Infant Learning Via T.V. Essay

2110 words - 9 pages

The question as to whether television is a good way to teach children has always been hotly debated. There has been studies conducted that demonstrate that school age children can benefit from educational programs geared toward their age range. Some elementary schools in the United States have implement educational shows into their daily classes; even high schools and colleges use educational videos as part of their lectures and many say they are beneficial. Yet there is a new trend that seems to be sweeping across America; infant targeted media products. These new shows are now targeting children as young as 12 months, telling parents that it will help their child develop faster and ahead of their peers. It’s an appeal that no parent could pass up because everyone what’s their child to be the next Einstein. The question however is do these products actually work? This is the question DeLoache et al. (2010) and Krcmar, Grela, and Lin (2007) attempt to answer in their research into media and infant learning. Both studies focus on infant related media shows vs patent interaction, which learning style works the best, and if the claims by marketers about the effectiveness of their shows hold some or any validity.
DeLoache and colleagues (2010), examines the claims made by marketers of infant educational media that by watching their programs, infants as young as 12 months old will develop language skills faster and thus will learn faster and better as they mature. This theory was tested by taking the most popular video of that time and examining how many new words infants between 12 to 18 months learn from watching it. The study was conducted on 72 infants between the ages of 12 to 18 months, mixed between boys and girls, and all from middle class families. They broke the infants into 4 groups, the first condition with parents teaching their babies a set of words, the second condition where infants watched the video and interacted with their parents, the third condition where infants watched the video without parent interacting with them, and finally a control group which was used as a base line for normal vocabulary growth. The condition where the parent interacted with the infant watching the video was to examine if these educational videos worked in conjunction with reinforcement from care givers. After a month of watching the video or a month of the parents teaching the novel words to their child, they were tested to see how many words they could remember. The results of the study contradicted the claims of the video marketers. Infants who were placed in front of the T.V. and watched the video without any interaction from their parents actually learned 5 to 10 words less than infants who were taught those very same words by their parents. Even the condition where parents interacted with their infants while watching the video showed more word remembrance then those watching the video with no interaction. The results from the...

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