The emergence of the subject of knowledge and the logic of the training process in higher education

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №12 - 2020

Author: Ishchenko Tatiana, Reshetnev Siberian State University of Science and Technology, Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Contemporary problems of society and its challenges emerge to some extent due to the thinking and active ability of the generation that created them. Then the question arises: what are the thinking and active abilities of a modern person who is capable of consciously approaching the solution of these problems and resolving these contradictions? If the training process in higher education is aimed at obtaining ready-made information, then most likely the devaluation of knowledge will continue, since a student who is not involved in the active thought process of cognition loses interest in this process, receiving neither emotional saturation nor intellectual satisfaction. In this case, the problem of the concept and the problem of means of comprehending the content of education become even more acute, while the educational process, which is alien to the logic of knowledge, seems impoverished and defective. If the student masters the content by means of logics and didactics of cognition, then there is a transition from reproductive activity, which does not require understanding of what is being comprehended, (direct connection) to creative work, in the process of which a powerful transformation of consciousness takes place (feedback). Taking this path, we solve the most important problem of the concept and the related problem of the means of its discovery, development in order to create a consistent system of conceptions in a particular area of ​​knowledge. In this regard, Hegel noted that concepts must be derived, and scientific positions must be proved [1, p. 688]. He devotes the third book to the doctrine of the concept, focusing on the thought that “A subject as it is, without thinking and without a concept, is an idea or even just a name; it is only due to thinking and concepts the subject becomes what it is. Therefore, in reality, the point is in them alone; they are the true subject and content of the mind, and everything that is usually understood by the subject and content” [1, p. 941]. This means that the logic of the educational process is necessarily aimed at the development of conceptual theoretical thinking, identifying the means of developing thinking, developing the ability to follow the path of inferential knowledge.

Thinking, according to E.V. Ilyenkov, assumes the ability to ideally interact with a subject in the logic of its nature, diverse connections with other subjects, and therefore “to teach specifically human thinking is to teach dialectics” [2, 3]. However, under the current conditions, these ideas do not find implementation, since training and assessment are based mainly on memorizing certain patterns, information and its reproduction, developing skills of their unconditional comprehension. Then we get a “mind educated formally”, incapable of independent investigation of phenomena and objects of reality, resolution of difficult situations, all the more so – resolution of contradictions. Non-critical reproduction of the results of modern science based on ideas about nature and society, according to E.V. Ilyenkov is positivism, which he believes in the future will be “rejected by science itself, overcome by its own development” [3, p. 354].

Development and implementation in the educational process of certain methods and techniques of the formation and development of the personal principle in an individual capable of non-standard problem solving does not solve the main problems of the development of an integral personality, the development of the subject of thinking, capable of transformations. Under these conditions, thinking itself, as an “ideal form of subject-based practical activity and communication”, cannot be reduced to “various situational, rational operations with the given content” [8, p. 10-12]. While the development of thinking is considered on the basis of empirical standards, there is no need to talk about the thinking ability, the ability to understand.

Movement along the path of concept discovery presupposes the learners’ mastery of some basic concepts, a developed ability to operate them, establish relationships between them, and identify problem situations that require resolution. At the level of formal logic, these tasks are not solvable, but going beyond its limits (dialectical logic) requires transformative conscious activity of the subjects of cognition.

If in modern education development of skills prevails over development of the ability to think creatively, then there will emerge a need to identify the “divide” between conscious thinking, that is, ideally conscious activity and stereotyped activity (as noted by G.V. Lobastov), which does not require knowledge in the form of knowledge, but requires it in the form of a skill [5, p. 249]. At the same time, educational process, based on reproduction and patterns, will lack a subject, lack thinking. But then we can’t speak about the development of a personality capable of transforming the professional sphere, the society. Mastering concepts in a particular scientific field of knowledge, the ability to judge and the ability to derive a concept represent the means of transforming practice as a realized theory, and therefore as the means of manifestation of a professional who is capable of solving existing problems and demonstrating subjectivity.

In modern pedagogy, sometimes teaching technologies are being developed, which is based on the integration of several approaches, but the development of the subject of cognition is again spelled out according to the template as a trajectory of movement in the subject material that is known for the student, which has nothing to do with the discovery of knowledge in individual and collective activities, where the principle of development - contradiction - remains on the sidelines. In this light, Hegel’s idea that “in the process of cognition, which understands the matter of one’s own actions, the alienated attitude of the subject to the object is removed” becomes extremely relevant [1]. The development of thinking contributes to the development of the position of the subject of educational activity, the subject of labor, capable of transforming his own nature and surrounding reality. The mental competitiveness of subjects of cognition in the educational process, based on the laws of logic and didactic laws, will allow them to be involved in the search for objective knowledge. Because “the active, dynamic side has always relied on thought, as the beginning of any activity”, “the active abilities of a person as universal ideal forms of real subject-transformative human activity” [6]. It is under these conditions that the subject of cognition acquires spiritual freedom! Then he is cable of resolving contradictions reflecting the historical course of human development, reasonably determining conditions for survival and development in a turbulent environment.

