Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Re: Toddlers and TV

From: Richard Berlin <rberlin_at_pacbell.net>
Date: Mon Dec 5 22:54:00 2005

One of the most worrisome aspects of TV for children, it seems to me,
is that the TV continually beckons you to continue watching show after
show.

In our house, TV is available via a PVR--a home-built version of a
TiVo[TM]. I originally built it so that my child could pause a show
rather than having to choose between staying current and staying dry,
but it has shown other side benefits. One of them is that the
programming ends after a single show, requiring my child to make an
active decision about what to watch every half-hour (or less if the
commercial skipping is on and working). He also has to get up and find
an adult to help him choose the next show, although I suspect that
within a year or so he'll be able to read well enough to do that on his
own. The "pause" button also really helps with the times that he
wants to stop and discuss what he's seeing. (Unfortunately, at this
point the shows he watches are interesting enough that if he stops the
action too many times it can drive the adult crazy.) I know he often
invites us to watch with him. I can't tell whether that's social need,
desire to have someone to discuss with, or a convenience factor since
the adult is there at the end of the show to help choose the next
one.... :-)

I share the distaste for the Baby Einstein videos, and other attempts
at "hothousing" babies, for roughly the same reason that I admire the
Sudbury model above others: the makers and consumers of the video have
decided which things are of value and are "doing TO the child," whereas
a child in a rich environment who can choose what to explore is already
an actor rather than a mere vessel. (I confess, however, to a belief
that all "hothousing" is not equally bad: my child displays sensory
integration disorder, extreme motor delay and abnormal reflexes, for
which he gets occupational therapy. I assuage my anxieties about
whether this is the right thing by observing how much more comfortable
and confident he is now compared to when he started.)

It's interesting that these scholars are worried about the brain being
"clocked out," as it were. It seems abundantly clear from my child's
ability to sing along with theme songs and quote commercials verbatim
that his memory is quite well-engaged; I kind of wonder whether that
"low-activity" state isn't the ideal calm state for learning...?

-- Rich

On Dec 5, 2005, at 6:25 PM, allisun wrote:

