Television at Preschool Centers

I have a rule at my center: NO TELEVISION!!! I only budge from that rule in two ways:

First, after we get back from a field trip. This is because we usually get back after nap time and this gives the children a chance to relax and fall asleep if they want/need to; and it gives me a chance to give everyone a break. We only watch (at most) an hour. In that hour we also allow the children to pull out puzzles, books, and manipulative games. I would guess that there are actually only 3-4 children watching the show we put on. We also only put on appropriate movies that are more educational (as educational as a blue dog and man in a striped shirt can be).

The second way I budge is if the teacher can provide a reason that is conducive to the curriculum for that days lessons. For example, one teacher was talking about transportation and she had found a 15 minute clip that showed real helicopters and talked about how they worked. This was a perfect enhancement to the curriculum and, since I can't bring a helicopter to the center, this is the next best thing.

Another teacher had been reading a Mercer Mayer book and had a clip of him reading that same book. So, to tie in the book with the author, she showed that clip at story time.

So, why am I so adamant on this? I have to look at our philosophy and objective at the center. We are here to educate children and provide them with experiences that will spark and enhance their development. Other centers (those within the same agency even) will allow the children to watch Disney movies and other popular cartoon movies. These are the same movies that the children have all watched a thousand times at home already.

We are not babysitters; and by showing these type of movies we are giving that name to ourselves. There is nothing about Ariel that teaches the children about ocean life, nor does Cars teach anything productive. I'm not saying that children shouldn't be allowed these experiences. What I am saying is that they are not appropriate for a preschool center.

1 comment:

MB said...

I am completely anti-TV for my toddler but occasionally give in and let her watch Jack's Big Music Show on Noggin. It's fantastic.