What started off as a degree research project soon become my journey of passion involving children’s development.
I first designed and produced an interactive courseware for children during my years studying Multimedia and IT in University Teknologi Petronas (UTP). This project led to my decision to pursue my Master’s Degree in Development of Global Societies involving Early Childhood Studies from Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom. I obtained my Ph. D. (Cognitive Science) from University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom. I am currently a Therapeutic Play Trainee trained towards becoming a Play Therapist.
My research in language processing allowed me to look into how children process letters of the alphabet, words, and spellings—including how all of this is processed in the brain. In my research I found fascinating and critical facts and theories on children’s development that are evident in UK’s education system. THIS sealed my love for everything in Early Childhood Studies.
I specialise in the cognitive process of language processing and I am much driven to look at our children’s pre-literacy and phonics learning; as well as the involvement of Multiple Intelligences using Station-Learning and Play-Based Learning. Throughout the years since 2014, we have moved towards Pure Play Learning, a 100% children centered PLAY environment. I am also interested in the aspects of our children’s emotional well-being especially in school. I am currently investigating methods used by teachers in managing our children’s classroom behaviour.
I am now home, bringing with me my children’s experiences and my own observations while being in the UK system for several years.
Being back since 2012, ECCE development in Malaysia needs to keep moving forward and improving its services taking into consideration the CHILD in focus. I believe and trust Malaysia is able to provide so much more for our children. KinderKaizen has been exploring and studying different methods to assist parents and children. We have explored #championingchildhood , then #empoweringparenthood and soon #nurturingplayleaders. KinderKaizen has participated and presented its research work (a paper presentation and 4 posters) in the International Play Association 2017, a World PLAY Conference in Canada. I have recently designed a school as a continuation to KinderKaizen which focuses on Self Directed Learning. This is called the Sekolah Sri Aria (). I was also recently appointed to be in the National Education Policy Review Committee with 12 other experts to review on the education system. I look forward for more in-depth research work and writing in journals to document findings. I will indeed continue to give lectures, organise talks and workshops, and share my knowledge and experiences to assist parents, teachers, and students in order to improve the quality of ECCE in Malaysia. This, I have started with my Froebel Professional Development Certificate, an 8 days course that journeys into understanding the development of Physical, Mental, Emotional and Social components.
In July 2014, KinderKaizen was born to realise my dream to help children of Malaysia. KinderKaizen is a product of love, passion, research, observation, experiences, and understanding of learning through play. I look forward to making UNITY under one roof. The vital effects of play on children’s learning also shapes KinderKaizen. I want KinderKaizen to serve as a platform of partnership between you and me; and most importantly to be THE place for our children to explore and learn through play.
Dr. Putri Afzan Maria Zulkifli
The Founder of KinderKaizen