Television Is Good for Children Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Children Television

Much has been said about the violence on television and its potentially harmful effects on children. Everything from cartoons to toy commercials depicts violence in some form, and it is understandable that parents may be frightened. However, television can be a valuable tool for children's social and academic education. Programs like Sesame Street have for years taught young children the basics of reading and math in a multicultural framework. Educational children's programming abounds, and each show has something unique to offer. By watching these shows, children are encouraged to be creative. Educational programming also includes shows on stations like the Discovery Channel and the History Network. Many of these shows can be watched by both adults and children and can therefore stimulate dialog within the home. Even entertainment television such as sitcoms can help children make sense of their world. An early exposure to popular culture can be highly beneficial later in life, because so many casual conversations are steeped in pop culture. Television can also help children learn the intricacies of language, become familiar with a variety of ethnic and cultural groups, and learn how people interact with one another. While not all television is suitable for young viewers, a great deal is. Parents can use their own discrimination to select shows that they feel might benefit their children's language and social development.

Television can be directly and indirectly educational. Direct educational programming includes those shows that are designed to be instructional, such as those on the Discovery Channel, the History Network, or even the Food Network. Children usually enjoy learning about animals and will therefore be open to watching documentaries on different creatures from around the world. Some of these shows offer fascinating tidbits of information about biology, ecology, and botany. Without these shows, children might not be exposed to those subjects adequately. School textbooks and science classes are often not rigorous, comprehensive, or interesting enough. Many students become interested in subjects after seeing them on television. Science programming also includes shows on space and technology, which can also inspire kids to study science more rigorously when they are in school. Because so many science shows take care to represent both genders, young girls who might otherwise feel that science is just for boys can feel more confident in pursuing science in school. Children of all ages can benefit greatly from watching scientific shows. Young kids simply like to watch animals and spaceships on television, and older kids might get ideas for science projects from watching TV.

Even the television news, which can be overloaded with crime stories, has something to offer children. Older children especially need to become aware of current events, including crime, so that they can make educated decisions on their own. After watching the news, parents should encourage their children to form their own opinions on political issues. Too often, children either directly inherit or rebel against their parents' politics. Watching the news might help children think critically and independently. Because some television news elements can be disturbing, children will learn that the world is not always a safe place full of toys and games. Shielding children from the outside world is not an option any more; parents would be wiser to train their children into understanding the dangers of such things as talking to strangers. Furthermore, if they are exposed to some of the terrible events that are occurring worldwide, from the genocide in the Sudan to the war in Iraq, children might be more likely to take positive action when they are older.

Entertainment television shows can be tawdry, and reality television is especially insidious. Nevertheless, even reality television shows can be educational. They can illuminate morality, since so much…

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