The gap between smart and stupid is growing

The head of the laboratory of social psychology St. Petersburg state University, head of the "Diagnostics and development of abilities" Lyudmila Yasukawa more than twenty years works as a school psychologist. In the interview, she spoke about the results of monitoring of the intellectual development of pupils and students.

— You are monitoring the intellectual development of pupils and students, and determine intellectual development on the basis of development of conceptual thinking. What is conceptual thinking?

— The origins of this concept can be found in the works of the outstanding Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky. Summarizing, conceptual thinking can be defined through three important points. The first is the ability to highlight the essence of the phenomenon, the object. The second is the ability to see cause and to predict the consequences. Third — the ability to organize information and build a coherent picture of the situation.

Those who possess conceptual reasoning to adequately understand the real situation and make the right conclusions, and those who do not possess... They are also unsure of his vision of the situation, but it's their illusion, which breaks about real life. Their plans are not realized, the forecasts do not come true, but they believe that the blame surrounding people and circumstances, not their incorrect understanding of the situation.

The degree of development of conceptual thinking can be determined by means of psychological tests. Here is an example of testing children six to seven years, which is not always cope, and adults. Bird, pigeon, bird, Sparrow, duck. What is superfluous? Unfortunately, many say that duck. I had recently parents of one child, hot, proved that a duck is the right answer. Dad is a lawyer, mother is a teacher. I tell them: "Why a duck?" And they answer, because it is large, and the bird, the bird is, in their opinion, something small. But what about the ostrich, a penguin? And after all, they have in mind is enshrined the image of a bird as something small, and they believe their way is universal.

"What percent of our compatriots is able to highlight the essence and to see the causal connection?

— According to my information, and according to other researchers, fewer than 20% of people are full of conceptual thinking. Those who studied the natural and technical Sciences, learned the allocation of essential features, characterizing and establishing causal relationships. They are, however, among decision-makers about the development of society is not enough. Among the political consultants we have psychologists, philosophers, failed teachers – people who have the conceptual thinking is not very good, but who know how to speak cleverly and wrap their ideas in a nice wrapper.

Is the Russian statistics. And how is the situation in the world?

— If you take the developed countries is approximately the same. Can refer to the studies of Leo Vekker, who worked in the Soviet Union and the United States, Europe, and Russia. His 1998 study shows that more than 70% of adults, psychologists, with whom he collaborated in the study of the thinking of children, and they think like children generalize from the particular to the particular, and not on substantial grounds, I do not see a causal connection...

Perhaps there is some difference between countries, and it can be assumed that the trends of increasing-decreasing percentage of people with the conceptual thinking is different in different countries, but such detailed cross-cultural research, no leads. Or, at least, no such data in the open press.

For life to form conceptual thinking impossible, it is acquired only in the course of studying science, since science is built on the conceptual principle: the basic concepts on which is built the pyramid of science. This conceptual pyramid. And if we come out of school without conceptual thinking, then, when faced with a particular fact, we will not be able to objectively interpret, and act under the influence of emotions and our subjective perceptions. In the result of the decisions taken on the basis of such pre-interpretation of what is happening, is impossible to implement. And we see it in our lives. The higher in the social hierarchy a person is, the more expensive the price it biased interpretations and decisions. Let's see how much we have taken programs that does not end there. Passed a year or two and where the program, where the man who declared? Go ahead and look.

School programs last twenty years constantly changing. How this affects the formation of conceptual thinking?

— Early foundations of conceptual thinking began to be laid at natural history. We now have in place of natural history "the world". Did you see what it is? It's a meaningless hash. To see this logic can only compilers, which themselves have no conceptual thinking. Supposedly this is a practice-oriented, research the subject. Nothing there is not.

Further, before the 5th class began, botany and history as the history of the development of civilizations. Now we are in grade 5 science in the form of stories about nature without any logic, and instead of the history of civilizations "History in pictures" — the same soup without logic, something about the primitive people, something about knights.

In the sixth-seventh grades were previously Zoology, again with its own logic. Then in the eighth was anatomy, and in high school General biology. That is, to build a kind of pyramid: the plant and animal world, which, in the end, subordinated to the General laws of development. Now we have nothing. Everything is mixed and botany, and fauna, and people, and General biology. The principle of scientific flow of information is replaced by the principle of a kaleidoscope changing images, which the developers believe the system-active approach.

With physics the same pattern. Also stories about space, about planets, about Newton's laws... Here, sits with me boy, I asked him: "Though the puzzles, then solve for physics?". He says: "What puzzles? Presentation we do." What is a presentation? This retelling in pictures. If there are no tasks on the mechanics of the decomposition of forces, the formation of conceptual thought in physics can not speak.

— But we have declared that we are moving in the direction of European and American education. That there is something going on?

— Everything is different. In the West, indeed complete freedom, and schools are very different. Including these where taken not on the wallet, and the level of development. And there is definitely a school of excellence that serves the elite with and conceptual and abstract thinking. But no desire to form well-everyone is not there – why is it necessary? Besides, there are study classes and programs. Children who show good results in groups, studying more complex programs. As a result, those who need it, in any case have the opportunity to receive a good education and go to University. It is a question of motivation in the family.

