Children's Learning From Educational Television : Sesame Street and Beyond book cover
1st Edition

Children's Learning From Educational Television
Sesame Street and Beyond

ISBN 9780805839364
Published April 21, 2004 by Routledge
280 Pages

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Book Description

At its best, educational television can provide children with enormous opportunities and can serve as a window to new experiences, enrich academic knowledge, enhance attitudes and motivation, and nurture social skills. This volume documents the impact of educational television in a variety of subject areas and proposes mechanisms to explain its effects. Drawing from a wide variety of research spanning several disciplines, author Shalom M. Fisch analyzes the literature on the impact of educational resources. He focuses on television programs designed for children rather than for adults, although adult literature is included when it is particularly relevant. In addition, much of the discussion concerns the effects of unaided viewing by children, rather than viewing in the context of adult-led follow-up activities. The role of parent-child co-viewing and issues relevant to the use of television in school or child care also receives consideration.

This volume is intended to make the disparate literature on educational television's impact more accessible, by bringing it together into a centralized resource. To that end, the volume draws together empirical data on the impact of educational television programs--both academic and prosocial--on children's knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior. In addition to its emphasis on positive effects, this volume addresses a gap in the existing research literature regarding children's learning from exposure to educational television. Acknowledging that little theoretical work has been done to explain why or how these effects occur, Fisch takes a step toward correcting this situation by proposing theoretical models to explore aspects of the mental processing that underlies children's learning from educational television.

With its unique perspective on children's educational television and comprehensive approach to studying the topic, this volume is required reading for scholars, researchers, and students working in the area of children and television. It offers crucial insights to scholars in developmental psychology, family studies, educational psychology, and related areas.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. Introduction. Part I: Empirical Data. Sesame Street and School Readiness. Other Preschool Series and School Readiness. Literacy. Mathematics and Problem Solving. Science and Technology. Civics and Social Studies. Prosocial Programming. Adult Mediation: Parents, Teachers, Child-Care Providers. Part II: Theoretical Approaches. Comprehension of Educational Content: The Capacity Model. Transfer of Learning From Educational Television: When and Why Does It Occur? The Social Nature of Children's Learning. Part III: The Future. Looking to the Future: Convergence and Educational Television.

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"Shalom Fisch's book titled Children's Learning From Educational TV: Sesame Street and Beyond provides a complete review of the empirical research, making a strong argument that TV can indeed be a positive influence on young excellent introduction to the enormous scientific literature addressing how educational TV affects children's learning. Fisch successfully provides an easy-to-read overview of the research that has been conducted on children's learning from educational TV. By raising awareness about the usefulness of educational TV programs, Fisch's book may contribute in a small way to ensuring that quality programs continue to reach young viewers."


"Children’s learning from educational television offers the first comprehensive attempt to discuss such issues in an integrative, accessible manner and is thus a must on the bookshelf of researchers of children and television. ... Fisch’s book can be said to prepare the ground for future scholars facing the challenge of evaluating the under-studied role of educational television in other parts of the world." 

Journal of Human Development

"This book is recommended to anyone interested in the empirical evidence supporting children's learning from educational television or the possible theoretical models which explain how young viewers learn from such television. The books extensive reference section along with the author and subject index will be welcomed by many children and media researchers seeking to use this book when developing their literature reviews and when seeking to learn what is known, and more importantly, what is yet to be investigated."
Communications Research Trends