Educational Benefits of Television for Children

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Childhood television viewing has long been controversial in regards to its impacts on many aspects, including its educational purpose. According to Early Childhood Development (ECD), early childhood, normally deemed to be a range between birth and the age of eight (UNESCO), is a crucial period that one experiences rapid brain development, and is considered to be significantly influential in many domains including abilities to learn (World Bank, 2011). While educative programmes are suggested to be beneficial to children, content of non-educative programmes could have yet more negative effects. Also, while television viewing is in general blamed for its impact on children’s cognitive development, it is argued that the magnitude of the impact is essentially determined by time spent on television viewing. The essay will begin with an introduction of theories about child development and childhood learning, followed by a review on educational television targeted young children, and will then talk about to what extent does television viewing affect children cognitively, and thus negatively in their educational achievements. Finally an evaluation of television as a medium would be drawn.

Television viewing habit is thought to be changed through cognitive developmental transformation. Cognitive development, also known as intellectual development, is in general explained as a process through which environmental and social stimuli are perceived and knowledge is constructed (Usha, 2008: 374-375). According to Piaget’s theory of cognitive development (Atherton, 2011), learning starts as early as the stage of infancy, and the onset of linguistic and perceptual related development begins at this stage. Also, as stated by ECD, with suitable stimulation and interaction together with a variety of physical and environmental factors in the early childhood years, children tend to fulfil their greatest potential and achieve better in education (World Bank, 2011). With the...
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