An interesting example is Finland. All recognized that there is now the best education system in Europe. So, they just took our Soviet program and principles of education. We have recently had a conference on education, and there was made by one of our senior lady, author of many of the latest innovations. She proudly proclaimed that finally we are moving away from all these myths about the good Soviet education. In reply was made by the representative of Finland said – sorry, but the Soviet system of education in the school was great and we just you have borrowed a lot, which allowed us to improve our system. They translated our textbooks, and teachers of the old school with great pleasure take, that they shared with their teachers to Soviet teaching methods.

— And we, if I understand you correctly, the intellectual level is reduced, and the percentage of people with the conceptual thinking becomes less?

— Yes, and it is not my assumption, and studies that I conduct in schools for more than twenty years, from year to year.

— Maybe, instead, the children have formed some other important qualities that help us in life?

— Unfortunately, no. The loss of the school visible, and acquisitions yet.

— And stored, or may be appear in Russia's schools and universities preparing well-educated and logically thinking people? If it increases, roughly speaking, the gap between smart and stupid as well as a growing gap between rich and poor?

— The gap is growing, and how. Of course, there are excellent schools and universities from which graduates are not only professionally trained, but with a highly developed intelligence. The gap started to grow rapidly in the 1990-ies and the situation is getting worse.

You know, I have my own hypothesis, rather cynical, about the educational policies of our leadership. We the underdeveloped countries of the third world. We don't have a lot of people with good education and ability to think and draw conclusions. They have nowhere to employ, no-one needs them.

On education while spending a lot of money, really huge. And what happens? Our trained professionals go and work in the more developed countries around the world. The whole company of Russian programmers work in the US, for example. I know one in Boston, they do everything except the cleaning ladies-black women, Russian.

Why would our government is to prepare highly qualified personnel for USA, Canada, Australia, Europe? Did you know that in the USA even has a school of mathematics in the Russian language with our methods? Those who graduated from these schools, perfectly satisfied with his life. But our country these people are useless. Here we need those who work with drillers, build houses, pave streets and lay asphalt. I think in these professional spheres and our government is trying to translate the population. But nothing comes out. People in these areas do not go, preferring to trade in different types. We have to import more people from Asia who have no ambition. Yet.

And our great professionals, graduates of the best schools and universities, leaving, not finding a here. That is, the overall level is reduced.

As for people from the Ministry of education, admit that they do not really understand what you are doing. Sincerely mistaken in thinking that blind borrowing some Western approaches are able to contribute to our school. Before we wrote the textbooks of mathematics, physics, biology, now engaged teachers and psychologists. These people are not experts in the subject which pose. This education ends.

— What do you think about the growing linguistic illiteracy?

Increasing illiteracy in many respects we have to thank the so-called phonetic training program that we passed in 1985, thanks to corresponding member APS Daniel Elkonin. In the Russian language we hear one, and should write in the language rules more. And in the Elkonin technique is formed auditory dominance. Pronunciation of primary and secondary letters. Children who are taught this technique, and now all they teach, is the so-called audio recording of the word and they write "yozhyk", "Agur ETS. And this audio recording is in the seventh grade. As a result, we increased the percentage of alleged dysgraphics and dyslexics. Talking about the degeneration of the nation. But really it's just the fruits of learning method based on the priority of phonemic analysis.

ABC Elkonin was created in 1961, but was not implemented because of the desire to do so was not. It was thought that he might be interesting as a new approach, but the school will be tough. However, Elkonin and his associates have persisted in attempts to implement his method, and when in the seventies in school came the kids, who can read the polls, you had the impression that the primer works well, giving children more extensive vision and hearing language.

Elkonin was a very active person, a prominent scientist, he and his disciples "selling" the implementation of ABC training which was started in 1983-1985. But that's when the economic situation in the country began to change: in the nineties I went to school children whose parents are not taught to read because they did not have enough time and money, and the defect of the new system became obvious.

The phonetic system is not taught to read, taught literacy, by contrast, gave rise to problems. But we've got what? Not a bad primer, and the children bad, do not fit in the primer. As a result, began to teach the phonetic analysis of kindergarten. After all, why teach children? That "mouse" and "bear" begin in different ways and represent them in the phonetic system in different ways. And "tooth" and "soup" in this system end in the same way. And then the poor children begin to write letters, and it turns out that their previous knowledge is not combined with a new one. Why, one wonders, they had it all to learn and work? They then write "Pernik", "VA CCW" instead of "the window".

— And what is under this theoretical backing?

— Elkonin was a theory that reading is a scoring graphic symbols, that he sought by all means to implement. And in fact, reading is the comprehension of graphical symbols, and sound is music. He do a lot of theoretically dubious statements, and all this with reverence cited. People make the dissertation and then, of course, stick to these approaches. We have no other teaching, once this principle of learning. But for me, when I try to argue, say you're an academic psychologist, not a teacher, and not understand that without a phonetic analysis and phonemic hearing of reading is not to teach. And I, incidentally, worked for four years in the school for the deaf and they learned the proper letter by the same method taught by us – visually-logical. And they have, as you know, there is no phonemic hearing, nor any other.

