Department of the UNESCO / IOC International Chair-Network

"Technical and Vocational Education and Training",

(TVET, № 184 in UNESCO/UNITWIN Directory, 2006, р. 448 and р. 695)

Fundamental education

For the first time, the concept of fundamental education was formulated by Humboldt at the beginning of the 19th century, it said that the subject of such education should be the knowledge that fundamental science formulates at a particular stage of its development.

Any scientific thought from purely theoretical developments turns into practical application, the number of scientific directions that have passed into applied application and technology is increasing.

The first aspect of fundamental education is a more in-depth training in a given direction, the study of a complex range of issues on the fundamental problems of the chosen field, which is not required for everyone working in a particular field (“education in depth”). This is what quality education gives.

The second aspect of fundamental education is education, which combines humanitarian and natural science knowledge based on the study of a wide range of issues (“education in breadth”).

Fundamental education is necessary, and it should be built precisely on the basis of a combination of natural science and humanitarian knowledge, a dialogue between two cultures. This requirement is due to the fact that the applied education received becomes outdated extremely quickly due to the rapid pace of economic and social changes.

In addition, new requirements for professional activity arise: the application of knowledge in the form of technologies requires an assessment of the consequences of their application (for example, in the field of nanotechnology, genetic engineering, information technology). The holistic picture that develops as a result of a full-fledged systemic education can provide significant assistance in resolving emerging socio-ethical problems and professional tasks.

Unlike specific knowledge and facts, fundamental knowledge changes relatively slowly and has a long life. This allows them to maintain their relevance over the average length of service of a school or university graduate. The skills developed on their basis to think, independently obtain information, analyze its reliability, will allow the graduate, if necessary, to even change the field of activity.

Fundamental education is a starting base for the socialization of a person, a stable habit of learning; "Language training" as a means of obtaining information and communication; knowledge of the language of mathematics as a universal language for constructing theories of the surrounding world, which can be used in the study of any branch of science and in mastering any professional activity; knowledge of information technology. Then, fundamental education (regardless of the level and stage) allows one to start skilled labor, in contrast to unskilled labor, which does not require special training, and from low-skilled labor, which allows a short professional training to start.

Modern and fundamental education

Faced with the challenges of our time, the opposition between the fundamental and the applied in education is becoming a thing of the past, as is the division of science and education in modern educational institutions. A distinctive feature of a classical university is the absence of clear boundaries between science and education.

Fundamental education in modern educational institutions corresponds to the key trends in the development of science, relies on them and simultaneously forms them, combining the search for truth in all scientific areas, its socio-technological embodiment and the transfer of knowledge and culture across generations.

First of all, let us pay attention to the fundamentality as a characteristic of the content of educational programs. In the design and implementation of educational programs, the focus on the fundamental nature of the content requires an interdisciplinary approach with a balanced presence of the humanitarian component in the training of specialists in any field.

Fundamental education is aimed at comprehending the essential foundations and connections of various objects and processes, respectively, the fundamental content of education conveys system-forming, methodologically significant knowledge that retains its important role throughout a person's life.

The organization of educational programs around such knowledge not only does not reduce the information saturation of the educational process, but also, when using the principle of historicism, allows students, on the basis of understanding the contradictions and difficulties in acquiring knowledge, to form the skill of independent knowledge acquisition in conditions of nonlinearity and stochasticity of significant parameters of social life.

Reflection of the specifics of scientific schools and traditions of a particular educational institution affects the principles of selection and systematization of knowledge, the allocation of supporting intra- and intersubject connections when conceptualizing the content of a specific educational program. At the same time, the fundamental nature does not become an obstacle for diversification processes in educational institutions, providing for the creation of conditions for a variety of educational trajectories of students, provided with unlimited options for intersubject connections, taking into account individual capabilities, needs and abilities of the individual, as well as the constantly changing demand in the economy for trained specialists in close connection processes at the local and global levels.

In the modern world, the main task of education is the development of pre-adaptability - the ability of a person to adapt to still unknown conditions. It should be the focus of attention and the main point of application of efforts in the work of all educational institutions.

If we recognize uncertainty as a key condition for existence, then pre-adaptation to uncertainty becomes a prerequisite for life in an era of change. It is the stake on building up the potential for pre-adaptability, on increasing the readiness of the individual to change, which can become the strategic setting of the education system in a situation of rapid renewal of professions and the impossibility of predicting the correct set of knowledge and skills of the future.

The task of the education system is not only to teach a specialty (as it looks at a given moment in time), but to prepare for continuous learning, for constant changes, to teach how to adapt in a situation of uncertainty. The rate of renewal is becoming higher than the rate of learning. Therefore, the continuity of the educational process and departure from narrow specializations are so important.

More precisely, the issue of the content of education, the ratio of fundamental and applied knowledge, as we now say, practice-oriented knowledge comes to the fore. The employer wants to get results quickly - a practice-oriented approach is closer to him. But tomorrow technologies will change and it will be necessary to retrain - and fundamental knowledge does not age so quickly.

But at the same time, the key is the fundamental nature of education - this is the basis for future flexibility. In modern conditions, these conditions can be met with the use of information technology.

The main development trend at this stage is digitalization and digital transformation at all levels of activity. One of the directions is the digitalization of education and the digital transformation of the education system at both the state and public levels.

A fundamental event in the digital transformation process is the formation and dissemination of new, in terms of content, models of work of organizations in the field of science and higher education.