ERIC Number: ED373377
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Television as Activity System: A Vygotskian Analysis of Preschoolers' Enculturation and "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood."
This paper addresses the role of quality age-appropriate television programming in preschoolers' lives. The paper describes a developmental investigation of preschoolers' knowledge of polite behavior routines and their modeling of host-quest behaviors from a special episode to the television program "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood." The research reported in the paper took an ecological approach to the study of children's learning from television by using Soviet activity theory to frame the research project. The paper provides background on the activity theory and the activity system approach, describes the five phases of the research, details the findings, and discusses the findings through analysis of activity systems. The paper concludes that the bulk of learning about how to behave in contexts requiring polite interactions stems from experiences in real life situations in the community life of children--from home, school, and the wider society--and not television programs such as "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood." The paper suggests that future studies of television and children could benefit by building on the framework pursued in the paper. Contains 13 references and figures illustrating the activity system, the television as activity system, the child viewer as activity system, and the child practitioner of polite behaviors as activity system. (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Activity Theory; Mister Rogers Neighborhood; Vygotsky (Lev S)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (44th, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, July 11-15, 1994).