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Are children's TV programs too cool for school?

ANI | Updated: Nov 03, 2018 18:08 IST

Washington D.C [USA], Nov 3 (ANI): Recent studies have shown that television has a large impact on children's lives and for every three hours children spend in school, five hours are spent watching Television.
While other studies have looked at how television impacts aspects of childhood, such as diet and exercise, little research has been done on how television shapes children's perceptions of school.
The study abstract, 'Too Cool for School: Examining Portrayals of Academics in Children's Television Programming,' documented how academically-focused activities and traits are shown by characters in popular children's television programs.
The study identified 30 most popular children's TV shows, and two 30-minute episodes of each program were then picked at random. Researchers examined how the shows portrayed school life and classes, how teachers were portrayed (friendly, mean, willing to help students), how the characters approached school, and stereotypical student depictions (popular, nerdy, rebellious).
Overall attitudes towards school were 46 per cent positive and 33 per cent negative. Teachers were portrayed in a negative light 33 per cent of the time, while 59 per cent of students were characterized as either 'nerdy-uncool' or 'socially-awkward.' Shows targeted to younger viewers tended to show enthusiastic learners with a positive approach to school. But as the recommended viewing age got older, the overall portrayal of the school became more negative.
Since television is pervasive, these types of negative portrayals may have a long-term impact on the way children view their academic experiences and may impact their idea of academics and school for the future, according to the abstract authors.
This study highlighted the need to advocate for more positive depictions of academics and school in children's programming, especially as children get older. (ANI)