The general population sometimes sees children television programs as low budget or cheesy productions. Compared to other programs on TV such as Lost, 24, Friends, or American Idol, children television shows cost only a fraction to produce. However, these programs prove to be the most influential TV content towards their targeted audience. Children’s programs can be both beneficial and detrimental depending on the content of the programs. In a study by B. J. Wilson and colleagues, it was found that most TV programs targeted towards children have acts of aggression that would later impact the child.
Their study showed that “children exposed to much media violence often grow up to be aggressive and violent adults. ” Although there are a good number of children TV shows that might be detrimental without realizing it, there are several shows that have been seen in studies to actually be beneficial. One of these show is The Magic School Bus. After sixteen years of being on televisions, The Magic school bus (which originally aired on PBS) is still playing on the cable channel Qubo in the United States at 8:30am, 4:00pm, 7:30pm, and 11:00pm daily.
The show is an educational show that focuses mostly on science. It is presented as an entertaining cartoon to target school-age children. Watching the episode “For Lunch”, a few observations can be seen on how this show proves to be beneficial to children. Every show starts out in Ms. Fizzle’s classroom where the students encounter a scientific topic. The class is then takes a field trip by the Magic School Bus. The magical bus takes them on-site to locations where the topic is discussed. In this episode, a student (Arnold) accidentally swallows a piece of gum.
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This sets up the study of the digestive system in this episode. Ms. Frizzle and the students jump on board the magic school bus, which transforms and becomes microscopic to enter Arnold’s mouth. The students then take a trip throughout the digestive system: the mouth, esophagus, small intestine, and large intestine. At each organ, the show goes to an aside where one of the students describes the mechanism of the organ. The episode ends with the school bus making its way back upwards and exits the mouth in order to avoid being expelled into the toilet.
The show is clearly an educational show as it takes time to explain scientific concepts and functions. As previously stated, the show was made for school-age children. However, with the level of science involved, the show was specifically targeting schoolchildren with some science classes. Also, the show does a good job in targeting every single group of kids. They did this by including a mixture of gender and races for the students. The show proved to be beneficial to children in a number of ways. First, the inclusion of educational topic helps the development of children.
In various studies it was seen that children who watch educational shows could benefit in their academic and cognitive skills in high school (Anderson et al. , 2001).
Shows such as The Magic School Bus and Sesame Street are good exposure for preschool kids to reading, writing, history, math, and science (Textbook pg. 485).
Another beneficial aspect to this show is that it does not promote violence as in many “action” cartoons (Textbook pg. 398).
The show’s theme of overcoming obstacles without violence is a good way to avoid more exposure to aggression than already is on TV. The Magic School Bus is a very good educational program.
The Government of India in 2001 launched the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), a nationwide programme to provide universal primary education, thereby encouraging secondary education also. The Center passed The Right to Education Act in 1 April 2010, which guarantees free and compulsory education to every child in the 6-14 age groups. But, the lack of awareness on the requirement of pre-school education ...
Even though it is more than a decade old, parents should let their school age kids watch this show or shows similar to it. All in all, it is important to note that although these shows are produced on a much less priority for large networks, the implications they have on the young mind are large. As the filter for television programs aired are lessening, it is up to the parents to evaluate what shows are beneficial and which ones are detrimental to the young mind.