studying subject.
Ways to Stimulate Thinking
How can thinking be stimulated? In general terms, this
can be achieved by means of thinking of problems of the
most diverse levels by singling them out from a
philosophical text. However, only an active thinking
disposed to “change the situation in the direction of its
improvement” (M. Wertheimer) is capable of doing this.
stock of knowledge) how to organize his mental activities,
he usually fails to attain a high level of the development of
thinking, even within the context of the availability of best
preconditions and good conditions (“social niche”), and
even when the quality of teaching is high.
a task, creation of an optimal motivation, regulation of the
purposefulness of associations, maximal involvement of
both visual and symbolic metaphoric components, training
of conceptual thinking.
Creation and Strengthening of Motivation
Creation of motivation is one of the most important
preconditions of the enhancement of thinking. While
studying a subject, the questions arise: What is it good for?
Why should I know this? Will I ever need it in my life?
The motive of studying can be a vital necessity (to pass the
exam) or intellectual satisfaction (“I’ve made a discovery”).
To encourage the second motive is the first and most
important task of the teacher. The second case implies
independent thinking, initiative, individuality. Even if the
student is “reinventing the wheel,” even if he makes
essential mistakes because of his poor stock of knowledge,
the problem under consideration becomes his own problem.
And even if he fails, he gains practice in independent
thinking and arrives to the next problem which he will
manage to solve. N. Blake calls it “an ideal speech
situation” or “an ideal speech conditions” (3: 357; 356),
when the participants can freely exchange opinions, desires
and views, when only a “stronger argument” is searched for.
However, he stresses that such a situation is always difficult
to attain, because it implies a certain knowledge of the
subject under discussion. Otherwise, on the basis of
“common knowledge” alone, a person can speak and say
whatever comes to his mind: “Yet unstructured speech
situation can kill rationality” (3: 357). To maintain optimal
motivation, of use are a gradual increase in the complexity
of the problems in accordance with the man’s abilities. The
student moves from success to success, his self-confidence
augments, thus increasing his potential to overcome greater
and greater obstacles.
Overly complicated tasks should be avoided. Therefore
teaching philosophy should start “from the beginning:”
without Socrates one cannot understand Plato, without Plato
one will fail to understand Aristotle, etc., but one should
never start with an insuperable problem.
How should the optimal motivation be encouraged?
Sometimes the student must be challenged to encourage him
to overcome difficulties, to check his strength. Sometimes
he must be praised to encourage his attempts to experience
the joy of discovery again, to plunge into work, to
experience this emotional state once more. Praise
(augmentation of one’s personal significance) raises the
creative potential of the individual. Sometimes the student’s
ambitions must be stimulated.
When the individual is solving a problem, he inevitably
makes a broader use of information and reaches far beyond
the limits of the problem (and compulsory literature). It has
been proven experimentally that when a problem is accepted
higher. However, a failure in solving the problem may
change the student’s attitude for the worse: he will tend to
consider it not interesting and useless. He may even reject
it. Therefore it is reasonable to define the sphere of his
interests in which he will realize his abilities and only in this
relation to turn his attention to the philosophical problem
(i.e. to elucidate in the course of philosophy the problems
that are of interest to the students of a concrete specialty or
urgent for our time; to relate the problems of cognition,
social problems to the practical problems of the present).
The process of thinking contains in itself the conscious
and unconscious components. It is a well-known fact that
the process of solving a problem is not interrupted when the
subject ceases to think about it consciously. If the process
of solution “fails” despite a keen desire to perceive, it is
useful to put the problem aside for some time and “to
switch” to another one. Such a “switch”, with the
introduction of a collateral information (in philosophy this is
an excursion into the history of philosophy) helps to
concentrate on the new aspects of the problem, which will
actually turn helpful in solving it. When after such an
“excursion” into the history of philosophy the subject
returns to the primary formulation of the problem, it
becomes easily understood and thus solved. This happens
because of the thinking activity which has been incessantly
going on in the sub-consciousness and the accumulated new
content of cognition.
An unsuccessful attempt to solve a difficult problem
should be postponed in due time, before the desire comes to
reject it for good, because in this way one can escape a
decline in the level of motivation and an appearance of a
constantly negative (repulsive) attitude to the problem (or
even to the whole discipline). Exactly here the role of the
teacher comes forth by regulating the direction of associations,
i.e. causing the students to take interest in the
The Role of Posing
Questions in Solving a Problem
The process of thinking is also stimulated by the ability
to raise the appropriate questions, since questions help to
concentrate attention and limit the “shaking up” of the
hypotheses in one’s memory.
Thinkers in Ancient Greece searched for the ways to
encourage the pupil’s attempts to solve a problem. They
(Socrates) did it by asking questions. Socrates called his
discourses-dialogues “the midwife’s art,” because he not
only raised interest in his pupil, but also created the illusion
that the pupil himself found the solution of the problem.
It is desirable to drive the student to the solution,
however, so as to force the student to make the last step
Questions provide guidelines for the process of thinking,
prevent the thought from distraction, for example, from
“slipping away” from the philosophical level of thinking to
the level of special sciences or common sense.
Which is the way to develop the ability of raising
necessary (right) questions? This is what the method of
problem teaching under discussion is intended for. It
renders the student the status of a discoverer.
However, if a man gets the answer to the question too
soon, i.e. when he knows only the statement but does not
know the history, argumentation, etc., the knowledge
contained in the answer is poorly assimilated, because there
is no goal, not even the urge to know the answer (the only
goal remains – to pass the exam).
The Tasks of Problem Teaching
The process of teaching with the use of problems provides a
discovery. Each stage of teaching offers a new stock of
information. However, it is not so much the information
itself that matters, but rather stressing going beyond its
boundaries, to relate it to the contemporary level of
cognition or to the contemporary social or other problems.
In problem teaching, hazards or barriers can be hardly
escaped. These are the specific obstacles of thinking. The
inertness and stereotypes of thinking are connected with the
former philosophical school, with the prevailing ideology of
society, philosophical fashion, with the “traditions” of a
higher school, the teacher’s competence. The atavism of
monological thinking manifests itself in worshiping the
“authorities,” depreciation of the non-authorities, rubberstamping
in the evaluation of philosophers. The taboos of
thinking are still practiced by higher schools or departments.
The student, even without noticing it, becomes involved in a
traditional way of thinking.
It should be emphasized that problem teaching means
the beginning of the assimilation of new material not from
“familiarity” with the conventional ways how to solve the
problem (what has been written on the subject by several
philosophers, often with no relations with their specific
epochs, without any historical or even theoretical context),
These conditions imply assimilation of the entire
“phylogenesis” of philosophy, moving from epoch to epoch,
from philosopher to philosopher. And this means more than
merely learning some fragments. This is the only condition
for the student to assimilate knowledge not because it was
delivered, “reported” or dictated by the teacher, but because
arising problems which have already become of personal
importance to him, the student assimilates new material
deeper and sooner – because he cares!
1. Philosophical problems can be perceived only gradually,
passing from one philosopher to another, from one
epoch to another. Therefore fragmentary teaching of
principles, definitions, “general” questions does not
create a “problem field.”
2. The knowledge delivered while lecturing philosophy
should be systematized as much as possible. Therefore
it is impossible to offer a problem presentation of
knowledge in such a vast discipline as philosophy in a
3. It is necessary to provide a continuous tension of solving
the problems, an uninterrupted connection between
lectures and discussions, because discussions are the
place where the aroused “conflict” of cognition is
directed towards creative approach, the student is
inspired with the desire to know, “to discover.”
4. Discussions should ensure the atmosphere of “relaxed
mind” allowing any nonsense to be said, without
demanding immediately “the only correct” answer. The
student, as a self-regulating system, comes to see his
mistakes by himself, he himself “makes a discovery”
while trying to solve a problem that is of importance to
him, under the non-obtrusive guidance of the teacher,
who without force, but with a deep knowledge of the
matter, implants associations.
5. The whole method of problem teaching is based on
knowledge. Therefore studying the original sources (not
only descriptions or, even worse, questionable manuals),
should become an indispensable requirement.
York: Aldine; Atherton, 1972.
Philosophy and a Study in Ideology. London: Gollancz; Boston:
Learning. British Journal of Educational Studies. 1996. Vol. 44, No.
1. P. 9-26.
Philosophy. May 1997. No 5. – P. 1.
1998. Vol. 29, No. 3. P. 145-158.
The Challenge of Establishing a
Common Set of Terms for Discourse,
Inquiry and Research in
Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania
world and Lithuania is presented. A comparative analysis
of various educational phenomena such as education, selfeducation,
pedagogy, andragogy, training, fostering,
teaching, learning and others is conducted. The difference
between educology (knowledge about education) and
education as process are identified. Three main processes -
child education, child partial self-education and adult full
self-education - encompassing education as phenomenon
are presented. A semantic analyis is made of the words
Russian and Lithuanian. The main finding of the research is
that educology can be understood as research on the three
levels of education, viz. child education, child self-education
and adult self-education. Educological research has as its
purpose the extension of knowledge about these processes.
time in the history of Lithuanian discourse about the
conduct inquiry and research. For example, he did not
science of child education, i.e. pedagogy, or the
investigation of self-education, i.e. andragogy or to the
inquiry into effective coordination among educational
systems, i.e. studies of the management of education.
Jovaiša defined the term in a rather controversial way. He
stated there is no “… doubt [that] both words - educology
and pedagogy - have the right to exist. The Lithuanian
education” (L. Jovaiša, 1993, p. 9). According to S.
Šalkauskis, “pedagogy is the science of child education, or
theory” (S. Šalkauskis, 1992, p. 2). The question is whether
it is necessary to have two different terms with the same
book he stated that educology is not pedagogy because “the
concept of pedagogy is too constricted to express the reality
of education.” Jovaiša argued that the science of education
which encompasses the scientific study of the educational
process as it functions throughout the entire lifespan of
human beings needs a new term to refer to that science. A
possible to define
p. 14). Having asserted the necessity of a new term, Jovaiša
paradoxically does not use the term in the main text of his
Nevertheless, Jovaiša inaugurated the use of the term
Despite the odd circumstances in which the term had
widely. Its wider usage was related to the fact that the term
the national register of sciences as one of the domains of
social sciences (such a domain does not exist in any other
country). And only the successive scientific discussion
started the search for its more precise definition and its place
in relation to inquiry and research about the set phenomena
which constitutes educational reality. However, different
different definitions. That is why there is no wonder the
answer as to what its research object is. The question
remains as to what specific set of phenomena is researched
by educology which is not studied by pedagogy, andragogy,
or studies of management of education or other educational
set of research and inquiry, then to what kind of inquiry and
inquiry investigate? Equivocal definitions of the term
In order for fruitful, meaningful progress to be made in
scientific discourse, research and inquiry about educational
phenomena, a situation in which the term
equivocally can not be tolerated. The strong implication is
that it is very important to identify the kind of inquiry and
educational phenomena which is inquired about and
researched by educology.
term educology refers to or can be made to refer to any
inquiry and research about any as yet unexplored
educational phenomena. If the answer is “yes,” then the
related question is which set? We set ourselves the
1. To conduct a brief review of the origin and uses of
2. To analyze the development of the meaning of the
3. To analyze the structure of the concept of the term
literature resource analysis and comparative analysis.
A Brief Review of the Origins
and Uses of the Term
terms, it is important to note it is not used widely in the
works by foreign authors. The more common and accepted
foundations of education
uncommon term as well, although the term
is widely used.
from the works of several scholars in Europe, North
America, and Australia almost 50 years ago. One of the
first to use the term was Professor Elizabeth Steiner Maccia,
who taught philosophy of education at Indiana University.
She initially coined the term “
Logic of Education and Educatology: Dimensions of
Earlier, in 1951, the term was used by Professor Lowry W.
Harding of Ohio State University. He treated the use of the
Others who worked independently of E. Steiner Maccia
included Rachel Elder of the University of California,
Professor Diana Buell Hiatt of Pepperdine University (Los
Angeles, California), John B. Biggs of Newcastle University
Educational Practice, 1976
(University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands, in his
Many other scholars have worked on the problem of the
Maccia, David Denton, James E. Fisher, James E.
Christensen, William E. Eaton, Gregory J. Pozovich, Jerome
A. Popp, Richard Snow and others. After 1980, the term
educational process, but also in the names of organizations.
In 1981 the publishing group, Educology Research
Associates, was formed by James E. Christensen in
Australia. In 1989. Educology Research Associates/USA
was established in South Carolina by James E. Fisher. An
Australian National University in Canberra in 1986.
Educology Research Associates published the proceedings
commenced publication of the
Magnus University, Lithuania, and Stockholm University,
Sweden, have established Departments of Educology.
Especially noteworthy are the works of Professor J.
Fisher, one of the few overseas scientists of education who
depends on the context. The term has at least two common
referents: (1) the educational process as it functions in any
social and cultural setting for all ages and (2) knowledge
about that educational process. The term
is ambiguous by equivocation, in that at one time the word has the
meaning to reference the scope of the process of education, as
conducted in some setting, and another time to name a domain of
knowledge that references the scope of the process of education. [J.
Fisher, 2001, p. 175]
To resolve the ambiguity, Fisher and other English
speaking scientists of education (Steiner Maccia,
used to name knowledge about the educational process and
process itself in all of its manifestations. In addition, E.
Steiner Maccia, G. Maccia, J. Fisher, and J. Christensen
scientific knowledge about the educational process, but also
historical, philosophical and praxiological knowledge about
the educational process. Historical educology, in their
conception, describes and explains past educational
practices. Scientific educology describes and explains
current educational phenomena. Praxiological educology
describes effective practices within the educational process.
And philosophical educology addresses issues such as the
meaning of discourse about educational phenomena, the
ethics of conduct within educational processes and the
value and merit of educational outcomes, goals and aims.
These researchers refer to themselves as educologists,
knowledge about the educational process, including
philosophical, historical, scientific and praxiological
knowledge. They eschew the name
because they at times conduct research and inquiry about
education which is other than scientific. They argue, that
their inquiry about the educational process may be
historical, philosophical, scientific or praxiological,
depending on the kinds of questions being asked in the
research. But whatever the kind of inquiry, if it is about
educational phenomena, then in their conception, they are
The discussion about the proper use of the term
historians, philosophers and praxiologists of education) has
carried on since 1951. However, even today, after more
than 50 years, despite logical argumentation from the
semantic point of view academic society has not reached
consensus on the referent of
Here the diverse nature of scientific culture of
Lithuanian and Western scientists who conduct inquiry and
research about educational phenomena becomes important
to consider. It is also important to consider what scientific
discussion has occurred in Lithuania about the appearance
what new inquiry and research about phenomena within
set of educational phenomena which is not studied by
pedagogy, andragogy, studies of management of education,
and other categories of studies about educational
I. Kant has warned that the proliferation and delineation
of scientific boundaries “is not expansion of sciences, but
their deformation” (I. Kant, 1996, p. 36). This is a telling
point, and it should be heeded. In general, what are the
implications and what are the benefits or otherwise of
science of education?
Analysis of the Concept of
in the Works of Lithuanian Authors
defined and described more accurately when a few scientists
of education initiated the discussion typical for any
scientific discourse. They asked the obvious question as to
differences compared to child education (studied by
pedagogy), adult self-education (studied by andragogy),
studies of educational management and studies of other
phenomena which are researched by educational sciences?
Various scientists have tried to answer the question. The list
Culture of the Nation
tai?”, 1999); B. Bitinas in the article
edukologijos mokslo vystymo klausimai”, 1996); P.
Development of Educational Science: From Pedagogics to
edukologijos studijas”, 1998) and other scientists of
As mentioned above, L. Jovaiša in 1993 grounded the
use of the term
phenomena which is included in the processes of children’s
and young people’s education. The referent of
does not include inquiry and research about adult education.
research about the set of phenomena included in the process
of adult education.
So, Jovaiša argues, that both terms
to refer to inquiry and study about the whole of the
educational process, in all social and cultural settings and
throughout the lifetime of all human beings.
It is Jovaiša conclusion that research and inquiry about
human education, including life-long education, needs a
for permanent human and group education. But in his
child education (“ugdymas”), and not in the broader sense
of education (“švietimas”).
To translate properly into English, the definition which
Jovaiša advocates for
Educology is the science of permanent human and group
only about the period of childhood education and not the
whole of the educational process. In Diagram 1, a more
detailed explication is presented of the structure of the
educational process and the referents of the Lithuanian
terms within the educational process.
At first glance, it could seem educology is the science
which includes pedagogy and andragogy. However, a very
simple and important question to ask is whether it is correct
in a scientific context to speak only about adult education.
Is andragogy only research and inquiry about adult
education? Is it proper to research and inquire only about
adult education, or it is more proper to develop scientific
discourse about self-education? To what extent does the
process of education differ from that of self-education? In
other words, are education, child education, child selfeducation
and adult self-education identical to each other?
If they are different, what measures need to be taken to
conduct fruitful research and inquiry about the different sets
of phenomena within the educational process?
We take the position that child education (the referent of
the development of human maturation.
Structure of process of education (“švietimas”) through
In the Lithuanian language, the etymological structure of
child’s autonomy because the child’s education is specific
and fully influenced by a teacher. The teacher’s proper role
is to manage the child’s educational process, to nominate
educational goals for the child, to choose teaching methods
and aids. The teacher must perform these tasks on behalf of
the child because the child is not able to do these tasks or to
conceive of what needs to be done. Education (the referent
1995, p. 31), but not conveyance of all the knowledge to a
child without consideration of the child’s age and the
content of teaching material. The child’s behavior in the
educational process takes on mainly the features of
Child partial self-education
(on the boundary between
pedagogy and andragogy)
Adult full selfeducation
of the word a semantic meaning of
level of personal autonomy in education. Child selfeducation
in the educational process, but the leading role is reserved
for a teacher. A child chooses methods and aids for
achievement of a set of educational objectives, but the child
does not formulate educational and self-educational goals.
In this stage of child self-education, however, the child’s
behavior already has some features of limited creativity.
himself or herself nominates and clarifies self-education
goals, and a teacher assists the learner to attain the learnernominated
the beginning of the word. It points to the priority for adult
decisions with regard to the adult’s educational goals,
methods and learning outcomes. In this stage, an adult has
full freedom of educational creativity. It means it is not
correct in a scientific context to speak about permanent
impossible to educate an adult. Mentioning only the term
education, viz. its transformation into personalized full selfeducation.
It is the reason why the concept of educology
presented in the last work of Jovaiša is problematic.
Jovaiša writes: “The object of educology has been defined
as human education for a long time” (2001, p. 8).