Under conditions of uncertainty, a special role belongs to thinking, which is cable of penetrating “beyond the external sensory side of an object into its essential content”. The exacerbation of the contradiction between the rich nature of the subject content and the methods of its development by the subjects of the educational process leads to the search for optimal ways of developing the cognizing, developing the sphere of education. And here there arises a need for a didactic system capable of reasonably determining the conditions not of a stereotyped nature, but of a content-based nature, reflecting the logic of cognition and movement of the subject of this process in this logic.

How does the mind of the cognizer move and what kind of conductor is necessary to orchestrate the process of cognition? What subjective ability does a teacher need to have? “The subjective power of the teacher lies in the developed ability of movement in the material of sensuality according to the logic of the concept”, to help the student see what is fundamentally inaccessible to human sensibility, to implement the “sensory form of movement of non-sensible content, because we are talking about the movement of thought, tracing within the framework of sensory material of productive imagination the formation of the entire completeness of the subject in its entirety, in its range from beginning to completion” [6, p. 423].

Education must necessarily change. Since problem solving requires an interdisciplinary approach, awareness of what is happening, the ability to analyze and formulate judgments, the educational process based on the modern didactic system, on the one hand, directs the vector of development to the analytical and synthetic paths of cognition, and on the other hand, equips university students with the tools of cognition, allowing them to construct independent judgments, to offer several solutions under conditions of uncertainty while considering problems, carrying out a view of the future, predicting the development of events. This will require the creation of conditions under which the qualitative levels of learning will provide for the development of flexibility of thinking, imagination, which is possible on the basis of the process of understanding, including the thinking ability of the cognizer through understanding, comprehension and generalization of the comprehended material. Only then comes the level of assimilation and application by analogy with the transition to the creative level.

In the course of reflections, questions are posed that require resolution, a search for grounds: How do we explain the sometimes manifested fusion of science and everyday consciousness under current conditions? How does the process of understanding determine the development of a person’s thinking ability? Why is mastering scientific concepts a condition for entering the investigated area? As a result of what do the outcomes of the development of a scientific problem represent the means of transforming practice? Why does logic sometimes remain on the sidelines of the educational process, personality development and making reasonable decisions for the benefit of a person and the society?

The challenge to education, government and business is obvious and requires joint conscious activity that corresponds to the key features of work. This is confirmed by the findings of Peter Tufano (Dean of Said Business School at Oxford University), based on the study, that the stronger the pressure on business, the more rapidly the traditional model of business education becomes obsolete. The author of an analysis of problems in the sphere of education in the 21st century among the current challenges highlights the call of society to business to act more consciously, to compromise, to create curricula that allow students to understand the needs and problems of all stakeholders, and not treat them as ways to economic benefits for shareholders, and this will require theorists and educators in history, philosophy and other humanities. Businesses are encouraged to start fighting climate change in cooperation with the authorities and civil society, which means preparing students to solve these problems through the comprehension of the sciences that study climate change, etc. Here, we need to pay attention to the balance of two factors of success: competition and cooperation. The point is that students think in categories, think about problems that will require the efforts of more than one generation to solve [7].

If we carefully consider the proposals of the dean of the business school, we can develop some theses of didactic character. If business addresses the need for the students to operate with categories, if the consideration of problems requires a thinking subject of cognition, then the order goes to the field of education as a whole. For the education it is necessary to respond to the challenges of the time, but what will be the approaches and how much will they correspond to the ideas of classical philosophy, reflecting the context of the development of thinking and active abilities of a person. The nature of human thought lies in the ability to generalize. The thought is developed in the objective movement of an object from origin to completion. Thus, generalization acts as the ability to determine ways to resolve contradictions and act rationally. Substantial abstraction and generalization, according to V.V. Davydov, represent two common aspects of the ascent of thought to the competitive. At the same time, the author notes that the theoretical concept in terms of content “acts as a reflection of the connection between the universal and the individual (essence and phenomenon), and in terms of form - as a way to derive the individual from the general” [4, p, 363]. Reliance on the ideas and principles of classical philosophy, pedagogy and psychology is necessary in transforming the educational process, in identifying the movement of the concept, and therefore the subject of cognition.

Didactics, considered as the relationship between psychology and philosophy, the implementation of the didactic system in the educational process will allow its subjects to move along the path of deriving the concept, to master the real tools of cognition, to change the style of relations, raising it to the level of expanded reproduction of knowledge, a democratic style of communication, actively transforming nature activities. The general circumstances of the educational process are associated with the involvement of the stages of cognition (sensory cognition through images and logical cognition through concepts - principles of conformity to nature), forms of labor (individual labor, simple and complex cooperation) and forms of thought (concept as a moment and judgment as a process), teaching means (language, feelings, thoughts), which contributes to self-compulsion, the birth of an internal motive, the discipline of the student’s thought [9]. The logic of the educational process, the successful organization of the cognition process are due to the chosen scientific methods, methods of cognition and methods of teaching, and the emergence of the subject of cognition depends on the mastery of these methods by teachers and educators.


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Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №12 - 2020

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