By Galina Terehova
The demand for research work from students, ages 6 to 10 years old, is growing due to the changing requirements of school graduates. Depending on a student's age the research activity assigned is directed toward the reception of subjective novelty or the development of working skills with information sources.
The concern of trainers in a research activity organization is the lack of research by students. This is due to a broad range of possibilities. A positive research method is needed in order to solve a variety of problems connected to the creative development of students. A few trainers and psychologists consider these points as positives to a research method:1,2,3,4,5
- Formation of realized search skills and flexible knowledge
- Ability of self-design knowledge and putting forward a hypothesis that generates ideas and to predict
- Acquisition of scientific knowledge methods
- Formation of creative activity motives
- Cyberspace directions, training toward information acquisition
- Organization of advanced self-observation (results can be used at lessons subsequently)
- High intensity, informative activity
- Depth, durability, effectiveness of received knowledge
- Tolerant education in relation to dissent
- Development of communicative abilities
- Training analysis, comparison, matching facts and the phenomena
- Set formation of competencies (necessary for success in future professional work)
- Ability to generate activity; initiative; inquisitiveness
- Thinking development; encouragement in what the student needs; including teenagers in self-searches and discoveries
- Satisfaction of a research reflex such as conditioning (idea of Russian physiologist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov)
Despite a broad range of research method possibilities the introduction of a research method in schools has been inconsistent, due to reasons including:
- Low level of novelty
- Absence of public importance
- Poor interaction among the teachers and students in an educational process
It is necessary for teachers to help students study, to advise and assist them with project selections, and to observe and estimate creative project activity at each stage while supporting a working classroom atmosphere.10 By not implementing a research method, the following results:
- Slowness of training rates (the student cannot discover it all)
- Considerable time spent for training (only two to three projects a year in each subject)
- Empiricism (knowledge rising mainly from experience)
- Absence of a project system that differentiates references to complex levels
- High requirements for a pedagogical level of qualification
- Labor inputs of the teacher
More and more teachers believe that the role of student research activity as a process is significant and that it should have a purposeful character and be the main teaching element in an educational process along with other classroom activities. The organization of research work, however, is not provided by general educational programs and is not the usual educational form of presenting material because it demands additional time between the student and teacher.
An independent approach to the research activity of students can help define research work on a Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) basis, assuming teachers are receptive to the creative result, and possess a subjective and objective view. The peculiarities of solving research problems with TRIZ are based on open decisions of scientific problems:
- With the addition of research problems to inventive ones.
- The application of TRIZ methodology to problems as a research foundation.
The organization of research work with students on a TRIZ-based system also offers peculiarities. By mastering work techniques of a problem the reception of a product can be estimated through creative activity criteria and the development of creative qualities.
A series of practice books (for ages 6 through 9), titled: Lessons of Creativity: Workbook for CID and TRIZ Skills Development has helped work out tasks while keeping lesson times low.6,7,8,9 In these practice books, the information is presented in a way which supports the schemes necessary for execution of tasks, drawings, texts, instructions and other background materials. The information helps to avoid emotionally overloading the students. It makes the teaching process more visual and accessible, and also involves the cooperation of parents in order to compensate for a lack of literature and creativity in an elementary school.
Practice books also make it possible to see a different view of a basic problem, such as the self-creative activity organization of students that notably represent task result performance in the form of a certain creative product.
The unified work place is designed for a creative task performance in classes as well as in the home where the use of symbolic creativity methods, behavioral rules, themes and conclusions are reflected in background materials. The accompaniment of thematic names with memorable quotations comes from children's books, which helps to discover senses and allow students to easily learn from a practice book. A large emphasis is put on students' reflective actions, such as an emotional mood, the acquisition of the new information, practical experience or a degree of personal advancement. All these reflective actions have been taken into account in a separate page design.
There is another peculiarity in the help of practice books in regards to the research work organization of students. It involves the execution of self-research with a TRIZ-based system. The content of this research is presented by the following sections and themes.