It is telling that Jovaiša does not refer to any discussions
the scientific mission of educological research activity. The
activity relates to the research about all the educational
processes which are included within the set of educational
Jovaiša’s evasion of a clear definition of the term
be any sound and clear argumentation mounted to establish
what is the object about which educology might research
and inquire. Child partial self-education and adult full selfeducation
are not mentioned at all. If educology is a
“science of education,” what is pedagogy? Jovaiša treats
educology and pedagogy as the same science – science of
education. It seems as if Jovaiša tries to substitute the term
B. Bitinas and P. Jucevi
and adult self-education. B. Bitinas rightly notes
that a person develops continuously and that is why any
individual human being is both an object and subject at any
period of life, so “self-education exists in all the levels of
education” (1, p. 53). However it is odd B. Bitinas does not
distinguish child self-education and adult self-education as a
separate components of education. Are they not different
and independent phenomena of educational reality?
22). In her other work the author does not mention child
self-education, but presents adult self-education: “educology
is the science of human education and adult self-education,
1997, p. 11). This definition relates to the concept of
This conception of educology implies that educology has no
independent research object, but at the same time it studies
everything which belongs to pedagogy, andragogy and
withdraws this definition (especially the concept of adult
full self-education), and accepts L. Jovaiša’s ideas by the
definition: “educology is human education through all
his/her life, and the science of assuring such education by
formal and informal educational organization” (P.
disregard for child self-education and adult self-education,
which should be encompassed in permanent human
to L. Jovaiša’s, is expressed in the title of the book –
“Human Education: Introduction to Educological Studies”.
On the other hand, the author introduces the concept of
process of educatio, and its components should be
1998, p. 83). It should be understood as if educology is the
science of child education (“pedagogy”), and process of
education is the process of child education (“pedagogy”).
Then it is not clear why it is necessary to have the two terms
for the same science and process. Besides, it means child
education (pedagogy) involves child education (pedagogy)
and adult self-education (andragogy). Is it logical to assert
One of the authors of this article, trying to clarify the
conception of educology, has not avoided mistakes either.
He identified educology with andragogy: “educology can be
the science of adult self-education analyzing preconditions,
goals, consistent patterns and educational assistance for
permanent physical and spiritual development of a mature
person in various periods of his/her life” (K. Pukelis, 1995,
p.48). Later, in 1998, the author suggested the two concepts
of educology for the discussion: 1) educology is equivalent
to andragogy, encompassing the science of full selfeducation
Pukelis, 1998, p. 68). However, the author stressed both the
versions could be criticized.
Logical Analysis of the Concept of
Educology and its Place in Educational Reality
It has been mentioned that the concepts educology and
gives only the definition of pedagogy. It could be explained
by conditional novelty of the two concepts in the Lithuanian
language, though foreign authors have used the concept of
educology for several decades, and the concept of
different languages -- Latin and Greek. The Latin word
vocabularies. In K. Kuzavinas’ Latin-Lithuanian vocabulary
(1995, p. 328) the term
English-Russian vocabulary (1979, p. 429) the term
in the context of educational sciences. There is no wonder
since the compilers of the vocabularies had no striving to
deeply analyze educational phenomena.
however it does not mean “science” as many researchers
often declare. On the other hand, reasoning is certainly an
treated as science in a way. In Greek the word “science”
educational phenomena it is not the most exact translation,
e.g. the combination of Greek words
would be not
Lithuanian the help of specialists would be important. –
great scientist of pedagogy, and many Lithuanian authors
keep to this explanation. Literally,
as process. Figuratively,
because a child is guided spiritually. But pedagogy cannot
be the science of education, which researches educational
process. Here we can make an important conclusion: the
education, and andragogy means science of adult self
education. Logical analysis of the concepts raises the
question of why the two terms are defined as a science when
the structure of the words does not contain the
Nowadays pedagogy is usually treated as a science. The object of
The doubt can be felt in the words of S. Šalkauskis about
educational science, since the author places two
qualifications in his definition. The first one is “nowadays,”
and the second is “usually.” It could seem the author allows
other interpretations, but the one mentioned was taken as the
basic one, and it was used for almost the whole of the 19
Lithuanian pedagogical culture. Besides, S. Šalkauskis
Greek, the referent of the word
Šalkauskis suggests that two other terms could be used
child study (S. Šalkauskis, 1992). It means that S.
upbringing, signifying process, and process of adult
education could be andragogy. According to the semantic
not appropriate because
educational science, and science of human being is not the
same as science of self-education. That is why the
relationship of the concepts illustrated in Diagram 2 is not
valid in a scientific approach.
Meanwhile the scheme in Diagram 3 can be appropriate
in a scientific context. On the other hand, the concepts
presented below would bring chaos in conceptualizing and
discerning educational phenomena, and all of them should
be defined anew. But perhaps it is a necessary step to take
in order to create an exact system for classifying and
identifying all educational phenomena.
Process and subject are treated as the same dimension,
and it is not exact in scientific approach
Logical analysis of the concepts allows us to make the
the process of full adult self-education. It is important to
note that the set of all educational phenomena includes child
education, child partial self-education and adult full selfeducation.
Moreover, these processes are part of the larger
process of maturation of human beings. Children are
initially educated, then as they mature, the educational
process evolves into partial self-education, and as children
emerge into adulthood, the educational process transforms
into full self-education. Child education, partial and full
self-education comprise the set of educational phenomena
involving all the other educational phenomena, e.g. teaching
and learning, training and self-training, upbringing and selfupbringing,
(“study of human being”)
1. The analysis of the concept of educology shows this
term is not used widely, but it has been used from the
2. The analysis reveals different scientists use the term
its research object.
involves such phenomena of educational reality as child
Distinctive branches of educational sciences
analyze aspects of the educational process, e.g.
pedagogy for child education, and andragogy for adult
full self-education. Hence, educology could be
not as a part of it, e.g. science of child education
PROCESS OF CHILD EDUCATION/ CHILD
PROCESS OF ADULT FULL SELF-EDUCATION
(CHILD EDUCATION (PAIDEIA), CHILD
PARTIAL SELF-EDUCATION AND
ADULT FULL SELF-EDUCATION)
4. It is an obvious necessity that e the concepts of pedagogy
and andragogy need revision. Semantically the do not
convey the meaning of science, which should be
expressed by the Greek words “epistimi” or “logos.” It is
keep the same semantic paradigm. Then we would have
pedagogy for process of child education, andragogy for
process of adult self-education, and educogogy for
process of education in general. These concepts would
mean process, but not science. On the other hand, the
words, and merger of the two different cultures in one
word could indicate that the term is inappropriate
semantically and scientifically. Could it be more precise
educatio, and to name educational science as
made such a suggestion many years ago).
5. Questions which need to be addressed within the
educational scientific community include the following:
undiscovered phenomenon of educational reality,
which has not been defined by any established
educational science, which involves the three main
phenomena: child education (teaching, training,
upbringing, etc.), child partial self-education (limited
freedom in learning, self-training and selfupbringing),
and adult full self-education (learning,
self-training, self-upbringing and etc.)?
be treated as science, which systematizes all the
knowledge about education and encompasses all the
research on educational phenomena (child education,
partial child self-education and full adult selfeducation)?
discussion to decide on the main concepts describing
phenomena of educational reality, which could
become an “Esperanto” version in the science of
education, and be understood by the researchers in
all the countries? In such a case is it necessary to
decide which language should be the basic one for
the definition of the concepts. Greek? Latin?
English? Or is it possible to use the words of the
1 A more detailed explanation is given in Diagram 1.
Describing the concept of educology L. Jovaisa uses the
be understood as
or partial self-education (
there is a logical contradiction in the definition since
permanent human education encompasses all the stages
of human life - from childhood to senescence.
2. Bitinas B. (2000). Ugdymo filosofija, Vilnius, Enciklopedija.
3. Bolšoj anglo-russkyj slovarj (1979), M.
(1998), Kaunas, Technologija.
7. Edukologijos studijos Lietuvos mokyklai (1998), Kaunas,
8. Fisher J. (2001). Universal And Unifying Experiental Research
Methopdology In The Domain Of Educology//Pedagogika, t.51, p.
146-167 arba 168-189.
13. Jovaiša L. (2001). Ugdymo mokslas ir praktika, Vilnius, Agora.
16. Kantas I. (1996). Grynojo proto kritika. – Mintis.
19. Pukelis K. (1999). Edukologija: kas tai?, “Pedagogika”, t. 38,
M., “Russkij jazyk”.
23. Šalkauskis S. (1991). Rinktiniai raštai.
2005 Lithuanian Special Issue
The Impact of Philosophical Trends on the Conceptualisation of an Educology of
Vocation (A Paper in Philosophy of Educology)
Associate Professor of Educology
Vilnius Pedagogical University
Introduction by Co-Editors
This article is one in philosophy of educology in that it considers philosophical trends
in the conceptualisation of knowledge about vocational education and training, i.e. of
an educology of vocation. It philosophically inquires into the nature an educology of
vocation, finding: (1) existentialistic, humanistic, romantic, idealistic, and radical
humanistic; (2) materialistic, behavioural, and libertarian, and; (3) progressive,
pragmatic, post-modernistic, and critical thinking philosophical trends, as they relate to
personality development in vocational education and training theory, programs, and
Introduction by Author
On the basis of psychologically and philosophically oriented scientific resources, this article
analyses philosophical aspects of personality development in the context of an educology of
vocation. A classification of philosophical trends of personality development in educology is
presented, as they are involved in vocational education and training. Also presented is an
investigation of the impact of philosophical trends in an educology of vocation, as these trends
are oriented toward persons and their productivity and skill development in problem solving.
Finally, perspectives for methodological research continuity in educology are foreseen and
conclusions are presented.
In the background of rapid economical, social, and technological changes, the paradigmatic
research of issues involved in an educology of vocation is advanced by exploring its
philosophical basis. Such research can enrich vocational education and training theory and give
impetus for new scientific investigations in educology. This enables vocational education and
training practitioners to enlarge their decision possibilities and help to reconsolidate
philosophical trends and main values that ground their working activities, in that “at an abstract
ideal level, the interchange of scientific and practical areas causes a more rapid provision of
knowledge than at a specific level of means and methods” (Astley and Zammuto, 1992, p. 444).
The development of an educology of vocation raises the following fundamental paradigmatic
issues: (1) What philosophical trends function as the bases for the development of an educology
of vocation? (2) Which direction of an educology of vocation should be chosen, one that is
oriented by personality development or one oriented by personality productivity? (3) What
aims should prevail in an educology of vocation, one giving priority to general- or one giving
priority to special-mono-professional skill development?
Lithuanian scholars Laužackas (1999), Pukelis (1998), Šernas (1997), Kavaliauskiene (2001)
and others emphasise the importance of a methodological and philosophical basis for an
educology of vocation. Pukelis (1998) investigates the relationship between educology as a
science and philosophy as a science and claims that trends in both of these sciences "try to
relate thought and activity and foresee the methods and perspectives of the latter.” (p. 204)
A great number of foreign researchers, Swanson (1995), Russ-Eft (1996), Kuchinke (1998),
etc., state that an educology of vocation, as an educology of vocational education and training
programmes, should include the exploration of paradigmatic and philosophical foundations of
vocational education and training.
The developers of vocational education and training strategy and of designs for curriculum
have to analyse current vocational situation, and what is of utmost importance, they have to
construct future perspectives for critically evaluating possible models of ideal systems for
vocational education and training. It is at this normative level that paradigmatic issues arise and
differences between alternative personality development trends originate from different
However, an educology of vocation, as an educology vocational education and training
systems, lacks attempts to solve these paradigmatic issues with regard to a mature concept of
Therefore, the purpose of the research in this article is to carry out the analysis of philosophical
trends of personality development in the context of an educology of vocational education and
training. The pursuit of this purpose was guided by the following educologically oriented
(1) the classification of philosophical trends of personality development being
presented in the context of an educology of vocation as an educology of vocational
education and training;
(2) the investigation of the impact of person-oriented philosophical trends in educology
being based upon the development of vocational education and training;
(3) the exploration of the impact of productivity-oriented philosophical trend in
educology being based upon the development of vocational education and training;
(4) the examination of the impact of principal problem solving skill-oriented
philosophical trends in educology being based upon the development of vocational
education and training, and;
(5) in the context of an educology of vocational education and training reform, the
continuity in perspectives of methodological research being defined.
Within this educologically oriented research rationale, research methods were applied to
aspects of the analysis of psychological and philosophical research literature in respect to
information systematising, and structurising.
The Classification of Philosophical Trends of Personality Development in the Context of an
Educology of Vocational Education and Training
The theoretical and practical areas of vocational education and training oriented educological
research are often grounded on various personality concepts that are difficult to define. A
critical analysis and verification of the application possibilities of these concepts are necessary
for theoreticians and practitioners developing the theoretical background of the curriculum in
order to find more possibilities to carry out thoughtful solutions and refine scientific and
practically oriented educological conclusions.
In vocational education and training educological theory, three alternative personality
development trends are distinguished, all of which derive from different philosophical
traditions, as follows:
(1) Person-oriented philosophical trend in educology raising self-realisation and
individuality issues as indicated by ideas originating in humanistic psychology and
(2) Productivity-oriented philosophical trend in educology concentrating on labour world
tasks as indicated by ideas originating in behaviourism and libertinism;
(3) Principal problem solving skill-oriented philosophical trend in educology directing the
development of active, critical, and cognitive thinking skills of a person as indicated by
ideas originating in cognitive psychology, progressivism, and pragmatism.
Every trend of personality development lays a constructive basis for the determination of the
role and functions in educology for the profession of vocational education and training.
Theory and practice of the profession of vocational education and training, as based on an
educology of vocation, can be related to one of these three different personality development
philosophical trends. These trends can further be classified according to the classical theories of
Kohlberg and Mayer (1972) which discern three different educologically oriented ideological
movements, i.e. the ideology of romantic, the culture transmitting, and the progressive
movements. Knowles (1984) expresses a similar idea emphasising the mechanical
behaviouristic, cognitive, and humanistic educologically oriented models, each of them being
related to a unique learning strategy and being based on “three different personality structure
concepts” (p. 6).
These philosophical trends of personality development complement an educological theory of
vocational education and training and each of them enriches the practice of the profession
based on this theory. On the other hand, new ideas that have emerged out of a vocational
education and training educological theory and practice can help to surmount the existing
limitations of philosophical trends and adequately respond to the challenges of the rapidly
changing world of work.
Table 1 illustrates the classification of different philosophical trends according to the core goal
of personality development, applying the method of information systematisation and
structuralisation. The core goals are those of person-oriented, productivity-oriented, and
principal problem solving skill-oriented personality development. Each of these trends
originated from different philosophical traditions and each creates specific assumptions about
human nature, the working world, and the development of society.
Table 1. Classification of personality development philosophical trends according to
Feature of Personality development philosophical trends
philosophical trend of
Principal problem solving
Competent and effective
for personal identity and
ensured by acquisition
is fostered by a “dialogue”
vocation discovery and
attitudes and values
necessary to carry out
work activity functions
cognitive structure and
elements comprising the
Two factor theory
Quality of work
Other parts of the article describe the relationship between each of these philosophical trends,
in an educology of vocational education and training systems, in regard to the determination of
the merits and demerits, as well as the analysis, of their inter-discrepancies.
2. Person-oriented philosophical trend in educology
Person-oriented concept of educology as originated from the philosophical traditions of
idealism, humanism, and romanticism (Fig.1).
Fig.1. Philosophical origins of person-oriented educology
Romanticism is an intellectual movement that reached the apogee at the end of the 18th century
and the beginning of the 19th century. (Flew, 1979) According to the followers of romanticism,
the major personality development principles are based on internal personal growth and on
strengthening the relationship with one’s internal reality in consideration of the imperative by
Kant (1724-1804) that a person should always be treated as an end in her/himself.
The founders of the humanism theory, Allport (1897-1967), Maslow (1908-1970), and Rogers
(1902-1987), under the influence of the ideas of existentialism, transferred the principles of
romanticism to contemporary educology, psychology, and sociology.
A great many Lithuanian researchers in an educology of vocation, as the educology of
vocational education and training, are in favour of postulates oriented by humanism. The
principles of this philosophical movement and attitude toward personality development are
expressed in central positions of the normative documents of (1) Lithuanian Conception of
Education (1992) and (2) Vocational Education and Training White Papers (1999). The major
goal of an educology of vocational education and training is to develop a conscious,
independent, active, and mature nature to meet national and state needs, lifelong learning needs,
and universally creative personality needs, while actively participating in the processes
involved in the development of a democratic society. (White Papers, 1999, p. 19) One of the
four educological principles of Lithuanian education is that of a principle of humanism, stating
PHILOSOPHICAL TREND OF
that it is necessary to create and implement “personal worthiness, respect for every
individuality, freedom of choice, humanistic relationships based on values peculiar to all
human beings at all stages of vocational education and training, and person-oriented teaching
programmes that satisfy human needs” (White Papers, 1999, p. 21).
Foreign scholars also ground the development of contemporary theories in humanistic
principles. Here are some of the major statements of these theories.
(1) Maslow (1970) as the founder of the human needs hierarchy theory that is based on
a latent developmental sequence of person’s internal life, i.e. of a latent personality
development, wherein, the goal of a person is self-actualisation;
(2) Herzberg’s (1966) two factor motivational theory as based on the model of cohering
contradictory internal needs and external tasks in persons, revealing the psychological
origin of the “major contradiction between the subjective and objective aspects of the
vocation;” (Laužackas, 1999, p. 26)
(3) Deming (1982) and others as representatives of a total quality management theory
grounded on the factual vocational preparation of their employees, wherein, their
motivation is expressed by internal intention to perform efficiently.
Person-oriented philosophical trends in educology discover and reveal the qualities of inborn
internal good, natural human health, and they search for methods of making personal sense and
personal expression actual. Personality is considered active, rational, self-aware, and complex,
having the empowered freedom to develop the awareness of dignity and the feeling of being
responsible for making sense of one’s life. A student is fully allowed to reveal herself/himself
in one’s work by whatever she/he has the potential to be. It is implied that every person tends to
positive values, emphasizing the importance of person’s internal states and feelings and the
importance of carrying out duties, aptitude, achievement, objectives, and responsibility. Other
life factors do not satisfy the person by themselves, in that they are only important to the extent
of internal personality growth and awareness and the experience of happiness and health.
With regard to educology of vocation institutions, the person-oriented philosophical trend in
the educology of vocational education and training demands the creation of an environment
that stimulates personality growth, in which every student can fully reveal and use her/his
internal experience, inborn aptitude, and externally trained skills. In this respect, educology of
vocation institutions fully perform their functions when all the obstacles for student’s selfexpression
are eliminated and a learning/teaching environment, based on openness and respect,
is nurtured in which individual creativity can manifest itself. However, applying these merits in
practice is bound to face the major hindrances of inertness and rigidity that are socially and
individually entrenched in existing vocational education and training systems for a long time,
hence, systems that are likely to resist new structural changes.
