Is television educational for birth-two's?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Bee SA, May 17, 2011.

  1. Bee SA

    Bee SA New Member

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    May 17, 2011

    Learning is well recognised as being a socially interactive process through which young children learn about themselves and others. Children develop self awareness, self esteem and ultimately establish their individual identities through their interactions with significant others. Considering the socially interactive nature of a child’s learning and development; do so called ‘educational programs’ such as ‘eebee’ (aimed at children from birth to two years) provide a positive contribution to the child’s learning or are they merely engaging in sensory entertainment?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 17, 2011

    What is your opinion on this?
     
  4. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    May 17, 2011

    It's just entertainment for that age group.

    Sure the child might pick up something here and there when they watch TV, but as a whole I'd say there's nothing educational about it.

    At home, I understand the need to distract/entertain the child in order to get other things accomplished. So plopping them down in front of the TV while mom loads the dishwaser, or some other chore, is perfectly understandable.

    In a school / child care setting, there's absolutely no need what so ever for children to be put in front of the TV from birth to age 2. If 2 year and under aged children are watching TV at school, then there's something wrong going on at that school.
     
  5. teacherR

    teacherR Companion

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    May 17, 2011

    I agree with Mrgrinch. At that age I dont think there is any educational value to television. Children need to interact one on one with other humans. The t.v. is just there to entertain. I too think they may pick up some rote learning but nothing fundamental.
     
  6. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    it can be used as a tool if the parents sit with the child and discuss what is happening. For example, my sister watched the Baby Einstein video with her son, and exposes him to rich vocabulary in both of the languages their family speaks. He would not be learning as much if she didn't want with him.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 17, 2011

    Is your assignment to answer the question yourself or to survey teachers?

    Either way, I think you'll be a whole lot more successful if you start the ball rolling: give us your opnion and why you feel it's valid.
     
  8. Bee SA

    Bee SA New Member

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    May 18, 2011

    This is a question I have posed for myself. It is part of an assignment in which we need to seek other educators opinions.
    Personally I don't believe that television itself has educational value for this particular age group, however we must think about what types of learning may be occuring. Unless the parent participates in the viewing there will be no interactive learning and no way of making the abstract concepts presented into 'concrete' learning. I do believe that these programs could encourage motor skills involved in moving to the music and mimicing actions (for the children closer to two years), perhaps this could be considered physical learning.
    The fundamental learning of a child understanding themselves and their place in the world is certainly not being achieved and again highlights the limitations of television for education.
    I do agree that it is not harmful to occasionally use these programs as entertainment at home.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 18, 2011

    Thank you for your answer.

    To be honest, I was big fan of the Baby Einstein videos when my kids were very young.

    I never really bought into the whole "make them geniuses" thing that the videos advertise. But the music was all classical, and the images were lovely.

    And two half hour videos bought me time to:
    a) actually take a shower
    b) make dinner for my family.
    The kids were entertained, safe in their cribs, and I could count on that solid half hour to do what had to be done. (Some days I even had time for a cup of tea if I didn't stop to dry my hair.)

    That said, I'm not sure I see any educational value at all for the typical child. My kids WERE exposed to TV at that age, but it was about convenience for me, not about using the TV as an educational tool.
     
  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 18, 2011

    I don't see the need to ever use TV with that age group. There are plenty of ways to stimulate their senses using the world around them. Maybe it's because of the generation I raised my children in, but I didn't use TV as a babysitter. I did chores while they were napping and spent their awake hours interacting with them. Of course, I had three children in four years so I had to have my eyes on the whole brood while they were awake! :D
     
  11. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    May 18, 2011

    Could a child conceivably learn something from t.v.? Maybe.

    Is there almost always more valuable ways for a two year old to spend his/her time? Absolutely!

    Do some parents need a few minutes of free time? Yup.

    Did I let my two year olds watch limited t.v.? Yes. Would I now 20 years later? Doubtful.

    Do I show movies or other television in my school? Heck no! But....that may be influenced by the fact I live in sunny Southern California and don't have them inside for weeks on end.

    Short answer - NO! Two year olds learn through sensorimotor play - not staring at a screen.
     
  12. teach'ntx

    teach'ntx Comrade

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    May 18, 2011

    We minimize tv as much as possible at my house for both our girls. We did not use the Baby Einstein for my oldest as she would never sit more than 5 to 10 minutes until she was over 3. For our youngest, we used our oldest as entertainment :)
    Now they do watch about 30 minutes a night - usually Nick Jr or something similar. Then sometimes they watch tv with us if there is a sports game or DWTS with my MIL.
     
  13. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    May 19, 2011

    To understand why TV is not appropriate for babies, study Piaget. Babies are not able to understand abstract concepts.
     
  14. Miz_Jay

    Miz_Jay Companion

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    May 19, 2011

    I'd say that no TV is not appropriate for birth-two. There are some children who are fascinated by the sounds and the bright colors, but it is necessary to control what they are watching and to limit it.

    Unfortunately, my center does neither. The tot's and two's are parked in front of a TV for 1/2 hour in the morning, 1/2 hour before lunch and depending on when they go home 20 minutes or more at the end of the day. It has been a battle for me to just get them to take out the things I don't think are kid appropriate (Casper cartoons for 2 year olds? I don't think so!)
     
