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Assessment of Television Programmes on Nigerian Girl Child Educational Development

Assessment of Television Programmes on Nigerian Girl Child Educational Development, in Portharcourt Metropolis.


The chapters of this study are comprised of a thorough and in-depth examination as well as the analysis of other related literature on the assessment of television programmes on Nigerian girl child educational development. The purpose of this literature review is to identify and review research which supports the view that television programmes is a potentially beneficial for Nigerian child, that in certain circumstances it can be a powerful educational tool that can inform and aspire, and that is actually relevant to today children.

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Many discussion of television programmes and its impact on children mostly focuses only on its negative influence, but it is also important to have a look at the positive impact of television programmes on Nigerian child.

Therefore, the review of some related literature will be on the following sub-headings for convenience;

  1. The benefit of television programmes
  2. The opportunities television programmes present to children.
  3. Positive and long-term effects of educational television (reading, writing, school-readiness).
  4. Television and pro-social behavior.

The Benefit of Television Programmes

Television programme can be of a general benefit to children. It can bring them into contact with aspects of life they would not otherwise become aware of, it can provide a valuable tool in the home and at school not simply to keep children occupied but also if used appropriately as a constructive way to use their time.

Many parents see television programme particularly for children as an important educational tool that can assist children’s intellectual development.

According to Kaiser foundation (2006:30) most parents see learning as one of the biggest advantage of television.

The Opportunities Television Programme Present to children

Some television programme can be a wonderful storyteller, the benefits that flow to children from good storytelling are many and television’s learning outcomes need to be considered as part of the 0-8 curriculum.

Because children have always been drawn to drama, over factual children’s programming, story are the glue that binds the community together and they give children a shared purpose, a roadmap of their lives and teach them about their feelings, their tribe, their culture and their place in the world.

A good television programme can stimulate a child’s imagination and open up the infinite opportunities that life represents, like good books.

And when children watch good programme repeatedly and keep watching them as they grow older, they learn different things each time, because they are engaged with quality content in increasingly sophiscated ways.

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Good television programme also help the female child of 1-10 age group to improve from a self-centered view of the world to a more social outlook.

Television programmes can also help the female child to clarify emotional stress, reflect anxieties and hopes and recognize problems while suggesting solutions to overcome hardship and worries.

According to Zurimerman (2007), television programmes such as school debate, Blue clues, Barney and friends, sesame street, Dora the explorer, Binta and friends, Nnenna and friends, super story etc which is produced by Wale Adenuga and others help to expand not only the child’s understanding but also his or her interaction with the  real world. It also help to combine more potential teaching elements and enhance children’s performance in social skills, imagination, singing and dancing through active engagement with the programme content.

Television programmes according to Herber and Singer (2004), helps children in social learning.

Such as emotional lessons in dealing with anger, feeling sad, disappointment or happy mood etc.

Positive and Long-Term Effects of Educational Television (reading, writing, school readiness).

This section examines educational long-term effects on academic achievement. There is strong evidence that age-appropriate educational television has positive effects on children’s development. Much of the research carried out in this area relates to sesame street, a television programme originated in 1969 by the children’s television workshop (CTLD) a non-profit subsidiary of National Educational Television in U.S.A. This bought producers and writers together with child psychologist and educators to create an entertaining programme that was also guided by detailed research and curricular goal from the start (Marrow, 2006:5).

The television programme sesame street today known as sesame square was designed to prepare children for school by encouraging knowledge and skills that improved vocabulary, innumeracy, the use of language and understanding of the world around them (Gunter and MC Aleer, 1997).

Quite early on sesame street (sesame square) was found to have beneficial effects according to Bau and Bogatz, 1970, children among 3-6 years old who were heavier viewers of the programme increased in skills relating to the alphabet, numbers, body parts, shapes, relational term and sorting and classification was noted, regardless of age, sex or socio-economic status, and vernacular language.

In a follow up study in the second year of a subset of children who had started school, according to Bau and Bogatz, 1971, it was found that children who had watched the programme frequently were better prepared for school than non or low viewing children.

According to Zill (2001), studies confirms the data about educational achievements (letter recognition, story telling) and school readiness from sesame street, particularly among low income families.

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Recently, Wickedodeon’s Blue’s Clues have also been successful in meeting educational goals for its young audience, who outperformed non-viewers in non-verbal skills and problem solving ability. Their careers rated them as better at solving problems and more pro-social compared to non-viewers as well.

According to Anderson etal (2000), programmes like Blue’s Clue and Dora the explorer in particular invite children to actively solve problems and communicate while they watch.

Also, in a research of Barney and friends by Jerome and Dorothy Singer (1998) the effectiveness of this television series for pre-school and school children shows that it helps children in their day to day life in the sense that most children who watch Barney and friends could report accurately what they have seen on the screen.

Also, children demonstrate evidence of new words in their vocabularies relating to a specific episode of the programme they watch on the television. This programme also enhance development in certain variables, such as cognitive, physical health, emotional and social attitudinal features.

Television and Pro-Social Behavior

Studies shows that viewing of pro-social television programmes can result in a positive changes in children’s social behavior including increases in altruism, helpfulness, generosity and other social skills (Gauntlett, 2005).

Other skills associated with pro-social behavior include self-control, delay of gratification, sympathy and empathy for others, learning to persist in a task and reduction of stereotypes.

As Gunter and MC Aleer (1997) pointed out, television programmes contain many examples of good behavior of people acting kindly and with generosity. It is equally logical to assume that these portrayals provide models for children to copy from.

In a recent research on young children’s use of popular culture, media and new technologies, it was noted that pro-social behavior such as social interaction, consideration of others and how to deal with situation are what most children learn from television programmes.

Also maintaining attention and learning to sit skill, being sensitive to the needs and view of others e.g Manners, sharing, developing respect for different cultures including their own, to value and contribute to their own well-being and self-control, to understand agreed value and codes of behavior, how to behave, to have an awareness of expectations, to understand what is right and what is wrong, especially girls to dress independent and manage their own personal hygiene, to understand that people have different needs, views, cultures and beliefs that need to be treated with respect are what children learn or derived from pro-social television programmes, (Marsh etal, 2004).

Moreover, it is important to remember that the pro-social messages presented in an educational programmes are likely to be mediated by lessons learned from family and peers, as well as children’s own life experiences, that is to say television programmes can assist in the development of pro-social behavior, but the culture environment where a child lives influences a child’s interpretation of a message.

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For younger children in particular, pro-social concepts of fairness, equality and taking other people’s views into account take time to devlop and are influenced more by family and community than television programmes (Davies, 1989).

Summary of Literature Review

This chapter has looked  at the potential beneficial impact of television programmes on children’s lives. Debate usually centers on television programme negative effects, but as expounded across a range of different studies, it is clear that television programme can enhance academic skill such as school readiness and vocabulary, as well as pro-social behaviours and critical thinking practices. Television ptogramme is neither good nor bad for children’s, but its impacts is complex in the way it affects children’s knowledge, belief and values.

Although, children rarely seek out educational content, they can derive both pressure and learning from programmes which combine both elements.

In this sense, entertainment programme like teletubbies which is both a learning and entertainment is ideal for both children and parents (Buckingham and Scanlon 2003).

Related to such issues, recognition of television programmes benefit can help to inform the production of new programming, bringing the voice of children into the production process, ensuring that programming is tailored to their needs, interests and abilities.

Assessment of Television Programmes on Nigerian Girl Child Educational Development, in Portharcourt Metropolis.


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