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Book review Title: TEACHING ASTRONOMY TO SMALL CHILDREN, (First steps one cannot start too soon) Authors:

Dr. Iharka Szcs-Csillik and Bed, BFin&Acc Istvn Szcs Translator: Richard Szcs Printing: S.C. Tranger S.A. Edited: Self-publishing, Cluj-Napoca, 2010 ISBN 978-973-0-09239-4 This book attempts to introduce teaching astronomy to kindergarten children, small children, and as the title shows it contains the first steps in astronomical knowledge. It is divided in two major parts: core and supplemental material - four detailed lesson plans (curriculum and additional explanation); and theories of the education and training for adopters of kindergarten didactics (syllabus, education process, techniques, strategies, tools). The Main material is presented in the core material as well as five themes: I. Solar System, II. Orientation, III. Ecology, IV. Space travel and V. Observatory. Basic astronomy knowledge is explained in the Main material as separate lessons (e.g. daynight, planet-star, revolving-cycling, directions N, E, S, W, new moon-full moon, etc.) including questions for kids. The first lesson includes the presentation of Sun, Moon and Earth, as introduction to astronomy. In the second lesson the authors main goal was to introduce the concepts of star, planet and satellite, emphasize the rotational and circling motion as well as present the Solarsystem using the playful Planet Poem. Lesson 3 describes orientation or finding directions using the Sun, constellations, stars, the compass, and mossy trees. In Lesson 4 the authors draw the attention to the importance of protecting the environment; show space travel, space station and life of the astronauts, then underline the importance of the work of an astronomer, visiting an observatory or planetarium. All along, these lessons teach using playful methods, through help of many popular songs and poems, but coloured by new poems, songs and plays created by the authors. The authors seek apprehension through combining traditional and modern tools. In the second part the Andragogy of the Kindergarten Didactics are presented more detailed. The seven titles are the following: I. The curriculum; II. The syllabus; III. Structural elements of the education process; IV. Educational forms, techniques; V. The
teaching-learning process; VI. Teaching-learning strategies; VII. Educational tools.

The second part describes and complements the knowledge of kindergartens didactics, which is necessary in the everyday preoccupation of the kindergarten. It explain the age specifics of small children, prepares the kindergarten educators to choose the proper didactic,

curriculum and educational tools. The pedagogical optimism and cheerfulness increases the trust of kids, are there more amazing pedagogical jobs than what the authors experienced? Now, concerning my approach to transforming our education: this is a very long process, but not impossible. The book proves this. Re-altering the own concept of the education is crucial. It is a long method but not impossible. The book proves this also. Many pictures from book illustrate the preoccupation with children and further educational material can be found in the appendix. Success was demonstrated in practice; children were very active, enjoyed the lessons and gained useful knowledge. The authors merit is in the idea of teaching children orientation: Lets think about how important it is for small children to understand directions, orientate themselves. If they get lost somehow, it shouldnt be panic that comes over them, but the ability to find their way home. The authors offer some professional pedagogue, andragogue advice for kindergarten educators, showing how they imagined astronomy as part of the kindergarten education. The book Teaching astronomy to small children is a triple premier in the didactical area: in didactical astronomy: teaching to small children (for kindergarten children). Teaching astronomy for such small children is not found in any other literature. in kindergarten didactic: detailed lesson plans with methods (selected songs, etc.). in pedagogy, andragogy: theories, methods, tools and practices in one book for teaching astronomy. This book is dedicated to astronomers or kindergarten teachers who would consider introducing astronomy to kids, and parents who also find this knowledge useful for their children. This book is published in four languages in 2010: English, German, Hungarian and Romanian.