What Is The Matter With Big Bird

Submitted By channy187
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What’s the Matter with Big Bird?
The Effectiveness of Educational Television Programming
Chantel Warren
COM 172
University of Phoenix
What’s the Matter with Big Bird?
The Effectiveness of Educational Television Programming

From Sesame Street to Reading Rainbow to Mister Roger’s Neighborhood are the shows that most of us grew up watching. These are just a few of the educational programs that children have grown up watching and learning from for decades. Nowadays there are not only television shows that aid in the education of children but games on handheld consoles, tablets and laptops. With all of that, there are still those who think that television programs do not offer enough educational content for children. But over the years, as well as recently, research has shown that educational television is still an important part of our children’s educational growth.
According to the FCC’s Report and Order of 1996, “Educational and informational programming is defined as any television programming that furthers the educational and informational needs of children 16 years of age and under in any respect, including children’s intellectual/cognitive or social/emotional needs.” In 1997, broadcast television stations were required to adhere to the new rule from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The rule that is known as the Three Hour Rule mandates that broadcaster stations must air a minimum of 3 hours per week of educational television for children in order to be guaranteed an expedited renewal of their broadcasting license. Most of this type of programming is usually seen on Saturday morning on the larger networks like ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX. These programs come in the form of animated shows that cater to strengthening the emotional and social health of children. While others are strictly educational, teaching children about science and math as it applies to the real world.
Even though the major networks adhere to the rule by airing their educational programming on Saturday mornings, there are other networks such as The Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and The Cartoon Network that air educational programs daily in the morning. These networks have more flexibility in what they air and the time of day they air it. These networks on weekday mornings generally show educational programs that are geared towards the 3 to 6 year old age groups. These television shows focus on teaching counting, colors, simple math and phonics for these children.
However, PBS has been the cornerstone of the educational television for decades with Sesame Street leading the way. Sesame Street has been a staple of educational television since 1969. Most Americans cannot picture their childhood with it. This program has taught children numbers, colors, shapes, and math through music and funny-loving puppet and characters. It also children about diversity and tolerance through its puppet’s interacting with human characters from different ethnic backgrounds. This is one of the many shows that parents still consider relevant and helpful to a child’s early education. This show has paved the way for shows like Disney’s Little Einsteins, Disney’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and SuperWHY. But there are still parents that believe small amounts or no television is best for their children’s educational growth.
Those parents are not alone in their beliefs. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, they recommend that parents limit the amount of television time for children to no more than 1 to 2 hours of quality programming per day. But what if the programs they are watch are educational in value? There are those that suggest that interaction with real people, reading books and playing with toys allowing the child to touch and explore things around them is a more effective way to learn and develop. This is a subject that has been debated and argued by both educators and psychologists. Each side arguing the validity of their statements.