Research Report

Part One: Program and Topic

  1. My program of study is Child Studies
  2. I am going to focus on how children’s television shows can either be educational or detrimental to their development. 

Part Two: Interview

  1. a) The person I decided to interview was Martine Bushey. She has three children that are 18, 16 and 12 years old. I decided to interview her because she used to be a vice principal at an elementary school, and due to the fact that she is a mother that works in the education system, I wanted to know her opinion concerning the topic that I chose.
  2. b) I chose to interview Martine because I knew that she was a mother of three, and that she had also worked in an elementary school for several years. I believe that she was an excellent person to interview because she had a strong opinion on how television can affect a child’s development. Her point of view will definitely be useful while writing my paper because she gave great parenting examples linked to controlling the amount of time a child should spend in front of the television.
  3. c) I called Martine on the phone to ask if I could interview her, and she told me that she was going to be going to my neighbor’s house later that evening to get her hair done. (My neighbor is a hairdresser). She simply told me to come over when she would get there, and that I could interview her while she was getting her hair styled. I conducted my interview in person in my neighbor’s hair salon. She was sitting on a chair in front of a mirror and she told me to sit on the edge of the table so we could have eye contact when I was asking her my questions. The setting definitely had an impact on my interview because it was not what I was expecting. It was also a little uncomfortable due to the fact that the hair dresser was listening to the interview, and she participated in the discussion by giving her own opinion, which I also might consider for the data in my paper as well. The interview definitely felt like a conversation because I did not prepare a lot of specific questions. They mostly fed off of what she was saying. Overall, the interview went in the direction that I had planned, however I got a lot of information that will not necessarily be useful while writing my paper. This interview allowed me to gain interesting information concerning a mother’s point of view concerning the effects that television can have on a child’s intelligence.
  4. d) The person I interviewed was very friendly and enthusiastic throughout the process of the interview. She was engaged in the conversation the whole time, and she also seemed genuinely interested in the topic that I chose. I got a sense of Martine’s personality as she was answering the questions because she was really passionate about being a mother and a former vice principal at an elementary school. Martine Bushey is a very tall and thin woman. She kept her smile the whole time I was there, and she was a very relaxed and outgoing person. She was really polite and she asked me questions as well to get to know me better while I was interviewing her. She had an enthusiastic tone of voice and spoke to me with the use of a familiar vocabulary. She was very straightforward and I found that she spoke a lot with her hands which is something that caught my attention, and that was a little distracting during the interview.


e/f) What were the TV shows that your children used to watch when they were younger?

My children used to watch Rugrats, Sesame Street, Barney and Mr. Rogers.

Were there any children shows that you did not want your kids to watch? If so, which ones, and why?

I did not want my children to watch violent TV shows such as Power Rangers, because I believed that they would develop bad habits. I also did not allow them to watch Teletubbies because I felt that it was non sense and also, that is was a children show that did not educate my children in any means. It did not reinforce any of the manners that children should know.. Children should know certain things when they enter kindergarten. They need to know how to share, listen and act correctly with other children and Teletubbies was one of those shows that seemed to make them become total zombies for 30 minutes.

Did you monitor the time your children spent in front of the TV?

My children watched TV while I had housework to do, so I used it as a way to entertain them when I was a little busy. In my home, the television had the same purpose then those clowns at birthday parties, they distracted the kids while the grown ups did the important stuff.

Do you believe that children TV programs can have a negative impact on a child’s intelligence and why?

I find that a little bit of TV here and there can not a harm a child in anyway. It is when the parents are completely unaware of what is on their TV that becomes problematic. I do not enjoy sitting in front a TV; I get bored so I never would watch any of the TV shows with my kids. I find that TV is quite unnecessary in a child life and that their brains shrink the more time they spend in front of any type of technology.


I believe that these questions were the most successful because they were directly related to my topic and to the research that I found. I wanted to know the opinion of a mother that already experienced similar situations, so that she could strongly relate to the questions that I chose.


f) I learned that parents do have an opinion on the use of television in their child’s life. However, the information I gathered in this interview will be used to focus on the types of TV shows that parents tolerate, compared to those that they do no accept. Martine Bushey’s answers will allow me to go more in depth about how the use of television as a parenting tool can be detrimental to a child’s development

Part Three:

Scholarly Articles:

Chang, Ni.  “Reasoning With Children About Violent Television Shows And Related Toys.” Early Childhood Education Journal, 28.2 (2000): 85-89. Academic Search Premier. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.

This article focuses on giving advice to parents concerning how to manage the violent behaviors that are becoming more and more present in today’s television programs. In my final essay, I will use this article to explore the parental strategies that one can use to assure that their children are exposed to educational forms of media. This essay explains that a child’s behavior is strongly correlated with what they are exposed to while watching television. The advice given in the article will allow parents to be aware and to control their children’s’ exposure to certain types of television programs.


Crawley, Alisha M., et al. “Effects Of Repeated Exposures To A Single Episode Of The Television Program Blue’s Clues On The Viewing Behaviors And Comprehension Of Preschool Children.” Journal Of Educational Psychology 91.4 (1999): 630-637. PsycARTICLES. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.

This article focuses on the effects that repeating the educational television show, Blues Clues has on a preschooler’s cognitive development. In my final paper, I will use this article to support my claim that not all television shows harm a child’s intelligence. The previous study allowed me to discover that some educational television programs teach a child memory, verbal, non-verbal and attention skills that are beneficial to a his or her learning process. Blues Clues is an educational TV show that challenges preschoolers’ mental abilities which therefore creates a stimulating environment for learning.


Orde, Heike.V. “Children, Learning And Educational TV.” Televizion Research Documentation (2012): 38-41. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.