— Want to talk to you about another pain point – the system of values formed in schoolchildren

— We now polimetally country, where in parallel there are many systems of values. And Pro-Western, Soviet, and ethnically-oriented systems, and criminal-oriented. The child, naturally, unconsciously adopt value orientations from parents and environment. The school does not participate to the two thousandth. Objectives of education from modern school for some time is gone, now they are trying to recover.

Trying to introduce cultural cycles, for example, for the formation of tolerance. Just no tolerance these cycles do not form. Children are to write an essay or prepare a story, but not become more tolerable in your everyday life.

I must say that just the same in children with more advanced conceptual thinking calm perception of another household behavior, another culture more pronounced. Because they have predictive ability above and "other" for them is not so incomprehensible, so do not cause such feelings of anxiety or aggression.

— Much is said and written about the aggressiveness of the Russian school environment. Do you see it?

— I don't see it. Although, of course, in a very dysfunctional schools I'm not working, I don't know what's going on. Before we in the schools they fought it out, just talking about it was less. In General, the higher the cultural level of the parents and the school (gymnasium, Lyceum), the smaller fists, fights and abuse. In decent schools, the level of aggression is low, and there's even the harsh words not so much.

Another endemic problem of the modern school – hyperactive children with so-called ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder).

— ADHD is not a diagnosis. Previously, it was called MBD – minimal brain dysfunction, even before PEP – postpartum encephalopathy. This particular behavior occurring in a variety of pathologies.

In 2006, we officially accepted the American point of view on this issue and the logic of treatment. And they believe that it is up to 75-85 %% of genetically caused a complication leading to conduct disorder. They prescribe medications, psychostimulants, which should compensate for these disorders.

We have psychostimulants are prohibited, but prescribed the drug "Strater" (Atomoxetine), which was considered to be is not a stimulant. In fact, the result is very similar to the result of the use of psychostimulants. Come to me children after the course Strattera" and they have had all the symptoms of withdrawal.

Was a beautiful American doctor Glenn Doman, very much has made for development of children with lesions of the nervous system. He took the children to three to five years and never developed – not only talking, but not moving (just laying, eating and allocated), and developed them to the level that allowed to successfully graduate from schools and universities. Unfortunately, a year ago he died, but the works he created the Institute for maximum human development. So, Doman actively opposed the syndromic approach in medicine and said that we must look for the cause of disorders, rather than trying to reduce the severity of symptoms. And we have in the approach to ADHD has fixed it syndromal approach. The attention deficit? And we will compensate the drug.

Based on the research of neurologists doctors of medical Sciences Boris Romanovich and Yaroslav Yaremenko N., Bobko concluded that the main problem of the so-called ADHD — disorders of the spine – dislocations, instability, incorrect formation. The children pinched vertebral artery and a so-called effect steal, as a result of reduced blood flow through the vertebral artery, but in the carotid arteries supplying the frontal lobe. The brain constantly receives less oxygen and nutrients.

This leads to a short life – three to five minutes, after which the brain shuts down and only after some time switched back. The child is not aware what happens when you disconnect, this is related to fights and various tricks, which he does not remember, because they develop torque switching activity of the brain. The effect of disabling the normal brain, we are all faced with this problem, when listening to a boring lecture or read something complicated and suddenly catch myself on the fact that I passed out. The only question is, how often and at what time periods these trips happen. We're off in seconds, and the child with ADHD for three to five minutes.

To help children with ADHD, it is necessary to correct the spine, it is often the first cervical vertebra, and in that few takes. Usually neurologists that see no problem with this not working, but there are doctors, and we work with them who know how to do it. And here it is important not only to straighten the spine and strengthen the new correct position, to avoid the usual offset, so with a child you need to do exercises three or four months. Ideally, of course, when the baby is three to four months is homeschooled and it is possible to control not only what he's doing exercises, but he does not fight and does not perform any somersaults. But, if this is not possible, we at least give exemption from physical education for those months.

After blood flow is restored, the periods of the health of the brain increase to 40-60-120 minutes, and the periods of disconnection be used. However, the behavior itself becomes at once a good, aggressive patterns of behavior managed to gain a foothold, they have to work, but now the child already has a resource for conscious control, braking. He is able to cope with it.

The trouble is that the drugs industry is much more cynical than our government. Pharmaceutical companies interested to produce drugs that do not cure it once and for all and maintain an acceptable condition. This provides them with a huge permanent market. Of course these companies sponsoring such studies, which go in a profitable direction.

On the other hand, even if the problem with the spine and improved blood supply to the brain is still not resolved, you can always go on the path of development thinking. Higher functions, as proven by internationally recognized psychologist Lev Vygotsky, can compensate for the lower. And I've seen many examples when using the development of thinking skills was achieved by compensation problems with attention and short service life. So to give up is never worth it.published

Interviewed By Tatiana Chesnokova


P. S. And remember, only by changing their consumption — together we change the world! ©



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