Sunday, January 22, 2006

Boob Tube and Children's Brain Drain

This article provides some evidence that television can, in fact, be detrimental to a child's brain development and therefore, academic achievement. Although there are few studies that show a direct correlation between television watching and nerve-cell growth, some research does exist that suggests that "with enrichment you can grow not new nerve cells but bigger and better nerve cells and with impoverishment you get less." One reseacher is convinced that mediation is key in determining the effect that television will have on children. Evidence suggests that heavy television-viewing kids show lower reading recognition, lower reading levels and are also associated with more aggressive behaviour. There is, however, an important third variable: parental involvement.

I completely agree that television viewing on its own cannot account for the academic correlations found in the research. As is the case with most influences on a child's life, parental involvement plays a very important role. Children with involved parents are more likely to be able to understand and discriminate between the information being presented on television. They are also more likely to be encouraged to do homework and engage in other important extra-curricular activities, which in turn will result in higher academic achievement in school.

1 Comments:

Blogger Mike said...

Excellent review! I agree that parents need to be completely involved in every aspect of their child's life. What do you think we as educators can to do to convince inactive parents to become more active in what their child is watching and doing every day?

9:57 PM  

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