Aktouf (1992) maintains a radical humanistic point of view and insists that educology of
vocational education and training institutions aim to “develop student’s attitude to working
experience as a real self-continuation, a possibility for self-expression, and satisfaction of one’s
personal needs and interests” (p. 419).
This philosophical trend in educology is based on striving for human development in which
each person is responsible for her/himself, hence, responsible for developing her/his internal
potential and other inner life experiences. This is the basis for the development of self-control
and responsibility for her/his life experiences and independence in all spheres of work. Personoriented
philosophical trends in educology suggest accepting the disposition that students are
the core priority of vocational education and training systems.
Focusing on the subjective-personal aspect of an educology of vocation, this philosophical
trend in educology does not analyse the objective aspect, i.e. economic labour market demand
aspect, in vocations. After the ideas of the person-oriented philosophical trends in educology
have become methodological foundation of vocational education and training, the
contradictions between the subjective and objective aspects of vocations have become more
acute, as during the teaching/learning period a personal development goal is emphasised,
whereas having gained the qualification and started work activity, the graduate encounters
economic market laws which challenges he is not yet ready to accept. In the working world
where laws of competition prevail, personality growth is not the major goal.
Productivity-Oriented Philosophical Trend in Educology
This educologically oriented concept derives from behaviourism and libertarism philosophy
Fig. 2. Philosophical origin of productivity-oriented educology
If person-oriented philosophical trend of education focuses on personal needs and goals,
productivity-oriented philosophical trend of education raises a different goal for personal
development – enlarge the person’s productive capacities. Vocational educational and training
goal is to transmit knowledge, rules of social behaviour, develop skills and abilities necessary
to perform a vocational activity efficiently. Personal development is fostered by the acquisition
of knowledge, abilities, skills, attitudes and values necessary to react properly to the demands
and to satisfy external needs. This philosophical trend of education is closely related to role
theory (Stryker and Statham, 1985). Personal development is evaluated according to the degree
of correspondence of two factors – a measurable, valuable behaviour and expectations of the
performed role, whereas in case of person-oriented approach it was evaluated by person’s
feelings, thoughts or other internal states. Dooley (1940) expresses the position of productivityoriented
philosophical trend of education: “The purpose of vocational education and training is
to increase labour productivity, i.e. solve productivity problem through person’s education.
This method “helps a person to use what he has learnt in the work activity and acquire specific
skills” (Swanson, Torraco, 1995, p. 2).
According to productivity-oriented philosophical trend of education, the major goal of
education is to seek for personal development in order to satisfy working world demands.
Working world is understood as a purpose-oriented entity, constructed, organised and governed
to fulfil a set of objectives. A person’s goal is to help realise these objectives, whereas the goal
of vocational education and training is to provide a future worker with necessary knowledge,
abilities and skills to empower him to perform specific defined functions. The measure of
personal development is the necessary level the employee achieves to perform his role and to
help labour work institution to achieve its general goals.
This philosophical trend of education helps to rapidly find answers to clearly determined
problems. Applying this philosophical trend of education, a vocational education and training
institution can provide a student with knowledge, abilities and skills necessary to perform a
clearly defined objective activity. Using productivity-oriented philosophical strategy of
education, vocational education and training institution can provide a necessary help to the
student by teaching; however, this requires necessary preconditions: clear aims, reliable and
well-known methods and accessible resources to achieve them. Science of management,
various theories of labour world development and industrial relationships are predominantly
based on productivity-oriented philosophy of education.
This philosophical trend of education, having its major goal to increase the person’s
productivity, in a single-sided way focuses on the objective aspect of vocation, i.e. on carrying
out the objectives of economic market, whereas the subjective aspect of the vocation is
examined only as far as the achieving of this goal concerns. Thus, in this case, a person is one
of the means necessary to carry out economic market objectives, i.e. a person is treated like an
object. This unethical and inhuman attitude contradicts a personalistic norm that states that a
person is a non-reductive subject and can never be treated like an object because of his innate
dignity and unique internal experience (Wojtyla, 1997). Ignoring this personalistic norm in
vocation-labour relationship creates theoretical assumptions for negative tendencies that open
up a possibility to use and exploit a person; it also causes deformation of vocation choice
motivation: On the one hand, it makes pure rational and pragmatic motives absolute; on the
other hand, it suppresses inner personal incentives, as well as the discovery of individual
vocation calling and self-realisation. When the ideas of productivity-oriented education become
the methodological basis for vocational education and training strategy, the major vocation
contradiction between a subjective and objective aspects of a vocation becomes more acute as
learning/teaching emphasises the performance of specific objectives of the economic market
and obtaining of knowledge, abilities and skills necessary for that purpose, whereas person’s
internal experience and needs are ignored.
Principal Problem Solving Skill-Oriented Philosophical Trends in Educology
This educological concept was derived from philosophical trends of progressivism, cognitive
thinking, pragmatism and postmodernism (Fig.3).
Fig. 3. Philosophical origin of principal problem solving skill-oriented educology
Principal problem solving skill-oriented philosophical trend of education emphasises not
revealed, innate, latent personality features and possibilities; productivity-oriented model of
education stresses the importance of the tuning of person’s relationship with requirements of
PRINCIPAL P ROBLEM
PHILOSOPHICAL TREND IN
external environment; whereas principal problem solving skill-oriented philosophical trend of
education aims at solving the demerits of the former two educational strategies giving priority
to the development of cognitive thinking.
The first component of the theoretical foundation of this educational philosophy is ideology of
progressive education which indicates “active thinking changes caused by problem solving
situation experience” (Kohlberg and Mayer, 1972, p. 455) as major personality development
factors. This postulate reveals and discloses the principal concept of progressive trend of
education. In a certain social problem-solving situation, progressivism emphasises the aspects
of interaction and dynamism. It gives priority to experiential learning method and concentrates
on active person’s participation in a problematic problem solving situation. A particular
importance is attached neither to internalisation of aims and values nor to immediate reactions,
impulses or emotions but to “models of actively changing reactions to problematic social
situations” (Kohlberg and Mayer, 1972, p. 455). In this case it is aimed at finding a solution
that would satisfy all the participants of the designed specific situation.
The second component of the theoretical foundation of this philosophy of education is
cognitive psychology and its main assumption that cognition as a mental personality structural
component internally organises separate systems, structurising the experience of our external
world. Cognition selects information about the environment that surrounds a person, acquired
experiences, the importance attached to this experience and the general perception of the world.
However, these cognitive structures are not fixed, they tend to change. Cognitive personality
development rises from a “dialogue” between personal cognitive structure and the elements that
comprise the environment. In every situation the priority is given to thinking that helps to better
integrate various needs of the participants and solutions and helps to discern the most important
and optimal ones.
Bandura (1986) advocates for a similar trend; his social cognitive theory (SCT) suggests an
alternative for traditional postulates, which base work activity on internal motives (e.g., various
needs, strive for self-actualisation, etc.) or externally governed factors (e.g., encouragements,
fear, etc.). According to that theory, person’s behaviour is determined not only by internal or
external factors, it is created in a dynamic and mutual interaction between personal,
environmental and behavioural factors. From the point of view of SCT, a person is an
independent and active agent seeking to achieve various goals: some of them coincide with a
concrete institution of the working world; some of them coincide with social, others with
economic or personal goals. A person sets goals and standards, manages the behaviour related
to the achievement of these goals, uses control and consciousness and displays human power
With the use of critical thinking and problem solving, major goals of principal problem solving
skill-oriented education are formulated: functional optimisation of the situation; integration of
internal and external needs; balance of inter-competitive statements.
Instead of defending the importance of self-development and achievement of external goals in
the context of a certain problem situation requirements this educational method suggests a
continuous correction of various parameters, requires courage to review earlier solutions, and,
investigating the assumptions once more, constructively discuss the dynamically changing
needs of all the situation participants.
In the principal problem solving skill-oriented philosophical trend of education, vocational
education and training strategy merges with the concept of qualitative work activity, defined by
Kincheloe (1995) as oriented to democratic self-control and responsibility for himself and
others. In the social sphere, working world provides a possibility for every participant of the
activity to express himself in a creative and responsible way. In this context integrity and
relationship between essentially different personal, social and natural worlds of an individual is
an expression of humanism.
The major merit of this vocational education and training strategy is the preparation of the
student to creatively solve the challenges of the working world and its systematic nature. In a
rapidly changing world, a future employee, taking into account the resources, interests, and
needs of all the participants of the process, makes efforts to find the solutions to complex
democratic economic market problems and becomes capable of finding responses to the
questions of global social justice and implementation of democratic values. This philosophical
trend of education suggests solving complicated problems in a creative way and bears a
potential to create situations where everybody can win. When economic and social goals
intersect, a principal problem solving method represents value orientation. This vocational
education and training strategy suggests treating the student as a creatively thinking explorer
(Kincheloe, 1995) and aiming at ensuring real personality development and working potential
growth owing to learning and experimentation. Besides, this philosophical trend in educology
offers a new understanding of work activity, treating work as an interesting occupation that
provides satisfaction and that stimulates creativity and efficiency. The use of a principal
problem solving skill-oriented learning method can help find preconditions for reducing the
major contradiction in vocations.
A personality development model requires a long lasting commitment which is often relative
because of inert vocational education and training systems and traditions that have settled down
during many years. Not all the students can apply a time-consuming problem solving based
learning/teaching method in their pedagogical activity, on the other hand, not all the students
are intellectually capable or subject efficient to rationally develop their cognitive thinking.
Besides, some types of work do not require the use of broad-range high-level cognitive abilities
and rational problem solving skills. For these reasons it is possible to conclude that a principal
problem solving skill-oriented learning/teaching strategy can be applied in vocational education
and training selectively.
1. Vocational education and training theory distinguishes three alternative personality
development strategic trends that derive from different philosophical traditions: (i) personoriented
education aiming at self-realisation and individuality and based on the ideas of
humanistic psychology and liberalism; (ii) productivity-oriented education focusing on working
world objectives and based on the ideals of behaviourism and libertarism, and, (iii) principal
problem solving skill-oriented education having the major aim to develop active, critical, and
cognitive thinking skills of a person. The theoretical foundation of this education lies in the
sources of cognitive psychology, progressivism, and pragmatism. Every trend of personality
development creates a basis for determining the importance of roles and functions of a
2. The major goal of person-oriented education is to foster full-fledged dissemination of
internal needs, intentions, and experiences of a person to ensure the discovery of one’s identity,
vocational calling, and overall achievement of self-actualisation. The main merits of this
education are that favourable conditions are created for the student to reveal and use his inner
experiences, inborn talents, and trained skills. The main demerit is lack of examination of the
objective aspect of vocation, i.e. the aspect of economic labour market demand.
3. The major goal of productivity-oriented education is to increase the productive capacity of a
person by them striving for personality development as it involves acquiring knowledge,
abilities, skills, values, and social behaviour rules necessary in the vocation to satisfy working
world demands. The most important merit is education, i.e. the merit of a student becoming
equipped with knowledge, abilities, and skills that are demanded by actively defined objective
work activity. The major demerit is the single-sided focus on the objective aspect of the
vocation, i.e. on carrying out economic market demands, wherein, the person is treated like an
object, i.e. treated as one of the means necessary to fulfil the demands of the economic market.
4. The major goal of the principal problem solving skill-oriented education is to develop
person’s active, creative, and cognitive thinking skills for solving complicated problem
situations and enabling a person to creatively face working world challenges and experience
and to master the power of one’s inner, personal, and human potential. The most important
merit of such education is that of a student becoming prepared to creatively encounter and solve
working world challenges. The major demerit is that this philosophical trend in educology has
to be applied for vocational education and training selectively.
5. Vivid labour market changes, during the past years, demand more flexible employees who
are open to innovations; who have more universal skills, and; who are able to adapt to more
complicated technologies. With regard to these demands and changes, vocational education and
training reform in Lithuania is oriented toward conducing experiences in the European Union
countries, in which standards are designed, new strategies are created, and priorities are
foreseen. The solutions to these fundamental, paradigmatic problematic objectives call for
broad-range and more open methodological research of philosophical foundations in
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radical humanism? Academy of Management Review, 17(3), 407-431.
Astley W. G., Zammuto R. F. (1992). Organization science, managers, and language games.
Organization Science, 3, 443-460.
Bandura A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Bandura A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W.H. Freeman.
Deming, W. E. (1982). Out of the crisis. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Flew A. (red.), (1979). A dictionary of philosophy. New York: St. Martin's.
Herzberg F. (1966). Work and the nature of man. Cleveland, OH: World.
Kincheloe J. L. (1995). Toil and trouble: Good work, smart workers, and the integration of
academic and vocational education. New York: Peter Lang.
Knowles M. S. (1984). Adult learning: theory and practice. In L. Nadler (ed.), The handbook of
human resource development. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Kohlberg L., Mayer R. (1972, November). Development as the aim of education. Harvard
Educational Review, 42(4), 449-496.
Laužackas R. (1999). Sistemoteorines profesinio rengimo kaitos dimensijos. Kaunas: VDU.
Baltoji knyga. Profesinis rengimas. (1999). Vilnius.
Maslow A. H. (1970). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper and Row.
Maslow A. H. (1979). The Farther Reaches of Human Nature. New York: Penguin Books.
Pukelis K. (1998). Mokytoju rengimas ir filosofines studijos. Kaunas: Versme.
Stryker S, Statham A. (1985). Symbolic interaction and role theory. In G. Lindzay and E.
Aronson (eds.), The handbook of social psychology, Vol. 1. New York: Random
Swanson R. A., Torraco R. J. (1995). The history of technical training. In L. Kelly (ed.), The
ASTD technical and skills training handbook. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Wojtyla K. (1997). Asmuo ir veiksmas. Vilnius: Aidai.
2004, Volume 18, Number 2
An Educology of Vocation on a Theological and Philosophical Basis
(An Essay in Philosophy of Educology)
This article is one in philosophy of educology, i.e. in philosophy of knowledge about education, in
that it presents a theological and philosophical basis for such knowledge about vocational
education and training, i.e. for an educology of vocation.
This article delivers a theological and philosophical basis for an educology of vocation, using
educological, theological, and philosophical scientific resources. This scientific theoretical research
analyzes the contribution of theology and philosophy to an educology of vocation. Furthermore the
article investigates the practical methodical aspects of an educology of vocation.
Goal of an Educology of Vocation
Present-day Lithuanian society stands ahead of the challenges that call for the preparation involved
in joining NATO and the European Union. Lithuania, as every country, needs more enterprisers,
teachers, doctors, officers, and others specialists, which may not be only good experts in their
profession, but are people who are working “from vocation” or in other words are “right persons in
the right place.” In the background of rapid economical, social, and technological changes,
paradigmatic research in an educology of vocation advances its exploration into its theological and
philosophical basis. Such research can enrich the theory of educology of vocation and it can give
impetus for new scientific investigations in educology.
The main goal of an educology of vocation is to provide support for the young people to find
themselves, including finding a purpose of life, through the concrete sphere of professional
activity. An educology of vocation gives the theoretical basis, and searches for the ways and
methods, of how to educate students to their capacity so that they can find and unfold themselves in
an individual vocation. A theology of vocation states that man formulates the answer to the
question of an individual vocation through a fateful dialogue with God. Man and God – two
liberties – are in a loving dialogue about individual man’s vocation. The art, in this dialogue, on the
man’s side, is to hear God’s call, to understand, to accept, to follow, and finally to incarnate it.
In Lithuania, the conception of vocation started to develop at the end of the XVI century. J.
author emphasizes the theological aspect of vocation by saying: “Our dear God wants that every
man may put on the load by his caste and vocation, that God destines him, and man may hold it as
a duty to put it on, first of all, for the glory of God and after, for service to the intimate.”
the importance of giving sense to life through working activity.
Bishop K. Paltarokas (1928) discloses one more important aspect of the successful choice of
vocation, which “has considerable impact on the sense of the dignity of man’s life,” when he says:
“Man feels joyful just when he fulfils vocation, whereas, wrongly selecting a vocation leads to the
fall of honor, even sometimes, to inner rottenness.” (Paltarokas, 1928, p. 449) As a result, the
support of man in finding his vocation “depends on fosterage and education as the most important
tasks” and “necessary in this field it is necessary for common work to include three factors, i.e. the
family, school and Church factors.” (Paltarokas, 1928, p. 450)
In Lithuania, educology of vocation was dehumanized during the soviet occupational period (1940-
1990). The freedom of activity by theoretical and practical educologists of vocations was
constricted and the research in the conduct of educology of vocation was deformed by the
intervention of a materialistic ideology.
Now, in Lithuania, it is necessary to begin a truly organic educational programme for the
promotion of an educology of vocation for students. The young people of Lithuania live in a
culture that is pluralistic, ambivalent, "polytheistic," and neutral. On the one hand, they are
passionately searching for authenticity, affection, personal relationships, and wider horizons, while
on the other hand, they are fundamentally alone, wounded by afflictions, and some are deluded by
ideologies and confused by ethical disorientation. A pluralistic and complex culture tends to
produce young people possessing an incomplete and weak identity with consequent chronic
indecision in the face of vocational choices. In addition, many young people do not possess the
elementary knowledge of their existence. Educology of vocation is searching for ways to help
young people to find their identity and to endure being faithful to an individual vocation.
Educologists of vocation are aware of the difficulties of communicating with young people, of their
lack of real educational planning, and of the theological-anthropological weakness in certain aspect
of what they are being taught. The conception of vocation and strategy in an educology of
vocation is not developed enough.
Therefore, the purpose of the research in this article is to carry out the analysis of philosophical and
theological trends in an educology of vocation. The pursuit of this purpose was guided by the
1. Exploration of the essential cause of contradiction between strivings for personal selfrealization,
for completeness of the purport of life, and for the enforcements of personality
from the side of the system of the work market in the context of an existential
2. Exploration of the impact on the concept of man’s vocation that provides a personalistic
conception of personality.
3. Exploration of the impact on the concept of man’s vocation that provides a theological
4. Discernment and presentation of a practical methodical subject matter and of the main
elements of an educology of vocation.
The Conception of Vocation in the Context of Existential Anthropology
The question of the meaning of life, the striving to know one’s self and one’s place in history
comes into existence in the heart of every man. Every life has one’s exclusive and particular
vocation that is related to the reality of life and the actuality of existence. The completeness of the
purport of life and the essence of every vocation is Love.