>
> My two cents on the matter of an under- 5 yearold spending a
> substantial amount of time television watching -
>
> I would encourage other activities.  My child development professors
> (most doctorates and with 15 years of experience in their field...) 
> have expressed major concern over this (the statistical average that
> many children under 5 watch 2 hours of television a day)....so much
> brain development occurs pre 5 years, it is crucial for them to be
> engaged in hands-on activities... and it has been shown that children
> use less of their brain watching television than when sleeping!  They
> feel it can cause damage to be "clocked out" on such a regular basis
> (crucial time to use that brain...) And have expressed utter
> distaste/concern towards the marketing of videos to babies (i.e. Baby
> Einstein videos).
>
> One of my professors has said she thinks it acceptable for children
> under 5 to watch television only when ! they are actively engaged in
> the matter, which usually  means there needs to be an adult around
> talkign to them and engaging them in the material, but it sounds like
> from someone's previous post that a few of these shows are trying to
> accomplish it themselves..
>
>
> --Allisun, Child Development Major at Humboldt State University and
> in the process of trying to start a Humboldt Sudbury School : )
>
>
> discuss-sudbury-model-request_at_sudval.org wrote:
>> discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
>>
>> To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
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>> or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
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>>
>> When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
>> than "Re: Contents of Discuss-sudbury-model digest..."
>>
>>
>> Today's Topics:
>>
>> 1. Re: Matt's question (Tay Arrow Sherman)
>> 2. Learning Piano (Arlynn Liebster)
>> 3. RE: Learning Piano (Marilu Diaz)
>> 4. Re: Toddlers and TV (Karen Locke)
>> 5. Re: Toddlers and TV (Frederick W. Schueler)
>> 6. Re: Toddlers and TV (Emily Johnson)
>> 7. tv and thinking (Ann Ide)
>>
>> --__--__--
>>
>> Message: 1
>> From: Tay Arrow Sherman
>> Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Matt's question
>> Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2005 16:09:44 -0500
>> To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
>> Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
>>
>>
>> Heh. What, you mean you think there aren't video games like that
>> already?
>>
>> There's a lot more art around us every day than we're aware of. I
>> mean,
>> have you heard of this Japanese! video game, Katamari Damacy? It is
>> the
>> ultimate New Media reflection on the capitalist/imperialist impulses
>> of
>> Postmodern (contemporary) culture. It's also got a really interesting
>> electronic soundtrack that touches dextrously on several genres of
>> music, and vibrant Peter Max-inspired graphics.
>>
>> Going back to what Scott was talking about, my point is that in
>> interpreting what qualifies as art, high art, low art, pop art,
>> postmodernists are VERY inclusive. And so should we be-- regarding all
>> of life as a work of art is not just postmodern chic, it's a good way
>> to remind yourself to stay on top of having a great life that you're
>> super engaged in.
>>
>> -Tay
>>
>>
>> On 5 Dec, 2005, at 14.54, Lif Strand wrote:
>>
>> > Quoted from Scott David Gray's message at 12:15 PM 12/5/2005:
>> >> And, really, what is the big deal if people *do* want to
>> >> play video games or watch TV? Is this really a worse way to
>> >> spe! nd one's time than browing at a museum? Than listening to
>> >> music? Than enjoying any sort of art?
>> >
>> > Sometime in the future whatever video games evolve to might be
>> > considered a high art form, and today's video games the embryonic
>> form
>> > of that art.
>> >
>> >
>> > ------------------------
>> > Lif Strand, Research Associate
>> > Southwest Center for Resource Analysis
>> > Western New Mexico University
>> > (505) 773-4897
>> > (505) 212-0108 FAX
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list
>> > Discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
>> > http://www.sudval.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/discuss-sudbury-model
>> >
>> >
>> -Tay
>>
>> ---------------------------------------------------
>>
>> http://www.tayarrowsherman.com/
>> http://www.olio-academy.com/
>>
>> ---------------------------------------------------
>>
>>
>> --__--__--
>>
>> Message: 2
>> Date: Mon, 05 De! c 2005 16:13:34 -0500
>> From: Arlynn Liebster
>> To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
>> Organization: Abfab
>> Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Learning Piano
>> Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
>>
>> This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
>>
>> --Boundary_(ID_g7qsCkyDj0whb+GmhFHsqA)
>> Content-type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
>> Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT
>>
>> Hi, I am a new listmember and wanted to add something to the Piano
