Screen Time Book Club: Chapter 6
Hi all! Thanks for another great week here in the book club! This week's chapter is #6, What Is Educational About "Educational" TV? We are skipping about a bit but we think this chapter builds nicely on our discussion from last week.
After reviewing research about shows like Sesame Street, Blues Clues, and Barney, Lisa writes, "By now it's probably clear that to be educational, a preschool program should be tested with real children and tweaked accordingly, designed to get viewers to participate as social partners, and build to point children towards specific goals, like the ability to recognize letters, match sounds with instruments, or simply recognize the importance of physical exercise. It should be vetted by childhood experts to ensure it is developmentally appropriate for 2-, 3-, or 4-year-olds....Its stories should be linear and easy to follow. It should refrain from excessive cuts between scenes. The pace should be slow and steady. And if the money and will is there, research should be undertaken after a show goes on the air to find out if children are really learning from it." [p131 in the paperback]
So, my thoughts turned immediately to storytime. (Are you surprised?) Did anyone change or tweak their storytimes after reading this research about learning? A lot we already do. But can we do more? Should we? Does this have any impact on our "educational programming?" Should we increase our attempts to have children participate with us as partners in the storytime? Should we increase our focus on specific learning goals? (Of course ECRR comes to mind here.) Have we asked a local child development expert to observe a storytime and give advice? How could we do research on the impact of storytime to kindergarten and elementary school success? What do you think?
Another question--given these specific criteria for successful educational media, does anyone work at a library with separate collection development criteria for digital media v. print media? Separate collection development policies for children's materials v adult materials?
PS: Also, what are YOU thinking after you read this chapter? Don't feel you have to stick with my questions! What's on your mind?