John Paul II states: "The discomfort that reveals, through the world of young people, even in the
new generations, pressing questions on the purport of life, is confirmation of the fact that nothing
and no-one can smother in man the demand for meaning and the desire for truth. For many, this is
the field in which the vocational search is placed." (John Paul II, 1997, p. 4).
St. Thomas Aquinas analyses the dualism of human being and determines it as standing on the limit
between two worlds – time and eternity. The world of time is the reality of nature (body) and the
world of eternity is the actuality of spirit (soul).
Apostle Paul defines the contradiction in man that involves his body and soul. It is the
contradiction that comes as the consequence of the first Fall, as the spiritual struggle between Evil
and Good: “For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. Now if [I] do what I do
not want, it is no longer I who does it, but sin that dwells in me” (Rom 7, 19-20).
The contradiction between body and soul, which is inside man, reflects his existence. Therefore,
many scholars of synergy call man’s existence as the struggle between opposites. However, a
person seeks the reconciliation of these opposites in his existence. The inner contradiction (that is
inside of personality) between the involvement of the material body and the spiritual soul projects
itself in the exterior sphere of life and assumes the image of the contradiction between the strivings
of the personal self-realisation, i.e. the completeness of the purport of life, and the enforcements of
the personality from the side of the system of the work market.
Lithuanian scholar J. Girnius (1991) introduces ontological and theological elements, when he
analyses the concept of man’s vocation. This author excludes the dual character of man’s existence,
i.e. the existence of the carnal body that depends on time, and the existence of the spiritual soul that
depends on eternity. This scholar defines two aspects of vocation:
1. Temporal or universal: “In the world of time, our task is the striving of the cultural
mastering of earth and the subordination to man’s will the power of it.” (Girnius, 1991, p.
2. Eternal or spiritual: “The dependence on the spiritual world obliges concern about our
spiritual perfection or speaking in theological terms – the salvation of soul.” (Girnius,
1991, p. 248)
When this author analyzes the correlation between these two aspects of man’s vocation, he
signifies that eternal-spiritual man’s vocation “particularly incarnates in the temporal vocation.”
(Girnius, 1991, p. 248) Therefore, the first aspect of vocation is an end, whereas the second aspect
of vocation is a means to an end. Basically, there is given for us only one vocation, i.e. the vocation
of seeking and struggling for our spiritual perfection.
This scholar concludes: “The truth of the oneness of human vocation is this, that eternal vocation is
immanent (interior) and, at the same time, it is transcendental (exterior) for temporal vocation”
(Girnius, 1991, p. 248).
Another Lithuanian scholar A. Maceina (1990) states that two factors determine every vocation:
1. The nature of man that frames the faculties to to some kind of work.
2. In society, the life of man highlights those faculties, which allow for man to selfactualize
himself and turn his life in some kind direction.
This author names the discovery of the individual vocation as the discovery of the essence of self.
He calls the rejection of this vocation as the suppression of the destiny of individuality, the
noncompliance of his duty, and the disregarding of a universal ideal.
A. Maceina (1985) emphasizes that, essentially, personality is called to freedom and only in it man
finds his existential meaning and the opportunity to seek his basic vocation – the eternity.
V. E. Frankl (1959) calls the search of the purport of life as the core of personality. When the
pathfinder of logo-therapy researches the uniqueness of the man’s vocation and the importance of
its discovery, he states: “The searching of the abstract meaning of life should have no use.
Everyone has his particular mission of life that must be embodied, consequently nobody could
change it, and nobody can repeat his own life. Therefore, the task of every man and the opportunity
to actualize it is identically unique.” (Frankl, 1959, p. 102) This author states that, an existential
vacuum can originate in man’s inner life, if the person does not comply or bow to his vocation of
life. This existential vacuum frustrates personality, causes aggression, depression, the formation of
addictions, and could lead to drug habits, crimes, or suicide.
Russian philosopher V. Solovjov (1922) defines vocation as a particular idea, “which the divine
thought prescribes to every moral being”, this idea (vocation) manifests itself in consciousness “as
the highest task,” i.e. as the acting “real force,” which determines “all life of moral being.”
(Solovjov, 1922, p. 181) This author states that vocation should not be treated as a privilege or
predominance, but vocation should be understood as a duty or service.
The Lithuanian contemporary scholar V. Šernas (1995) presents the picture of a mature and ideal
personality (Fig. 1) and prescribes eight characteristics, from which can be framed the picture of
the development of man’s existence.
(Fig. 1) The conception of mature and ideal personality (Šernas, 1995, p. 65)
This given model of a mature and ideal personality (Fig. 1) reflects the main objectives that consist
in the existence of a man and the interior life of a person:
a) to search for truth, wisdom, and harmony;
b) to be creative and moral;
c) to reason and assess;
d) to participate in the social life and share the cumulated light experiences with other
The Personalistic Conception of Personhood and Man’s Vocation
The personalistic conception of man is the essential opponent of the materialistic ideology that
asserts that the essence of man is defined, in its entirety, by social relations and does not belong to
The materialistic understanding of reality negates the interior-spiritual aspect of personhood and
every vocation involves only the simple result of physiological and psychological circumstances.
According to these purely materialistic and naturalistic presumptions, vocation loses the basis of
subsistence and is understood merely as a particular necessity that is rooted in body, sex, and the
nature of personhood.
In the works of the famous personalists E. Mounjer (1930) ir K. Wojtylos (1970), we can find
many significant features of personhood, though the main personalistic attitude being that
personhood is indeterminable and a person can never be treated as an object. The main features of
personhood are subjectivity (interior-spiritual life) of the person, freedom, and creativeness.
Personhood is the dynamical coherence of body and soul. Personalists realize that existence is a
permanent struggle in which persons discover courage.
Personalistic norms state that a person is always a subject and a human being can never be treated
as an object.
A person has the need to be in the community and create the society together with other persons:
“The subject nourishes not one self (autodigestion), but he has only that which he gives or this to
whom he devotes. The person cannot escape, socially or spiritually, by himself.” (Munje, 1996, p.
It is not enough to identify man as an individual of the species “homo sapiens.” There is something
more in man, which can only be brought out by the term “person” and which may indicate that man
is a rational being. But, K. Wojtyla (1996) goes on to bring out more fully the implications of this
rationality by introducing the element of interiority. He introduces a new theoretical development,
when going beyond the cosmological understanding of man. In the works of this scholar, all
features of personhood, i.e. subjectivity, consciousness, free will, self-determination, self-mastery,
experience, etc. are related to the interior-spiritual life of a person. The reference to the interiority
of a person frames a methodological and hermeneutical element in K. Wojtyla’s analyses. The
capacity of possessing himself from within, in acts of self-determination, is what makes a person
something more than individual.
The personalistic ethic of this author extends the conception of the interior-spiritual life of
personhood. Foremost, this scholar states that persona, as a subject, differs even from the most
consummate animal by the interiority and individual life or interior life, a difference which later
author defines as spiritual life.
K. Wojtyla introduces two important characteristics of personhood:
1. The ability to self-determinate, i.e. choice by free will. The Latin sentence that the
person is sui juris (master of himself) illustrates this characteristic.
2. The feature of personhood that the person is alteri incommunicabilis (irreducible and
irreplaceable) manifests itself in relation with other people.
Therefore we have the personalistic clarification of the antic in the Latin sentence: “Persona est sui
juris et alteri incommunicabilis.” The person is an irreducible subject, which never can be treated
only as the result of the emotional conditions that are under the sway of external and inner
circumstances. The person is not only the substance (subiectum), but also is the bond with other
persons, the truth, and God.
The dimension of the subjectivity of the person always implies the inner experience that signifies
the originality, the uniqueness and the unrepeatablility of personhood. K. Wojtyla’s contribution to
phenomenology is a phenomenology of experience and the explicit grasp of interiority as a
defining dimension of consciousness and personhood.
The transcendental concept of the person (the mastership of himself or of one’s dynamism) means,
that man is “beyond” his acts and “beyond” his object of acts.
According to the personalistic theory, man’s vocation is self-knowledge, self-discovery, and selfdonation
K. Wojtyla (1997) states that man’s vocation – conscious self-donation – is possible when man is a
self-master. Man can consciously donate himself exclusively to what he has mastered. This scholar
defines the structure of self-mastery and “having self,” i.e. having personhood, when he analyses
the proper meaning of the concept of actus. This concept, related to self-determination and selfrealization
through action, has not only an exterior-temporal aspect, but it has an interior-persistent
aspect. Therefore, when a person performs an action, thanks to conscious self-determination, man
is led to a true completeness and actualization of the structure of self-mastery and the “having of
self” i.e. the having of personhood. In such a dynamic cycle, man’s vocation exists as an
axiological reality that consists in the deeper layer, i.e. in an ontological reality of self-realization
through action that is the privilege of man.
The concept of vocation is closely related to the personal world and the order of Love. It has no
meaning in the world of objects. There are no vocations, in the natural order, in which reigns
determinateness and instincts, but not the abilities to choose or make resolutions. The concept of
vocation implicates the ability to personally be disposed towards an end, i.e. the attribute implying
the existence of a rational and conscious being. Therefore, vocation is the exclusively personalistic
concept that uncovers the deep range of man’s interior life. At the level of perception, the reduction
of the meaning of the concept of vocation diminishes the possibility of discovering links within this
range. Commonly, the concept of vocation is associated only with the administrative and juridical
field, i.e. vocation is associated with a certain post or vocation to be a member of a certain
organization, etc. As such, vocation is treated exclusively as the calling to accomplish a particular
work or office. The inner world of personality is ignored absolutely. Such an exterior, i.e. such an
“institutional,” conception of vocation reduces the significance of man, especially the significance
of his inner life. In the search guided by the problem of a conception of vocation, educological
researcher should include both meanings of the concept of vocation, i.e. the exterior and interiorpersonal
The mood to dedicate all life to the nurturance of particular values is the par direction of the
dissemination of every man’s potencies. Every person must exactly define that direction. On the
one hand, man should consider what he himself has and what he can contribute to others, and, on
the other hand, the man should understand what the environment expects of him. One of the most
important factors in the formation of personality is that of ascertaining the possibilities of one’s
activities and appropriate disposition, not so much in regard to presence among persons, but in
regard to the inner life. Where man is called, he should not only love somebody, but more, he
should act by “giving away himself” with Love. Such self-giving could be the most creative act for
a person, in that the more he self-gives the more he self-realizes.
Personalists admit that considerable stress exists in the meaningfulness of activity. In this point we
can discover the spiritual community between a personalistic philosophy and an educology of
vocation, in that both branches of knowledge “attempt thought to relate with action, to anticipate its
methods and perspectives.” ( Pukelis, 1998, p. 204)
However, personalists are inclined to reduce the significance of professional vocation in the
development of personality. K. Pukelis (1998) concludes: “Personalists are right, when they do not
confine only with professional vocation, but they are in principle not right, when they are ignoring
the significance of professional vocation in man’s life.” ( Pukelis, 1998, p. 198) This scholar gives
a warning that the attempt to introduce the abstract conception of vocation into an educology of
vocation could become a faulty phenomenon. He says: “Without this (professional vocation)
category the conception of vocation becomes abstract. Vocation of personality cannot be
“abstract”. The person reaches to concretize vocation, because only in this case man finds that he
lives meaningful. Man is like the birth: the one wing of it is beloved man, the other wing –
favourite work. Family and profession are these two fields, where man concretizes his vocation.”
(Pukelis, 1998, p. 198)
Vocation contains the basis of subsistence only in the personalistic understanding of the existence
of man, when the conscious discovery of vocation provides to a person the direction of life and
The Theological Conception of Man’s Vocation
In searching to form the comprehensive conception of personality’s vocation, in an educology of
vocation, it is necessary to involve the theological aspect.
The dignity of man characterizes the facts that he was created in the image of God and that he can
follow free will in his decisions. The person is irreducible and irreplaceable (alteri
incommunicabilis), he is self-master, and, additionally, man belongs only to his Creator, the
belonging grounded in the fact that man is God’s creation: “For we are His handiwork, created in
Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.”
(Eph 2, 10) “The person transcends the natural world and the order of the person does not contain
itself in the natural order.” (Wojtyla, 1997, p. 327)
The evangelical vision of man’s existence bases vocation no only from within, but it defines itself
as the call of God. Thanks to Love, the demand to ascertain the direction of the dissemination of
man’s potencies emerges from the inside of persons. This demand accords with God’s call to be
perfect through Love. Every man of good will should apply this common call to himself and at the
same time the person should concretize it by choosing the main direction of his life and by
ascertaining for what he is called. Personality should develop this direction in consideration of
what man has himself, what he can give, and what the others – people and God – are anticipating
Man “unites” and “self-realizes” then, when he loves he affirms the value of the addressee of his
Every man is calling to search perfection (holiness): “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is
perfect.” (Mt 5, 48) “God created man from Love and now He is calling man to love that is main
and inborn vocation of every man.
Love” (l Jn 4, 8).
The ways to realize this main theological vocation could be different (Fig. 2).
Fig. 2. The spectrum of the realization of theological vocation of every Christian
(cf. CCC, 1996)
“Society is necessary to the realization of man’s vocation. If we want to achieve this end, we
should stand to the right hierarchy of values, in which the material and controlled by instincts fields
should be subordinated to the inner and spiritual fields of man” (CCC, 1996, p. 395). Society must
form the possibility for all of its members to realize his vocation. Common good especially
manifests itself by using the natural freedom that is necessary to the spreading of vocation, i.e. by
using the right to act according to his truthful conscience, the right to the security of private life,
and the right to freedom in the field of religion.
All Christians, in disregard to theirs incumbent or social status, are called to the complete Christian
life and perfect Love.
Family is the natural community and vocation in which to love and share and in which man and
woman are called to devotion to each other and to donate the life that is man’s vocation to
fatherhood and motherhood. Parents must obey the vocation of child and help him to develop it.
The part of the vocation of laity is the participation in the political activity and the organization of
social life. The laity believers are called with the Christian devotion to animate the earthly reality
and be the witnesses and founders of peace and justice.
The Main Theological Vocation to Perfection (Holiness) Mt
ALL CHRISTIANS ARE CALLED TO CHOOSE:
The motive of Love to God and neighbor sometimes is so strong that man transcends one’s natural
needs to make family and have a favourite profession, and he embraces supernatural vocation to
become a priest or monastic by the determination of free will. This is really not the way of many
people. Life, according to this way, means the response to God’s call, the self-donation to others,
and the sacrifice of one’s personal life for others.
Decalogue is the light of the conscience of every man that exposes for him God’s call and that
protects him from evil. Vocation to the eternal life is supernatural, because “Revealing Himself,
God reveals himself and man’s vocation.” (CCC, 1996, p. 431) The first vocation of a Christian is
to follow Jesus. (cf. Mt 16, 25) Grace is God’s help to man to fulfill his vocation.
Man’s vocation to the eternal life does not cancel, but increases man’s responsibility to use all,
from the Creator that is received and that strengthens the means to be in the service for justice and
peace in the world. All religions are testaments that the search for God is man’s essential subject
every comfort and the Author of every vocation. Man could find his personal vocation so, that he
“[people] might have life and have it more abundantly.” (Jn 10, 10) If man might keep his ears
open and he might respond to God’s call, he might have trust in the Creator.
In regard to vocation, every period of life is significant, especially the moments when a child opens
himself to life and when later he wants to understand the purport of life, i.e. when questions arise in
him about his role in life. Every man has an intended individual vocation from the moment of birth,
wherein, really he is called to a vocation in life. The ideal model of education of man, who is open
to vocation, is presented in Fig. 3. This model reflects the main direction of vocation as the seeking
of perfection (holiness), thanks to Love.
VOCATION TO LIFE IN THE
(VOCATION TO THE ETERNAL
LIFE, THE PERFECTION)
G O D
Fig. 3. The ideal model of education open to the vocation of man
In theology, vocation could be defined by the John Paul II words, when he says: “The history of
vocation of every Christian is the history of the beyond expressible dialogue between God and
man, the history of dialogue of liberty between calling God’s Love and responding man with
Love.” (Jonas Paulius II, 1996, p. 75) The new evangelization should again proclaim the powerful
sensation of life as vocation in the fundamental calling to perfection (holiness). The new
evangelization should renew culture and become beneficial to various vocations. Every Christian
vocation is particular, because of the question of freedom of every person. This question requires
an especially personal response.
For man, who has the sensation of faith, the law that works in the spiritual sphere is relevant in
which the more a person approaches the Creator by decision from his free will, the more the
selection of the way of life is fitting with God’s plan and man feels fulfillment for his appointed
mission. This law provides the person with the experience of comprehensiveness and
meaningfulness of his actions and earns him the flight of creativeness. Thus, in the theological
sense, professional activity assumes aspects of the response to God’s call and the purporting of life.
Lithuanian scholar R.
to the four types of vocation, i.e. the theological, indirect, individual and social vocations. (Fig. 4).
Fig. 4. The interaction between the subjective and objective aspects in the conception of profession
(R. Laužackas, 1999, p. 27)
R. Laužackas (1999) analyzes this typology of vocation and states that all other vocations (indirect,
individual, and social) were originated from a theology of vocation and only later, in the
developing of the history, “the significance of individual and social vocations was strengthened in
the place of the understanding of vocation as the God’s call” (Laužackas, 1999, p. 25).
Educology of Vocation
The educological part is developed within the theological aspect of vocation and is dedicated to
practical methodical subjects. From the theologically oriented educological perspective, the main
educators of vocations are the parents, mentors, teachers, catechists, and priests. The main
educological bodies are the groups, communities, oratories, schools, and above all, families.
Educology of vocation uses education that is underlying vocation and is grounded by the
accompanying method, and conforms to the method of the creative witness of personal vocation.
THE CONCEPTION OF PROFESSION
THE SUBJECTIVE ASPECT THE OBJECTIVE ASPECT
Social vocation Social significance
The educology of vocation is founded on Gospel and is inspired by Jesus who is the example of the
extraordinary vocational promoter-educator. This is the educology that every vocations promoter
must know how to implement, the recognition of the Lord who calls, in order to lead the young
persons to respond to Him.
Theology contributes, to an educology of vocation, five precise evangelical educological elements,
i.e. to sow, to accompany, to educate, to form, and to discern.
(1) To sow
This element of an evangelically oriented educology of vocation is founded on the parable of the
sower (Mt 13, 3-8) that reflects these characteristics of vocation:
(i) Christian vocation is the dialogue of Love between two between two liberties – God’s
and man’s. God always holds in respect the decisions of man’s free will.
(ii) Educators of vocation follow the principle to sow the call to discover and develop his
vocation into the heart of everyone without preference or exception. Every human being is
a creature of God and he is also the bearer of the gift, of a particular vocation which is
waiting to be recognized.
