Early Development: The Human Touch (Post 5)

One of the things that was very impressive watching Fowler demonstrate his training method other than the learning process itself was his and the mothers’ interactions with the children. It takes a great deal of patience and care to take the time to move along the child’s path of progress and gradually increase what is being introduced to the child. This shows how important it is to use direct human contact when teaching and caring for children.

In recent years it has become more common for busy parents to use technology as a combination babysitter and educational device. Problems with this approach include decreased parental contact, under two video viewing, and a false sense of improvement. Parents might justify that watching these videos will improve their children’s cognitive performance when in fact there is no scientific data to support that claim.

One such video was the Einstein series. It was advertized as educational and that it would increase child’s performance and make him/her smarter. Although many parents used it as a babysitting device, there was push, according to the New York Times, by organizations such as Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood to remove the educational claim from marketing of these videos. The producers of the videos agreed to remove educational claims from their marketing material. However, for some parents that action alone was not enough. Recently the video distributer agreed to offer full refunds for parents who did not get what they expected out of these videos.

Regardless of usefulness of videos made for children, direct parental role in development and education cannot easily be replaced. Additionally, American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time at all for children under 2.

Resources:

The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/24/education/24baby.html?_r=2

Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood
http://www.commercialexploitation.org/

American Academy of Pediatrics
http://www.aap.org/

Behzad Moaddeli

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~ by Behzad on November 1, 2009.

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