The article actualizes the problem of individual differences in the ways of information perception and processing in order to find ways to improve the quality of students’ learning.
Particular attention is focused on types of thinking (subject, figurative, signs and symbolic types), their individual relationships and creativity at first-year students.
The article discloses the problem associated with comprehension by first-year students of educational material in psychology; this problem includes a lot of theories, discovered scientific facts, answers on the questions about what information processing methods are leading, how learning results depend on individual-typological peculiarities if the learning conditions are the same for all students.
There are interesting facts among the obtained results about expressiveness of thinking types, as well as unexpected facts, which, perhaps, appeared because the examined students were fresh in university and met new conditions, content, methods, forms of educational organization.
Since the majority of the respondents had more expressive sign thinking, based on objective and imaginative thinking, their thinking needed to be connected with the subject matter in the process of thinking and scientific text mastering. Unfortunately, the practice of students’ learning in psychology shows that mechanisms of the psychics, tendencies, patterns of it changes are not easy related with clear subjects.
It is recommended to optimize symbolic thinking development with such means forming the method of general analysis as sign-symbolic modelling, which has much in common with the scientific modelling method. This is students’ activity that promotes text perception but also stipulates actions. Students analyze texts in order to find the central scientific concepts, essential scientific provisions, principles, logical connections between them. The sign-symbolic model materializes their reasoning, facilitates differentiation of essential content from the irrelevant one, self-control, the discovery of new knowledge.
These data will allow lecturers to become more confident in the selection of educational texts for lectures, accompanying practical classes, and, in the long run, these texts can be transformed into manuals or textbooks.
The article will be useful for lecturers, psychologists and pedagogues.
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