Has your child ever wanted to watch a kid’s show that is not boring? If you have a youngster you know that a show must be entertaining or they will not want to watch it again. But you as a parent must make sure the programming they are exposed to is educational. But what sort of programs are educational and entertaining? What studies have been conducted to analyze the effectiveness of current programming?
Some research performed by a group Children Now, has suggested that in 2008 only 1 in 8 programs offered meets high standards of quality in education. The research assessed 40 program titles on both, PBS and commercial channels. The icon E/I may be noticed on the programs for children and stands for Educational and Instructional programming. But ultimately for the analysis the show must be able to hold a child’s attention and have a high quality of content, not just discuss some educational topics.
Children Now found the exceptional programs to be: Sesame Street, Beakman’s World, Between the Lions, 3-2-1 Penguins, Cyberchase, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman and Teen Kids News. These shows have been deemed the best of the best within the analyzed group of 40 shows.
The public can lend their approval to shows that may not have been analyzed by Children Now, through the Parent’s Choice Awards. The Parent’s Choice Foundation uses the perspectives from educators, parents, store owners/ business people, and the Press to assess the best and favorite programming of families and their children. This diverse group of people can offer an intelligent and fresh customer-facing perspective.
The 2010 Parent’s Choice Awards found many shows providing high quality content while entertaining the audience. A few of the shows that were recognized are: Kick Like A Girl, Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps Interstitial, Girls Life With Rachel Simmons, Martha Speaks, and Lomax, The Music Hound. This list highlights only some of the best shows outside of empirical research.
Many times empirical research as well as people’s choice awards can have biases. It is important to remember that television is usually not the first choice for education at home. Parents always are the first choice to provide educational interaction that will last long-term. But when children need to relax and just enjoy some entertainment, smart programs continue to improve such as Martha Speaks, addressing 4-7 year olds, can educate to a surprising depth while providing wholesome fun.
Parent’s Choice Foundation. (2010). Parent’s Choice Awards: Television. Parents-choice.org.
Science Daily. (2008). Only One In Eight Educational Television Programs For Children Is Of High Quality, Study Shows. Sciencedaily.com