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When children are taught to tie their shoes, it's because their parents taught them. When children are taught to ride their bikes, it's because someone showed them. In many instances, children learn by watching and observing things they see others do. This leads me to believe that television teaches children positively and negatively. I will be observing three different television programs, by what proportion aggression (physical, verbal, relational) and learning (cognitive/intellectual, social-emotional) is portrayed on television.
Firstly, I observed a preschool educational TV program Blue’s Clues and You.
No aggressions were being portrayed on this episode of “Storytime with Blue.” There were five cognitive/intellectual and five social-emotional learning aspects. The show stars Blue the dog and Josh. Each episode there are different supporting characters, for “Storytime with Blue” the viewer encounters Shovel & Pail, Side Table Drawer, and The Three Bears. To find out what Blue's favorite story is, Josh and the viewer start to look for Blue’s Clues.
Blue leaves her paw print on objects (clues) where the viewer is invited to assist Josh to find the clues. Once a clue has been found, the clue then goes into the Handy Dandy Notebook. To seek out the solution once the clues are collected, the viewers and Josh put together the clue pieces.
Secondly, I observed a Saturday morning cartoon All Grown Up. A television spin-off of the Rugrats. The characters of Rugrats TV series are now preteens. Tommy, Dil, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Kimi, Angelica, and Susie now must affect adolescent issues.
Making their way through secondary school, making new friends and following their dreams, the youngsters are just trying to cope. Within the episode “Coup DeVille” there were five physical, five verbal, and five relational aggression. Also, there have been four cognitive/intellectual and five social-emotional learning. The show starts with twins Phil and Lil DeVille. Lil is invited to a celebration with all the favored kids from school, provided her brother doesn't accompany her, because the kids believe he's "socially inept" and "hygienically challenged". Lil begins to tug faraway from Phil. When Phil and Lil are partnered together for a science project, Lil freaks out and angrily reminds everyone that she and Phil are separate individuals and not one person, and embarrasses Phil. When their parents, Betty and Howard, arrive home excited for his or her family vacation trip to 'Nick and Dick's Twin Canyon Resort' Lil refuses to go. Lil becomes unhappy, so Betty allows Lil to maneuver into their family's office/workout room to offer her an area of her own. Phil feels the effects of the changes and misses having Lil in his life, despite Dil's attempts to become Phil's new twin. Lil goes to her party, when her new friends begin to make fun of Phil, Lil gets upset but before leaving the party tells off the popular kids making fun of her brother. In the end, Lil apologizes to Phil and agrees to attend the resort together.
Lastly, a period crime drama, the first-ever female detective within the 19th century. Miss Scarlet and the Duke. Miss Eliza Scarlet has become penniless when her father dies. Her only option for financial security is marriage. Eliza decides to seek out anything but marriage. Luckily, she has an ace up her bonnet - her father's business - a personal agency. Eliza knows all the tricks of the trade but as a genteel 19th-century lady she's never been allowed to place them into practice. Detective Inspector William Wellington of Scotland Yard, who is additionally referred to as 'The Duke;' drinker, gambler, and womanizer, becomes an unwilling partner. Eliza and the Duke strike up a mismatched, fiery relationship as they team to unravel crime within the darkest depths of the 1880's London. Within the series premiere, there were six physical, four verbal, and six relational aggression were observed. Alongside the aggression, there were four cognitive/intellectual and two social-emotional learning scenes.
With All Grown Up and Miss Scarlet and the Duke for aggressive episodes, I find that there’s variation within the numbers. Aggression in cartoons is an integral part of cartoon content. The frequency of aggression in cartoons is above in live-action dramas or comedies. Children are more likely to look at media depicted violence during Saturday morning cartoons than during prime-time television hours. There are however qualitative differences between the acts of violence depicted during live-action dramas and people depicted in cartoons. Cartoon aggression meant for a youthful audience tend to involve minor acts of violence: realistically portrayed death is never shown, and graphic acts of violence are seldom televised. Additionally, cartoons wash the outcomes of violence in a life-like manner. In contrast, live-action dramas airing during prime-time regularly involve major acts of violence (e.g., rape and murder), and therefore the pain and suffering of the victim are often highlighted. I find that there are more verbally/socially aggressive scenes in All Grown Up where Miss Scarlet and the Duke had more physically aggressive scenes.
All Grown Up, where Lil refuses to travel on the family vacation is rewarded by the mother, allowing her to maneuver into the office space to possess as her own. It seems that there have been more rewards than punishments as consequences of aggression.
Now take Blue’s Clues and You, this program offered positive behaviors and lessons. There was thinking, problem-solving, research, drawing, empowering, challenging to create self-esteem and play to find out. Positive reinforcements got throughout the program, motivation to accomplishments. With the help of Blue, Josh, and all Blues friends there is a multilayer of fun and learning provided for the audiences 2 years and up.
Taking into consideration the shows age-appropriate, educational value, realistic and relatable events, violence and language, and smoking; drinking; drugs. I have rated the following shows from third, second and first place. Coming in third, if a child had been watching, with a rating of 3 for realistic events, language, violence, sex, smoking, and drinking is Miss Scarlet and the Duke. Before observation, I was excited about the period that was being portrayed. After observation, I found the program rather enjoyable. The reason for the low rating would be that if a child had been watching then it was an inappropriate program. In my opinion, a child 2 years to pre-teen should not watch anything like this type of program. Coming in second place with a rating of a 5 for age range, educational values, realistic and relatable events, there was slight language, but no smoking, drinking or drugs being portrayed in is All Grown Up. Before the observation, I was prepared for the show since I watched the original Rugrats with my nephew a long time ago. After watching the program there were laughter moments, moments that took me back to when I was a pre-teen. Although there were aggressive moments it was counterbalanced by the learning aspect of what a pre-teen thinks and says now. Coming in first place with a rating of 6 for age-appropriate, educational values, realistic events, no violence/language, no smoking/drinking/drugs is Blue’s Clues and You. Before the observation, I was excited to see what type of educational programs that are now being shown, I had not seen one since my niece was born about twenty-something years ago. After observation, I am still singing the theme song and acting silly. I want a blue puppy who is like Blue. This is the winner in my opinion for all-around fun, laughter, and educational factors.
Having rules and limits are very important to implement for children when it comes to watching television. Growing up there were lackadaisical rules on television watching but if I was to have a child, I would have some guidelines and limits to watching television today. No TV during meals, Inside activities, outside activities, ages 2-5 would have one hour of television time, ages 6-10 can get 1 hour 30 minutes of television time, only after chores and school work has been completed and verified, 11 to pre-teens after chores and school work has been completed and verified, monitored programs. All tv shuts off by prime-time programming even for the parents. Being interactive with my child, teaching, and learning from each other will be so great that tv would become secondary to books.
In conclusion, as parents or caregivers we have taught children to tie their shoes, even taught children to ride their bikes. As parents or caregivers, we have learned that children learn by watching and observing things they see others do. Television programs that have aggressive and learning episodes that make it easy for children to learn and imitate. The three television programs that I have discussed give an example of such aggression and learning. Although we are born with aggressive instincts we are taught violence from television and our surroundings.
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