learning & actitivies


English: American family watching TV (cropped)
Image via Wikipedia

Recently an article came up in the NY Times that TV has NO educational benefits for children under 2. A little excerpt said:

Video screen time provides no educational benefits for children under age 2 and leaves less room for activities that do, like interacting with other people and playing, the group said.

Assuming they mean TV by video screen time, I wonder whether these researchers are parents or how they derived at this conclusion. Ok, sure, time in front of the TV means less time doing perhaps less constructive things, like annoying their caregivers (just kidding). But any parent whose kids watch at least a little bit of appropriate TV (by that I don’t mean the awful Mediacorp serials), will realise that it’s undeniable that they do learn, even for kids below 2. Even the founder of Bibinogs school was quoted in this month’s Young Parents magazine saying that she thought TV is an underrated educational tool, and that her kids have benefited from watching Chinese programmes!

Of course, I’m not saying, stick  your kids in the front of the TV the whole day because it iseducational – the real vice of TV is not the content but the passiveness of watching TV and being fed all the images, and too much TV leads to the inability to entertain ones self. Of course kids programmes will always try and get you interacting by asking if you’ll help them on their quest, but TV requires much less thinking, something which we definitely do not want to happen in growing minds. Then there are also reports on how the frames per second affect the growing minds and how they process information, and it can also be anti-social behaviour unless TV is watched and discussed as a family, but then again, how much discussion can possibly be going on when you’re entranced by the TV??

A blanket statement saying that there is NO educational benefit to TV (even if it’s for kids under 2), seems like such a terribly naive conclusion. Especially if you actually DO have kids.


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