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Abstract

With the emergence of new brand, preschoolers' television productions and station in the Arab World (i.e. Baraem TV, a subsidiary of JCC TV www.jcctv.net), my MA paper tests the following hypothesis: Arab preschoolers develop their cognitive skills (i.e. language and behavior) once exposed to educational media. The paper orchestras Gerbner et al.'s premise; that is, content rather than screen time or the medium, is the genesis of media research. The study projects the effects of two Baraem TV productions, namely Tela Tola and Horoof w Rosoum, in contrast with Tom & Jerry, a purely entraining show. As well, the paper tackles two aspects that existing literature overlooks (Oakes, 2-3 March 2006). That is, studying the social effects of media and using field experiments in research. The paper combines field experiments with surveys to ensure external validity, while testing the theories of Piaget's language acquisition and Bandura's social learning theory. All in line with Comstock et al. (1978) communication model which credits images imitation to the times a child watches the scene as well as the social context. In line with this model and to fit the current viewing trends, I propose a new viewing model with focus on repetition and attention. The results from the experiments fit with the proposed model. The paper also introduces a simplified model of Bandura's (1971) cognition processes that lead to behavior imitation after viewing time. The new model emphasizes the memory function and the imitated behavior. For time constraints, the study is qualitative. I followed the convenience sampling method, part of the purposive sampling (Meriam, 2009) which means reaching the subjects through available resources. In the field experiments, thirty children were divided into six groups, and they watched the shows with their classmates in a natural environment: the preschool. After watching the programs, all groups went through the same processes to measure the impact of the show on their skills. To allow comparison, every two groups viewed the same program. The survey response rate was low, however. Only six parents answered the questions, and this is considered a bias. Nevertheless, the design frame of the experiments itself ensures research validity. The field experiments trigger measuring instant post viewing effects, and the results of the groups who watched the educational content were in line with the theoretical frame (i.e. Piaget's and Bandura's theories as well as Comstock et al.'s communication model). Also, around 83% of the parents agreed that television affects children's prosocial attitudes. In conclusion, as stated above, the paper emphasizes the significance of the social effects with two new models proposed (the viewing model and the cognition model). Following the results of the field experiments, I recommend rolling out the edutainment productions experience in preschools. To support this recommendation, the paper refers to some successful school examples, while emphasizing the significance of selecting the appropriate material by parents, educators and producers. Keywords: preschoolers, educational, cognitive skills, behavior, language, television, social effects, field experiments

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarc.2014.SSPP0319
2014-11-18
2019-11-17
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