Education and Child Development

Educationand Child Development

Humandevelopment happens at different stages in life despite the fact thatdevelopment is a lifelong process. Human development comprises ofcognitive, social-emotional development, and physical development.These three developments are entirely different though they influenceeach other, and they all link to human development, as well aseducational outcomes (Gentile, 56). In addition, the developmentlevel changes as one grows from infancy to adulthood. Currently,parents are exposing their children to electronic media when still atvery young age. Correspondingly, they start to acquire informationfrom the media, both good and educative information and bad anddestructive information. This paper work discusses the Ms Claystatement from her article whereby she stated, “No electronicmedium’s effect is good, or bad it is the content that makes thedifference (Clay,35).”The paper discusses both the positive and negative impacts ofelectronic media to child development. Further, it intends to showthat the contents in the media also determine the kind of developmentin children.

Mediainfluence is profound on the psychosocial development of children.Therefore, it is important for parents to provide appropriateguidance to their children to use media such as television, music,video games, radio, and the internet. All the electronic media havethe capability to generate positive and negative effects particularlyon young children and adolescents. Every parent need to understandhis or her child development level in order to determine which mediumhave a positive or negative impacts (Comstock,George, and Erica, n.p).As stated earlier, the electronic media may not be bad, but thecontent. For instance, not all TV programs have negative impacts, butthe content they expose determines its effects on child development.A child who watches a violent television program tends to be violentand with increased violence behaviour.

Onthe other hand, electronic media can be powerful teachers. Forinstance, some TV program such as cartoon networks help toddlers andyoung children to learn valuable lessons on cooperation, racialharmony, kindness, alphabets, and simple arithmetic (Comstocket. al., n.p).Some other public television encourages visits to the zoo,bookstores, libraries, museums, as well as other active recreationalsettings. Through these programs, children are encouraged to learnmore about different aspects of life, nature, and life outside theschool environment. Other TV channels air educational videos thatserve as a powerful teaching device to children. For example, SesameStreet program improves the learning and reading skills of itsviewers. In a proper setting, healthy use of electronic media may bea beneficial teaching tool to the children. As a result, it enhancesa positive impact on children, as well as healthy child development.However, parents should supervise that kind of program their childrenwatches. A recent study shows that unsupervised television viewinghas lead to serious deleterious effect to school going children ontheir academic performance. Further, school programs promoteawareness that is beneficial to children. They give childrenunderstanding of how the society influences them, and the good thingsto adopt from their environment. For example, Canada has a MediaAwareness Network that professionals and the public use to promotenumeracy and literacy among children. They use resources that arecurrent, comprehensive, and applicable in their culture. Nonetheless,these programs have rating that parents can use to guide them on thesuitable programs for their children. It is the parent accountabilityto examine and control what they children view from the internet andon the television.

Recentresearch has also shown that the content portrayed by media has ledto rise in violence among children (Pavlik,25).In addition, the research shows that an average child views more thanten thousands violence acts on electronic media annually, includingrape and depictions of murder. Other studies confirm that childrenexposure to high level of television violence accelerates aggressivebehaviours, especially in boys. Other researches link the internet toan increased suicide risks. For instance, children from minority andimmigrant groups, children with learning disability, emotionallydisturbed children, children from distressed families, and childrenabused by their parents are more vulnerable to violence on media.Medical specialists while treating a child with history of violencewill always inquire whether the kid as ever been exposed to any kindof violence.

Nowadays,children are spending a lot of time watching television or justsitting in front of a computer surfing on the internet. This greatlyaffects the postural of a child development. Gentile (85), statesthat extreme time spent sitting down contributes to obesity, additivebehaviours, and a child may end up losing social skills. Consumingmedia, it seems, has far outstripped reading storybooks or playingdress-up games as the average American child’s favourite pastime.This is true since kids now have access to Ipad or any form of tabletin their faces. They prefer to play video games than outdoors games.Additionally, YouTube and others social media are more in use thanreading story book. However, these media can be useful depending onhow it is used if parents can supervise their children, they canwisely select educational videos on YouTube. In addition, there areeducational applications that are available in the internet to makechildren have fun, as well as learn. Further, Clay urges that mostexposure to TV by infants and toddlers is indeed the exposure toprograms watched by someone else (Clay,40).This refers to the kind of information most kid perceive when theyare still young. At young age, a child is like a sponge that sucksall waters surrounding it. In the same way, a child sucks up allinformation from media, surrounding environment, parents, and othersiblings, among others.

