Children Should Watch TV
The media plays an important role in people’s lives. However, people have noticed an increased impact of the media information on children (primarily the Internet and television) recently. TV has a powerful influence on youth. Therefore, the question arises: should children watch TV? It is quite a relevant issue for the nowadays society. It is undoubtedly that some parents consider watching TV very harmful for the health and development of children. According to the studies on the negative impact of television, children are a part of society that suffers from the TV side-effects most of all. Watching TV holds back the process of personal development (especially verbal) and breaks the children’s mind, imagination, feelings, emotions – everything that is inside the human being and forms a person. According to the website Parenting-Healthy-Children.com, watching TV may “…distract children from learning, create negative feelings and emotions that interfere with proper education, and can lead to addiction.” Others believe that the television has a positive impact as well. Thus, children definetely should watch TV, but it is necessary to consider some points such as viewing time, useful TV programs for children, etc. Therefore, this essay discusses the main arguments in order to support this assertion.
The media is one of the most influential institutions of education in the modern society. Today, many researchers say not only about the huge but decisive influence of the media on the children’s development, behavior, and consciousness. Occupying a leading place in the lives of children, the media has become one of the most important agents of education.
The popularity of the television in the country’s public life is evident from its rapid growth, as well as the prevalence and general availability of the mass information. The television image can reach the most remote regions and penetrate into any social environment in the shortest period possible. That is why, it is necessary to study the efficiency of the influence of TV on the younger generation.
Television plays a huge role in the educational process. The process of education is one of the main problems of the modern society. It is the process of systematic and targeted influence on the spiritual and physical growth and development of a person. By overcoming the alienation of a human being from his/her true essence, the spiritual development of the individual in the process of historical development does not occur automatically. It requires efforts of people, and these efforts are to be directed in order to create economic opportunities, objective social conditions, as well as to implement the new opportunities for the spiritual and moral perfection. Thus, the main goal of personal development – is the complete realization of the man himself, his abilities and capabilities, the fullest possible expression and self-disclosure. However, the development of these qualities is not possible without the participation of other people. And today, a definite impact of the media, especially TV, on the development of these qualities cannot be denied.
As it is known, the media means dissemination of information that focuses on the perception of different groups of people. The following functions of television in terms of education can be identified: recreational (defines leisure pastime both as a group and individual activity); relaxational (relieves loneliness and serves as a means of distraction during any complications in communication); informational and cognitive (television caters for the need of people to learn a variety of facts and figures about interesting phenomena and social events); regulatory (norms and patterns of behavior in society are promoted with the help of the media, especially television. In this regard, the television is an important regulator of the public life); integrative (television gathers many people around the ideas and promotes the shared perceptions of people, attitudes, evaluations of certain events and creates the psychological tone in society); entertaining and compensatory (in front of the TV screens, children can relax after a school day, change the emotional background and, at the same time, receive a charge of missing in the real life vivid sensations and impressions; this function of television is especially important for children and teenagers), and the general function (television allows many people to avoid loneliness; the only child in the family, doing homework in an empty apartment and, at the same time, listening to the sound of a blue screen is a phenomenon that has long since become commonplace).
According to the article “The Good and Bad Effects of TV on Children,” “some TV shows can educate, inform and inspire. It can be more effective than books or audiotapes in teaching kid about processes like how a plant grows or how to bake a cake.” Moreover, some television programs help children understand the importance of proper nutrition, health, and exercise. In addition, children also learn many things that will be useful for education and future life. Some television programs can help the child reveal the talent in dancing, acting, or painting. Therefore, it is important to encourage children to watch such programs. They will develop the children’s intelligence and will not fill their heads with the unnecessary information. Thus, parents should choose TV programs for their children wisely (Langholt). According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, “…parents can help by doing the following: don’t allow children to watch long blocks of TV, but help them select individual programs. Choose shows that meet the developmental needs of the child. Children’s shows on public TV are appropriate, but soap operas, adult sitcoms, and adult talk shows are not.”
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Television as a means of education and development of children has entered the secondary school quite recently. Despite this fact, today’s people do not even imagine the educational process without the use of the television technology, which is widely used in academic and extracurricular time.