  15. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    May 19, 2011

    Well, the American Academy of Pediatricians does not agree with you. The recommend no television before age 2.

    http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;107/2/423

    As to the other, how do I say this.....I would never work for, or put my child or grandchild in a center, that parked kids in front of the t.v. 3 times a day.
     
  16. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    May 19, 2011

    TV is not appropriate for this age group. They need human interaction and some people think that it contributes to ADD/ADHD later on in life.
     
  17. Miz_Jay

    Miz_Jay Companion

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    May 19, 2011

    I'm not arguing for TV being appropriate, but as the amount of TV is the decision of the director and center owner, there is nothing that I can do about it.
     
  18. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    May 22, 2011

    Why not? You can advocate for the children in your care. Bring in the policy statement I mentioned. Have a plan for what else you can do. Talk to the other teachers about it. Ask for the policy to be changed. Otherwise....get another job.
     
  19. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 22, 2011

    I think Miz Jay was just looking to see if we would have similar values to her. I remember being a center employee before the WAC code here explicitly forbid tv viewing for the under 2 bunch and imposed huge limits for other tv viewing. That center also plunked the children down in front of the tv at all of those breaks.....and wondered why we had trouble with the kdis in the middle!

    Our codes are about to pull tv of all sorts....from all ages. I am fine with it. I agree with no tv. We barely watch tv at home, the idea of sitting kids in front of tv 3 times a day sickens me. However, it isn't easy to just walk up to a supervisor and argue. I would say though, that it is possible that there are more problems Miz Jay than just this tv issue. I would imagine that you can find many reasons you would be happier in another placement.

    You are the owner of your own life.............choose to spend it in a program that you agree with.
     
  20. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    May 22, 2011

    When I taught Pre-K, the only times we let the littlest ones watch TV would be if the weather was dreary and we were trapped inside for the 8th day in a row. Even then, not more than twice a week, for no more than 20 minutes at a time, usually a Baby Einstein video or something, and we required the adults to sit with the children and make it interactive, asking questions about colors, introducing rich vocabulary, etc. Or, sometimes with the ones and twos we would watch toddler movement video and be silly and dance with them. At that point I was working in an area where there would often be severe weather for days on end and without those little breaks we would run out of things to entertain/educate the kids.
     
  21. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 22, 2011

    Yes, in my first center of employment they plunked everyone in front of the tube in am, before lunch, and at pickup. It was just regular cartoons and sometimes a whole move would scroll through in a day. The director put on the captions "so the children could find educational value in it and learn to read". Btw, this director is now adjunct at our own community college! Seriously!

    That said, I did leave and opened my own program and have been very very happily running it ever since!
     
  22. Miz_Jay

    Miz_Jay Companion

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    May 22, 2011

    You are right, it isn't easy. I can't talk to my supervisor about the most basic things without her making me feel like I'm an idiot. She argues with everything that I say based simply on the fact that this center has been in her family since the 60's so clearly she knows what she is doing. She gets angry with me if I wait until 5 on the dot to bring the kids in for "movie time" because she expects them to be there at 4:50.

    I would love to talk to the other teachers about it. The problem is that they have no problem plopping the kids in front of the TV. There are days when I have to battle to even get support to allow the kids to do free play because although I am the head teacher there is only one of me and two of them and they both have much stronger personalities than I do.

    As for this job, I'm hopeful it is only temporary. I'm praying that I'll get an actual teaching job this year, otherwise I'll be subbing next year.
     
  23. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 22, 2011

    Yes, I suspected this was not the only issue at hand. Keep your chin up, mention what you can to the director and then move one.....dedicate you live to the things you feel are important. I hope that as you take us with you when you move on.
     
  24. Bee SA

    Bee SA New Member

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    May 25, 2011

    Thank you all for the fantastic responses to my question about the educational value of television for birth to two year olds.
    I am interested tofind out specifically if any one thinks that there could be any type of learning stemming from watching television whether it be sensory, motor or cognitive.
    I am of course not advocating the use of television in an educational setting but am curious about your opinions in regards to the ways children learn.
    Also the original question refers to 'eebee' a program specifically for birth to two's.... has anyone had any experiences directly related to this??
    Your responses have been very helpful so far. Thanks!!
     
  25. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 25, 2011

    I think the viewing value of anything is totally low to nil. The Eebee was a advertiser in NAEYC's journal for a while....I hope not anymore. I think we all pretty much said the same thing.....turn off the tv at school and if you can't move your life to a place worth working in as soon as possible.
     
  26. dibba

    dibba Rookie

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    May 29, 2011

    TV can kill some time, but doubt any "real" learning happens, at least not as much as can be taught by a teacher.

    Otherwise, I'd say replace all teachers with a few LCDs, would be a lot cheaper!! :)
     
  27. Bengie03

    Bengie03 Rookie

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    May 30, 2011

    I feel that television for this age group is inappropriate. I will say though that my sister exposed my niece to some baby sign videos when she was 6 month to help her learn some baby signs, but it wasn't like she was plopped in front of the t.v for hours. Children at this young age need interaction with the people in their lives whether it is playing a silly game with each other or reading a book. They are soaking everything up at this age and need to be exposed to many different things and the adults in their lives are key for that to happen. There is so much for children to explore out in the real world that t.v is really unnecessary especially at this age.
     

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