Human-Dimensionality and Values of Higher Education: Strategies for the Future of Complexity and Sustainable Development
The article is dedicated to the philosophical consideration of higher education and its development strategies under the situation of complexity and the need to enable a sustainable future. It is argued that the situation in question is characterized by the uselessness of any ready-made solutions and even pre-available knowledge and methodology. In the very field of professional activities, the competence of a specialist relies not so on vocational skills as on one’s critical thinking and creative abilities. It is concluded then that answering the calls of today’s global crisis requires higher education to face the transformation of its system of goals and values in order to enable the achievement of not just purely professional development of a graduate, but that of overall cultural background, the development of one’s personality. That still corresponds with the classical notion of the mission of university, but not with the linear methodology of the Modernity age aimed at standardization and unification that features mostly excessively mechanistic approach to the educational process, while accentuating applied professional competencies and neglecting the profound core, the ideal of the all-around developed human person. The author argues that such a task could be realized basing on the methodology peculiar to the post-non-classical type of scientific rationality that is oriented on human personality and his or her values. That feature could be called human-dimensionality: the appeal towards unique personalities of each student, as opposed to standardization, and with not only one’s mind and reason taken into account in higher education, but one’s will and emotions as well. The closeness between values of higher education and the ethos of science is demonstrated, with the growing numbers of students violating the norms of academic integrity serving as an example of a disastrous effect of the lack of general culture for professional activities. The role of philosophy and humanities in higher education is said to be rehabilitated and renovated.
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