Some articles from the book «The training-treatment games», 2001

A present to parents, children and teachers!

It is really a great luck that apart from specialists inventing all kinds of tests aimed to expose a child's inability to learn, which means, defective state of mind, there exist some people in Russia deeply convinced that if one comprehends the nature of child's difficulties in his interaction with the world, the people and himself – it would be possible to help him.

One of such persons is Andrey Stepanovich Valyavsky. All of his works lie within the author's system of professional/personal purports and values, within ethical pedagogics. I would call it differently – the pedagogics of real humanism, effectual humanism directed towards not a human being only, but a particular child, teenager, adult, with his particular problems and difficulties in education and upbringing.

Andrey Stepanovich's previous book was entitled "How to understand a child". This name has much in common with the well-known Ya. Korchak's book "How to love a child", for the science of love to children supposes, in the first place, teaching the adult to understand the child and the processes shaping and forming his development from within.

The book is universal to a great extent as it is based on the knowledge of fundamental properties of human brain connected with perception and processing of information. It is written, like the other author's publications, in a perfect, figurative Russian language. Andrey Stepanovich has the ability to talk so simply about extremely complicated things not only because he reflected profoundly for many years as a pedagogue and philosopher on the problems of person's development and upbringing, but also because he managed to verify experimentally as a brilliant practitioner the authenticity of his pedagogical conjectures and insight recoveries. Many teachers, parents and children in different regions of Russia recollect the meetings with him, his lectures, seminars, classes.

I have no doubt that the new book being a practical aid will be interesting to a broad audience, in the first place to those who comprehend what is implied beyond the text , that is, to specialists handling human problems. It is these people who will be able to see beyond the shell of very simple - on the face of it - games an extremely complicated system launching the mechanisms of development and recovery of the child's organism and will be pleasantly surprised by subtle methodical stratagem that the author was able to conceive.

The book will be not less interesting and useful to the parents who do not understand many things so far , in particular, why their child is not so talented and successful as they would like to see.

It would be very useful if the teachers who would like to understand the reasons of their professional failures in the work with some (or even with many) children trusted the author and realised what things should or may be corrected, when facing the children's or teenagers' inability, ignorance, lack of understanding.

Finally, the practical aid will be an excellent present to those who feel they are not always understood by parents and teachers , namely, to children. It is for them that the authors compiled under one cover over 80 games that will be of interest to those who realise that playing the games will help them to solve their own problems which can not sometimes be conveyed to adults.

The acquaintance with the materials collected in the book must convince the reader that the results of development diagnostics gained through some dispatcher programme is not a verdict at all, but just a reference point for joint application of adult's and child's efforts aimed at self-correction, being the change in which the recovery (physical, mental, intellectual, social) is coupled with learning, in the first place, self-actualisation and self-perfection. It is important that this book represents collected "recipes" for teaching and physical rehabilitation not only of a child, but of an adult as well, for each of the taken steps will favour relax of psychic strain that many people have, not understanding the causes of failures of their offsprings, without being able to help him.

There are so many opportunities for creative cooperation of all family members if they work over every part offered by the author. The variety of routes is numerous… Good luck!

I.A. Kolesnikova

Doctor of Pedagogics, Professor

Full member of Academy of Humanities

Deputy Director of Institute of Adults' Education

under Russian Academy of Science


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



The parents, educators and teachers, while observing the children's behaviour, frequently face the problems that are described with the word "no" at the start. For example, the child:

- does not obey his parents;

- does not react to the adults' criticism;

- does not wish to go to the kindergarten or school;

- refuses to learn or does not wish to study;

- does not do the homework;

- does not hear when being addressed;

- does not do his lessons independently;

- does not recite the lesson even if he knows the correct answer;

- fails to meet necessary assignments in time;

- does not wish to socialise, withdraws into himself;

- is not able to sit/stay at one place for a long time, fidgets:

- is not able to control himself;

- does not remember what he was supposed to do;

- does not react to requests immediately, from the first;

- does not respond to your request until you snap at him;

- does not wish to think independently…

This list is easy to continue. If you have not found the line describing schematically your child's or pupil's problem you may easily add your own line. It will not change anything principally. Looking through the above list of sixteen "no" one finds that all of the said cases describe the situations that many parents are concerned about.

They have an image of "ideal" child in their head. He is not only cheerful, healthy and full-fed. It is a lively, inquisitive creature that, though not being capable of many things, is keenly interested in everything falling within his field of vision. Such child plays actively, is agile, buoyant. Despite his small age he is already entrusted with certain duties which he never forgets to fulfil. He studies with pleasure and does home assignment independently. He is a dreamer, invents stories, paints, composes verses. It is purely a pleasure to deal with such a child. He has not got a single problem of those mentioned above.

One should not believe that this collective image pertains to the sphere of ideal. L.N. Tolstoy's description of happy families is true. They are all similar, and it is only misfortunes that make them specific, different from the others. The same applies to children. All normally developed children are alike. What differentiates the children is the problems arising in the process of development, individual peculiarities that hamper learning, the children's interaction with the outer world, and that become the reasons of many conflicts.

What are the specific peculiarities we mean? To answer this question, we should first find out in what way the children are similar to each other.


Three channels and three stages of work with information

Every child receives the information from the outer world mostly through three types of analysers that we shall call channels for simplicity. The visual information comes through the visual channel (Lat. video, visum, visere – see), the audial information comes through the audial channel (Lat. audio, auditum, audire – hear), and the information from bodily surface formed by skin receptors comes through the kinesthetic channel (Greek kinema, kenematos – movement). The symbols of the channes are: visual channel - the eye, audial channel – the ear, kinesthetic channel – the hand.

