FIG Working Week 2000, 21-26 May, Prague

Methodology for the Self-development of Professional Personality in the Information Era

by Svätopluk Michalčák

Key words: Formative aims, interaction, binary thinking, inner standard. 


Rapid changes (by a constant decline of developing countries) are the symptoms of the information age. They create more competitive, wider and changing professional environment with new requirements on professional qualities. Management of change – adaptation is required. Many steps have been done already on our way from Land Surveying (LS) to Geo-spatial Engineering (GSE): restructuring of courses, CPE and also the theory of geoinformation – intellectual core for geoinformation management.

With the overflow and aging of information (I), interaction with nontraditional partners, qualities of youth increases the role of conceptual, basic principles of education (e. g. formative role of I) enabling the orientation and evaluation of various type of I. Even in professional subjects are needed the impulses for "non-administrative" factors: change of inertia (binary thinking), motivation, analytical thinking, etc.

All this can be more done effective when the individual knows the basic methodology of management of his abilities. Therefore we developed a simple methodological system – frame for individual self-development according to educational level of L.S.

Methodological frame is based on start conditions like: Formative aims of education, feedback, impact of professional and medial information (selection, distorsion, clichés, brain qualities and limits). Main principles includes:

  • Long-periodical aims – it requires an appropriate analysis

  • Priorities – sequence of importancy

  • Selfrealisation by selfcognition – improvements of prof. qualities, joy of cognition and analytical thinking

  • Interactivity of cognition, thinking and communication – most important, it facilitates a pragmatic self-development and the way of thinking

For adaptation, improvement of a process we have to find out the factors creating the existing standing – information (not just to register it) the most decisive ones – to analyse the process or to estimate the value of the I. According to the structure of L.S. courses we developed a simple cognitive analysis which serves as a theoretical core for further applications .

Decisive role for the objective cognition of the outside world played the measurement with it specific concepts of comparison and standards. Most general and simplest mathematical presentation of outside processes gives the Hagen theorem. According to it the quality Q of a phenomenon or process is created by the interaction of elementary (secondary) factors.

For estimation, evaluation of processes we use the analysis in steps which include the identification, interaction, classification and changing of elementary factors. Such gradual analysis is simple and time saving. Its application was widened also for psychological processes of education. It serves also as a first step for overcoming of binary thinking. As a orientation measure for the estimation of differences in professional environment or professional qualities we introduced s.c. inner standard.

We adapted the theoretical core for various task in education and profession also outside of LS, often for s.c. integrated approach to optimation, adaptation of tertiary education. It is a complicated development of abilities – brain quality in a system : teacher – student – environment. Decisive are here the interaction of psychological factors. Even their simplest application can be helpful, effective and motivative.

Methodological frame is presented as an orientation tool and support for management of long-periodical practical activity. Therefore it was completed by a series of hints for practical training. The selection of hints depends on the target group, the length and type of application.

Applications. The frame enables a simple identification and evaluation of factors creating the standing of processes incl. personal qualities and ways for their change. It has been applied for various fields of education + industry firstly for tailoring of standard subjects and professional studies and the analysis of standing of profession.

Widest modification enables the core of our methodology – the cognitive analyses. It serves for the training of pragmatic thinking, communication (also outside of L.S.), for the attraction of freshmen and establishment of new courses (e.g. UNIDO project in Sri Lanka), as a part of Professional English or special seminar. Most encouraging have been the reaction by top professors and young colleagues in Europe as well as in Commonwealth countries. They appreciated the orientation of selfmanagement toward practical activity, cognition and improvement of their abilities, utilisation of qualities of young brain, the influence of free time industry and binary thinking, effect of motivation and biorhythm. Especially impressive were the reactions of colleagues in developing countries.

Assoc. Prof. Svätopluk Michalčák, PhD.
Department of Geodesy and Cartography
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Slovak University of Technology
Radlinského 11
813 68 Bratislava
E-mail :

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