Television is a pervasive and complex part of childrens lives, there are many factors that affect how much and what they view. In the essay Teaching as an Amusing Activity (1987), Neil Postman argues television conditions us to tolerate visually entertaining material measured out in chunks at a time. He explains the ways in which the media is changing the way our children are learning. Neil Postman starts off by explaining how television is being used as an attractive and seductive medium to make children to like school with shows such as Sesame Street. He describes how in a classroom setting allows the student to participate in asking questions and being interactive, while television lures the children with stimulating, colourful and creative images. Neil Postman than compares the difference in learning behaviours between the classroom setting and sitting in front of the television, which is the problem that is facing America today. Television does not encourage children to go to school but also affects their cognitive and social development. Neil Postman continues on with his idea on how children should learn. It is not what they are learning, since television shows can all be educational, it is how you learn it that is important. By watching television, the children are only expected to play a viewer role, while not realizing the familiarity of their role as a student in a classroom. This is leading American culture in the process of converting their culture from a word-centered to an image-centered society. Television is more and more becoming a curriculum as pointed out by Postman. It influences, warps and manipulates the young minds of children into believing that education is entertainment. Postman(1985) states that there are three basic commandments that educational television provides (pgs.147,148). The first one is Thou shalt have no prerequisites. It means that the viewer does not have to watch …
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