Transversal Approach in the System of Specific Social-Educational Research Methodology

Valentina Shpak

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Transversal Approach in the System of Specific Social-Educational Research Methodology

Valentina Shpak

Ministry of the formation and sciences of the Ukraine, Bohdan Khmelnitsky National University at Cherkassy, Cherkasy, Ukraine


The article highlights transversal approach analysis in methodologies of social-pedagogical studies on the basis of historical, theoretical, technological and managerial aspects. Principles of implementation of the transversal approach, its main concepts are offered in the article. Kinds of social and pedagogical knowledge in the methodology system of science is offered. The characteristics of transversal approach in comparison of social pedagogy and social work problems is suggested.

Cite this article:

  • Shpak, Valentina. "Transversal Approach in the System of Specific Social-Educational Research Methodology." American Journal of Educational Research 1.11 (2013): 534-537.
  • Shpak, V. (2013). Transversal Approach in the System of Specific Social-Educational Research Methodology. American Journal of Educational Research, 1(11), 534-537.
  • Shpak, Valentina. "Transversal Approach in the System of Specific Social-Educational Research Methodology." American Journal of Educational Research 1, no. 11 (2013): 534-537.

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1. Introduction

The strategy (result’s prediction) and tactics (the direct implementation, realization) of any scientific study as a process and result of scientific activity [[3], p. 23] is defined by its methodology, that is by means of combination of theories, conceptions, ideas, approaches, principles, defining the logic of scientific cognition process. On each of the level (philosophical, general scientific or specifically-scientific) methodology performs the descriptive and prescriptive functions. It is known that the descriptive function orientates the researcher on reception of new knowledge characterizing the methodology as studies about structure of scientific knowledge, its regularity, being a guideline in the study. At the same time prescriptive function is an activity since it is directed on scientific activity regulation that allows to implement the constructive tasks, connected with the rules of development and scientific study recommendations.

In modern conditions of science development social-pedagogical studies require from researchers deep methodological training which is explained by reinforcement of social pedagogy relationships with other sciences, as well as orientation, all anthropological sciences integration. The methodology in this process plays the main role since promotes wholeness, system approach, effectiveness, increasing of professional orientation to exploratory activity. Not the least of the factor is that the usage of different sciences (psychology, sociology, mathematicians) should promote the decision of set research problems.

Methodology as a science about the scope of general world outlook principles and their use for complex theoretical and applied problems decision, in turn, is defined by subjective scientist position. In social-pedagogical study this position, in particular, expects:

•  the determination of study purposes taking into consideration theories of science, practical needs, social activity and real possibilities of the scientific staff or concrete scientist;

•  the social-pedagogical processes study, phenomena in their development, self-development, in certain environment, in influence of external and internal factors interaction;

•  the analysis of personality socialization problems from the position of different anthropological sciences (the sociology, psychology, anthropology, physiology, genetics) for scientific information usage about person in the interest of optimal pedagogical system development, technology, methods, conditions for personalities’ development;

•  the orientation on questions of structure system study, intercoupling social-pedagogical processes and phenomena, their collateral subordination, development dynamics, tendencies, essence and particularities, factors and conditions;

•  discovery and overcoming contradictions in the process of personality’s socializations;

•  the determination of corresponding methods of the chosen problem development;

•  provision the connection between theory and practice, development of its directions realization, orientation on new scientific conceptions, new pedagogical thinking.

The current state of social pedagogy, as well as social work is characterized by a transverse process, that is, searching the identity of knowledge and practice areas. Researchers involved in the process, define the boundaries of subject-object relation existence in the area of their scientific disciplines and beyond, setting a goal on the base of synthesis to reach scientific understanding of these cognitive paradigms development processes.

Social pedagogy, from the standpoint of a transversal approach in relation to the national social work theory allows to map out the boundaries of identity, to define not only its state, but also through special categories to identify the specific characteristics that are unique to this area of knowledge and practice. This process has the reverse logic when, identifying specific social work defining features of social pedagogy, its historical genesis of theory and practice, the peculiarities of the objective language. Because of this, social pedagogy as cognitive and practical design supports this type of reflection of reality, which allows analysis on the basis of systematic dichotomous oppositions.

Social pedagogy, got in Ukraine new impulse for development, as never requires the development and implementation of new methodological approaches increasing the quality of studies in this sphere, as well as integration of theory with practice. The new impulse in the procedure of the social pedagogy problems scientific studies and introducing the transversal approach, basis of which are introduced in the works of M.V. Firsov [11].

2. Ease of Use

We shall notice that the term "transversion" itself has direct representation in the sphere of biology in the meaning of “mutations”, “change” (from lat. transverses - turned aside, conducted and engl. transverse). At the same time particle "trance", being the part of complex words of the foreign origin, is used in the meaning of: 1) movement through space, crossing something; 2) way out of the limits of anything. Due to this M.V. Firsov’s attempt to be beyond the scope of social pedagogical problems to identificate its cognition areas and practice in the sphere of social work becomes evident.

