Volume:7, Issue: 3

Dec. 15, 2015

Articles by #getArticle.ind_name#
Contemporary models of social education: general and specific
Stepanov, Pavel V. [about]
The notion of a model makes it necessary to think of, at least, two things. Firstly, it is the object, or some fragment of a pedagogical reality (let us call it a pedagogical practice or integrated pedagogical expertise). Secondly, strictly speaking, it is a model of the object, or its simplified replica which focuses on the essential elements of the object, discards everything irrelevant, defines key relationships between the elements, and represents a certain object structure. A question arises if the model represents a true object structure (i.e., the object retains its main characteristics in the model) or the model is just our vision of the given object (in this case, it may be added to other visions or models of the same object). In other words, does the model represent an exact copy of reality or a tool to explore reality, so that this tool may be discarded and replaced with other tools or models by researchers if the former do not meet the research requirements? We believe the second seems to be closer to the truth in terms of the scientific approach to cultural studies. In one of his publications, Italian epistemologist Umberto Eco mentioned a particularly interesting case. On his trip to the east, Marco Polo came to the island of Java and encountered a very unusual animal identified by the traveler as a unicorn. However, Marco Polo was greatly upset to find out that the animal did not look as beautiful as the medieval European tradition had painted it. It was black, had elephant-like feet, the head of a wild boar and, indeed, “was an ugly beast to see. And it does not resemble his description at all and will not let itself be caught in the lap by a virgin girl” cited from Usmanova, 2000. Clearly, coming across an unknown object, Marco Polo used conventional reasoning strategies to identify it. Today, having completely freed ourselves from the belief in those noble mythological beasts, we are accustomed to a different name – a rhinoceros.

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