The concern for the effects that watching television has on a child’s academic ability has increased as the amount of time that children spend watching television has increased. Research shows that on average children watch approximately 4 hours of television per day.

Currently there is no evidence that implies that watching television will have a negative impact on a child’s performance in school. The research that has been done in this modern day actually shows that there is a positive association between watching television of approximately 10 hours per week and the continuation of decent academic results.

Television can be a very useful tool in the classroom and has been used as such since the 1970’s. Children of a young age prefer to learn visually and this has led to the success of the use of television alongside various other teaching materials as a classroom teaching aid. In the earlier days there were not many programmes designed for this. However over the years and after vast amounts of research into children’s television more and more programmes are being created.

Since the 1950’s research into the effects of television on the behaviour of children has been in place. The research has been varied and extensive and covers many areas. Due to the importance of the content of children’s programmes there have been governing bodies set up on all of the television networks to monitor and maintain these programmes and to ensure that the television network is upholding their public responsibility. The research takes into account current issues, product demand and education and aims to ensure that all characters within these children’s programmes are good role models with the removal of stereotyping and the encouragement of social tolerance.

Due to this research there are now many educational programmes that are broadcast across almost all the channels, both general and international channels that are available to us. In 1969 the face of educational television was changed with the first broadcast of the children’s television programme Sesame Street. This programme showed that the programmes did not have to be documentary style programmes for children to learn positive behaviours.

It has been found that repetition is fundamental to a child’s education and therefore states that programmes that are repeated help to generate situations and characters that assist children in learning about cause and effect and also improving their understanding. In general children’s programmes are repeated approximately four times a year to take advantage of this.

Television has a useful feature in that it can help tackle difficult subjects such as morality and ethics bullying and death. It exposes children to the ideas and cultures that they may not be able to experience for themselves. There is also the benefit that television can help stimulate the interest of reluctant learners by removing pressure that can sometimes be associated with more traditional teaching methods.

If used in moderation and correctly television can be a positive and beneficial educational tool.