From the position of the transversal approach social pedagogy emerges as that cognitive reality, which allows to mark the borders of identity, to mark not only its state, but to reveal specific features, inherent only to this science. Specific character of social pedagogy is defined by its theory and practice historical origin, particularities of the notional device. According to this the methodology of social-pedagogical studies are defined by:

•  ontological prospect (is realized in the context of adjoining methodological approaches, promoting the search of valuable guidelines in accordance with need and dynamics of social and pedagogical practice development);

•  the peculiarities of person’s developmental situations understanding (give the reason for decision searching of the individual problem development by means of identification polar social situations: "person, vulnerable for social situation" and "person as a product of social situation");

•  the object nature of social teacher professional activity (unlike the American linear model of social-pedagogical work expects multi-vector decisions of client’s individual problems, which covers activity broad spectrum starting with suggesting consultative help, social and legislative protection, informing client and presentations of his/her interests in different social institutions before environment pedagogization and others);

•  transition from the individual to social-pedagogical group work (expects integration of a client into society in accordance with peculiarities of his(her) subjectiveness in the system of social, cultural and economic relations, existing in the given historical time in society) [1, 2].

The mechanism of client social-pedagogical work social transversion in society expects the passing of certain developmental phases: from institualization (the placement into social institutions) to deinstitualization (the help outside of social institutions). This process is typical practically for any client in the practical social-pedagogical work, whether elderly person, widow, professional beggar, disabled person or unadaptive child depending on prevailed ideology of social help in public cognition.

From position of transversal approach the estimation of subservience problem social pedagogic and social work becomes possible that today continues producing debates in Ukrainian scientific environment. In particular, for European tradition social pedagogy inclusion to social work theory as its component is typical. Herewith modern foreign researchers dealing with the social pedagogy problem consider the following aspects:

•  historical that allows to reconsider theory and practice of social-pedagogical work with position of overcoming the separate social groups of the people isolation;

•  technological that enables to improve the content, methods and forms of work in different social institutions;

•  theoretical that promotes the extrapolation of progressive foreign social-pedagogical work achievements taking into account national specific character, as well as development of their own innovative methods and technologies;

•  managerial, provision of which will allow to raise the effectiveness of system help management for separate individuals and social groups.

Let us point out that the implementation of the hermeneutic approach, in turn, involves getting a new socio-pedagogical knowledge, the range of which is quite wide and includes: 1) knowledge of the events in the socio- educational theory and practice (hourly and geographic and spatial coordinates of events, content and the actual consequences of these events, their members), 2) knowledge of the personalities (factual material of biographies and historical personalities’ vital functions and their personal approach to the consideration of specific socio - pedagogical process from the standpoint of scientific ethics, substantive approach based on direct participation in the socio- pedagogical process, ideological and social and cultural trends in the context of the response to a specific historical period and its impact on pedagogical views of the scientist), 3) knowledge of social and educational terminology (usage of terms of a certain social pedagogy historical period with their etymology, lexical- semantic meaning); 4) knowledge sources (the content of legislation, documents, texts, their authorship), 5) knowledge of correlation and the relationship between the events in the history of social pedagogy, personalities, institutions, and social institutions, the chronology of events, 6) knowledge of social - pedagogical research methodology [4].

Subject language practice in the theory of social work and social pedagogy is associated with having formed/being formed knowledge paradigms which make up its substantive conceptual field. Emerging conceptual fields allow social workers and social pedagogues to establish specific communication on the basis of language-based practices, which determines their communicational differences on the level of professional roles.

It may be noted, how the knowledge specific and activity influence on mounting language practices, communications, and professional behavior. Modern knowledge of the area of social pedagogy and social work is not determined by one subject knowledge, but rather a synthesis of disciplinary paradigms. This set allows professionals on the basis of interdisciplinary language matrices to expand the range of professional "I", go into the various layers of social reality and carry out various types of communications. Language practice expands the communicative repertoire of social workers and social workers, creates conditions for the diffusion of knowledge and the role of professionals’ repertoires. This implements the following attributive sign - substitution.

Identity problems of social pedagogy and social work have their own specific features. The development of cognitive and spiritual practices assisting social work was related to the generic functions preservation, then the community, and then the public-private space. It is in this direction evolved concepts of care and support. Social and pedagogical concepts of knowledge were developed from trends of reproduction and normative behavior preservation and social values of people and groups to attempt to modify the state and society based on the social education of the individual.

