Many parents perceive television as harmful to their children due to the violence, stupidity, and false images of the TV show. While this fact is correct, parents often overlook that television also positively impacts the development and education of children through educational programs and cartoons that teach children valuable skills and moral principles. However, the impact of television on a child depends on which types of content they watch, which their parents should control. Consequently, television has a positive effect on children’s development and education if adults choose and control the content to watch.
Modern television has dozens of shows that positively affect child development. The first positive influence is that educational shows help children learn letters, numbers, distinguish colors, and acquire other basic and necessary knowledge in a natural way. Usually, cartoon characters in a playful way explain various phenomena and concepts that improve their preparation in school. For example, according to Kearney and Levine, children who watched the popular children’s show Sesame Street score better on standardized tests according to their age group (343). In addition, children’s shows also gradually expand the vocabulary of young children because visual cues and explanations allow viewers to build associations and memorize words. Neuman et al., in their study, analyzed popular shows and media for children and concluded that most of them lead to higher scores for the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (10). The authors believe that this improvement is connected with the presence of scenes with varied vocabulary and pedagogical cues (Neuman et al. 10). Thus, television can be beneficial in children’s education and is especially useful for low-income families who cannot afford additional educational courses, which makes television and media primary sources of knowledge.
In conclusion, television can positively impact the development of children if their parents include educational and age-appropriate programming for them. Characters of children’s programs in a simple, playful way give children basic knowledge about reading, counting, everyday skills and the structure of the world, and human interaction. Thus, children gain skills and knowledge while enjoying their favorite TV shows, which is an essential motivational factor in their learning.
Kearney, Melissa S. and Phillip B. Levine. “Early Childhood Education by Television: Lessons from Sesame Street.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, vol. 11, no. 1, 2019, pp. 318-350.
Neuman, Susan B., et al. “Learning Vocabulary from Educational Media: The Role of Pedagogical Supports for Low-Income Preschoolers.” Journal of Educational Psychology, vol. 111, no. 1, 2019, pp. 1–13.