Book Review

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Gokids

Pre-primary education is an important stage which lays the foundation for lifelong learning and whole person development, and serves as the starting point of formal education.

Research into the human brain shows that the period from birth to the age of eight is a critical phase for brain development and therefore the best time for learning. The influence of the external environment is crucial to brain development. If a safe and accepting environment with abundant sensory stimulation is available in early childhood, learners will have positive brain development which is beneficial to their future learning.

According to the theory of multiple intelligences, there are many aspects of human intelligences and every individual has varied strengths. Family, school and society mainly influence the early learners learning and development.

The pre-primary education is formulated according to the basic principles of ‘Children’s development’ and ‘Children’s learning’. It is essential to understand and respect the unique development pattern of each learner, in order to foster initiative in further developing and enhancing their knowledge.

The Gokids Series has been based on the aspects of ‘Learning by Doing’ and ‘Learning through Play’. This series advocates that ‘Interest is the driving force for learning’ and that ‘Play is a happy learning experience’. Sensory activities intermingled with observation, exploration, thinking and imagination constitute essential learning approaches and media of learning.

In the light of early childhood education, the core curriculum framework of Gokids Series has been based on four developmental objectives, namely ‘Physical Development’, ‘Cognitive and Language Development’, ‘Affective and Social Development’ and ‘Aesthetic Development’. These objectives have been achieved through six learning areas which are ‘Physical Fitness and Health’, ‘Languages’, ‘Early Mathematics’, ‘Science and Technology’, ‘Self and Society’ and ‘Arts’. In this series, the learning areas have been specially categorised under: Values and attitudes, Knowledge and Basic skills.

Values and attitudes are interrelated—the former refers to the standards of human behaviour and moral judgement, while the latter are essential personal qualities in dealing with people and situations.

For example, courtesy, self-discipline, perseverance, respect and responsibility are positive values and attitude.

Knowledge refers to understanding the world around us. It is generally acquired through memorisation or comprehension of facts and information. Another affective way of acquiring knowledge is through organising and grouping together things or events with similar characteristics to form specific concepts.

Basic skills can be developed through learning activities and experiences in different learning areas. These skills are fundamental to learning that living. They help learners acquire and construct knowledge and can be applied in problem solving.

The Gokids Series is entirely theme oriented which are woven through stories and comic strips. The themes are related to the immediate surroundings so that the learner is able to associate himself/herself to it.

The sixteen themes that are prevalent are:

All concepts have been introduced through stories that build a mental store of words, stimulate language development and verbal skills.

The Activity book has interesting handson activities with flash cards and stickers along with a double spread pull-out game.

The four main concept books: English Alphabet, Numbers, Value Education and The World Around Us, the Skill Drill states the learning objectives of the topic clearly. The topics are interlinked with the Rhyme Time and Activity Book as well.

This series is accompanied with an audio CD of rhymes and stories and a Manual that has been written with a general perspective that it can be used by a facilitator and a parent as well.

This series of seven books in each level is a comprehensive series of books with a broad spectrum of pedagogy, aimed at bringing out the best in a child through an innovative way of play and learn.