10698 Growing-Up with Television: The Little Screen in the Lives of Children and Youth 1

Credits: 6 intermediate credits in Communication or in Education

Prerequisites: none

Recommended: Introduction to Mass Media, Introduction to Psychology

Author: Dafna Lemish

The course deals with the role of television in the lives of children and adolescents through an inter-disciplinary examination of theories and research from varied fields, mainly communication, psychology, sociology and education. It highlights the tension often created between television and other socialization agents such as the family and the educational system, but also offers alternative points of view in which children’s interpretations of television are given central stage and are not defined as lacking or requiring adult intervention.

Objectives: To acquaint the student with the unique role and function of television in the lives of children and adolescents; To examine the interaction between television and children’s cognitive, emotional and behavioral development; To address fundamental questions of broadcast policy, legislation and educating to critical television consumption, in relation to children’s exposure to television; To discuss in-depth the central theories in the field of communication, focusing on a specific target audience – children – with unique characteristics and needs.

Topics: Television in the family context; Television and cognitive development; Television and behavioral influences; Television and the structuring of reality; Television and learning; Implications for broadcast policy and education.

1There is some overlap in the content of this and other courses. For details, see Overlapping Courses.