The realization of transversal approach in scientific study and social-pedagogical work requires observance of the scope of principles (the essential requirements), amongst which M.V. Firsov singled out: convergence and divergence of cognitive and social pedagogic practical matrixes and social work; subordination and substitution in social pedagogy and social work; identity and alternativity of compared cognition areas [11].

Since in Ukraine the problem of correlations of social pedagogy and social work cognitive paradigms hasn’t been already actual, the following two approaches to its understanding should be singled out: 1) theory and practice of social work in relation to social pedagogy is treated as integer to its part, where social pedagogy is considered in the manner of social work segment; 2) theory and practice of social work and social pedagogy has independent traditions and trends of development.

Such comparison with position of the transversal approach occurs in the context: of social pedagogy conceptual device as a science and sphere of practical activity (substitution); influences of the public consciousness on moral priorities of giving individual address help and for social groups (identical-alternative).

The Transversal approach allows to see in social pedagogic historical syntheses of ideas and experience, in which the following concepts (general thoughts) should be singled out:

•  shaping the beliefs about society’s role in upbringing of growing generations;

•  the development beliefs about institutions of social education dealing with childcare;

•  the formation of the beliefs about environment influence on person’s socialization.

Concept of beliefs shaping about society’s role in upbringing the growing generation in scientifically-pedagogical cognition is the most long-standing. It arose in antique philosophy. Having passed the historical way of beliefs development that society – is the main subject of upbringing, this concept was transformed into complex of beliefs that society and state can be changed by a well-mannered person. Herewith not only positive person’s changes, harmonization in his\her development were taken into consideration, but also all possible deformations of natural person’s beginning. In XX the view about social education as the means of society change and political system are gradually formed. Moreover the spectrum of presentations here is broad enough - from communist ideas the new person formation to postmodernistic social-pedagogical ideas, where imprinting mechanisms lie in its base.

3. Discussion

The concept of the development of ideas about social education institutions in the custody and childcare supposes understanding mechanisms of person’s integration into society through traditional institutions of family and school or/and care institutions. This concept is connected with institutional practice, which depending on historical time defines the essence of social-pedagogical influence. The dynamics of this concept is traced from children class integration in patriarchal society before professional socialization and cultural identification in postindustrial society [8, 9].

The concept of formation ideas about environment influence on person’s socialization is suggested in the middle of the XIX century. In connection with re-comprehension of environment as the factor of social change of person’s life scenario. The given concept is determined by historical realities of the patriarchal family decomposition, industrialization, urbanization, which have changed the traditional person’s environment. These factors revealed itself in different forms of personalities’ social deformation: infantile death-rate, vagrancy, beggary, prostitutions, criminality, disability.

It should be stressed that the implementation of a transversal approach to social pedagogy also requires the definition of an ontological perspective for the transversal analysis of scientific sphere, determine the place and role of the client in several ways. The ontological perspective of transversal analysis in the field of social pedagogy. In the transversal approach ontological procedures are carried out in the context of the variety of theoretical approaches, thus idealized structure to consider in the framework of certain problems, issues and practices. Ontological procedure aimed at finding epistemological and axiological actions that are necessary and sufficient for understanding of assisting and educating context. On the other hand, the ontological procedures in the transversal approach allows to construct cognitive space. They make it possible to expand the boundaries of cognitive theory of space based on the principles of duality.

The client in the knowledge of social pedagogy. Features understanding the client in social pedagogy give the possibility to search the directions of the identity in the field of knowledge area. For a given field of knowledge human understanding in a dichotomous opposition is evident: "Man, is vulnerable to threats" - "Man -"a product "of social threats". This opposition is based on the general methodological principle of "the person in the situation."

The client in the socio-pedagogical knowledge is interpreted in terms of real and potential threats that could complicate or make impossible the process of personal development. The client or social groups are considered in the context of the conditions and situations that are necessary and sufficient for inclusion in the process of personal development and self-knowledge.

Dichotomy – is a logical way to organize social knowledge, which is based on opposition concepts expressed by the relevant concepts. According to the researchers, a feature of social pedagogy knowledge is associated with the characteristics of reflection, which are defined as "a reflection upon reflection." Duality in this context serves as the analysis unit and a way to reflect social reality, allowing to enter the attribute properties of social pedagogy [11].

4. Conclusions

In view of the said above, a dichotomous opposition in social pedagogy and social work are possible not only due to cognitive and practical paradigms. Dichotomous opposition is possible on the level of attribute categories that may be as the units of analysis. In particular, these units of analysis being applied to our problem are: the convergence and divergence of cognitive and practical social work and social pedagogy matrix, subordination and substitution in social work and social pedagogy, identity and the alternative of comparable knowledge areas. These units allow from the point of transversal perspective to understand the essential characteristics of cognitive paradigms.

Thereby, transversal approach in social-pedagogical studies allows to set the general guidelines for the study of the theory and practice of social pedagogy.


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