Culture Components in Children's Television Essay

869 WordsMar 31, 20094 Pages
Written Assignment #2 Since the advent of the television, it has been grown to become the dominating force in delivering information. Even in the 1950s, when television was still taking those first infantile tottering steps forward, programs geared toward educating and enriching the minds of children existed. Although not nearly as many choices existed, in 1955, Walt Disney created the first Mickey Mouse Club, a television program showcasing the talents and abilities that teens and adolescents were capable of providing. This tradition is still continued, even in today's contemporary society, although the list of such programs has grown exponentially. Recently, Nick Jr., originally a television block created in 1988 for a preschool audience, has even grown to the point that it will eclipse an entire other television channel and now run 24/7. This proves, now today more than ever, that the need to educate and enrich the hungry minds of young children is a base necessity that society cannot afford to reproach and disdainfully disregard. Recently, I sat down to watch and observe one such children's television program called “Ni Hao, Kai-Lan.” This type of educational children's show is one of several new shows taking a similar approach to teaching children about other cultures and languages, including Chinese and Spanish. At the onset of the episode, we are introduced to Kai-Lan, a precocious and outgoing 5 year old Chinese-American girl. She goes about her activities in a very fun and inviting manner. For instance, the sun hadn't risen yet, so in order to make the sun rise, the viewers and Kai-Lan had to “tickle” the sun to coax it out of hiding. This interaction with the audience at home is a perpetual theme emphasized throughout the television series. The overall premise of the show follows the construction of Kai-Lan's ant friends as they construct a

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