Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Endangered Minds

Don't touch that dial! TV-Turnoff Week is reality, unplugged

"The idea behind the effort, according to the TV-Turnoff Network, is that watching less television will lead to healthier lives and communities.

Besides no televisions, Richmond Waldorf doesn't use standard textbooks and also has no computers -- except in the administrative offices. Classrooms are warm and welcoming but short on bright colors, garish plastics and elaborate toys.

The school's educational approach puts a premium on engaging children's imagination and curiosity through hands-on learning."


The Richmond Waldorf school may be on to something bigger than "healthier lives and communities" as theorists have proposed that increased stimuli (tv, video games, computers) may be having a negative correlation on cognitive ability.

Jane M. Healy, author of "Endangered Minds," is also an advocate of turning off the tube. Exposure to fast paced and flashy tv shows (such as Sesame Street) has been correlated with decreased attention spans in elementary aged children.