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Differential-Psychophysiological Types of Learning Activities

This article will help to learn whether typological features of the display of the nervous system properties and the temperament have an impact on the success of educational activities, which styles of learning activities students use, what pedagogical strategies are more advantageous for students with different typological features, which styles of activity and communication teachers with different typological features use.

Typological characteristics and the performance success of various mental activities

Training activities set various requirements for students. Therefore, it is difficult to expect the uniqueness of connection between typological features and these actions. This is confirmed by data from many studies, the analysis of which should be considered within the two criteria of success of learning activity: speed and accuracy of assignments’ completion. It is believed that the success of the learning activities completion using these criteria will be different depending on the typological features of the nervous system properties.

For example, Mr. Shchukin (1963) showed that individuals having inertia of the nervous processes are slower in the uptake of information for training; they often require repeated instructions. However, losing in speed, inert people as shown in several studies can work more precisely and perform the task carefully.

According to Ms. Suzdaleva (1975), the speed of associative and thinking processes is associated with the lability and mobility of the nervous system (needed to read only the words that have meaning, name objects, to choose words of opposite values, to select the name of young animals). This is confirmed by Ms. Iziumova (1988), who found that the semantic processing of information is carried out better by individuals with high lability, weak nervous system and the predominance of the second signal system according to Mr. Pavlov.

However, the opposite typological features give an advantage in performing a series of mental activities. Information capturing efficiently occurs in individuals with a strong nervous system, the inertia of the nerve processes and the predominance of the first signal system on the second. The speed ​​of solving non-verbal intellectual tasks is higher in individuals with a strong nervous system. It was found that among mathematically gifted students higher intelligence indicators belong to people with a strong nervous system, which can be explained by calmness, phlegm, rationality and realism of these students.

Obviously, students with a weak nervous system, which is often accompanied by high neuroticism, lose to those with a strong nervous system in severe learning (time limits for the tasks, etc.). The influence of the time limit for the completion of tasks on students with different typological characteristics of the nervous system properties manifestation leads to the following conclusions: students with high lability of the nervous system are spending less time to complete tasks, but at the same time, the success of the completion of these tasks is not significantly different from that of students with inertia of the nervous system if the time for problem solving is not limited.

Conditions that arise among students in the classroom can have a great impact on the success of learning activities. One of them may be the state of monotony, which is a consequence of repetitive work associated with the occurrence of boredom, the weakening of attention and activity. Also, a study of success of mental activity on the situation associated with the level of neuro-emotional stress of the students showed that the situations that do not cause severe stress increase attention productivity of individuals with a weak nervous system, resulting in typological differences in success between “strong” and “weak” leveled. At a high level of stress, individuals with a strong nervous system have increased the productivity of attention, while individuals with a weak nervous system have reduced it. Threat situations cause an increase in the errors of both, but to a greater extent – people with a weak nervous system.

Thus, the obvious fact is that the success of learning activities can be determined by the typological features in two ways: through the impact on mental abilities, and through its influence on the occurrence of certain mental states with existing methods of training, under certain impacts of teachers on students.

For students with a weak nervous system:

  •  Continuous hard work (both in the classroom and at home): students get tired quickly, start making mistakes, mastered the material slowly;
  •  Situation when a teacher at a high pace asks questions and requires an immediate response to them;
  •  Work in an environment where the teacher asks a question and requires an oral answer; for these students the situation is more favorable if it requires written response rather than oral;
  •  Work after a failed response, evaluated negatively;
  •  Work in a situation of distraction (by the teacher’s remarks, questions of another student);
  •  Work in a situation requiring the distribution of attention or switching from one task to another (for example, when a teacher, while explaining at the same time, conducts a survey of the students based on the past material, uses a diverse didactic material – maps, slides, textbook, takes notes in a notebook, marks on the map, follows the textbook, etc.);
  •  Work in noisy turbulent conditions;
  •  Work after a sharp teacher’s remark, after a quarrel with a friend, etc.
  •  Work of a hot-tempered, unrestrained teacher;
  •  Situation when a great in scope and diverse in content material should be learnt at the lesson.

For students with inertia of the nervous system:

  •  When the teacher gives the class assignments, diverse in content and methods of solution;
  •  When time is limited, and failing the deadline is threatening with bad mark;
  •  When frequent distraction is required (by the teacher’s remarks, etc.);
  •  When the teacher asks an unexpected question and requires a rapid response;
  •  When rapid shift from one task to another is needed;
  •  When evaluating the success of learning the material at the early stages of education;
  •  When you need to perform tasks on the uptake at high rate of work.

It should be noted that the current system of lessons and interviews with students mainly focused on students with a strong and labile nervous system. This can be explained, on the one hand, by an abundance of educational material, so that the teacher has to “chase the program” all the time, and the other – the fact that the teacher, by virtue of his/her professional training, becomes “strong” and “labile”, even if he/she actually is not. Hence, teachers can subconsciously set themselves at a high rate of work. Thus, all the school education is a kind of competition for the duration of training activities.

Typological features and educational achievement

Conducting research of this kind would imply the existence of three patterns:

a)      Close connection between progress the and the so-called general abilities (intelligence as the integral of the expression), manifested in all kinds of learning activities;

b)      Existence of common properties of the nervous system, not the analyzer, partial;

c)      Relation of intelligence to the general properties of the nervous system.

However, none of these provisions can be said that all issues are removed.

Thus, there are no definitive results in comparing the intellect to typological features of the nervous system properties. There is a weak link between intelligence and activation: people with a weak nervous system have a higher intellect, but individuals with high lability also have a higher overall intelligence. There is no correlation between overall school progress and progress in the literature and the strength of the nervous system.

Another factor hindering the elucidation of truth is the psychological stability of students that arises in extreme situations (the survey, examinations, etc.). People with a weak nervous system are less resistant to mental stress and, therefore, may show worse results in a survey, writing a test or exam. On the other hand, they are more anxious, and the latter feature leads to greater accountability for the cause. That is why the grades of the “weak” may be higher (which is confirmed to a certain extent by a better performance of girls, who have higher anxiety than boys). By the way, the disadvantage of the majority of work on relating the progress of performance to the typological features is the lack of separating boys’ and girls’ analysis of the data.

Thus, according to all data, the progress has a unique relation to the high lability of the nervous system. The remaining properties do not give a clear picture. Obviously, this is not accidental, since too many factors can influence the grades received by the student. Even if the typological features influence the level of intellectual development, it is pointless to hope for a direct relation of progress to it. The history of education of many geniuses gives enough examples of this. On the other hand, it is found that in the professional training there are more stable relations of the success of progress to typological features of the nervous system, which can be associated with positive motivation for obtaining a profession. Positive motivation of training is connected with the formation of students’ style of learning activities.