Educational TV programs are the synthetic product of visibility that combine figurative and sound clarity and enable a diverse information transfer, which aims at improving the quality of knowledge, skills, and abilities of students in their comprehensive development. An educational TV program has some main features. It “…encourages children to actively engage in the educational content themselves through viewer participation (e. g., during a game show, or by attempting to solve a problem before the on-screen characters solve it)” (Fisch 13). TV program shows the event, for example, historical, at the time of implementation. It creates the best conditions for observation and works for a large audience: a class, a group of classes, and all students at the school. For instance, students can see only what is needed in the classroom. Moreover, a TV program has the presence effect: students are involved in the events that are displayed on the screen. It is documentary as, when students observe various objects and phenomena, the unique creations of the human mind, speeches of prominent people, it seems that the speakers refer directly to them.
Educational TV programs help teachers in explaining the most difficult topics, shaping the outlook of the students, building the national awareness and love for the country, native people, and nature, creating the national mentality, contributing to the preparation of the students for self-employment, engaging students in art, and also acquainting them with the new advances in science and technology.
There are many channels that broadcast various TV programs that concern both national and world history, literature, music, languages, and labor studies. The educational television programs are developed in accordance with the school programs and training courses. Some television programs are designed for the independent work of students after school, extracurricular activities, and watching in groups, clubs, associations, as well as for providing informational and instructional gear for the teachers. Television programs that are broadcasted to secondary schools can be of different forms: a television lecture, a television story, a TV program of a general character, a television tour, educational films, as well as instructional programs for teachers. Television lecture is a complete logical presentation of the topic of one lesson or a school activity. According to the structure, it is a composition, installation of a specially selected visual range. The television story is similar to the television lecture and is also dedicated to one topic of the lesson or educational event. It is a small composition – assembling a specially selected visual material that is accompanied by the speaker and has a logical sequence and a complete rundown.
Another reason why children should watch TV is that there are many useful TV programs that positively influence the development of the psyche and worldview of a child. Let the child watch cartoons with educational overtones devoid of violence, ridicule, necessarily with the happy ending. The psyche of a 1-3 years old child is not formed yet. While the adults filter the information that they get from the TV screens, the children, due to their inexperience, are not able to do this, and will believe anything that is said on TV.
Colorful and bright cartoons with an interesting plot attracted children of different nationalities at all times. By the level of education, development, and cultivation of certain qualities and attitudes, cartoons may well compete with the book tales, interpersonal communication, and educational toys. In cartoons, children see the different ways to communicate with the environment and people, learn to distinguish good from bad, to recognize and fight their fears. Comparing his/her personality with favorite cartoon characters, a child models various situations of life and behavioral patterns.
Today, people can easily travel to any country and see anything they want without leaving their comfortable chairs. Television plays a great role in the sphere of advertising. Besides, it is the main source of news, as well as entertainment.
The development and formation of the children’s personality comes in a constant contact with the outside world. Recently, when, on the one hand, people increasingly began to think about the education of the younger generation, and on the other hand – the influence of the media associated with the technological progress and the realization of the ideas of the interactive engagement has increased, it is particularly important to control the upbringing and development of the children in their interaction with different information flows obtained through the media. Today, the influence of television on the education of children is an urgent problem and is one of the first tasks of pedagogy.
It is important to note that there is a great danger that the development of the media and new information technologies will outstrip the development of pedagogy. Currently, the existing children’s channels established control, on the one hand, filtering the information available to children, on the other hand, organizing a clear interaction with the producers of information products for the younger generation with a view to the compliance of the problems of education and personal development. This policy is carried out directly at the state level, through the publication of the legislative bodies of various kinds of regulations governing such relations.
Analyzing all the information mentioned above, it becomes clear that the television plays a positive role in children’s lives. However, it is necessary to note that television can positively influence the development of the child only if it is limited to the viewing time according to the child’s age. TV communicates useful information for the child in an interesting manner. It is desirable to choose children’s educational programs and good cartoons. Getting the useful information out of the TV, the child develops and trains memory and thinking. Bright pictures and images develop a good imagination, which is very important for the further development of the child.