SandraL. Calvert, a psychology professor once said she wanted to start aquality media environment for kids (Strasburger,Victor, Amy, Jordan, and Ed, 760).She would encourage parent to monitor what their children do on themedia and the time they spend on the same. She advocates for theexistence of parental control measures and other program controlmeasures. In this case, parents opt to explore the media that theirchildren and using and discuss their educational value. Those thatare beneficial, then, the parents should encourage their children andadopt them. Similarly, those that are destructive, parents shoulddiscourage their children to use them. Further, parents should giveelder children a chance to criticize and analyse the media program.On the same time, parents should help their children to differentiatebetween reality and fantasy programs especially when it comes toviolence, advertising, and sex.

Anothermeasure that parents can take is never allowing children to haveelectronic media such as video games, television, or a computer ontheir bedrooms (Strasburgerat al. 761).It is advisable that they have a central location for these deviceswith a common access and common passwords. Further, parents shouldallocate time when children opt to access these media. At othertimes, older children should be given an opportunity to make theirschedules. Nevertheless, parents should supervise these schedules, aswell as be good example to them. They should explain their decisions,and explain why some programs are important and educative thanothers. In case the parent is not always in the house to monitortheir children, they should seek alternative caregivers who shouldalso maintain the same rules for media use.

Childrencompetency in use of internet may leave a parent feeling outsmart andend up feeling unappreciated (Clay,40).In addition, parent may fail to understand the new medium as anessential component that their children opt to be fluent. Therefore,parents should not allow the feeling of confusion and inadequacy fromdiscovering the benefits of the internet control them. However, theyshould unmask them and learn how to protect their children fromdestructive information. Research shows that internet has morepotential than a huge home library for providing access toeducational information. Unfortunately, there are limited editorialstandards that restrict the internet reliability as an informationsource.

Theuse of media has cognitive and neurological effects on youngchildren. Therefore, parents should be conscious on how mediatechnology influences children’s academic achievement and cognitivedevelopment. Comstocket al.(n.p), researches on the effect of media on young children. Hediscovered that the effect of media depends on the age of child, aswell as the content of the information. Infants and toddlers learnvery little from the media since they require direct interaction witha grown up person to develop cognitively. Pavlik(85), states that by the age of three, a child can gain a lot ofinformation from electronic media from specific strategies likefrequently repeating the same idea, and presenting sounds and imagesthat easily capture a child attention. Nowadays, most schools areadopting media technology as a teaching tool. Most teachers prefer touse media to explain complex ideas to student. Jonathan, a teacher atkindergarten school says that electronic devices are very usefultools of teaching (Gentile, 90). Nevertheless, a teacher shouldmonitor his or her student on the information they acquire from them.Therefore, school administrations should implement electronicprograms to enhance classroom curriculum that instruct teachers onthe use of technology.

Itis evident that electronic media are beneficial for the education andchild development. The use of electronic medium can either leads topositive or negative impacts it all depends on its content.Elizabeth Vanderwater, a lecturer at university of Texa, Austin andMarie Schmidist, the director of Children’s Hospital Boston examinethe relationship between the media, child development, learning, andachievement of media usage. They came up with a conclusion that thecontent on the media influences the kind of effects to expect. It thecontent is correctly influenced, it can enhance learning. Besides,electronic media such as video games have positive effects,especially in spatial skills development. Although some analyst urgesthat heavy media exposure lead to poor school achievement amongchildren, they do not have clear causal links. They have also failedto explain that media usage leads to deficit disorder. Surprisingly,although media usage during leisure is beneficial for childdevelopment and learning, traditional teaching techniques stillremains more effective than the electronic teaching techniques.


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Gentile,Douglas A..&nbspMediaviolence and children: a complete guide for parents andprofessionals.Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003. Print.

Pavlik,John V.&nbspMediain the Digital Age.New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. Print.

Strasburger,Victor C., Amy B. Jordan, and Ed Donnerstein. &quotHealth effects ofmedia on children and adolescents.&quot&nbspPediatrics&nbsp125.4(2010): 756-767.