(iii) Educators of vocation follow the principle of sowing and proclaims, proposes, and
arouses, with identical generosity. It is precisely the certainty of the seed, placed by the
Father in the heart of all creatures that gives the strength to go everywhere and sow the
good seed of vocations, i.e. of not remaining within the usual limits of a social
environment but of confronting new social environments in order to attempt different
approaches and to address all persons.
(2) To accompany
In order to describe the educological expression of accompanying, as an element in an
evangelically oriented educology of vocation, as it implies the elements of educating and forming,
the story of the two disciples of Jesus on the road to Emmaus is relevant. (Lk 24, 13-16) In the
story of these two disciples it is not difficult to recognize the image of so many young people today
in that they are a little saddened and betrayed and seem to have lost the desire to look for their
vocation. Therefore, the first step in an educology of vocation is to approach and support young
people to realize the seed of vocation that was sown in their heart. The second step is to further
intelligence in young people in their accompaniment.
In the way of discovering vocation, the educator, first of all minds the journey of Jesus’ disciples
towards their maturity of faith. When doing this, the educator of vocation gives witness to his own
choice, or rather, his own being chosen by God, i.e. he recounts — not necessarily with words —
his own vocational journey and the continual discovery of his own identity in the vocational
charisma, and therefore recounts, also, or allows to be understood, the difficulties, the newness, the
risk, the surprise, and the beauty in this journey.
(3) To educate
From an evangelically oriented educology of vocation perspective, after conducting the stages of
establishing the elements of sowing and accompanying, in respect to young people, then, comes the
stage of educating young people in the way of vocation. Educologically speaking, educating, as
the leading out from nothing, in the etymological and semiotic sense of the word, is e-ducere or
drawing out truth, as it exists in the hearts of young people, but, as yet they do not know, especially
truth as knowledge about themselves, i.e. knowledge about their weaknesses and aspirations that
encourages in them the desire to know the freedom of the vocational response. So, in the semiotic
sense, educating means e-voking the truth of the I. This evocation arises precisely from the
In this third stage, educating is self-knowing involving: (1) the acceptance of the mystery of the
part of the I that has to be discovered, and; (2) the knowledge for interpreting life and invocation
Educating is the invitation of young man to self-actualize and to continuously seek self-identity,
and to the preparation of him to accept that he does not know, i.e. that he cannot know completely.
(4) To form
The fourth stage is that of formation of a young person and is, in some way, the top of the
educological process, in that it is the moment in which the young person is proposed with a form,
i.e. a way of being, in which he himself recognizes his identity, his vocation, and his norm. The
person who is the formator of vocation places himself beside the young person to help him
"recognize" his call, and to allow himself to be formed by it. In the stage of formation, the young
person is asked for the best he can be so that he can become and be himself.
The principle of the formation of vocation is to educate the anthropological truth that life, by its
nature, is a gift and could be complete, if the direction of the self-donation dominates in life. This
principle is founded on the evangelical encouragement: “You received without pay, give without
pay.” (Mt 10, 8)
(5) To discern
The fifth stage, involving the principle of discernment, is the last stage on the way to vocation, i.e.
on the way to the effective choice of the one called. The choice of vocation indicates newness of
life, but in reality it is also the sign of a recovery of one's own identity, i.e. almost a return to the
roots of the I.
From the evangelically oriented educology of vocation perspective, it is very important, in the
preparation for the choice of vocation, to reaffirm the idea that the choice represents the condition
necessary for being oneself and realizing oneself according to that singular project that can only
On the way to one’s vocation, the link between the experience of God and self-discovery is very
important. The feature of maturity of vocation is when the act of faith manages to connect the
Christological recognition with the anthropological self-recognition, then being when the seed of
vocation is already mature.
Vocational maturity is decided by an essential element that truly makes sense of all existence, i.e.
the element of the act of faith. The authentic vocational option is, in all effects, the expressions of
believing and adhesion, with the more genuine the expression is, the more it is part of and a
conclusion to a journey of formation in the maturity of faith.
From the above, the following conclusions follow.
1. The contradiction between the strivings involved in personal self-realization, i.e. the
completeness of the purport of life, and the enforcements of one’s personality, from the
side of the system of the work market, is the projection of the inner conflict, as a state
inside of one’s personality, that exists between the springs of the material body and the
spiritual soul. The main task of an educology of vocation is the task involved in the
discovery of man’s vocation, and is one of the essential components necessarily involved
in the reduction of this contradiction.
2. The personalistic conception of personality provides to an educology of vocation the
basis of subsistence, as the personalistic norm that a person is irreducible and irreplaceable,
i.e. the norm that provides the summary that the ultimate decision in life depends on man
making the choice involved in the existential questions in life as questions about the
purport of life, the discovery of self-identity in life and the vocation in life.
3. From the theological perspective, in an educology of vocation, the dignity of man
characterizes the facts that he was created in the image of God and that he has the calling to
seek absolute perfection. The evangelical conception of man’s existence, from the
perspective of an educology of vocation, not only involves the inside of a person, but, and
as to God’s call to be perfect through a donating Love.
4. Educology of vocation uses the education that underlies a vocation and is grounded by
the methods of accompaniment and conformation as methods that involve the creative
witness of personal vocation. Theology contributes to an educology of vocation by five
precise evangelical educological elements, i.e. the elements to sow, to accompany, to
educate, to form, and to discern.
Bretkunas J. (1983). Rinktiniai raštai. Vilnius.
Frankl V. E.(1985) Žmogus ieško prasmes. Vilnius.
Girnius J. (1991). Raštai. T. 1. Vilnius.
Jonas Paulius II. (1996). "Pastores Dabo Vobis". Vilnius.
Lietuvos Vyskupu Konferencija. (1996). Kataliku Bažnycios Katekizmas. Kaunas.
Maceina A. (1985).
Maceina A. (1990). Pedagoginiai raštai. Kaunas.
Munje M. (1996). Personalizmas. Vilnius.
Paltarokas K. (1928). Pašaukimo parinkimas. Tiesos kelias, Nr 7-8.
Solovjov V. (1922). Nationale und politische Betrachungen. Stuttgart.
Šernas V. (1995). Profesine pedagogika. Kaunas.
Šventasis Raštas. (1998). Vilnius.
Wojtyla K. (1997). Asmuo ir veiksmas. Vilnius.
Creativity: Can it be Trained?
A Scientific Educology of CreativityDaiva Karkockiene
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Vilnius Pedagogical UniversityIntroduction by Co-Editors
The intention of the introduction by the co-editors adheres to the meaning of the following
statement from the first paragraph in the Recurring Editorial that started in the 2005 issue of cd-
“The format for future content recognizes the existence of the newly forming body of knowledge, i.e. philosophy of
educology, as knowledge about educology, and the existence of the already developing body of knowledge, i.e.
educology, as knowledge about education.”
The author’s paper, in accord with the Recurring Editorial, is in educology and directly inquires,
using quantitative methods of research, with the scientific educological question:
“Can creativity be taught in the educative experiences that organically inhere in the teacher education program at
Vilnius Pedagogical University?”
The author, from the editorial’s perspective, does not directly inquire with the axiologic and
praxiologic educological questions, respectively, as:
“Ought students be taught creativity in educative experiences that organically inhere in the teacher education
program at Vilnius Pedagogical University?”
“How can students be taught creativity in educative experiences that organically inhere in the teacher education
Also, from this perspective, the author does not directly inquire with the philosophy of educology
What is knowledge about educative experiences organically inhering in educational processes, i.e. what is
What is the significance of educology?
Over the course of half of the last century, psychologists have had a particular focus on creativity
abilities training. Developing educational programs that help to enhance students’ creativity is
among the most important goals of our educational system. The present study was undertaken to
explore: (1) the university student’s creativity ability, and; (2) the possibility of developing an
effective program for enhancing this ability.
cd-International Journal of Educology, 2005 Lithuanian Special Issue
The research deals with problems of how to deliberately develop and systematically stimulate
students’ abilities to think creatively as well as to evaluate the dynamics of this ability on their
own. The study reported in this article is based on humanistic and creative psychology theories.
The Conception of Creativity
Creativity is one of the most complicated concepts in psychology. “There is no universal
agreement on what creativity actually is.” (Wallace, 1986, pg. 68) Definitions of creativity differ,
but they have in common their emphasis on people’s ability to produce products that are not only
high in quality but also novel. (Sternberg, 2001)
Thus the concept of creativity is defined differently but nevertheless many authors agree with
creativity involves characteristics connected with the ability to find or do something new. The
realization of the creative ability depends, not only on knowledge and skills, but also on the use of
quick and different kinds of information found in tasks requiring this ability.
The literature on creativity discusses two main approaches: the cognitive approach (creativity as a
cognitive process) and the personality approach (personal characteristics of creative persons).
Life span development and social context influence are often discussed, also.
Humanistic Approach to Creativity
Humanistic theories claim that the human capacity for growth is central. Creativity, according to
humanists, is a part of being a healthy human being. Human nature is understood as being
conscious, self-direct, self actualizing, and healthy.
A. Maslow (1971) suggested that creativeness and the concept of the healthy, self-actualizing,
fully-human person seem to be coming closer and closer together, and may recognize that
creativity takes place in a social context. In the 1980s a social psychology of creativity emerged
by recognizing the cognitive, differential, and developmental perspectives. (Simonton, 2000, pg.
D. K. Simonton argued that socio-cultural environments (especially political environments)
impact the degree of creativity. Warfare and anarchy depress the output of creative ideas. On the
other hand, nationalistic revolts against oppressive rule tend to have a positive way for increasing
the amount of creativity. Many nations have experienced golden ages after winning independence
from foreign domination. An open society and cultural heterogeneity tend to facilitate creativity.
(Simonton, 200, pg. 155)
Complex and Holistic Views of Creativity
Some scholars understand creativity in a more holistic view. R. Sternberg, L.A. O’Hara, and T.
Lubart (1997) proposed an “investment theory of creativity.” The basic notion of their theory was
that in making any of kind of investment creative people “buy low and sell high.” To develop
creativity we need to understand what the resources of creativity are and help people to develop
them. In other words, creativity is buying low and selling high. (Sternberg, O’Hara, and Lubart,
Research into creativity often focuses only on creative thinking. But creative thinking is only one
of six resources of creativity. In summary, creativity training requires investing in six distinct
interrelated resources, all of which must be present in some combination to get a positive result.
* knowledge: knowing what is new, not just reinvented;
* intellectual abilities: generating, evaluating, and executing ideas;
* thinking styles: a preference for thinking in novel ways by one’s own
* motivation: making a move, having fun;
* personality: determination and persistence in overcoming obstacles;
* environment: one that supports the investment game and spreads risk.
K. Urban (1990) developed a “components model of creativity” constituted of six elements: three
cognitive elements -- (1) divergent thinking (problem sensitivity, fluency, flexibility, originality,
and elaboration); (2) a general knowledge base, i.e. broad perception, convergent, logical
thinking, analyzing and synthesizing, thinking, and memory); (3) a specific knowledge base/skills,
and; (4) personality elements; (i) motives (drives to knowledge, curiosity, need of novelty,
playfulness, self-actualization, communication, devotion/duty, need of control, and instrumental
use); (ii) task commitment (perseverance, concentration, object/product/topic, devotion, and
relaxation, and; (iii) tolerance to ambiguity (risk taking, non-conformism, openness for
experience, adaptation and resistance, and humor).
There are different definitions of creative thinking in that: (1) creative thinking involves the
collaboration of a person’s imagination, cognitive abilities, and the whole personality (Morgan,
Forster, 1999); (2) creative thinking is a dynamic mental process and includes both divergent and
convergent thinking (Guilford, 1956), and; (3) creative thinking involves different “facets” of
creativity including the creative process, the person, and a solution. (MacKinnon, 1965)
Many scholars agree that creativity is a complex phenomenon and involves the collaboration of
different components. (Gardner 1983; Amabile, 1996; Sternberg, Lubart, 2005; Urban, 1990)
The Effectiveness of Creativity Training
Can creativity be trained? The belief that creativity an be enhanced is discussed and common
consensus holds that creativity can be enhanced because human potentials can be fulfilled. Efforts
to enhance creativity will not expand one’s inborn potentialities but they can insure that
potentialities are maximized. (Plucker, Runco, 1999) Different components of creativity such as
the cognitive, affective, attitudinal, interpersonal components can be enhanced through a
stimulating environment that induces ideas and creates solutions to problems.
Many programs and courses in creativity have proposed ways of seeking to deliberately stimulate
and develop an individual’s creative productivity and achievement. Differences in the
understanding of creativity influence the kind of training strategies applied. Scholars who see
problem solving as a central aspect of creativity use techniques based on heuristics. If the main
aspect of creativity is associational mechanisms, imagery techniques are suggested. There have
been identified a number of general approaches applied in the development of creativity training
including: (1) cognitive approaches; (2) personality approaches; (3) motivational approaches, and;
(4) social interaction approaches. (Scott, Leritz, Mumford, 2004, p.4)
Creativity-development programs attempt to remove two major blocks to creative achievement.
First of all they try to help individuals understand the influence of background, experience, and
habits on present behavior. They help people to perceive themselves as creative beings and to get
rid of internal blocks to creative functioning. Second, these programs provide present conditions
that encourage creative functioning. They remove external blocks (environment, cultural
influences) to creative behavior. (Parnes, 1999)
J. A. Plucker and M. A. Runco (1999) argue that everyone, no matter at what intellectual level,
can enhance his/her creativity if they find, develop, and practice the right tactics. Tactics can be
personal and interpersonal; they can focus on the problem, as a kind of assimilation (e.g. “turn it
on its head”), or on the person who is dealing with the problem, as a kind of accommodation (e.g.
“change of perspective”).
Training programs should include consideration of knowledge, process skills, metacognitive
skills, personality, and attitudes as “motivators” and of environment as context. (Goh, 1993, p.
10) Optimal conditions for creative performance have to pay attention to motivational orientation,
the classroom environment that is conducive to stimulating thinking that is receptive to original
ideas, and personality traits such as willingness to take a risk and having a sense of humor.
(Morgan, Forster, 1999, pg. 31)
The most effective programs are those that try to influence different aspects of creativity –
cognitive, personality, attitudes, behavior, interpersonal, affect, and environmental. Creativity
training, then, can be effective. Sizable effects can be observed using the four major criteria
applied in evaluating training – divergent thinking, problem-solving, performance, and attitudesbehavior.
(Scott, Leritz, Mumford, 2004)
Theoretical Issues and the Goals of the Study
Creativity in this study is understood in terms of cognitive abilities that are involved in creative
thinking expressed by the divergent thinking components of fluency, flexibility, and originality.
(Guilford, 1950; Torrance, 1974; Sternberg, O’Hara, 1999, and; Scott, Leritz, Mumford, 2004, pg.
Divergent thinking is the one component of creative thought understood as the distinct capacity to
generate multiple alternative solutions to problems as opposed to the one correct solution.
Divergent thinking is assessed through open-ended tests that acces thinking about consequences
and alternatives, with responses being scored for influence (number of responses), flexibility
(category shifts in responses), and originality (uniqueness of response).
In this study a special program was created to provide students with creativity capacities training,
including how to make subjective evaluations of their own creativity features (creativity,
originality, ability to generate ideas, and curiosity). The theoretical background of the program is
based on creative psychology and humanistic psychology concepts.
The relevance of this study is that it will begin to establish relatively effective methods for a
creativity training program developed by the author of this research. This program is one of the
first such programs that seeks to know the possibility of enhancing students’ creativity in
The purpose of this study was: (1) to reveal the changes of students’ creative abilities, and; (2) to
investigate the possibilities of enhancing students’ creative abilities using the author’s program.
Focused on in the study was interactions between students’ creative abilities variation and
subjective evaluation of their own creativity.
Methodology of the Research
Subjects: There were 160 students of Vilnius Pedagogical University (VPU) involved in the
research. All subjects were 22-25 years old (mean age 23). The subjects were randomly assigned
to two experimental (n=80) and control groups (n=80). These students were VPU students who
took part in the seminar “Psychology of Creativity.”
Training Methods: The students participated in a method involved in a special program of
creativity once a week for four months (32 hours). The program was developed in consideration
of students’ cognitive abilities in creative thinking (fluency, flexibility, and originality) as well as
personal aspects. Special (cognitive, personality, imagination, techniques such as brain storming,
drama, and problem solving were used to develop students’ creative abilities. The experimental
group (n=80) took part in the creativity training program, whereas, the control group did not.
Assessment Methods: The level of creative abilities (originality, flexibility, and fluency) was
assessed by using the Torrance Test (TTCT, verbal, form A, 1974). The Torrance Test helped to
distinguish the students’ cognitive parameters of creativity, i.e. originality, flexibility, and fluency.
For evaluating ones own creativity, curiosity, originality, and ability to create ideas, the Dembo-
Rubinstein Method (DRM) was used. The students were asked to evaluate their own (present and
expected) creativity, originality, curiosity, and ability to create ideas.
The study tried to evaluate the program’s effectiveness on students’ fluency, flexibility, and
originality and how the program changed the students’ subjective evaluations of their own
A positive effect was observed immediately after the completion of the program. The
comparative analysis, between the experimental and controls groups, in the cognitive parameters
of creativity (fluency, flexibility, and originality) as evaluated by TTCT, Verbal A Form, as well
as subjective evaluations of one’s own creativity by DRM has showed that the special program
was effective, in that:
· All differences between evaluations of creative abilities, arithmetic average of
declarative and control investigations were statistically significant (fluency – t = 5,23;
flexibility – t = 6,28, and originality – t=7,03); p<0.001.
· All cognitive parameters of creativity (fluency, flexibility, and originality) were
improved significantly. The significant effects of the creativity training program on
components of divergent thinking involved all of the parameters of creativity
(originality – t=7,03; flexibility – t=6,28, and; fluency – 5,23); p<0,001
· The creativity training program hanged the students’ evaluations of their own
creativity. The most significant influence was on students’ present creativity
evaluation (p=0,004); expected creativity evaluation (p=0,033); present originality
(p=0,001), and; expected curiosity (p=0,024).
The program was considered very useful by students who pointed to the fact that the program
contributed to the development of their own creative abilities and changed their view of their own
abilities to be creative and original and to create new ideas, also it awoke their curiosity to know
more about creativity.
It was observed that while students from the experimental group perceived themselves as more
creative after completing the program, the students from the control group perceived themselves
to be at the same or even less creative level the second time they were requested to classify
themselves on a scale of creativity, originality, ability to creat ideas, and curiosity. Most students
emphasized the importance of and their interest in the program.
