On the eternal philosophical issues: how students of NULES of Ukraine master the philosophical sciences in quarantine

27 березня 2020 року

Scientia potentia est
Francis Bacon
Any obstacle is overcome by persistence
Leonardo da Vinci

   The living space of the modern man is filled with a number of unexpected problems and sufferings, and building a holistic image of the world is extremely difficult for the individual. However, it is necessary to solve this problem, otherwise humanity is threatened by spiritual failure. Philosophy has always been a trusted friend and adviser in resolving the contradictions between man and the world. Philosophy is the activation of the creative possibilities of man in his desire to understand life, it is directed against the collapse of culture, to the spirituality of man. Humanity will always appeal to the richness of its ideas, because thanks to them, only you can identify, grasp and develop the deep meanings of your own existence. Philosophy is, first and foremost, a problematization of issues, the solution of which requires intellectual sophistication, courage and determination..


Especially today, when human life in existential terms becomes more saturated, when humanity stopped in despair before a coronavirus pandemic, was lost in the conditions of quarantine isolation.
   Due to the quarantine, which was introduced in Ukraine to prevent the spread of coronavirus since March 12, all students went to distance learning, and it is here that modern technologies have come to our aid. I think everyone appreciated the benefits of the e-learn platform being successful at our university. But the instructors have a difficult task – how to organize a productive educational process from a distance.

   In addition to the official recommendations of the MES, there are curricula that need to be followed, and there is not much time left until the end of the school year. The use of information technology makes the process of knowledge acquisition more flexible, enables you to study in a convenient place and at a convenient time. This student needs a computer and an Internet connection. Qualitatively created distance courses facilitate the acquisition of the necessary knowledge. In addition, the individual nature of the training is ensured.

  The department of philosophy is a university-wide department and provides teaching courses in philosophy, logic, religious studies, philosophy of science for students of all specialties. All courses in these disciplines have been developed on the e-learn training portal. Students plan lectures, seminar assignments, watch videos, do individual and module work as part of the curriculum.

    Instructors of the department consider online learning not only as a forced method for quarantine time, but also as an additional component of the educational process as a whole, which will allow to improve it at the level of world trends. So, learning goes on.
   Thus, students of the faculty for humanities and pedagogics of the specialties "Philology", "Journalism", "Vocational education" master the main historical features and specifics of the formation of key civilizational values, outlook, and in general, ways of understanding the eternal problems of the world in by the previous generations as part of the “Philosophy” course (assoc. prof. A.H. Kravchenko, S.M. Heiko, O.D. Lauta, D.I. Chornomordenko).

    During the first week of quarantine, students prepared an essay on "The concept of happiness in the philosophical teachings of Aristotle and Skovoroda", which aroused great interest in them. The task was also to get acquainted with the passages of Aristotle's "Nicomachean ethics", in which the author explains his understanding of happiness and all other categories related to it – good, justice, prudence and so on.

    Such basic things always arouse interest in young people and encourage them to develop critical thinking. As you know, in studying the course of philosophy, special attention is paid to the development of primary sources. This is important for our students as well, and the Philosophy course, featured on our university's distance education portal, provides this opportunity because it contains a textbook presentation of these eternal texts. Young professionals of different specialties improve their skills in the art of thinking and develop their own competences of the person of the XXI century. In addition, students actively participated in the online discussion of the pressing issues of today and wrote essays on "One world – one health", "How everyone can help the world", "Quarantine as a challenge to the modern world".

    On March 20, faculty and students actively participated in the Webinar "Man and choice in extreme conditions" which featured presenters sharing research from social psychologists Ross and Nisbet about the impact of an extreme situation on humans, offered to review and analyze video footage from the USC Shoah Foundation, and together with the participants of the webinar, they discussed the moral dilemmas that confront a person in various difficult situations.

   No less necessary and relevant today is the course "Religious studies" for the specialties "Vocational education", "Social work", "Psychology", "Journalism". (associate professor Savytska I.M., Heiko S.M., Shkil S.O., Chornomordenko D.I.). In spite of the fact that now students take this course independently, in addition to completing current tasks, they work according to the specifics of their future specialty. Thus, journalist students wrote a note in a newspaper, and future psychologists examined the impact of religion on humans in extreme conditions.