>> learning conversation. My ex (we are still very good friends) is a
>> professional keyboardist/pianist. He is one of the best in the world
>> and gets paid for his sounds and playing. He loves his life's work.
>> His father was a professional guitarist. His mother used to make him
>> practice the piano when he was little. She used to have to actually
>> tie him to the piano bench to make him practice his scales. He
>> remembers hating to practice because he wanted to go out and play
>> baseball with the guys. We had! this conversation so many times. He
>> is SO glad his mother made him practice. It is his life's love, he is
>> amazing at it, but he wouldn't have had the early life career chances
>> he did (playing in very well known bands at 17 yrs.old, etc...)
>> unless his mother had forced him to play. He is ever grateful to her
>> and says it often.
>>
>> Now on another spin, my mother is an artist. She used to force me to
>> paint when I was little when I wanted to go out and play I was stuck
>> in our basement painting on Saturdays. I hated it then and I refuse
>> to paint to this day. I am an artist by profession (I could not
>> ignore genes and my life's work even though I tried to in my early
>> 20's), but she made painting so onerous a task that I hated it then
>> and I hate it now. I never learned how to do it well. When the time
>> came to do art, I chose photography, ceramics, sketching and
>> advertising graphic design (anything but oil painting) and have made
>> my career ever since.
>>
>> So, I guess ! I'm saying that I have seen forced practicing go both
>> ways. My ex's mother says she saw his great talent and knew he must
>> work at the piano, that his great talent needed to be expressed. My
>> mother just wanted me to do something *she* wanted me to do. I do not
>> have any great talent for painting, she just wanted to teach me to
>> paint. So, now I think it might have something to do if the kid needs
>> encouragement thru a distracting period where they might drop their
>> piano playing due to too much peer influence, like baseball or
>> hanging out, then I think I would encourage my child to continue
>> practicing with a kind method of encouragement. But if my child just
>> wasn't into the activity of playing the piano and didn't shine like
>> the proverbial sun while playing, I think I would just let it go and
>> allow him to not play anymore.
>> It might be seen by the parents as "Look, my little Johnie plays
>> piano (or kicks the soccer ball or paints the best picture) so well.
>> Doesn't tha! t reflect so nicely on me and my parenting?" And I don't
>> buy into that mode of thinking.
>> -Arlynn
>>
>> --Boundary_(ID_g7qsCkyDj0whb+GmhFHsqA)
>> Content-type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1
>> Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Hi, I am a new listmember and wanted to add
>> something to the Piano learning conversation. My ex (we are still
>> very good
>> friends) is a professional keyboardist/pianist. He is one of the best
>> in the
>> world and gets paid for his sounds and playing. He loves his life's
>> work. His
>> father was a professional guitarist. His mother used to make him
>> practice the
>> piano when he was little. She used to have to actually tie him to the
>> piano
>> bench to make him practice his scales. He remembers hating to
>> practice because
>> he wanted! to go out and play baseball with the guys. We had this
>> conversation so
>> many times. He is SO glad his mother made him practice. It is his
>> life's love,
>> he is amazing at it, but he wouldn't have had the early life career
>> chances he
>> did (playing in very well known bands at 17 yrs.old, etc...) unless
>> his mother
>> had forced him to play. He is ever grateful to her and says it
>> often.
>>
>>  
>>
>> Now on another spin, my mother is an artist. She used to
>> force me to paint when I was little when I wanted to go out and play
>> I was stuck
>> in our basement painting on Saturdays. I hated it then and I refuse
>> to paint to
>> this day. I am an artist by profession (I could not ignore genes and
>> my life's
>> work even though I tried to in my early 20's), but she made painting
>> so onerous
>> a task that I hated it then and I hate it now. I never learned how to
>> do it
>> well. When the time came to! do art, I chose photography, ceramics,
>> sketching and
>> advertising graphic design (anything but oil painting) and have made
>> my career
>> ever since.
>>
>>  
>>
>> So, I guess I'm saying that I have seen forced practicing
>> go both ways. My ex's mother says she saw his great talent and knew
>> he must work
>> at the piano, that his great talent needed to be expressed. My mother
>> just
>> wanted me to do something *she* wanted me to do. I do not have any
>> great talent
>> for painting, she just wanted to teach me to paint. So, now I think
>> it might
>> have something to do if the kid needs encouragement thru a
>> distracting period
>> where they might drop their piano playing due to too much peer
>> influence, like
>> baseball or hanging out, then I think I would encourage my child to
>> continue
>> practicing with a kind method of encouragement. But if my child just