1. There are real possibilities to develop students’ creativity during the learning process in the
university. The program used in the research could be effective for the development of students’
creative abilities and for making an impact on students’ evaluations of their own level of
creativity, originality, ability to create ideas, and curiosity.
2. The data suggested the need to rethink education in universities in order to promote better
conditions for the recognition and development of creative potential. The high demand for
creative persons by society makes a claim for change in all educational systems to make possible
creative talent development and expression. It is especially important to teaching to
pedagogically profile students who will educate the young people in the future. Creative teachers
are able to nurture creative persons who will be responsible for the future of the world.
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What Motivates Students to Choose the Teachers’ Profession
A Scientific Educology of University Students
Manefa Miskiniene, Professsor, and Emilija Rodzeviciute, Graduate Student
Vilnius Pedagogical University, Lithuania
statement from the first paragraph in the Recurring Editorial that started in the 2005 issue of
“The format for future content recognizes the existence of the newly forming body of knowledge, i.e. philosophy
of educology, as knowledge about educology, and the existence of the already developing body of knowledge, i.e.
The authors’ paper, in accord with the Recurring Editorial, is in educology and directly
inquires, using quantitative methods of research, with the scientific educological question:
“What motivates students to enroll in the educative experiences that organically inhere in the teacher education
The authors, from the editorial’s perspective, do not directly inquire with the axiologic and
“Ought students be motivated to enroll in educative experiences that organically inhere in the teacher education
“How can students be effectively motivated to enroll in educative experiences that organically inhere in the
teacher education program at Vilnius Pedagogical University?”
Also, from this perspective, they do not directly inquire with the philosophy of educology
Relevance of the Topic. Youth, its objectives, readiness for life, education are the future of
Lithuania. One of the major solutions of a young person is related to the choice of a future profession,
and this solution is influenced by many factors: certain demands, calls and interests, capabilities
and intellect, character and temperament, goals and values.
The results of professional activities of a human being depend on his/her attitude towards the
chosen profession and the motivation behind that choice. The motives of learning through which
the goal and meaning of the activities is perceived sprout up from different needs that first of all
occur in the family, and later - at school. Thus, the primary role of the school is to assist a person
in finding oneself, in creating one’s future. A personality must be fully mature to be able to make
an informed decision, including choosing a profession. A deliberate choosing of a profession is
related to the rating of such a profession. It is related to the endeavour to comprehend what
mental qualities or personal features (capabilities, calls, character) are necessary for the future
The word “motivation” is used to describe the incentive of certain behaviour, actions, activities
caused by different motives (Cloninger, 1996; Colman, 2003). Motivation is a psychophysiological
process regulating the activities of a personality and its relation with the environment
on the basis of the change in motives. In case of the wish to change the activities or behaviour of
pupils for some reason or other, first of all the motivation of such a pupil should be changed.
Analysis of literature reveals that scientists see the motivation as the whole of motives and a motive
is determined by needs. The dictionary of psychology defines motives as the activity stimuli
related to the satisfaction of person's needs: external and internal factors inducing activity of a
person and the direction of his/her activities; material or ideal goals of a person; the reason for
choosing actions and deeds of a person which is comprehended by a person himself/herself
A motive not only causes an action but also - which is most important — sets a direction and
certain intensity or force for it. The following are the factors (sources) of a motive: calls,
inclination, interests, needs, values, attitudes, approaches, ideals, beliefs, knowing, emotions,
willpower, and intentions. When at least one factor is experienced, it could be stated that a person is
Motivation explains what might serve as a backup for behaviour and orientation towards the goal,
and why one or another task is given a certain span of time. Motivation is related to the results
of studies by causal relations - it is also a means for aspiring at progressive learning and, at the
same time, a final result of the process of teaching. It is of importance not only due to the fact
that it determines the factor able of intensifying the behaviour but also because the behaviour is
oriented towards the goal: single actions form a certain totality having a clear goal (Gage, Berliner,
Theories of the source of motivation distinguish between external and internal motivation to study.
External motivation is any motivation caused by environmental factors, having tangible/observable
rewards such as a monetary award or a high grade. Internal motivation is behavior resulting from
some innate drive, without apparent reinforcement from the outside, that appears to be unaffected by
environmental factors (Biggs, 1999).
It is important, that a child feels a human being when playing, learning and working and that
he/she is able of each time taking four steps: to realize himself/herself (feelings, actions,
things to be avoided, wishes for further acting or inaction), to make an independent decision of
what to do further; to feel responsibility for his/her own choice and the outcome of such a
choice; to feel an important person aiming at self-realization in life.
As it is revealed in the analysis of scientific literature, an activity is induced by various motives
sprouting up from needs. On the basis scientific papers, it could be stated that a child since his/her
early childhood is accompanied by the motive of curiosity, later - by that of cognition.
Motivation is important for professional self-determination, too. Without motivation a human
being would not be able to anticipate the meaning and goal of his/her activities related to his/her
personality and attitude towards life.
Choice of profession is one of major decisions in the life of a person. It is its soundness upon
which a sense of fullness and self-confidence coming about when being engaged in work, meeting
the calling, depends.
The most important factor is for people to be happy and satisfied with their work, and if they
are, they generally do well, and, if they do well, they will probably succeed financially. Five
important considerations are these (Bell, 2003):
1. The condition of the job market;
2. An idealistic commitment which strongly influences a person’s direction;
5. Most important, temperament.
Professionalization is a process whereby occupations have become, or seek to become,
publicly recognized as professions according to the degree to which they meet the alleged
criteria. Professionalization can be seen as having two strands. One strand is concerned with
the improvement of status. The other strand is concerned with the improvement of the
capacity of members to enhance the quality of service which is provided (Hoyle, 2002).
Professional orientation is a science fully analyzing the conditions and regularities of rational
choice of profession and getting positions in it. Irrespective of the fact that professional orientation
is crucially influenced by other sciences, it is an independent and integrated science with its research
object, namely a person choosing a profession. The research object of professional orientation
is conditions and regularities related to scientifically grounded professional self-determination
J. Guichard suggests another model-that of human development founded on the following
basic principle: to help individuals achieve their own humanity by helping others to achieve
theirs, fully and each in their own way (Guichard, 2003).
C. P. Chen explores the possibility of theory integration in career development and
counseling, focusing primarily on bridging the gap between objectivist/positivistic and
constructivist approaches. This framework proposes 3 possibilities: career as self-realization,
growing experiences, and context conceptualization (Chen, 2003).
A special place in professional orientation is taken by pedagogy, which integrates and
consolidates information related to and regularities of sciences, and presents them in a fo rm popular
for an adolescent or a youngster choosing a profession, at scientifically grounded consistency, by
the way of teaching and upbringing, often directing it towards self-education, self-analysis and
other forms of active refining on professional issues (Kregžde, 1998; Pukelis, 1996). A
teacher assisting pupils in choosing a profession has to find out whether their calling for a certain
field of activity is real and whether general education, capabilities, skills, experience in current
activities will be sufficient studying at a vocational school as well as to get into other major
issues related to a profession. First of all, this expertise should be possessed by a teacher of a
higher school, then by a student - a future teacher - who will impart them to his/her pupils.
The main task of both parents and teachers is to fully mature a personality capable of taking
deliberate decisions. Efforts of a person himself/herself are of crucial importance, and the freedom
of choice, responsibility for the choice and competence should be given special consideration.
An essential quality of a person on which behaviour and activity depend is thorough selfknowledge
and self-estimation, i.e. efforts to realize whether the possessed mental and personal
qualities (capabilities, character, calling) suit in a certain chosen activity. Only lasting self -
exploration and self-education will help to disclose those qualities which will direct to a certain
activity. The competence to give a fair self-estimation depends on the possessed knowledge,
proficiency, skills, experience, and testing one’s own strengths in the chosen activity.
Purposefulness of a personality is the main sign conditioning the nature and meaning of human
life and his/her activities. That is why it is necessary to raise a human being in such a way that
he/she has a good understanding of the world, sees his/her place in life, is an active and creative
According to K. Pukelis and other scientists, teachers trained at the pedagogical university have
direct influence on what future teachers will come to the university from general education
schools. This is seen in the scheme below. (Pukelis, 1996):
Future teachers Pedagogical studies Teachers
By its social and individuality-related importance, the teacher's profession is very vivid among
others, as its calling is to educate and mature a human being for all kinds of professions and
specialties, posts and positions.
The teacher is the cornerstone of educational development and the crucial role he or she plays
in determining quality, effectiveness and relevance of education has been recognized as a
prerequisite to achieving poverty eradication, sustainable human development, and equity
As it is revealed in the analysis of scientific literature, responsibility and enthusiasm are two
most important teacher values, and teacher value is most important in teachers’ relationship
with students (Lin, 2002).
According M. Scriven, the following are the qualities of teachers (Scriven, 1990):
1. Sound knowledge of subject matter, the across-the-curriculum subjects (literacy,
social/personal/study/work skills, computer competence);
2. Solid competence with and understanding of testing and/or structured observation;
3. Classroom teaching ability, including classroom management skills;
4. Teaching-related intellectual and personal qualities (professionalism, a lively intelligent
mind, punctuality, conscientiousness, willingness to help other teachers, and commitment
5. Worth (often includes such factors as versatility, familiarity with the type of community).
The personality of a future president or prime minister, minister or member of parliament,
businessman or banker, physician or engineer depends on the teacher's calling, his/her
competence, professionalism, devotion to his/her work.
“Many studies have been conducted in different countries to discover what motivates people to go into teaching. In
general the motives can be divided into three categories - extrinsic (matters such as remuneration, such as long holidays
and other benefits), intrinsic (the enjoyment of teaching and the school environment, a desire to help society improve)
and altruistic (such as a desire to help children succeed). Studies carried out in the past have shown that not all of these
three factors affected the motivation of an individual, that each factor carried a different emphasis and that there were
gender differences (Reid & Caudwell, 1997; Kyriacou & Kobori, 1998; Chuene, Lubben & Newson, 1999; Kyriacou,
Hultgren & Stephens, 1999; Moran, Kilpatrick, Abbot, Dallat & McClune, 2001).”
Scientists have been getting into the motivation of learning and profession choice of young
people and their professional aspirations.
As early as at the end of 19th century and beginning of 20th century, N. Karejev, a professor of
Saint-Petersburg University, was the first author interested in the issue of profession choice of
young people. He was examining the conditions, motives and other issues of professional selfdetermination
but his results have not been published. This problem has been dealt with by A.
Ornstein, D. Levine (Ornstein, Levine, 1989), A. Karle-Weiss (Karle-Weiss, 1989), D. E. Dutton
(Dutton, 1994), A. M. Isaacs (Isaacs, 1997), R. Ch. Jackson (Jackson, 1992), K. C. Soh (Soh,
1998), D. A. Whitbeck (Whitbeck, 2000), R. J. Oppenheimer (Oppenheimer, 2001), G. Ch. Goh , L.
Atputhasamy (Goh & Atputhasamy, 2001), I. Reid, J. Caudwell (Reid & Caudwell, 1997) and
Thus, scientific researches show that the issue of choosing a profession has been relevant since late
The objective of the paper is to examine the motivation of entering Vilnius Pedagogical
The tasks of the research: 1. To find out whether the motives for entering Vilnius
Pedagogical University reflects pedagogical purposefulness of students. 2. To examine the
motives for choosing a teacher's profession. 3. To compare the criteria of the choice of different
faculties of Vilnius Pedagogical University. 4. To compare the criteria for choosing different
The methods of the research: 1. Analysis of literature sources. 2. Questionnairing of Vilnius
Pedagogical University students. 3. Mathematical-statistical analysis of the data obtained.
The research was carried out at three faculties of Vilnius Pedagogical University: Natural
Science Faculty, Foreign Language Faculty, and Mathematics and Informatics Faculty. The
research covered 477 first year students, including 399 female students and 78 male students. The
respondents were given 45 motives and each of those motives had to be given certain rating by
importance: of high importance, of importance, and of minor importance.
Research Results and Their Discussion
The data of our research (Table 1) have revealed that the respondents consider the motive of
seeking for higher education as the motive of high importance for entering Vilnius Pedagogical
University. Consequently, their decision to enter Vilnius Pedagogical University was mostly
influenced not by their calling for teaching but by the result of the studies, i.e. the certificate
of higher education (96,0 %), importance of the certificate of higher education (94,1 %), desire
to improve one's social position (70,0 %), seeking for a career (69,0 %), desire to be useful (60,8
%). Comparing the data with the results of researches carried out by other scientists, it has been
noticed that the motives of students entering a higher educational institution are similar. The
main of them is a desire to get higher education or seeking for higher education (Šešciliene,
1999; Barkauskaite, 1999).
Cognitive motives also have a great influence on entering a higher educational institution. Most
important of them are the following: desire to study (90,8 %), desire to acquire better knowledge
in the chosen speciality (79,9 %), desire to get deeper and wider knowledge of the subject (71,3 %).
This shows that pupils desire and seek to widen their knowledge and scope. The above-mentioned
results of our research also confirm the results obtained by other scientists (Rupšiene, 1998),
which also show the interest of students in the subject studies, desire to gain knowledge
enabling their improvement.
The research has revealed that the motives related to professional purposefulness have been
given the following rating: 38,5 % of students think of them as of high importance, 28,0 % -
of importance, 33,5 % - of minor importance. The students who on entering Vilnius Pedagogical
University considered this group of motives as of high importance have chosen this profession
deliberately - they desired to get higher education in teaching and not in any other field. It could be
stated that motivation to become a teacher is rather weak. The answers given show that most
students have low professional purposefulness, if any, and only some of the questioned have entered
the university to acquire a profession of a teacher.
The data of our research are at variance with the conclusions of some foreign and local
scientists (Karle-Weiss, 1989; Isaacs, 1997; Goh, Atputhasamy, 2001; Reid, Caudwell, 1997;
Soh, 1998; Rupšiene, 1998; Whitbeck, 2000), which state that love for children, desire to work
with children, teach and educate them, desire to be a teacher are the motives of highest importance
for students choosing a profession of a teacher.
Analysing the data, it has been observed that decision to enter Vilnius Pedagogical University
is at a certain extent influenced by lessons in the subject that was favourite at school (63,3 %) and
by a good teacher of the subject (50,3 %).
Although love for children has been mentioned as the motive of very high importance by 187
respondents, a great desire to become a teacher was mentioned by 11,3 % students less - 133 of
477. S. Kregžde has also been getting into the motives for a profession choice. At Vilnius
Pedagogical University, he has carried out a research the results of which have revealed that
“desire to work with children” is the main motive of entering higher educational institutions. The
motive of those who failed to enter other higher educational institutions is “to get the certificate
of higher education” (Kregžde, 1998).
Questioning of students has demonstrated that in choosing a profession an important role is
played by inclination and interests, their intensity and power. This motive seems of high
importance for 58,3 % of students, of importance - for 24,7 % students. These data reaffirm the
results of previous researches of some foreign scientists disclosing that personal perfection is one of
the main motives for the studies of a teacher. For these teachers, it is important to make their
life meaningful (Dutton, 1994).
Personal motives have hardly any influence on entering a higher educational institution, if any. Of
this group of motives, the motive “possibility to be near one's beloved person” (of minor
importance for 89,7 % of students), “friends residing in Vilnius who can provide with
accommodation” (of minor importance for 89,3 %) are of least importance. This means that
students care little about their personal needs and intentions, and the main motives for entering
Vilnius Pedagogical University are the certificate of higher education, cognitive motives, and
Entering Vilnius Pedagogical University, the influence of other persons - parents, relatives, friends,
teachers, professors -are of least importance. As many as 69,6 % of respondents think this group of
motives to be of minor importance, 16,6 % - of importance, and only 13,8 % - of high importance.
The results of our research have demonstrated that a considerable part of the questioned students
entered the university by chance (27,7 % of students thought this motive to be of high
importance, 17,4 % - of importance) or due to the failure to enter another speciality (37,9 % of
respondents thought it was of high importance, 16,6 % - of importance). This evidences that a rather
big number of students did not intend to study the speciality they have entered.
Summing up the results of questionnaires, it could be stated that the motives of highest
importance for entering a higher educational institution are related to higher education (66,4 %)
and cognitive motives (63,2 %). The influence of other people (69,6 %) and personal motives (55,4
%) are of least importance. This is demonstrated in Figure 1.
The research has been aimed at revealing the rating of motives by students in different faculties:
Natural Science Faculty, Foreign Language Faculty, and Mathematics and Informatics Faculty.
Researching the motives related to seeking for higher education it has been discovered that the
respondents from Foreign Language Faculty experienced greater influence of seeking for a career
(c˛=10,139; df=4; p<0,05) and a possibility to go abroad while studying (c˛=68,872; df=4; p<0,0001),
students of Natural Science Faculty desire to be useful (c˛=18,541; df=4; p<0,001) at a greater extent
than the respondents from other faculties. Almost all cognitive motives (desire to get deeper and wider
knowledge of the subject (c˛=41,334; df=4; p<0,0001), interest in the subject (c˛=38,052; df=4;
p<0,0001), desire to acquire better knowledge in the chosen speciality (c˛=27,132; df=4; p<0,0001),
favourite occupation (c˛=11,501; df=4; p<0,05)) are the motives statistically of higher importance
when entering the university for the students of Foreign Language faculty, except research work
carried out by Vilnius Pedagogical University (c˛=11,457; df=4; p<0,05) (this motive is of greater
importance for the students of natural Science Faculty). The students of Natural Science faculty are of
greater professional purposefulness. For them, the motives related to professional purposefulness
(desire to become a teacher (c˛=25,247; df=4; p<0,0001), love for children (c˛=19,123; df=4;
p<0,001), organizational capabilities (c˛=12,408; df=4; p<0,05), need for self-expression (c˛=18,834;
df=4; p<0,001)), are of higher importance than for the respondents of other faculties. Of personal
motives, inclinations and interests (c˛=23,819; df=4; p<0,0001) and desire to live in town (c˛=9,516; df=4;
p<0,05) are of higher importance for the students of Foreign Language faculty, and the possibility
to participate in the social life of the youth (c˛=11,856; df=4; p<0,05) and traditions of the cultural life of
Vilnius Pedagogical University (c˛=11,658; df=4; p<0,05) - for the students of natural Science Faculty.
The respondents from Mathematics and Informatics Faculty think that they have entered the faculty
because of the failure to enter other specialities (c˛=15,973; df=4; p<0,01). The students of Foreign
Language Faculty saw greater possibilities in studying at Vilnius Pedagogical University than at other
higher educational institutions (c˛=18,162; df=4; p<0,01). And the number of students thinking that
the studies at Vilnius Pedagogical University are easier than those at other higher educational
institutions is greater at Natural Science Faculty (c˛=17,473; df=4; p<0,01). The students of this faculty
consider the information on Vilnius Pedagogical University given in mass media of higher importance
(c˛=12,288; df=4; p<0,05) than the respondents from other faculties.
