, Research Paper

To Watch or Not To Watch

In the 1950 s merely 10 % of American places had a telecasting. By 1960 s the per centum had grown to 90 % , states Matt Richtel s article in The New York Times. Televisions, picture games, and computing machines dominate today s market place. & # 8220 ; Over the following 18 to twenty four months, consumers will be barraged with a host of appliances and media mercantile establishments trying to redefine telecasting, the web, and leisure clip, & # 8221 ; provinces James Karney in this twelvemonth s April issue of The Internet World Magazine. Cable operators, telecasting webs and video game publishing houses target kids and their parents, as portion of the consumer base. Today 99 % of places in America have a telecasting, more households own a telecasting than a phone. ( Richtel, NYT )

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In the new millenary, the kids are traveling to be targeted with more electronic media than of all time in history. Children will non be able to get away electronic media and in the hereafter may be drawn more and more toward it. The media universe in the new millenary may be fantastic in many ways, but it worsens traditional instruction. If kids spend their clip watching Television and playing picture games, they are non passing any clip reading and authorship.

Statisticss that were collected, by the U. S. National Center for Educational Statistics ( NCES ) , show that pupil accomplishments in both reading and composing have been worsening in the past few old ages. The NCES 1998 Report Card ( Writing ) states that 16 % of 4th and 8th graders, and about 22 % of 12th graders have non mastered the basic authorship accomplishments. ( NCES, March 1999 ) The NCES 1998 Report Card ( Reading ) shows that no more than 40 % of pupils in classs four to twelve, achieved the & # 8220 ; proficient & # 8221 ; degree of reading. Merely 7 % of 4th graders, 3 % of 8th graders, and 6 % of 12th graders could read at the & # 8220 ; advanced & # 8221 ; degree. ( NCES, March 1999 )

& # 8220 ; A typical American pupil is non a adept author. Alternatively, pupils show merely partial command of the cognition and accomplishments needed for solid academic public presentation in authorship, & # 8221 ; said Gary W. Phillips, Acting NCES Commissioner in a imperativeness release after the 1998 Report Card study was issued.

It is clearly seen that pupil accomplishment is traveling in the incorrect way. In order to go a good reader and author, kids need to pattern reading and authorship. There is a popular theory of larning the linguistic communication, called a scheme theory. This thought contends that kids develop separate sentiments from the experiences they have had and so use these experiences to state of affairss that may happen subsequently. Literacy is achieved when kids apply the experiences they have on a regular footing to what they are reading or composing. ( Ruddell, 145 ) Ruddell points out that & # 8220 ; congruity between place and school linguistic communication ; and literacy modus operandis and outlooks increases the likeliness for success in larning to read and write. & # 8221 ; ( Ruddell, 137 ) He states and old research has shown that high-achieving kids had more books available for reading, and more verbal interaction with parents than low winners.

Basically, the pupils who read the best are those that spend their non-school hours reading and composing. Parents that value literacy and force their kids to read hold childs that excel in this country. Children develop and revise their scheme throughout their life in school. As scheme alterations, cognition of that kid will increase. The theory states that the kid will go more literate and all-around. But, what if there are no books in the family? In a family where literacy is non valued, but alternatively a telecasting set is made readily available. What sort of literacy modus operandi is the kid developing? These kids spend more clip larning about life through media than in any other mode. It is the parents, non TV sets, who choose to allow their kids sit in forepart of the telecasting for hours. It is the parents who do non step in and replace their kid s telecasting clip with choice household clip. If kids spend their clip largely watching Television and playing picture games, so the NCES statistics make some sense.

Watching telecasting is a inactive experience. The spectator merely sits on the sofa and stares at the screen. There is small thought and small physical motion. When treatments of how telecasting affects kids arise, it frequently centers around what is being watched and if it is watched at the

right age. “Again and once more parents describe. . . the trancelike nature of their children’s telecasting observation. The child’s facial look is transformed. The jaw is relaxed and bents open somewhat ; the lingua rests on the forepart dentition. The eyes have a glazed, asinine expression. There is surely small indicant that the kid is active and watchful mentally, ” provinces Marie Winn in her book, The Plug-In Drug.

When a kid learns to read and compose, he must entree the sentiments developed in his encephalon. As he reads, the kid creates images in his head and uses imaginativeness and points of mention to set the narrative together. & # 8220 ; Television images do non travel through a complex symbolic transmutation. The head does non hold to decrypt and pull strings during the telecasting experience. & # 8221 ; ( Winn, Pg.43 ) Watching telecasting and playing picture games do non coerce ca child to develop accomplishments in word acknowledgment, decrypting, vocabulary, spelling or high-ranking thought. Winn makes a direct connexion between telecasting observation and unequal authorship accomplishments. She notes that reading and composing are merely ignored by a coevals raised on telecasting.

A survey released in November of 1999 revealed that most kids between the age of two and 18 old ages old are exposed to an norm of six and a half hours of day-to-day media exposure, of which telecasting is the most dominant. The mean child spends about 20 eight hours a hebdomad watching telecasting, which is twice every bit much clip as they spend in school. The survey, sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation, shows that 88 % of all U.S. families have two or more telecasting sets ; and 53 % of all kids have a Television set in their room. & # 8220 ; Today & # 8217 ; s young person have entree to more media with more channels or mercantile establishments within each medium. This offers more content, more graphic than even the most & # 8216 ; bizarre & # 8217 ; mid-century scientific discipline fiction novels one time predicted, & # 8221 ; states the Kaiser study. ( Roberts, Pg.31 )

The Kaiser Foundation study besides notes that while the mean child spends six and a half hours each twenty-four hours with some type of electronic media, exposure to print is highly low. On the mean, two to four twelvemonth olds and eight to thirteen twelvemonth olds spend around 50 proceedingss a twenty-four hours reading. Children 14 to eighteen old ages old spend merely 13 proceedingss a twenty-four hours with print.

Parents should pay more attending to how their kids spend their free clip. There is a relationship between reading, authorship, and how much clip kids spend making these activities. Overall, kids should be happier when they are involved with making something other than merely watching Television. The telecasting set controls the family, non the other manner around. Do kids come place from school and do their prep, or merely play video games with their friends all dark? How much clip, today, do most kids spend on their prep or on being originative? If the job is excessively much media in kids & # 8217 ; s lives, so what can be done?

It should be understood, that closing out the media is impossible. The universe in the new millenary and beyond is one of picture screens and computing machines. In the age of hyper-media, reading and authorship accomplishments are enduring.

& # 8220 ; In the telecasting experience a spectator is carried along by the exigencies of a mechanical device, unable to convey into play his most extremely developed mental abilities or to carry through his single emotional demands, & # 8221 ; explains Winn in her book. Children lose something valuable and personal when they don & # 8217 ; t read. As Winn supports in her book, kids are interacting with a picture machine and non with themselves. This is something parents can command.

Parents are the lone reply to work outing this job. Children read and compose in school, nevertheless, when they leave school they become swayers of the picture universe. & # 8220 ; American youth pass more clip with media than with any individual activity other than kiping, & # 8221 ; stated the Kaiser study. Parents must larn to command the house s consumption of media and support reading, pulling and quiet activities. For the most portion, parents may be unaware of how the big sum of media exposure effects their kid. In order to alter the lessening in reading and composing accomplishments, parents may hold to make extremist things such as turning off the Television. Television is medium by which the corporate existence plans us to go something that we most likely will non be able to go for another decennary or two.


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