>> wasn't into
>> the activity of playing the piano a! nd didn't shine like the
>> proverbial sun while
>> playing, I think I would just let it go and allow him to not play
>> anymore.
>>
>> It might be seen by the parents as "Look, my little Johnie
>> plays piano (or kicks the soccer ball or paints the best picture) so
>> well.
>> Doesn't that reflect so nicely on me and my parenting?" And I don't
>> buy into
>> that mode of thinking.
>>
>> -Arlynn
>>
>>
>> --Boundary_(ID_g7qsCkyDj0whb+GmhFHsqA)--
>>
>> --__--__--
>>
>> Message: 3
>> From: "Marilu Diaz"
>> To:
>> Subject: RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Learning Piano
>> Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2005 18:05:47 -0400
>> Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
>>
>> This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
>>
>> ------=_NextPart_000_0084_01C5F9C6.84F09F90
>> Content-Type: text/plain;
>> charset="us-ascii"
>> Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>> I think this applies to any activity. Some parents force their kids
>> to play
>> basketball or football when they hate sports were players must have
>> violent
>> body contact. As you say, the difference is if you are "encouraging" a
>> talent or if you just want to pride yourself (or have some hidden
>> personal
>> agenda).
>>
>>
>>
>> _____
>>
>> From: discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org
>> [mailto:discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org] On Behalf Of Arlynn
>> Liebster
>> Sent: Monday, December 05, 2005 5:14 PM
>> To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
>> Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Learning Piano
>>
>>
>>
>> Hi, I am a new listmember and wanted to add something to the Piano
>> learning
>> conversation. My ex (we are still very good friends) is a professional
>> keyboardist/pianist. He is one of the best in the world and gets paid
>> for
>> his sounds and playing. He loves his life's work. His father was a
>> professional guitarist. His mother used to make him practice the pia!
>> no when
>> he was little. She used to have to actually tie him to the piano
>> bench to
>> make him practice his scales. He remembers hating to practice because
>> he
>> wanted to go out and play baseball with the guys. We had this
>> conversation
>> so many times. He is SO glad his mother made him practice. It is his
>> life's
>> love, he is amazing at it, but he wouldn't have had the early life
>> career
>> chances he did (playing in very well known bands at 17 yrs.old,
>> etc...)
>> unless his mother had forced him to play. He is ever grateful to her
>> and
>> says it often.
>>
>>
>>
>> Now on another spin, my mother is an artist. She used to force me to
>> paint
>> when I was little when I wanted to go out and play I was stuck in our
>> basement painting on Saturdays. I hated it then and I refuse to paint
>> to
>> this day. I am an artist by profession (I could not ignore genes and
>> my
>> life's work even though I tried to in my early 20's), but she made
>> painting
>> so onerous a task that I hated! it then and I hate it now. I never
>> learned
>> how to do it well. When the time came to do art, I chose photography,
>> ceramics, sketching and advertising graphic design (anything but oil
>> painting) and have made my career ever since.
>>
>>
>>
>> So, I guess I'm saying that I have seen forced practicing go both
>> ways. My
>> ex's mother says she saw his great talent and knew he must work at the
>> piano, that his great talent needed to be expressed. My mother just
>> wanted
>> me to do something *she* wanted me to do. I do not have any great
>> talent for
>> painting, she just wanted to teach me to paint. So, now I think it
>> might
>> have something to do if the kid needs encouragement thru a distracting
>> period where they might drop their piano playing due to too much peer
>> influence, like baseball or hanging out, then I think I would
>> encourage my
>> child to continue practicing with a kind method of encouragement. But
>> if my
>> child just wasn't into the activity of playing the pi! ano and didn't
>> shine
>> like the proverbial sun while playing, I think I would just let it go
>> and
>> allow him to not play anymore.
>>
>> It might be seen by the parents as "Look, my little Johnie plays
>> piano (or
>> kicks the soccer ball or paints the best picture) so well. Doesn't
>> that
>> reflect so nicely on me and my parenting?" And I don't buy into that
>> mode of
>> thinking.
>>
>> -Arlynn
>>
>>
>> ------=_NextPart_000_0084_01C5F9C6.84F09F90
>> Content-Type: text/html;
>> charset="us-ascii"
>> Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
>>
>> xmlns:o=3D"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" =
>> xmlns:w=3D"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word" =
>> xmlns=3D"http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40">
>>
>>
>> charset=3Dus-ascii">
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> style=3D'font-size:
>> 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>I think this applies to any =
>> activity. 
>> Some parents force their kids to play basketball or football when
