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In preparation for the coming school year, I have been asked to review a series of text books to be used from K-12. Yes, that is the in-word now – K-12 or Kindergarten to Level 12 following the new directive of DepEd that all schools, public and private, should implement starting this June. This will require a revision of many textbooks following the new curriculum in all subjects.
In our search for appropriate materials for values formation, we came across a series called “Alive to the World” published by the Alliance for the Family headed by Christine Vollmer, a very active pro-life leader in Venezuela and member of the Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome. The main thrust of the series is to help young people to think intelligently about choices and consequences – very important skills to achieve as we can see that the youth at present get into all kinds of unwholesome activities such as drugs, smoking, sex and gangs due to impulsive behavior.
At age-appropriate levels, the modules help children understand the concepts of family, friendship, peer pressure, romance, sex, love, marriage – and implications like loyalty, patience, team work, personal responsibility, respect for others and their property, commitment, and fidelity, to name a few. Over time, they learn that virtues make sense, and that they form a coherent system, and that they open up a world of possibilities of health, happiness and progress.
The pedagogy of “Alive to the World” is directed to the “head, the heart and the hand.” It is a process of instructing the intelligence and the will, appealing to the emotions for each objective at each year level, and indicating appropriate behavior. The Golden Rule undergirds our reasoning, and humility — rather than pride — is shown to be the winner’s formula.
As the young people read episodes that they can identify with – for example, borrowing and neglecting to return, or a homeless person asks them for help, or there’s alcohol at a party – they have to reflect and talk about what they would do in the same situation.
The schools that will use the modules are advised to use the series in all grade levels as it is progressive. It uses a story-based approach that captivates the pupils as a continuous story unfolds about a group of kids of the age of each grade level, addressing developmental and existential situations of that psychological level. The lessons are very participative. So teachers need to be trained to foster constructive and coherent classroom discussions.
Each of the students’ text books has a companion book for the teacher or parent, wherein each chapter is explained with background material and expanded explanations to respond to the possible students’ questions.
I was happy to learn that Rex Bookstore has been given the copyright to publish the entire “Alive to the World” series. Those interested can contact Pro-life office at 733-3027 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.