ERIC Number: EJ828001
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Reference Count: 84
Integrative Review of Educational Television for Young Children: Implications for Children from Low-Income Families
Weatherholt, Tara N.
NHSA Dialog, v10 n3-4 p171-188 Dec 2007
Since the creation of "Sesame Street", children's educational television programs have grown in both number and popularity. However, controversy has shadowed the children's television arena for many years. Some have claimed that viewing television is a passive event, requiring little or no effort on the part of the viewer. However, research on children and television has shown that children are actively processing what they are viewing. Consequently, many researchers have devoted their resources to studying how television aids children's learning and the cognitive abilities children use in comprehending televised programs. Much of the research on television story comprehension has been done with children from middle-class backgrounds. However, children who are growing up in poverty may not be on the same developmental pathway for story comprehension. Studies of cognitive development of children from low-income environments have shown that their socioeconomic circumstance negatively affects their cognitive and learning abilities. It is possible that when these children view television, specifically educational television, they will not be benefiting from it in the same way as their higher-income counterparts. This article aims to review the literature on educational television, specifically the cognitive and environmental influences such as attention and schematic knowledge and the influence of parental co-viewing on comprehension of educational television. It also aims to investigate whether children growing up in poverty have the same experience with educational television as children from higher income families. The article first reviews the literature describing the positive effects of viewing children's educational television. Then, it examines the research related to development and processes involved in comprehension of television, including attention and schematic knowledge, as well as the external influence of parental guidance. Finally, an argument is presented that maintains that children growing up in poverty may have a different experience when viewing educational television.
Descriptors: Poverty, Educational Television, Environmental Influences, Childrens Television, Low Income Groups, Cognitive Development, Cognitive Ability, Television Viewing, Child Development, Attention, Schemata (Cognition), Parent Child Relationship
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A