   During remote processing of the course "Logic" (assoc. prof. Matvienko I.S.) students of the specialty "International relations" and "Social work" prepare presentations on the topics "Concepts as a form of thinking" and "Logical operations with concepts", which send mail to the instructor, because of the large volume of files they cannot be uploaded to this platform. Students are also interested in solving logical tasks, crosswords, and video tasks.
    In quarantine, the educational process of studying philosophy at the faculties of veterinary medicine (assoc. prof. Suprun A.H., Danylov T.V., Dubrovina O.V.), plant protection, biotechnology and ecology (assoc. prof. V.P. Kultenko), legal (assoc. prof. Lauta O.D., Kudin A.V.), food technologies and quality management of AIC products (assoc. prof. Savytska I.M., Chornomordenko D.I.), agrobiology (assoc. prof. Horbatiuk T.V., Kychkyruk T.V.), faculty of design and construction (D.I. Chornomordenko), mechanical and technological (assoc. prof. Shkil S.O.).


    Students are constantly in touch with their instructors. Communication in Telegram channel chats, Weiber, active work on the NULESU Training portal, preparing presentations, writing thematic essays and presenting lecture material are done with great enthusiasm by students. They are curious to use the usual means of communication for them – Internet chats, where they gladly exchange information, questions, answers, and photo reports.


    Interestingly, students began to read more sources, articles, view information and science films. As a result, they draw expert conclusions and a critical analysis of the material read and revised. As a kind of remote work the instructors were offered topical topics for writing the essay "Coronavirus as a challenge for humanity", "Pandemic of coronavirus: lessons for humanity and Ukraine" "Why Chinese "crisis" means both danger and opportunity", "Problems of humanism in the conditions of present day: Ukraine and the world” with their further discussion on social networks. The questions raised were so exciting to the student audience that students from all faculties were involved in writing philosophical essays.

    In most works, there are calls for consolidation with the world, for meaningful treatment in times of trial. Students agree on the eternity of values of humanism, which sound from a new perspective in crisis situations. The quantity and quality of the submitted works are so high, and the topic is so urgent that the teachers of the Department of Philosophy have made a decision: to include these works in the materials of the “Skovorodynski readings”, which will be held in a remote format this year with their further publication in an electronic collection.

  During quarantine in the process of e-learning for students of the faculty of agricultural management of the specialties "Marketing" and "Management" mixed forms of education (assoc. prof. Danylova T.V.) are emphasized, including the personal communication by phone or e-mail, which provides opportunities to overcome, to a certain extent, the social exclusion arising from quarantine and to promote a sense of unity. The students sent 5 abstracts in English to the scientific-methodical seminar "Philosophical problems of human and society in the realities of the 21st century". Essays on "Thinking about the modern world" and "Humanism and the coronavirus challenge" are suggested for writing the essay, which provide discussion in groups through the Viber messenger.

   Professor Storozhuk S.V. teaches philosophy for the 1st year students, faculty of economics ("Exchange activity"). The basic training of students of the faculty of economics is based on the e-learn educational and information portal.


   Of course, the effectiveness of distance learning requires a high level of student self-organization. In the course of communicating and discussing scientific topics, students expressed an interest in humanitarian policy issues during the pandemic and suggested that they prepare an educational project for students and schools that would disclose the feasibility of carefully observing quarantine.

    They are worried about panic in society. To this end, and in order to maintain ongoing and effective communication, work has begun on a video project on the features of virus spread. Its essence is daily observations that can last more than a week. The results of the project will be published on the website of the department of philosophy and will be disseminated on the Internet for educational and preventive purposes and for guidance.

    In addition to teaching, there is scientific and educational work. In particular, during the quarantine period a curriculum for the elective discipline "Philosophy of mythology" was developed for graduate students studying in the educational program "History of Philosophy". The Philosophy entrance examination program for graduate students for all educational and scientific programs of NULIP of Ukraine has been updated, as well as the entrance examination program in the history of philosophy training of PhD specialists in the specialty 033 "Philosophy". A postgraduate social survey questionnaire has also been prepared and submitted electronically, which is a prerequisite for accreditation of science education programs https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSey7rV3KF5DCTnoL1jcdQ8NRPvTUoKHkpDwAbTK8j29L4oqOw/viewform.

    Therefore, the instructors of the philosophy department are working hard to make our collaborative remote work meaningful, interesting and of high quality, with students. And the creative process of comprehending philosophy inspired the opening of new horizons. We understand that philosophical thinking is now the only tool that enables us not to lose our common sense, but rather to discover new ways of coexisting with the world. Our choice in this difficult situation is responsibility, discipline and self-organization. It is then that we will not only succeed in achieving our goals, but also in building genuine human relationships, laying the foundations for teamwork, and ultimately - inspiring young people to LEARN and GROW!

Inna Savytska,
head of the department of philosophy

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