How important is television to you

Along with picture books and tablets, the television is number one when it comes to children's media use. Children spend a lot of time in front of the TV, especially when they are at home. They don't always see content that is appropriate for their age. Educators take on the role of Media education the task of classifying these experiences. Due to the increased use of media, communicating different things wins Media skills of relevance in more and more day-care centers. What kindergartens and parents can do in the field of television media education - in this article!

Leading medium television: media consumption of the youngest

To the Media use by children To estimate, it makes sense to take a look at the studies of the Media Education Research Association Southwest (mpfs). The results found by the Institute for Media Research show a clear picture. Even toddlers spend a lot of time in front of the television.

The miniKIM study from 2014 sheds light on the media use of two to five-year-old children. The result: Even at this young age, almost half (44%) watch TV almost every day. The average 34 minutes that children between the ages of two and three spend in front of the TV increase to 52 minutes per day in the following years. Using a television is an integral part of everyday life for many families. At the same time, the media offerings that are specifically aimed at children are increasing. That is why it makes sense to also address media education in kindergarten in the context of television as a medium.

It becomes problematic when the parents or another supervisor denies Do not accompany media use. In the study mentioned, 10% percent of the children surveyed stated that they had seen content that scared them or made them uncomfortable. This can nightmares or even anxiety attacks entail.

In the worst case, seeing content that is not age appropriate can even result in one post traumatic stress disorder. The attention of the educators in the day-care center is required here. If you recognize behavior problems in a child, you should investigate them. Sometimes it is advisable to talk to the parents. If these changes have also been noticed in your child, the walk is to one Child and youth therapists advisable. Because only this can prevent long-term consequences of a post-traumatic stress disorder.

Reality or fiction? - The egocentric worldview of children

The main problem with children's television viewing is that children often cannot distinguish between what is film and what is reality. In research, this type of worldview is known as self-centered. This means that the children relate all events to themselves - even if they have only seen them on television. In practice this means that children actively experience themselves as part of the media world. If something happens here that scares them, this media experience will have long-term consequences.

At this point it makes sense to start with media education. In the kindergarten, educators convey to the group that the Media content just replayed are. Together we can discuss what an actor is and that the world on TV is not real. Since television is mostly watched at home, media education should also include parents.

Educators have a responsibility to teach parents about the Consequences of wrong media consumption to teach. Above all, emphasize the importance of paying attention to the age limit of media content. Families are important role models for you responsible use of the media. Therefore, the legal guardians should be aware of their crucial role. Successful media work does not only take place in the day-care center, but must also be carried on in the families.

Suggestion for practice: design your own television

This is suitable to give the children the opportunity to process the media experience Performing a craft project. With the help of a large cardboard box and handicraft utensils, the children create their own TV in small groups. The box can be transformed into a television frame.

The boys and girls can then stand behind these to re-enact certain TV scenes or to let their creativity run free. The little actors process their experiences in this media-educational way. When playing, they experience the television content from a different perspective. This helps the children with the emotional classification of media consumption. This gives the children the media skills they need to reflect on what they have seen and relate it to a fictional world.

Advertising or series content - practice differentiating

But it is not only difficult for children to differentiate between television content and the real world. Kindergarten children do not understand the concept of advertising either. The commercials on children's channels impress with their focus on children - they are funny, colorful and full of action. The children feel entertained by them and perceive the advertising as part of the television program. That the Promotional clips only because of one Intention to sell the children do not understand yet.

This opens up another area of ​​application for media education in connection with television. Preschoolers in particular should understand what the purpose of advertising is and how it can be recognized. For this purpose, educators prepare various clips, for example. In addition to excerpts from films and cartoons, this should also include commercials.

Lead a media outreach discussion with the group. Ask the boys and girls which section they liked the most and why. Check whether the kindergarten group has recognized which section is showing advertising. After the conversation, the commercials are presented again. The characteristics are now discussed more intensively so that the children can find their Media literacy increase. For example, tell the children that the station logo cannot be seen during the commercials. This is how the kindergarten children learn important skills for dealing with the mediathat also help young people to classify media content.

Media heroes: Between role models from television and gender stereotypes

Even the little ones know exactly which programs they find interesting and which they don't. The classic "Our Sandman" is still very popular. But also "The program with the mouse" and "Wicki and the strong men" are among the TV favorites. The children always choose so-called media heroes with whom they identify particularly well. These heroes say a lot about the interests and preferences of boys and girls and should therefore also be an issue in media education.

Tinker media heroes

If you want to encourage the children to talk about their idols from television, it makes sense to carry out a handicraft project on this topic. Whether with pen and paper or from other materials: Ask the kindergarten group to think about their favorite heroes. What are the idols? Which character traits do the boys and girls particularly appreciate in them?

In order to promote linguistic development, the task is to come up with a typical expression for each hero. Increase the communicative skills of the children by asking them to share about their works in relation to their media experience. In this context, media education not only achieves increased skills in dealing with television content, but also promotes linguistic development.

More craft ideas for daycare children

Television media education: gender stereotypes in television programming

In this context, however, there is often a problem: The media role models often use clichés and convey outdated role models. Older TV programs in particular, which the stations still broadcast, reinforce gender stereotypes.

Female characters often display the following traits:

  • Helpless
  • Dependent
  • Wailing
  • Loving
  • Caring
  • Found in a home environment

While male characters tend to convey the following image:

  • Independently
  • Assertive
  • Competently
  • Athletic
  • Brave
  • Aggressive
  • Violent
  • Dangerous

Nowadays the strong presence of stereotypes increasingly from. Nonetheless, the old TV shows often remain accessible. So it is still relevant to reflect on its impact. In kindergarten you should discuss together what the differences between boys and girls are.

In order to counteract the stereotypes, specialists in the kindergarten have the opportunity to choose from a broad range Method repertoire to choose. The aim is to convey to the children that everyone has individual strengths that make them special. These are independent of gender. This is an important lesson that children will remember when they are young. For example, read a story to the group in which a person does not conform to gender.

Alternatively, you can also design a project day to which you can invite people who do the jobs of media stars in real life. Make sure, however, that you either invite representatives of both genders to each profession or only invite one person who contradicts the typical role. By playing with a firefighter and a male hairdresser, the children learn that anyone can be who they want to be - regardless of gender. This approach can help that negative consequences of media consumption to restrict. This upbringing has the long-term potential to enable the children to grow up without stereotypes. So speaking about television idols goes beyond simple media education.

A television set in kindergarten: useful or superfluous?

Last but not least, the question remains whether a daycare center should have a television set itself in order to increase the children's media literacy. Each institution should weigh up considerations in this regard individually. However, all of the above-mentioned approaches to media education get by without a direct contact with a TV.

Rather, they take up the experiences they have gained at home and try to give the children a healthy relationship with the media world. Therefore it is not necessary for a kindergarten to own a television for education. In the families, the children spend enough time in front of the screen, so the time in external care should be used sensibly to cater to the needs of the children. Through creative handicraft ideas and impulses for discussion, educational specialists have the opportunity to conduct media education without technical aids.

Other media are better suited for active media education on one device. For example, tablets in kindergarten and computers for media education are more interactive than a television and are therefore better suited for learning in day-care centers. With the help of the various devices, the children gain important media experience that makes it easier for them to get started in school. Not least because of this, it makes sense to use the media in moderation in kindergarten.

Editorial office of the Prokita-Portal