Having analyzed the distribution of the motives for different specialities in Natural Science
Faculty, it is observed that the students of biology consider the interest in the subject (c˛=7,361; df=2;
p<0,05) to be of importance, and the respondents of the speciality of home culture considered
attractive life of students to be of importance (c˛=6,274; df=2; p<0,05).
Having analyzed the motives for entering Vilnius Pedagogical University of different speciality the
students of Foreign Language faculty, it has been disclosed that the students of English philology
considered possibility to receive a better job (c˛=9,844; df=4; p<0,05) and a favourite occupation
(c˛=10,610; df=4; p<0,05) to be of higher importance, and most of the students of French entered
the university by chance (c˛= 12,274; df=4; p<0,05) or thinking that studies at Vilnius Pedagogical
University are easier than those at other higher educational institutions (c˛= 10,393; df=4; p<0,05).
Distribution of Motives for Entering a Higher Educational Institution by Importance (%)
Of high importance Of importance Of minor
Motives related to acquisition of higher education
Importance of the Certificate of Higher Education 94,1 4,2 1,7
Seeking for higher education 96,0 3,1 8,0
Desire to improve one’s social position 70,0 18,7 11,3
Possibility to advance 44,2 32,1 23,7
Possibility to receive a better job 56,4 28,5 15,1
Desire to be useful 60,8 24,7 14,5
Seeking for a career 69,0 19,7 11,3
Possibility to go abroad while studying 40,7 27,9 31,4
Desire to get deeper and wider knowledge of the subject 71,3 18,7 10,1
Interest in the subject 66,7 21,4 11,9
Desire to acquire better knowledge in the chosen speciality 79,9 14,5 5,7
Favourite occupation 59,1 27,3 13,6
Research work carried out by Vilnius Pedagogical University 11,7 21,6 66,7
Desire to study 90,8 6,9 2,3
Motives related to professional purposefulness
Desire to become a teacher 27,9 31,1 41,0
Love of children 39,2 32,3 28,5
Liking for managing people 25,4 27,0 47,6
Organisational capabilities 31,4 34,4 34,2
Need for self-expression 31,7 34,0 34,3
Lessons in the subject that was favourite at school 63,3 17,4 19,3
Good teacher of the subject 50,3 20,1 29,6
Inclinations and interests 58,3 24,7 17,0
Possibility to participate in the social life of the youth 30,4 42,1 27,5
Traditions of the cultural life of Vilnius Pedagogical University 10,5 30,0 59,5
Greater possibilities to make new friends 43,6 37,7 18,7
Possibility to find a husband/wife 9,6 18,2 72,1
Parents residing in Vilnius 13,0 4,8 82,2
Friends residing in Vilnius who can provide with 7,1 3,6 89,3
% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Motives related to the acquisition of higher education
Influence of other people
Figure 1. Assessments of entering Vilnius Pedagogical University
Of high importance Of importance Of minor importance
Desire to escape parental care 17,6 16,4 66,0
Possibility to be near one’s beloved person 5,9 4,4 89,7
Attractive life of students 34,6 37,1 28,3
Desire to live in town 24,9 16,8 58,3
Influence that other people had
Parents, relatives 24,5 21,6 53,9
Girlfriends, friends 12,8 16,8 70,4
Teachers, their advice 11,7 18,4 69,8
Lecturers of Vilnius Pedagogical University 13,6 15,7 70,6
The Open Door Day at Vilnius Pedagogical University 7,8 15,5 76,7
Family traditions 12,2 11,5 76,3
Need to enter any educational institution 70,0 21,4 8,6
A chance 27,7 17,4 54,9
Failure to enter another speciality 37,9 16,6 45,5
Greater possibilities of education at Vilnius Pedagogical
University than at other higher educational institutions
24,9 32,9 42,1
Positive attitude of the society to students of Vilnius Pedagogical
15,7 35,2 49,1
It is easier to study at Vilnius Pedagogical University than at
other higher educational institutions
16,8 21,6 61,6
Information about Vilnius Pedagogical University presented in
the mass media
12,4 35,2 52,4
importance: seeking for higher education (96,0 %); the certificate of higher education (94,1 %); desire to
study (90,8 %); desire to acquire better knowledge of the chosen speciality (79,9 %); desire to get deeper
and wider knowledge of the subject (71,3 %).
2. Motives of least importance are the following: possibility to be near one's beloved person
(89,7 %); friends residing in Vilnius who can provide with accommodation (89,3 %); parents residing in
Vilnius (82,2 %); the Open Door Day at Vilnius Pedagogical University (76,7 %); family
traditions (76,3 %).
3. For the students of Foreign Language Faculty cognitive motives, also motives related to
desire to acquire higher education were of higher importance; the students of Natural Science faculty
attached more importance to the motives related to professional purposefulness; most of the
respondents from Mathematics and Informatics faculty entered the speciality because of the failure
to enter other specialities.
4. Having analysed the distribution of the motives for different specialities in Natural
Science Faculty, it is observed that the students of biology consider the interest in the subject to be
of importance, and the respondents of the speciality of home culture considered attractive life of
students to be of importance. In the Faculty of Foreign Languages, it has been disclosed that the
students of English philology considered possibility to receive a better job (%2=9,844; df=4; p<0,05)
and a favourite occupation to be of higher importance, and most of the students of French entered the
university by chance or thinking that studies at Vilnius Pedagogical University were easier than those
at other higher educational institutions.
5. The research on the motivation lying behind first year students' entry to Vilnius
Pedagogical University has revealed that the currently existing procedure of students' selection to
the university does not reflect the single-mindedness of future teachers related to the teacher's
profession (only marks of the Certificate are taken into consideration). If those entering
pedagogical higher educational institutions do not have a calling, it would be good if they had at least the
inclination for the teacher's activity, and higher educational institutions should maintain not only
students motivated with professional regard but also should strengthen the motivation for the
pedagogical activity. The choice of future teachers should be given greater attention at a general
education school, as only a teacher may know his or her pupils well and can assist them in their
professional self-determination to become a teacher.
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pedagogines technologijos: VI tarptautine moksline konferencija: mokslo darbai, I dalis (pp.
2. Bell, B. (2003). Lessons in Lifemanship. Choosing a Vocation. Retrieved November 27,
2003, from http://www.bbll.com/ch28.html .
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Notre Dame, Fremantle, Western Australia, 2-6 December 2001.
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secondary school teacher in England and Norway. Teacher Development, 3 (2), 373-381.
17. Kyriacou, C. & Kobori, M. (1998). Motivation to learn and teach English in Slovenia.
Educational Studies, 24 (3), 345-351.
18. Kregžde, S. (1998). Profesinio kryptingumo formavimosi psichologiniai pagrindai. Kaunas:
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Development. 2 (1), 87-94.
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15 (1), 17-32.
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mokykloje motyvacija. Pedagogika, 37, 80 – 87.
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Youth, its objectives, readiness for life, education are the future of Lithuania. One of the major
solutions of a young person is related to the choice of a future profession, and this solution is
influenced by many factors: certain demands, calls and interests, capabilities and intellect, character and
temperament, goals and values. By its social and individuality-related importance, the teacher's
profession is very vivid among others, as its calling is to educate and mature a human being for all kinds
of professions and specialties, posts and positions. The article aims at surveying the motivation for
entering Vilnius Pedagogical University and at finding out whether the choice of the teacher's
profession reflects its purposefulness. The currently existing procedure of students' selection to the
university does not reflect the single-mindedness of future teachers related to the teacher's profession
(only marks of the Certificate are taken into consideration).
Key words: profession, motivation.
Moral Education in Lithuania: An Educology of Teaching
Understanding and Caring versus Teaching Reasoning
Professor and Chairman
Department of Educology
Vilnius University, Lithuania
The intention of the introduction adheres to the meaning of the following statement from the
first paragraph in the Recurring Editorial that started in the 2005 issue of cd-IJE.
Professor Duobliene’s paper, in accord with the Recurring Editorial, is: (1) within the
phenomenological philosophy of educology perspective, and; (2) in contrast to the
experiential, rationalistic, and analytical philosophy of educology perspectives.
From the editorial’s perspective, the paper is considered to be based on a philosophy of
knowledge, i.e. on an epistemology, developed within the general philosophy of existentialism.
And, from this perspective, its epistemology involves the methodology, i.e. knowledge of the
method, of systematic phenomenology, as knowledge about a method for doing general
philosophy, i.e. doing ontology, metaphysics, epistemology, logic, ethics, and aesthetics, from
an existentialist perspective. Included in doing general philosophy, with this methodology, i.e.
with this knowledge of method, is the essential step of “bracketing off” all indirect knowledge
or “secondary knowledge,” that, from this perspective, is acquired through the mediation of
sensory and/or reflectively oriented reasoning, so as to retrieve direct knowledge or “primary
knowledge” through the immediacy of a non-sensory or pre-reflectively oriented “intuition.”
Through the step of “bracketing,” in the steps involved in conducting the systematic
phenomenological method of doing philosophy, an “epoch” can be retrieved in human
consciousnesses that is a retrieval of, i.e. a return to, a pure consciousness that is, then,
immediately intuited or grasped by an “uncluttered mind,” i.e. a mind unaffected by sensory
and/or reflectively reasoned “content knowledge.”
It is not this “bracketing” step involved in the retrieval of a pure consciousness, however, that
Professor Duobliene is interested in, for as she says:
“On discussing retrieval to pure consciousness, phenomenology philosophers speak about epoche or
bracketing of the content of experience. But our interest is the phenomenological point of primordial
experience which appeared later on and is related to radical reflection. What is it and how does it
correlate with other reflections used in education?”
Professor Duobliene’s interest, then: (1) is not in a “bracketing” methodology for doing
phenomenology, for it; (2) is in a “radical reflection” methodology for doing phenomenology,
and, whereby, a radical reflective oriented phenomenology is a “moral philosophy” dealing:
“with the possible application of phenomenology into education, with the way it makes the concept of
reflection change, and how in its very essence, this encourages a moral relationship with the world,
thus being fairly suitable for the ethics teaching.”
From the perspective of the Recurring Editorial, the meaning of the word ‘education’, as in
the phrases “reflections used in education” and “phenomenology into education,” can be
used: (1) to refer to a process, i.e. the educational process in which someone meets to manage
the teaching of someone to study, learn, and accept or not accept something, as educatively
experiencing something, somewhere, and; (2) to refer to knowledge about this process, i.e.
Also, from this perspective, then, the meaning of the word ‘educology’ is used to refer to
knowledge about the educational process and the meaning of the word ‘education’ is used to
refer to the process, whereby, then, Duobliene’s phrases: (1) “reflections used in education”
implies “reflections used in the educational process,” not, “reflections used in educology,”
i.e., not reflections used in the knowing process conducted for the purpose of knowing about
educative experiences that organically inhere in educational processes, and; (2)
“phenomenology into education” implies “phenomenology into the educational process,”
not, “phenomenology into educology,” i.e. not phenomenology used in the knowing process
conducted for the purpose of knowing about educative experiences that organically inhere in
Professor Duobliene’s article, then, is one in educology, whereby, from the perspective of the
Recurring Editorial, the meaning of the word ‘educology’ is used to refer to knowledge about
educative experiences organically inhering in educational processes as these processes are
conducted in developing democracies in the world. Specifically, from the experiential
philosophy of educology perspective of the Recurring Editorial, Professor Duobliene’s article
is oriented as one in axiologic educology of moral education, i.e. commonly known as
“philosophy of education,” more than it is as a scientific or praxiologic educology of moral
education, e.g. commonly known as “psychology and sociology of moral education,” in
Lithuania’s developing democracy. Its object of knowledge, from the editorial perspective, as
the subject on which the article is focused, is the existence of educative experiences
organically inhering in educational processes, quoting Duobliene, existing:
“in the didactic possibilities of phenomenology as moral philosophy,”
processes that develop democratically healthy body, mind, psyche, and habit growth in
teachers and students in a developing democracy in the world.
Her article alludes to the existence of reflective thinking experiences, i.e. from the perspective
of the Recurring Editorial, experiences in knowing processes that develop democratically
healthy body, mind, psyche, and habit growth in educologists in a developing democracy in
the world, however, the allusion is made:
“with the way it makes the concept of reflection change, and how in its very essence, this encourages a
moral relationship with the world, thus being fairly suitable for ethics teaching.”
This “way,” from Professor Duobliene’s perspective, makes the concept of reflective thinking
experiences change from experiences conducted by “reflection on action” and “reflection in
action” to experiences conducted as “reflection as action,” i.e. to reflective thinking
experiences “correlated” and conducted “radically.”
From the editorial’s perspective, by phenomenologically orienting her axiologic educology,
Professor Duobliene implicitly has asked the question:
“What are good, worthwhile, or valuable educative experiences organically inhering in educational
process conducted in developing democracies in the world, specifically, the one in Lithuania?”
And, Professor Duobliene, from the editorial’s perspective, by intention, does not account for
“radical” reflective thinking experiences, as experiences of “reflection on, in, or as action,”
being oriented epistemologically by philosophy of educology, i.e. as being oriented by the
“What is knowledge?”
and, more specifically,
“What is knowledge about educative experiences organically inhering in educational processes
conducted in developing democracies in the world, specifically in Lithuania?”
“What is educology?”
In short, by intention, Professor Duobliene, in doing axiologic educology, though alluding to
the method of phenomenology to be used in educative experiences organically inhering in
educational processes involving the step of “bracketing,” does not account for the method, as
such. She accounts for the method of phenomenology to be used in educative experiences
organically inhering in educational processes as a method involving “radical reflection,”
whereby, then, students using this phenomenological method can and will become morally
The aim of this paper is to present the didactic possibilities of phenomenology as moral
philosophy. It deals with the possible application of phenomenology into education, with the
way it makes the concept of reflection change, and how in its very essence, this encourages a
moral relationship with the world, thus being fairly suitable for the ethics teaching.
The present analysis also points towards the applicability of the phenomenological method in
ethics lessons, especially in Lithuanian schools. Then follows exposition of the application of
the phenomenological method in secondary school ethics lessons, based on documents issued
by the Ministry of education of Lithuania, as well as approved textbooks and publications of
other Lithuanian authors.
Phenomenology, one of the schools of modern philosophy, has a peculiar feature that appeals
to education philosophers: it aims at bringing the person back to the natural and existential
sources of his being in the world.
The application of such philosophical aspect presents no misinterpretations when dealing with
human morality, life meaningfulness and harmony amongst human beings.
For the utter surprise of the author of the present paper, Lithuanian educologists have left an
absolute vacuum in the scientific research of phenomenology as applicable to education, in
spite of the fact that phenomenological education has been widely popularized in many
countries through numerous publications and Lithuanian philosophers, for more than a year,
have been expanding this philosophical school. Lithuanian education philosophers and
practitioners simply avoid phenomenology, giving priority to other education systems, such
as: realistic, pragmatic, behaviorist, and re-constructionist. And this is not a mere
coincidence. This confidence in the above-mentioned schools is based on their comfortable
point of view to the world, as it can be known, measured and valued according to specific
criteria, and on their basis makes the pertinent changes. Contrastingly, the phenomenological
method, which denies the possibility to comprehend the world, seems unsuitable and difficult
to apply to education. Nevertheless, considerable attention is given to this paradigm in several
countries and it is even suggested to educators.
The author of the present paper thinks it is quite a paradoxical occurrence, and thus worth a
deeper study, to see that though there are no theoretical works in this field, the
phenomenological method is slowly ‘making its way’ into the educational system of
Lithuania. Education philosophy is forced to admit what is already happening. Therefore, this
study aims to go deeper into reflection of Lithuanian experience and diffusion but in a wider
As the object of study is the phenomenological method in ethics teaching, it seems relevant to
provide some background information as to what the situation is in teaching ethics in
In Lithuanian secondary schools most subjects were taught following the principles of
realism, and this was the case of ethics as well, usually integrated into other disciplines. The
teaching and learning methods were memorization, logical analysis, and some interpretation.
This was the teaching style in the period between the two world wars, and it continued to be
so even afterwards, during the Soviet occupation. (Duobliene, 2000). The difference lies in
the fact that during Soviet times there was a kind of ideological or soc-realistic shade.
Nowadays, more than 10 years after the restoration of our independence in 1991, the situation
has changed. Ethics is now a school subject of its own, no longer included within the syllabus
of other disciplines, and even three different trends can be found in the teaching of this subject
(Duobliene, 2002). The first one, developed by J. Baranova, offers interpretation of
philosophical texts and is based on conservative hermeneutics, sometimes capturing
existentialist insights. The second one is L. Degesys’s oriented to J. Dewey tradition on the
teaching from experience and logical thinking. And there is a third one, presented by T.
Sodeika, who proposes an authentic relationship with the world, applying the
phenomenological method. The latter seems especially progressive if we take into account the
students’ attention, aesthetical practice and dialogical relationship with the world. How is this
method adopted in Lithuania?
To be more precise, the aim of the present study is to analyze the phenomenological method
as the most suitable for moral education, grounding this research on the insights of
phenomenology philosophers and education philosophers, as well as on their practical
application. Then a reference can be made to the Lithuanian experience in ethics teaching.
With this clear aim in mind, this research makes several points: it presents the idea that
phenomenology by its very essence leads us to a moral relationship with the world. Then it
shows that the application of the phenomenological method and the phenomenological
reflection is well in keeping with the development of social skills and the responsibility for
the others and the world. Finally, it exposes the already evident cases of application of the
phenomenological method to ethics teaching in Lithuania.
For this purpose, philosophical, and educational literature, as well as Lithuanian textbooks
education documents have been analyzed.
Moral Relationship with the World
When talking about morals, we use the following concepts: responsibility, care, generosity,
friendship, and others. We usually understand them as values that society considers worth
seeking, values which can be passed on to others, and which can also be instilled in the
educational process. We tend to associate them as clear, intentional and rational actions of the
person. However, phenomenology philosophers see these values as something completely
natural to the way human existence expresses itself. This perception of such values as
something ordinary to be found and cherished in everyday life provides a different way of
being in the world.
One of the first philosophers to study care for the world was the existentialist Martin
Heidegger. He stimulated the human conscience by inviting man to care for the world, which
is dominated by oblivion. Only an authentic relationship with the world, “being-in-the-world”
or simply “being-in” as such (Dasein), can be real and valuable, as it is full of generosity.
(Heidegger, 1999). This is said when for the first time one experiences the place where the
truth of the being lies. M. Heidegger’s existentialist phenomenology is further developed by
E. Levinas and M Merleau- Ponty. They direct the existentialist’s care for the world towards
the care for the other and the sense of responsibility for the other.
