To Watch Or Not To Watch Essay

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To Watch Or Not To Watch Essay, Research Paper To Watch or Not To Watch In the 1950 s only 10% of American homes had a television. By 1960 s the percentage had grown to 90%, states Matt Richtel s article in The New York Times. Televisions, video games, and computers dominate today s marketplace. “Over the next eighteen to twenty four months, consumers will be barraged with a host of gadgets and media outlets attempting to redefine television, the web, and leisure time,” states James Karney in this year s April issue of The Internet World Magazine. Cable operators, television networks and video game publishers target children and their parents, as part of the consumer base. Today 99% of homes in America have a television, more families own a television than a

phone.(Richtel, NYT) In the new millennium, the children are going to be targeted with more electronic media than ever in history. Children will not be able to escape electronic media and in the future may be drawn more and more toward it. The media world in the new millennium may be wonderful in many ways, but it worsens traditional education. If children spend their time watching TV and playing video games, they are not spending any time reading and writing. Statistics that were collected, by the U. S. National Center for Educational Statistics(NCES), show that student achievements in both reading and writing have been declining in the past few years. The NCES 1998 Report Card(Writing) states that 16% of fourth and eighth graders, and almost 22% of twelfth graders have not

mastered the basic writing skills.(NCES, March 1999) The NCES 1998 Report Card(Reading) shows that no more than 40% of students in grades four to twelve, achieved the “proficient” level of reading. Only 7% of fourth graders, 3% of eighth graders, and 6% of twelfth graders could read at the “advanced” level. (NCES, March 1999) “A typical American student is not a proficient writer. Instead, students show only partial mastery of the knowledge and skills needed for solid academic performance in writing,” said Gary W. Phillips, Acting NCES Commissioner in a press release after the 1998 Report Card report was issued. It is clearly seen that student achievement is going in the wrong direction. In order to become a good reader and writer, children need to practice reading

and writing. There is a popular theory of learning the language, called a schema theory . This idea contends that children develop separate opinions from the experiences they have had and then apply these experiences to situations that may occur later. Literacy is achieved when children apply the experiences they have on a regular basis to what they are reading or writing. (Ruddell, 145) Ruddell points out that “congruence between home and school language; and literacy routines and expectations increases the likelihood for success in learning to read and write.”(Ruddell, 137) He states and previous research has shown that high-achieving children had more books available for reading, and more verbal interaction with parents than low achievers. Basically, the students who read

the best are those that spend their non-school hours reading and writing. Parents that value literacy and push their children to read have kids that excel in this area. Children develop and revise their schema throughout their life in school. As schema changes, knowledge of that child will increase. The theory states that the child will become more literate and well-rounded. But, what if there are no books in the household? In a household where literacy is not valued, but instead a television set is made readily available. What kind of literacy routine is the child developing? These children spend more time learning about life through media than in any other manner. It is the parents, not TV sets, who choose to let their children sit in front of the television for hours. It is