Screen-based Entertainment Media are Pedagogically Ineffective

analytical Essay
1610 words
1610 words

In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) first issued a guideline on media exposure for infants (children less than 2 years old). In it, they recommended that “television and other entertainment media” be avoided entirely in that population. (AAP, 1999) As more and more studies examining this subject were conducted and their findings released, the AAP considered the evidence and the AAP stood by its guidelines in 2011. (Brown, 2011) Given TV and screen media’s pervasive penetration in American culture, their potential benefits and damages in children’s development are paramount. As such, the AAP’s guidelines, and the weight they carry, need to be continually assessed and evaluated. This paper will argue that the AAP’s recommendation should be upheld for infants (under age 2) because screen-based entertainment media are pedagogically ineffective and displace much-needed social interaction. I will review literature discussing the effectiveness and impact of television and screen media, and then explore the critical role of social interaction in infants’ developmental process.

Educational TV programs and DVDs targeted at infants have proven to be largely ineffective at improving infants’ word and language acquisition. Counting the number of new words learned by an infant is a good way to quantify the effectiveness of their word acquisition. A study conducted by DeLoache et al. exposed 12- to 18-month old infants to large amounts of popular, infant-targeted programming for 4 weeks at home aimed to evaluate the impact of this programming on infants’ word learning. (DeLoache, 2010) Prior to and following the 4-week exposure period, children were asked to point at certain objects that were featured in the video. The childre...

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...television scenario. Child development, 74(1), 221-237.
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In this essay, the author

  • Argues that the aap's recommendation should be upheld for infants because screen-based entertainment media are pedagogically ineffective and displace much-needed social interaction.
  • Explains that educational tv programs and dvds targeted at infants have proven to be largely ineffective at improving their word and language acquisition.
  • Analyzes how the educational ineffectiveness of dvd material extends into more complex tasks such as phonetic distinguishing between languages.
  • Argues that television exposure has deleterious effects on children's behavior and development, including background television, which is a common phenomenon in most us households.
  • Analyzes zimmerman, christakis, and meltzoff's 2007 survey study on media exposure and language development in infants.
  • Analyzes the role of social interaction and interpersonal education in infants' development. the deloache study showed that parents outperformed educational dvds in teaching new words.
  • Analyzes kuhl's 2003 study attempting to reverse the natural trend of infants losing their phonetic foreign language skills.
  • Argues that the aap's guidelines are correct and should be upheld.
  • Cites deloache, chiong, sherman, islam, vanderborght, troseth, g.l., and strouse.
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