M. Merleau- Ponty develops the meditations on care but drawing a turn towards social
relationships, where there will always be the other (Merleau - Ponty, 2000). Man’s existence
cannot be disconnected from the existence of the other. Any person’s experience and that of
the other, their impressions intersect, therefore subjective meanings are inseparable from
M. Merleau- Ponty dwells not only in the conscience, but also in the body. In his opinion, the
world is given to us through bodily structures. Then the body adjusts the projects created by
the conscience. In the words of A. Sverdiolas, a Lithuanian scientist, the body is the border of
our conscience or at least the limit of its field (Sverdiolas, 2002, p. 228). When describing the
structures of the will, we discover and reveal the body’s spontaneity, we uncover the veal of
our body’s intrinsic intentionality, uncontrolled by conscience.
In bodily actions M. Merleau- Ponty perceives manifestations of certain pre-reflective,
primordial or natural relationship to the world. In our actions there is always something
primordial, previous to our consciousness and our already accepted and learnt norms of
In the philosophy of M. Merleau- Ponty, morality is a bodily responsiveness to an obligation,
an imperative sense of responsibility, felt unconsciously, expressed through body language,
responding in a pre-personal, pre-conventional way, as if awakened by the other, responding
to his look, and at the same time, to his humanity. This is very precisely presented by
D.M.Levin (Levin, 1998). This moral imperative also captures the traces of the past. It is
embodied in the person as a natural gift. When he discusses body language, M. Merleau-
Ponty constantly refers back to the description of babyhood. The first stage in the formation
of the person is based on natural sensory reactions. The child still does not know nor
distinguishes social or moral order, he responds to everything with a sort of rudimentary
feeling, and is full of primordial solicitude, compassion and genuineness, quite different from
adults, who stick to universally accepted moral principles and consensus. M. Merleau- Ponty
invites us to reawaken the restrained primordial responsiveness and, following the example of
the childlike stage, to retrieve to the stage of natural responses to the world. (M. Merleau-
Ponty, 2000). A similar description of such primordial responsiveness in the formation of
personality can be found in the works of other phenomenology philosophers such as M. Buber
and E. Levin, though each of them would take it from a particular angle.
E. Levinas criticizes M. Heidegger’s authentic experience “there is” (es gibt), on the grounds
that this would mean an impersonal care and therefore, amoral. E. Levinas instead suggests
turning from existence toward the One who exists (Levinas, 1995) as he places the most
importance in the care for the other, the face of the other and responsibility for him. The
relationship with the other begins as a sense of responsibility. By turning to the other, the
person experiences moral order. Responsibility involves the person and this responsibility
goes beyond the limits of what the person does. Responsibility already begins at the very
moment when the other sees me. And this means giving no matter whether the other person
knows or recalls that. In brief, E.Levinas does not establish ethics norms, but he creates an
The moral philosophy of E. Levinas, M. Merleau- Ponty and other phenomenology pursuers
is a philosophy based upon moral responsibility, care, and openness to the other. Moral
relationships demand solicitous look and sensitivity in the perception of moral traces that are
manifest though indescribable in words.
When discussing moral education, it is important to bear in mind the latent potentiality that
can be expressed through the body (Levin, 1998). Then D.M. Levin put forward the following
question: how should the technical aspect of education be combined with the development of
that potentiality? And he answers: “If there is a ‘proto-moral’ predisposition already ordering
the nature of the body, then the task of moral education, its ‘civilizing’ work, will not need to
be impositional, forcing on the body an order that is entirely alien; it can afford to work
hermeneutically, bringing forth and developing a potential intimated by the traces.” (Levin,
1998, p. 365)
Phenomenological Method and Phenomenological Reflection in Lithuanian Education
One of the significant factors in the formation of personality during the educational process is
the student’s way of thinking. Every educational system has its own thinking and reflection
On discussing retrieval to pure consciousness, phenomenology philosophers speak about
epoch e or bracketing of the content of experience. But our interest is the phenomenological
point of primordial experience which appeared later on and is related to radical reflection.
What is it and how does it correlate with other reflections used in education?
Reflection is traditionally understood as reflection on action, widely discussed as such in J.
Dewey’s works (Dewey, 1933) and for many years already being implemented in schools.
Such reflection, related to critical thinking and identified with rationalism, is especially
popular in Lithuania as well. This teaching method grew quite remarkably after the fall of the
Soviet Union, with the restoration of the independence, as a whole wave of innovation flowed
Another concept of reflection, this time reflection in action, is the one offered by Donald A.
Schon (1983) and it is applied to creative work, design and construction. This is a rather
intuitive reflection in which thinking and doing are, as much as possible and simultaneously,
comprised in time. This reflection is usually applied to unexpected situations that call for
flexibility in planning, arranging and performing technical operations. In Lithuania there is
hardly any mention of such reflection, or none at all.
In order to promote the existentialist and phenomenological stance, the Lithuanian
philosopher T. Sodeika suggests that it be aimed at existentialist understanding, instead of
reflection, as the former is quite different from critical thinking or D.A. Schon’s thinking-anddoing
(reflection in action). It would rather be a way of life and in such case “activity of
understanding can be grasped exclusively as an aspect of being, i.e., as an aspect which can be
only experience” (Sodeika, 1995, p.45.). T. Sodeika shares M. Heidegger’s and G. Steiner’s
emphasis on the living contact with things, because reflective knowledge is secondary.
Critical reflection is confusing; it is based on something not articulated. From Sodeika’s texts
it is obvious that he definitely sees reflection as a kind of critical thinking that reflects upon
things of the past, which means presenting a secondary product from something already
In contrast with the Lithuanian philosopher, the phenomenology pursuers of other countries
do not refuse the use of reflection in education, but give it a different sense and meaning. A.
Bleackley follows phenomenological insights and presents yet another kind of reflection with
the name of reflection-as-action, not a conquest of the world or the formation of the world
through structural constructions, but rather an active “immersion” into the world, a natural
relationship with it, as M. Heidegger would put it. This means an aesthetical action rather
than a functional or technical one. (Bleackley, 1999). Reflection-as-action is then an
instantaneous sensitivity or responsiveness based on the model of the body intertwining with
the world. According to him, the focus is no longer on the ego-logical relationship with the
world but on the eco-logical. Such reflection provides a continuation of the aesthetical
relationship through an ethical one, full of care for the surrounding world.
In the phenomenology of M. Merleau -Ponty reflection is defined as reflection on the
unreflective, in other words, reflection comes across a content that is not subject to reflection,
as reflection cannot be separated from the unity of action of body and conscience. Otherwise,
it would become a second product deprived of the naivety to be found in the primordial stage.
Paraphrasing M. Merleau – Ponty, within such reflection the world appears as strange and
paradoxical, since reflection pulls us with intentional strings that join us to it, thus making
these ties visible to our eyes (Merleau- Ponty, 2000). This reflection is also evident in the
social relationship when responding to the other, and therefore it is of vital importance in the
process of social and moral education.
If we compare the phenomenological reflection of M. Merleau-Ponty and Bleackley with the
denial of reflection of T. Sodeika, we may see that both philosophical trends deal with the
same issue, the difference lying in the fact that T. Sodeika follows M. Heidegger and analyses
reflection in the context of his minding. According to T. Sodeika, theoretical knowledge
based on critical thinking can only be considered a second product, if compared to the
empirical perception. However, T. Sodeika ‘s existential perception, as other famous
philosophers understand it, should correspond to phenomenological or existentialist reflection.
Phenomenological reflection -- whether radical- or post- Heideggerian -- is one of many
others. Together with phenomenological reflection, we can mention reflection on action,
reflection as action; there are still other forms suggested by some theorists, such as reflection
for action, and reflection as postmodern maneuver, developed by education philosopher R.
Uscher. Unfortunately, none of these conceptions is developed in Lithuania, except reflection
Forms of Phenomenological Education in the Teaching of Ethics
and its Application in Lithuania
Phenomenological reflection and phenomenological method are inseparable from experience,
the same way as J. Dewey’s defined reflection is related to experience. Therefore, teaching of
reflection methods and forms are very similar. The same importance is given to conversation,
dialogue, creative activity, dramatization, interpretation, etc. It is not a mere coincidence that
M. Green often quotes J. Dewey in his own works meant to be used for the implementation of
phenomenology in education. Nevertheless, the common elements of these systems are
evident only when discussing teaching forms, whereas the main difference lies in the aims
they pursue and the emphasis places in those forms. Let us go deeper into these aspects.
The first source should be M. Green, whose philosophy of education and its application has
already been developed for years. As part of the methods applicable to moral education he
includes dialogue and creative activity, for he considers moral education as an inseparable
process within social education. Therefore it is of great importance to be able to communicate
with others and to feel empathy for them. We can find something of this sort in Lithuania.
The general syllabus for teaching Ethics in secondary schools has been recently approved in
Lithuania and the themes included in it corresponds to the study of philosophical Ethics, such
as wisdom, love, suffering, responsibility, the meaning of life, and so on (General Curricula,
2000). The general syllabus for Ethics in general schools has also been approved and it
consists of four themes or parts: I - I, I - You, I -We, I - It (General Curricula, 2003). The
second and third parts include topics that are devoted to develop the social and moral
relationship with the world and others. In the guidelines of these topics, it is clearly stated that
the theme “I -You” should be understood under the light of M. Buber’s concept of dialogue (I
– Thou), which means that it should encourage a special relationship with a friend, an
acquaintance or any other and E.Levinas concept of the other. The topics are presented in
such a way that the student who follows this syllabus should constantly feel the need of caring
for the other, the world and its creatures. Obviously, the respect for others is also an important
element in the other topics to be discussed, but this phenomenological aspect of special care,
conscientiousness and need of dialogue is particularly fostered in the second part of the
syllabus. The remaining parts focus their attention mostly on the social commitment and
The syllabus is presented together with a set of achievement standards, which in fact have
nothing to do with phenomenological education, let alone, with the teaching of Ethics. To
justify the idea of including them it could be explained that these established standards are by
no means used as assessment criteria of the students’ performance, but rather serve the
purpose of setting example as to what should be emphasized and attained. One of those
principles states that one of the most important skills to be developed is the ability to
everyday experience. As the students pay attention to authenticity, they get an insight of the
harmony existing within themselves and the surrounding world, of the unity of body and
intellect, in a word, a natural relationship. Another skill to be fostered as listed in those
principles is called descriptive, also attributed to phenomenology. It implies the ability to
describe and retell the experienced phenomena in one’s own way, thus developing an open
rather than a normative approach to the surrounding world, which means that there may be
several and different points of view and ways of expressing them. Apart from these mentioned
skills, the list includes analytical, problem-solving, and normative skills, these three last ones
not being part of the phenomenological education. Admittedly, it could be said that such a
mixture of different skills and attitudes towards education is fallacious as it disrupts the
balance of a growing personality, but on the other hand it could be justified by stating that
when those standards where under discussion, the authors (among them the author of the
present paper) had in mind the need of a gradual transition of the teaching of ethics out of the
purely rationalist thinking in vogue at that moment. These are the very first steps that will lead
to a change in the way of approaching and relating with the world, first of all in the teachers
and later on in the children. Ultimately, it will be an alternative for those who feel the lack of
an authentic sense of living.
Phenomenological education cannot be dissociated from teaching how to choose; however,
this requires granting a certainty variety of choices. (Denton, 1970, Green, 1990).
Reconsidering M. Green’s position, will power and the ability to choose guarantees the
intentionality of an action, that is, aimed at a certain goal. It is precisely by choosing how we
realize our lives, create ourselves and form the morality of the self.
The representatives of phenomenological education propose to integrate the use of narrations,
artistic creation and imagination in the process of teaching moral principles, as this helps to
establish an aesthetical and ethical relationship with the world. When students tell each other
their own impressions and experiences, whatever the case may be, they will have the
opportunity to reflect on the values sorting them with a personal hierarchy or scale. (Green,
1990, 1991) They will make choices by themselves and this will give ground to their moral
decision. For this education it is useful to make resort to Literature lessons, interpretation of
fiction books, comparing the experiences of the depicted characters with one’s own. The
philosopher of education David E. Denton claims that literature lessons should give the
students the chance to learn metaphorical language, since metaphors hold much more than the
precise concept the words express, because their aim is not just to provide information for
reasoning (Denton, 1970). He also affirms that we are not supposed to teach how to explain
things but to understand them, because teaching how to explain implies that there already is a
premise stating the existence of objective information that do not depend on the person’s
involvement in the world or the present situation where that information is under discussion.
In contrast, understanding is just the activity of body and intellect applied to an already
determined situation (Denton, 1970). So he offers another concept: explanation – as –
In Lithuania, soon after the declaration of the independence, it was J. Baranova who gave a
start to this trend, with her manuals and lectures where she proposed a gradual transition from
old realism. Her works encourage existentialist experiences and insights instead of logical and
universal normative values (Baranova, 1998) She arranged a selection of texts complemented
with illustrations and poetry. She suggests beginning from everyday life experiences, insights,
poems, and metaphors and then take some fiction and philosophy texts. In this there is a
passage from existentialist hermeneutics to a more conservative stance. Another of
J.Baranova’s suggestion is the study of works of art, such as paintings, sculptures,
photographs and films, from a moral philosophy point of view. This partly corresponds to the
proposals of some representatives of phenomenological education as regards the use
metaphorical language when teaching literature and other branches of the humanities, as
metaphors allow the reflection on the unreflective. Most probably this gradual study presented
by J. Baranova nurtured the appearance of new methods and practices.
The method that offers the closest correspondence with phenomenological education in
Lithuania is presented by T. Sodeika, who also cooperated with J.Baranova in the
arrangement of the Philosophy manuals for XI-XII grades, where there are some visible
elements of phenomenological education (T. Sodeika, J. Baranova, 2000). The texts presented
in this manual are meant to be not just analyzed but used for another purpose: to “hook” or
catch the reader’s concern with a certain thought and lead him further, towards the
consideration of his own experiences, reflections, and eventually to experiences themselves.
Such manual should really encourage an authentic relationship with the world. In the preface
the authors offer an original conception of the world compared to the traditional
understanding of the world taught in schools. They suggest comprehending the world by
entering it, grasping its meaning by being-in and experiencing it, rather than rational way to
acquire knowledge about it. That is why the selected texts deal with topics such as what is
conversation (M. Montaigne); meditation (J.B. Lotz), discussion (K. Jaspers) and they serve
as methods for class-work. They should lead to understanding rather than explain, which
reminds of D.E. Denton’s suggested change in educational methods. Following this scheme,
work takes place moving in a triangle: interpretation, discussion, and meditation. The
selection of texts was grounded on phenomenological anthropology, and many of them are
devoted to the consideration of the body and the senses. Besides, the manuals also have
illustrations (R. Magritte, S. Dali, P. Klee, P. Bruegel, and others), photographs, film shots,
which incite a personal grasping and interpretation of moral issues. The questions that come
together with the texts are open to free and metaphorical thinking, to make each one express
his experience and insights about the topics discussed.
T. Sodeika has offered the method of meditation to Lithuanian teachers and students for
around a decade; however, it was not possible until now to make an exposition of its
principles and arranged them in a manual available for all wanting to learn it. There are 10
principles for meditation listed in the preface of the manual.
T. Sodeika has still one more method for schools: film reviews with interpretations. Such
sessions are usually part of the programme of seminars with teachers of ethics and
philosophy; nevertheless, there is no clear methodology published for this yet. So, this visualaesthetical
teaching material is yet to come to light in the future, to supplement the already
existing set of phenomenological methods.
Phenomenological education requires special preparation and significant effort on the part of
the teachers. D.E. Denton relates educational method with motivation, which arises from the
dissonance between feelings and notions, the empirical and the rationalist. (D.E. Denton,
1970). The teacher must be ready for such dissonances and “grab” them so as to lead to
students to comply with the requirements of the given situation: to go on a trip, to solve an
exercise, to dance, to sing, or draw. In this way, there is relation between and combination of
feelings (bodily reactions) and understanding (whether personal or guided), all in all
enhancing the unity of the person. But still, there must be more than one alternative way of
understanding and reacting. In this point the already mentioned Philosophy manuals for XIXII
grades proved successful in their choice of questions that come with texts or pictures, for
they “awaken” several moods or reactions which should lead the students to sort them out and
make them match the demands of the environment by searching within his relationship with
the world and the others using their experiences on the light of suggested texts. What is more,
the manual presents more than one text for each topic, but instead the student is given the
opportunity to choose, to create his own personality and experience a sense of fulfillment. It
could be claimed that there is a wider choice of texts than other alternatives.
Summarizing what has been said so far about moral education, we can resort to Green’s
“It is there that I think moral education ought to culminate, there that Conscience is formed.
Perhaps we can invent a pedagogy for responsibility and interexistentiality and critique – and,
always, the renewal of hope.” (Green, 1991)
Following the assertions of philosophers, the phenomenological relationship with the world is
essentially ethical, as it encourages the care for the other, it makes us turn towards the other
and be responsible for Him, which means being social. A new point of view develops with
reference to reflection, this being understood as an aesthetical and ethical relationship all in
one. The phenomenological reflection- reflection as action- is directed to the evaluation and
understanding of both personal and common experiences, to a communal activity, and the
formation of values. Thus, action has a clearly social and moral dimension.
The Lithuanian pedagogical literature there is no study of the phenomenological education,
whereas in most general and secondary schools of Lithuania the phenomenological method is
already being applied in the teaching of Ethics.
There is a textbook called “Philosophy manual for XI- XII grades”, with encourages a clear
phenomenological relationship with the world and study of the suggested texts and
illustrations, which are to be understood rather than explained. There is a series of questions
leading to an open discussion of experiences, impressions and thoughts.
The syllabus of ethics for general school is arranged in such a way as to foster a caring
relationship with the other in response to the phenomenological approach of turning towards
The priority of the syllabus of ethics for secondary school is philosophical ethics and the
interpretation and comprehension of philosophical and literary extracts.
Phenomenological skills, such as everyday experience and the sense of being interwoven with
the surrounding world are fostered in both general and secondary school and guidelines for
Some examples of the application of phenomenological education can already be found in
Lithuanian schools; however, the further development of this trend will depend upon the
future conceptions of education.
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Curricula and Education Standarts for General schools] (Vilnius, SMM Press ).
Baranova, J. (1998) Filosofines etikos chrestomatija XI-XII kl. [Selection of texts of Ethics
philosophy for XI –XII grades]. (Vilnius, Alma littera).
Bleakley, A. (1999) From Reflective Practice To Holistic Reflexivity, Studies in Higher
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(Vilnius Pedagogical University Press) 58, pp.70 – 75.
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