This article focuses on the benefits that educational programs can have on a child’s learning process. The academic skills that can be acquired by some television shows are essential for a child to develop within the norm. Factors such as problem-solving, memory strategies and language development are few of the intellectual aspects that are reinforced in educational television programs. This article allowed me to discover that social skills are actually developed while viewing certain programs such as Dora The Explorer and Blues Clues due the fact that the characters speak to the audience which allows an active participation.


Rice, Jonah L. “Spongebob Squarepants: Pop Culture Tsunami Or More?.” Journal Of Popular Culture 42.6 (2009): 1092-1114. Academic Search Premier. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.

This article focuses on how the popular television show Spongebob Squarepants teaches its viewers values such as friendship and determination. In the paper, the researchers explained certain aspects of why a child would tend to have an interest for a specific TV show. However, the data collected concerning why children enjoy watching Spongebob Squarepants cannot be accurately determined. I will use this article to demonstrate how television shows that do not necessarily cognitively stimulate a child can still be beneficial to their personal growth as an individual due to the fact that it presents different types of values without the use of educational strategies.


Rice, Mabel L., et al. “Words From ‘Sesame Street’: Learning Vocabulary While Viewing.” Developmental Psychology 26.3 (1990): 421-428. PsycARTICLES. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.

This study focuses on how the television show Sesame Street can help children’s lexical development. The article explains how the TV program uses different educational techniques to allow the viewers to gain a certain amount of knowledge while watching the show. I learnt that shows such as Sesame Street focus more on preschoolers, due to the fact that they are at an age where vocabulary is learnt at a rapid pace. This article will be useful when I will be writing my final essay, because I will explore how children who watch TV shows that use a familiar vocabulary, tend to recognize it easier, and therefore use it in other settings which allows them to acquire verbal skills.


Zillmann, Dolf, et al. “Effects Of Humorous Distortions On Children’s Learning From Educational Television.” Journal Of Educational Psychology 76.5 (1984): 802-812. PsycARTICLES. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.

This article focuses on the presence of humor in children’s television programs, and how it can be detrimental to their intelligence. The study proved that the use of distorted humor in children’s programs can lead to confusion as well as a lack of comprehension concerning the content of the TV show as a whole. I will link this article to SpongeBob Squarepants and the humor that can lead to negative outcomes such as not being able to understand the difference between the joke and reality. I learnt that children up to 10 years old are often unable to grasp the humor that is intended by many of these popular television shows, which can cause their selective attention to go towards the distortions.


Popular Articles:

Caron, Andre et al. “The Good Things About Television.” Media Smarts. 2009. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.

This article focuses on all the benefits that television has to offer for children and the methods that parents can use to know if a television program is good for their child’s cognitive development. Shows that focus on aspects such as creativity, imagination, independence and problem-solving are those who allow a greater development of critical thinking skills. With the use of this article, I want to explain how parents have the crucial role of monitoring their children’s exposure to television shows, and they also have to select educational programming that assure a decent amount of cognitive stimulation. This article proves that children television shows can be very beneficial to their development if they are linked to cultural, historical and valuable aspects.


Dunn, Jeff. “30 TV Shows That Are Actually Educational.”Edudemic Connecting Education & Technology Apr 20.2011. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.

This article is based on the author’s point of view concerning the top 30 educational children’s shows. I will use this article in my final essay to prove that there are actually several shows that children can watch and that are beneficial to their growth as an individual. I will also support my claim by contradicting a few of the shows that the author mentioned in his article. The shows that focus on developmental psychology tend to be educational programs that allow its viewers to acquire skills. However, I will discuss how a monitored exposure is essential to not harm any other factors such as their health due to the lack of physical activity.


Fatema, Saara. “4 Good & 6 Bad Effects Of Television On Children.” Mom Junction Jul 14. 2014. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.

This article focuses on how a child’s experience watching television can actually be quite positive if the parents supervise and participate in the viewing of the program. I will use this article to discuss the different parental tools that can be used while watching TV such as encouraging their children to participate with the characters, selecting shows that reinforce healthy eating and exercise and asking questions to make sure the children understand what is happening in the program. I will also explore the negative outcome of television and explain how to maintain a healthy balance for it to be as beneficial as possible.


Hutchison, Courtney. “Watching SpongeBob Squarepants Makes Preschoolers Slower Thinkers, Study Finds.” abc news 12 Sept. 2011.Web. 9 Mar. 2015

This article and video focuses on how the TV show SpongeBob Squarepants can harm preschoolers’ educational process due to the fact that it is not intended to educate children in any way. The program is simply based on entertaining children that are 6 years old and older, and it is not supposed to be used as an educational tool for younger children. I will use this article to prove that fast pace cartoons such as SpongeBob Squarepants tend to increase attention problems in children because of the constant movement and distractions that occur on the screen. This article is going to be useful for my paper because I will compare the effects of fast pace cartoons to slower pace ones on children’s thinking.


One thought on “Research Report

  1. commanderjeffgandell says:

    Some interesting stuff here. It’s good that you have sources on both sides of the debate: beneficial shows, as well as non-beneficial shows. I suppose one thing to keep in mind as you’re moving forward is your target audience. Is this aimed at new parents (that might be a good target)? If so, keep that in mind as you write. This could be an interesting article to get parents to think about the kinds of shows they are showing their kids, and the effects they might have. I suppose another thing to keep in mind is why you’re writing this article. That too, I think, could have a clear answer. The potential is there for parents to show their kids television anywhere, anytime. It’s more important than ever to consider the content of what is being shown to children. All this to say that you need to keep in mind your audience and why you are writing this article. Good work so far.


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