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The Benefits Of Television And Entertainment Media For Children

839 words - 4 pages

Not only do television and entertainment media not hinder children’s learning with regards to developing vocabulary, but studies such as those by Donna Mumme and Anne Fernald (2003) indicate that children can learn how to interact with their environment through media. Mumme and Fernald’s paper, “The Infant as Onlooker: Learning from Emotional Reactions Observed in a Television Scenario,” explains that children 12 months old can use societal cues that they see on a television to influence how they interact with and regard objects. In this study, 10 and 12-month-olds watched an actress on television interact with a toy prior to interacting with the toy themselves. Children observed the actress ...view middle of the document...

In their research, titled “Skype Me! Socially Contingent Interactions Help Toddlers Learn Language,” Roseberry, Hirsh-Pasek, and Golinkoff explain that children learned new words in socially contingent situations, such as through live interactions and video chats. Children were split into live interaction training groups, socially contingent video training groups (over video chat), and non-contingent video training groups, and presented with new verbs. While children in the non-contingent video training groups watching yoked video only performed at about chance level when tested for knowledge of the new words, children in the socially contingent video training groups and the live interaction training groups showed a significant increase in testing performance. This could suggest that non-contingent videos are less helpful for children’s learning than socially contingent videos or live interactions, but it is also important to keep in mind that there are many kinds of interactive media and television shows, which could be used to help children. This experiment also focuses on children ages 24 to 30 months old, which is slightly above the 2 year age targeted by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It could be possible that children younger than the age tested would yield higher results when placed in the non-contingent video training condition, so this study cannot be accurately used as evidence against the effectiveness of television and entertainment media for children 2 years old and younger. Even if policy promoters were to attempt to use Roseberry and colleagues’ work as evidence that real life...

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