The volume of information coming through these three channels is not equal in value. It is customary to believe that we get the lion's share of information through vision. However, to provide normal functioning of any human being, children included, all of the three channels must work adequately, coherently, without faults and problems.

One should make an important note here. The imperfect work of any of these channels does not mean that the child's analysers are faulty – the ears, eyes, skin receptors. Well, this happens, and in this case one should consult a doctor. Actually, the scientists proved a long ago that the physical health is inseparably linked with the psychological health, so the state of discomfort , anxiousness and permanent subconscious strain frequently become the cause of many diseases. Often the analysers function normally, if regarded as sensors, while the problems emerge at the secondary level of perception of information coming from them, when this information id processes with the help of brain. It is here that many problems are rooted. Talking figuratively, a person sees, hears and senses not with his eyes, ears and hands, but with his brain.

Let us take a single example. A specialist-botanist looking at a meadow will see dosens of plant species which he knows about professionally. He will sure to notice that some of the species oust the others, that is, the picture he sees will be dynamic, developing. A layman will see just the grass in the same meadow, being not able to say something definite about it. The eyes of both observers work identically, while they see absolutely different things at the same time.

Nevertheless, all the three channels do exist and work with every child, and this way all the children are alike. The information coming through the channels is subjected to certain processing with them. This important stage is actualised differently with different children, but it definitely exists. It is sufficient to remind that the pictures we see, the sounds we hear and the sensations coming from the skin are nothing but nerve impulses processed by the brain integrating complete images. The information processed by the brain is expressed in the form of speech, muscular reactions, multifarious movements.

Thus all the children are alike in that they have the same stages of work with information: receipt of information using the three channels, processing of information by the brain and generation of information in the form of externally visible reactions. In principle, the computer works as based on the scheme "input – processing – output" as well. However, the computers of the same make are similar, while the children are so different! Then in what do the alike children differ within the framework of the offered simple scheme?

Dispatcher programme

The work of brain relating to receipt, processing and generation of information is regulated with the so-called dispatcher programme (DSP) or, as it is briefly called, the "internal dispatcher". All of you make use of its services daily. It is this dispatcher that decides if should listen or not what the speaker is talking, if you should take notice of the by-passing blonde or not. The internal dispatcher prescribes certain degrees of importance and priority to the actions that are to be effected, i.e. it decides what is important and what is not, what should be done in the first place. It is this dispatcher that makes us jump out of bed when we are being late or lets us slug in bed for a longer time on Sunday.

The extent of consideration a man may devote to a particular process related with conscious work of the brain is limited. It is impossible to handle ten occupations at the same time. It is this internal dispatcher that, like a controller, draws our attention to top-priority matters. The internal dispatcher is the human's "self" in his head that is responsible for distribution of attention, activisation or termination of some pre-scheduled programme of actions. It effects processing of a multitude of signals entering the brain simultaneously and coordinates the response actions.

The analogy with a real dispatcher is quite felicitous here. Imagine a man sitting in the armchair; there are several TV screens showing different pictures in front of him. Next to them are computer monitors showing some curves changing on the screen and colour columns changing their height. There are several loudspeakers as well here – the source of some music, speech and sounds. The situation arising in our head as a result of perception of the outer world is approximately the same. Apart from information coming from visual, audial and tactile analysers we get the intenal signals coming from our intestines, heart, liver and other organs! The information about the position of the body in space and location of bones relative one another enters the brain continuously as well. The dispatcher programme keeps track of all this data array and is responsible for regulation of response reactions.

Every human has such dispatcher in his head. It may work better or worse, depend on external surveillance of adults more or less, that is, be a professional or a fresher- dilettante, but it surely exists, and this way all the children are alike.


Let us dwell upon possible differences that are important within the framework of the accepted model of reception of signals coming from within, their processing and generation. These differences affect considerably the children's behaviour and may, consequently, underlie the explanation of reasons of many problems.

Shortcomings in the dispatcher programme's operation

There exists a period of so-called identification in every child's life. It lasts for approximately 5-7 years. During this period the child's dispatcher programme behaves like a diligent soldier. It receives commands from outside and obeys them. Such infantile obedience is justified. The surrounding world is very complicated. It is not clear enough how one should behave in it. So one has to fulfil the commands of adults grown wise with experience. They know which way is better. Identification is sort of acceptance by the child of a part he is imposed upon by the adults. Now he can answer the question "Who I am?".

The period of identification is followed by the stage of individualisation. The child starts opposing the outside commands. His independence is developing. It must be based on internal commands – the instructions of his internal dispatcher who must turn into a powerful officer from the obedient soldier by that time.

But at times this does not take place, and the child's dispatcher programme is still waiting for an order from outside. In other words, the child is not in the position to make himself execute certain actions. He is in the "waiting mode", that is, he is waiting for an external command. The parents of such children often say: "My child is uncontrollable". It means that his dispatcher self-control programme is developed insufficiently. Such a child is able to perform an action obeying to external order, but if no authoritative adult is nearby the child does not do what is expected of him, but instead acts as he wishes at the moment. In principle such a child has the dispatcher programme which is functioning. The problem is that its own internal orders prove to be too weak and inefficient to launch the required actions.

All children differ from each other by extent of development of their dispatcher programme by certain age, and these differences tell on their behaviour substantially.

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