Abstract Television programmes have different impacts on children. This paper presents a discussion of the various effects of TV by evaluating how different programmes affect children’s knowledge and skills. The positive effects of TV programmes include improvement of children’s learning capabilities through increased level of comprehension, thinking, creativity and imagination, which are very important for cognitive development. TV also increases children’s ability to self-regulate their behaviours and thus enhances performance of tasks and interaction among children, which enables integration of knowledge and skills. In spite of its benefits, TV deprives children of their time required for reading and participation in other important cognitive development activities.
Educators and parents thus have to strike a balance when recruiting teachers for children TV education. IntroductionIt is commonplace for children to spend most their leisure time glued to television screens- perhaps because the screens captivate them. Many researchers have noted that children’s continuous watching of television influences their mode of understanding and affects how they interpret what they watch and relate it to the environment they are in contact with. Although there are many forms of media that suit children in terms of communication and expression, it is noteworthy that visual media are more captivating since they seem to speak a universal language that can be accessed across all age groups.
In spite of the popularity of the TV as mode of communication, there are questions regarding the content that is aired and how it influences the behaviour of children as well as their skills and knowledge (Gunter & McAleer, 1997). Sprafkin, Gadow and Abelman (1992) note that by watching TV frequently, children are able to integrate stimuli from different perspectives, for example visual versus auditory capabilities and therefore increase their level of reasoning and thinking tremendously.
The authors also note that by watching television, children and able to increase their level of attention and perception- which occurs almost involuntarily. This is because the children are able to integrate and assimilate various ideas from the different programmes they watch and therefore have more capability to infer various incidences and relate them to their way of thinking. In addition to this, Neuman (1995) notes that informative TV programmes increase children’s imaginative capabilities and therefore boost their performance in various activities.
Despite the many informative and educational impacts of TV to children, some programmes have been criticised for instigating violence and other forms of moral decadency among children (Thakkar, Garrison & Christakis, 2006). In view of TV’s influence on children’s knowledge and skills, Verhoeven and Snow (2001) note that too much TV may deprive children of the time they would spend reading thereby adversely affecting their reading capabilities. In addition, the authors note that TV may displace other constructive activities that would increase children’s cognitive abilities.
Along this line, some children may prefer to do their tasks such as homework while also watching television. However, there is evidence that doing so may inhibit the children’s response to difficult tasks, thereby lowering their performance (Verhoeven & Snow, 2001). Another argument against children’s watching of TV is that it lowers their agility (Thakkar, Garrison & Christakis, 2006).