The review about the book «The Training-treatment games», 2001

The review about the book

А.С.Валявского, А.С.Яковис
Оздоравливающие учебные игры.
Часть первая: Практикум.
Информация к действию для практичных родителей.
СПб.: ТЕССА, 2001

of Sergey Yurievich Afonkin

Teacher of highest qualification category,
author of many manuals and books


The technical progress is incontestable. We see its results every day around us. Moreover, we actively make use of the product of this progress in our everyday life. We watch TV, talk on the phone, sometimes using the cellular phone. We switch on the computer at the office or at home. There is no need to mention transport – we just would not be able to imagine the present-day life without it. As concerns the progress in pedagogics, the situation is not so perfect here.
Of course, there exist teachers-innovators whose names have been known to the whole country, but there is a very small opportunity to bring your child a class tutored by such teacher. His famous school is located thousands of kilometers from you. Moreover, it is sometimes late to set hopes upon teachers if the problems with the child started before he went to school. Naturally, one may go to the library, read clever books and articles of doctors of pedagogics - we have a pedagogical academy, apart from other things. But how can you find among hundreds of books and articles the one you need, that will help you to find the solution of the problem or outcome from a difficult situation and help your child? This is not simple at all. The reasons are below.
First, usually such articles are written in a specific scientific language that can be understood only by a specialist. Second, their contents are often devoted to merely theoretical issues that are unlikely to give an answer to a question what you should do with your own child in the situation when he is not… (you may complete the problem yourself).
It seems, the search of reasons resulting in particular problems in a child's development is a subtle thing. It is more complicated than looking for car faults. Not in the imported one, with in-built electronics, but in our home-made car. Even a fresher in the field of automobiles may cope with some failures independently if he looks into a manual which says: "If the car does not start you need to…". Next it gives a list of units that should be checked. Normally it helps. The thing is that we proceed from the assumption that all cars of the same make leaving the conveyor have the same structure. Breakdowns do happen, but if their reason has been identified it is not a big deal to eliminate the defect.
The child is not a car, and human psyche is a complicated thing. In order to cope with the problems arising in the process of child's development efficiently, one should know how this psyche works. At first sight this task seems to be impracticable for an average parent. Leave alone the parents! Even the specialists vaguely comprehend the profundity of processes taking part in human brain. However, parents do not need to go into such depths. To provide effective help to the child, the parents just need to base their efforts on a simple model that will explain the origin of the problems and give recommendations how to remove them. If the results are positive what else should be required?
Models like these have been developed for many years already by Andrey Stepanovich Valyavsky, doctor of philosophy, academician of International Academy "Informatisation, communications, management in technologies, nature, society". One of the models is briefly reduced to the following: the information enters the child's brain through three channels – visual, audial and kinaesthetic; next it is processed and is expressed in the form of speech, actions and other reactions; failures in one of these blocs (input – processing – output) will result in certain problems.
The ideas that a man perceives information from hearing, with his eyes and with the help of tactile sensation is not a novelty, of course. Everyone knows this. Most people do not go beyond this statement deeming it to be a commonplace. It is similar to being limited to the assumption that the Earth is round, without any idea of contours of its continents and oceans.
It appears that if one looks into how a child hears, sees, senses, how these channels interact, how the information coming through them into the brain is processed, one may find a lot of interesting, in fact not only find out, but also get practical instructions as how to help the child.
One should not forget two things, naturally. The first: the scheme of perception and processing of information used in the book is just a simplified model of child's psyche. The reality is always more complicated than the models and schemes used by people to learn it. However, this is a working model, that is, true prognostication of consequences of particular situations, providing practical advice how to avoid certain nuisances. The second: one should not forget that the child is not a machine. It is impossible to achieve positive results without loving him, respecting his personality, whatever methods are used by the pedagogues and parents. On the other hand, love as such is not sufficient. One should know how to use it for the child's benefit. This is what is communicated in the book you are holding.
Remember the analogy with car breakdown? Well, as a first approximation one may think that all children are born similar; however, they show specific peculiarities in the process of their development. One child may have more developed logical thinking, but the imagination is poor, the other child is more attentive, while the third one feels difficulty staying/sitting in one position, but he is more active. The way to correct the child's weak points independently "on the way" – this is what Andrey Stepanovich Valyavsky's book tells us about. The book is written jointly with his disciple, student of St. Petersburg University of Pedagogics Alexandra Sergeevna Yakovis. This book and the games presented in it helped me, being one of its first readers, to understand better many of my pupils and their parents.

Sergey Yurievich Afonkin

Teacher of highest qualification category,
author of many manuals and books

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