November 2009 Archives

"Baby Einstein" is No Einstein

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Disney’s decision to offer a refund to parents for “Baby Einstein” videos (“No Einstein in your Crib? Get a Refund”) is a breath of fresh air. While research in a recent Future of Children volume confirms that children older than three can learn from educational television and videos, infants and toddlers cannot. But very young children still consume a lot of electronic media. A recent survey estimated that 43 percent of infants and toddlers watch TV every day. Nineteen percent of children under one, and 29 percent of children two to three have a television in their bedrooms. At least one study found that children’s television viewing before age three was negatively related to children’s later academic achievement. Children under age 2 learn best from real-life experiences and interaction with real people.

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