What are the Effects of Television on Student Achievement? Andrea R. Ogir Troy University Brunswick Campus July 21, 2010
Abstract This paper outlines in details the effects television and other forms of media have on student achievement. It also examines the influence that media has in student performance in various levels of development including the pre-school level, early elementary level and the higher levels of education. It further compares the influence that television has towards student achievement and the influence of other forms of media. Finally, the draft gives a detail of some of the features of media that damage the learning process.
Introduction Given the central role popular media plays in the lives of our children, it is important to have an understanding of the impact television viewing has on academic achievement and school performance. Parents and teachers alike ask the question of how much television viewing is too much. Few people would argue that an investigation of children's TV viewing habits could help parents better understand how youth occupy their free time. In addition, there has been growing concern over the relationship between the media and rising violence and other antisocial behaviors among youth. The relationships between TV viewing and academic achievement, age, home environment, and other variables are complex, multidimensional, and inconclusive (Bachen, et al., 1982; Beentjes & Van der Voort, 1988; Broome & Fuller, 1993; Razel, 2001). The purpose of this paper is to provide readers with a summary of the literature from the last 25 years regarding the impact of television viewing on student achievement and necessary behaviors for school success. Although the general picture from research is somewhat muddled, an initial understanding of the question can be achieved, nonetheless. It is hoped that this review of literature will provide a basis to implement sound educational policy and family practice.
A Summary of Television Effects Research More than half of U.S. students watch more than three hours of television per day on weekdays, and 60% of parents rarely or never limit their child's television viewing habits (Levine & Levine, 1996). The average television weekly viewing time is approximately 27 hours per week, while the average reading time is 8.1; a 3 to 1 ratio (Angle, 1981). Studies (Levine & Levine, 1996; Wells & Blendinger, 1997) support the finding that children watch too much TV and read too little. It has been argued that a negative side effect of high levels of viewing might include the promotion of "unintelligent consumerism" and a physically and intellectually passive dependency among our youth (Levine & Levine, 1996). Viewing habits typically increases throughout elementary school years, and decreases during high school years. The years right before and after adolescence are the most opportune times to shape TV viewing habits (Clark, et al., 1978). Individuals in lower income brackets and with lower educational levels watch more television (Housden, 1991; Mediamark Research Inc, 1996). Adolescents who view television during late night hours average more television viewing than do other adolescents (Potter, 1987). African American youth tend to watch more TV than their white counterparts (Caldas & Bankston, 1999). Teens who are in the lowest per week...