>> they =
>> hate sports
>> were players must have violent body contact… As you say, the =
>> difference
>> is if you are “encouraging” a talent or if you just want to =
>> pride
>> yourself (or have some hidden personal =
>> agenda).
>>
>>
>> style=3D'font-size:
>> 10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'> 
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> size=3D3
>> face=3D"Times New Roman">
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;
>> font-family:Tahoma;font-weight:bold'>From:size=3D2
>> face=3DTahoma>
>> discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org
>> [mailto:discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org] style=3D'font-weight:
>> bold'>On Behalf Of Arlynn Liebster
>>
>> Sent: Monday, December =
>> 05, 2005
>> 5:14 PM
>>
>> To:
>> discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
>>
>> Subject: =
>> [Discuss-sudbury-model]
>> Learning Piano
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> style=3D'font-size:
>> 12.0pt'> 
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;
>> font-family:Arial'>Hi, I am a new listmember and wanted to add
>> something =
>> to the
>> Piano learning conversation. My ex (we are still very good friends)
>> is a
>> professional keyboardist/pianist. He is one of the best in the world
>> and =
>> gets
>> paid for his sounds and playing. He loves his life's work. His father
>> =
>> was a
>> professional guitarist. His mother used to make him practice the
>> piano =
>> when he
>> was little. She used to have to actually tie him to the piano bench
>> to =
>> make him
>> practice his scales. He remembers hating to practice because he
>> wanted =
>> to go
>> out and play baseball with the guys. We had this conversation so many
>> =
>> times. He
>> is SO glad his mother made him practice. It is his life's love, he is
>> =
>> amazing
>> at it, but he wouldn't have had the early life career chances he did =
>> (playing
>> in very well known bands at 17 yrs.old, etc...) unless his mother had
>> =
>> forced
>> him to play. He is ever grateful to her and says it =
>> often.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> style=3D'font-size:
>> 12.0pt'> 
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;
>> font-family:Arial'>Now on another spin, my mother is an artist. She
>> used =
>> to
>> force me to paint when I was little when I wanted to go out and play
>> I =
>> was
>> stuck in our basement painting on Saturdays. I hated it then and I =
>> refuse to
>> paint to this day. I am an artist by profession (I could not ignore =
>> genes and
>> my life's work even though I tried to in my early 20! 's), but she
>> made =
>> painting
>> so onerous a task that I hated it then and I hate it now. I never =
>> learned how
>> to do it well. When the time came to do art, I chose photography, =
>> ceramics,
>> sketching and advertising graphic design (anything but oil painting)
>> and =
>> have
>> made my career ever since.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> style=3D'font-size:
>> 12.0pt'> 
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;
>> font-family:Arial'>So, I guess I'm saying that I have seen forced =
>> practicing go
>> both ways. My ex's mother says she saw his great talent and knew he
>> must =
>> work
>> at the piano, that his great talent needed to be expressed. My mother
>> =
>> just
>> wanted me to do something *she* wanted me to do. I! do not have any
>> great =
>> talent
>> for painting, she just wanted to teach me to paint. So, now I think
>> it =
>> might
>> have something to do if the kid needs encouragement thru a
>> distracting =
>> period
>> where they might drop their piano playing due to too much peer =
>> influence, like
>> baseball or hanging out, then I think I would encourage my child to =
>> continue
>> practicing with a kind method of encouragement. But if my child just =
>> wasn't
>> into the activity of playing the piano and didn't shine like the =
>> proverbial sun
>> while playing, I think I would just let it go and allow him to not
>> play
>> anymore.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;
>> font-family:Arial'>It might be seen by the parents as "Look, my =
>> little
>> Johnie plays piano (or kicks the soccer ball or paints the best
>> picture) =
>> so
>> well. Doesn't that reflec! t so nicely on me and my parenting?" And I
>> =
>> don't
>> buy into that mode of thinking.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;
>> font-family:Arial'>-Arlynn
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ------=_NextPart_000_0084_01C5F9C6.84F09F90--
>>
>>
>> --__--__--
>>
>> Message: 4
>> From: "Karen Locke"
>> To:
>> Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Toddlers and TV
>> Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2005 16:54:13 -0600
>> Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
>>
>>
>> === message truncated ===
>
>
> (((live to the point of tears)))
>
> Yahoo! DSL Something to write home about. Just $16.99/mo. or less
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Received on Mon Dec 05 2005 - 22:53:14 EST

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