The relevance of the study is reasoned by the transition to the knowledge economy and the need for the development of students’ cognitive activity. The purpose of the article is to identify the types of students’ cognitive activity and functions of individual paths of their development. The guiding principle of investigation is the principle of pedagogical creativity, providing a communicative and creative direction of teachers, development of the ability to find new approaches to solving problems. The study involves 200 teachers, 350 students who participated in the identification of criteria for the effectiveness of individual educational paths. The main results of the study are to identify types of cognitive activity (starting, situational, performing, creative), the functions of individual paths of their development (target, content, competence based). The significance of the results obtained is that the identified types of cognitive activity cause the selection of adequate methods for their learning activities to strengthen students' subject position and to move to the individualization of educational paths. The found functions of individual educational paths contribute to the development of students’ creative potential, their personal and professional skills needed in the modern conditions of life and professional activities.
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