Section 1: The activity choice (16 hours) includes:
- The passport of a creative person
- The passport of a creative activity
- Problem search
- Drawing up a problem research description
- Definition of a theme
- A research objective, ways of its achievement
- The formation of research qualities
- Self-creative work
Section 2: The activity model (14 hours) includes:
- The model description of problem research
- The analysis of development laws in system research
- The hierarchy construction of research objectives
- Research work planning
- Self-creative work
Section 3: The activity workshop (24 hours) includes:
- Internet lessons
- The decision of problems
- The decision of research problems
- Self-creative work
Section 4: The activity result (14 hours) includes:
- Design of presentation research
- The research's protection
The execution of research on a TRIZ-based practice book by each student, (through 10 years of age), allows a student to effectively solve an educational problem through research based on grade level, school name and year of a student's research. That means all students become both subjects of education and subjects of creative activity. Some theme results were carried out by students on a practice book basis in the following works:
- "How to Find an Activity for Junior Students?"11
- "How to Provide Medicine to Sick People"12
- "Ways to Overcome Laziness"13
- "Ways of Accident Precaution on the Roads"14
- "How to Improve the Schedule of Studies"15
There is a demand for further work of an information base of modern scientific problems available for students, especially in the training of student research work and the realization of student research results.
- V.I. Andreev, Pedagogics: Training Course for Creative Self-development, Kazan: The Center of Innovative Technologies, p. 608, 2000.
- V.I. Zagvjazinsky, The Theory of Training: Modern Interpretation: The Textbook for Students of the Pedagogical University, Moscow, p. 192, 2001.
- E.S. Polat, New Pedagogical and Information Technologies in an Education System: The Textbook for Students of the Pedagogical University and Systems of Life Long Learning for Pedagogical Staff, Moscow, p.224, 1999.
- D. Raven, Pedagogical Testing: Problems, Errors, Prospects, Moscow, p. 144, 1999.
- A.V. Hutorskoy, Development of Endowments of School Children: The Technique of Productive Training: The Textbook for the Teacher, Moscow, p. 320, 2000.
- G.V. Terehova, Lessons of Creativity: Workbook for CID and TRIZ skills development. The Textbook for Students 6-7 Years, p. 46, 2004.
- G.V. Terehova, Lessons of Creativity: Workbook for CID and TRIZ Skills Development. The Textbook for Students 7-8 Years, p. 80, 2004.
- G.V. Terehova, Lessons of Creativity: Workbook for CID and TRIZ Skills Development. The Textbook for Students 8-9 years, p. 87, 2005.
- G.V. Terehova, Lessons of Creativity: Workbook for CID and TRIZ Skills Development. The Textbook for Students 8-9 Years, p. 76, 2006.
- G.V. Tereckova, Organization of Pupils' Research: A Review of the Materials From the Chelyabinsk TRIZ library; Development of Creative Abilities in the Process of Instruction and Training on TRIZ basis: Materials of VI International Scientifically-practical Conference. p. 4-45, 2004.
- N. Permjakova, How to Find an Activity for Junior Students?" (fourth class), MEI No. 95 of Chelyabinsk, 2007.
- B. Scherba, How to Provide Medicine to Sick People, (fourth class), MEI No. 95 of Chelyabinsk, 2007.
- D. Lazarev, Ways to Overcome Laziness (4-1), MEI gynasium No. 1 of Chelyabinsk, 2008.
- A. Chmukas, Ways of Accident Precaution on the Roads (4-2), MEI gynasium No. 1, 2008.
- D. Kuznetsova, How to Improve the Schedule of Studies (4-3), MEI gynasium No. 1, 2008.
About the Author:
Galina Terehova is an author of grants about TRIZ for teachers and students. She has been involved in TRIZ since 1994. She has attended more than 15 seminars on the subject and is currently a senior faculty lecturer of theoretical and applied psychology as well as deputy dean for quality of education at Chelyabinsk State Pedagogical University in Russia. Contact Galina Terehova at terehovagv (at) cspu.ru.
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