Like we needed a study to tell us parents this. Still, with the average kid watching FOUR HOURS of television per day, some of us haven’t figured it out yet.
Here’s what the University of Illinois study found out about what’s on that TV:
- Only 13 percent of the programming labeled by the networks as “educational” was found to have real educational value. Nearly one in four of these programs was ranked as even “minimally educational.”
- The FCC requires at least three hours of educational programming per week for each broadcast station. Fifty-nine percent of stations offered only this minimum, with the programs primarily confined to weekend hours. Only three percent of stations exceeded four hours of “educational” programming per week.
- Of these educational programs, nearly a quarter were rated high in content that has physical and/or social aggression.
- Educational programming generally falls into three content categories; social-emotional, cognitive-intellectual, and health. Given the current obesity epidemic, it is surprising that only three percent of the programs covered health topics. Given the mix of advertising that is mostly for fast foods, sugared cereals, and snacks, this is not surprising. Just appalling.
All the more reason to:
- Turn it off and keep it off
- Watch only DVDs
- Tune in PBS more
- Go outside and play
[This post was written by Beth Bader.]