CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Gladstone, Joseph R.; Bill Gladstone;and Ginny Ouellet.

Toronto, Ontario Educational Communications Authority, c1985. 61pp. paper, $5.00, ISBN 0-88944-087-5. Distributed by TVOntario, Box 200, Station Q, Toronto, Ont., M4T 2T1.CIP

Reviewed by Joan McGrath

Volume 14 Number 4
1986 July

No-one would think of denying the importance of television in the lives of today's children. From infancy, our youngsters spend countless hours before the TV set; often more hours than they will spend in the classroom. Is television, with its message of violence and acquisitiveness, to be the chief educator for children of the 80s?

The authors of this pamphlet argue that used with care and discretion, TV can im-measureably enrich the lives of our school-aged youngsters, giving them access to people, places, and technology otherwise unreachable, and developing their receptivity, curiosity, and sensitivity to the world and the people around them.

As with any educational experience, however, adult supervision and guidance is a requisite if the effects of the TV lessons are to be monitored and interpreted. Television should not be used, as it so often is used, as a babysitter, nor should children be allowed to sit hour after hour, unsupervised, watching whatever program, however unsuitable, that happens to be telecast.

The findings, and the suggestions for best use of the wonder-tool of the educational world, are neither new nor original. We have heard them all before, time and again, and yet many of us fail to act upon them. Teachers, faced day after day with bleary-eyed children who watched the late show the night before, are already well aware of the effects of unwise, excessive television on the learning abilities of their students.

There is good, useful, well-programmed television for children, but it must be carefully selected, and the watching of possibly harmful, violent adult programming should be curtailed. This will entail time and effort on the part of the child's parent or guardian; but it will be time well spent in the child's best interests.

The encomium for educational TV cannot be considered as objective. In this case the publication is sponsored by TV-Ontario, which has its own educational axe to grind. Still, the suggestions offered are well worth reiteration. A pull-out TV Ontario questionnaire is included, as well as a chart for the easier monitoring of hours spent watching television in the household.

It must be noted that there has been some carelessness in the publication of this pamphlet. Parts of it, particularly the foreword and introduction, would have benefited greatly from the attentions of an editor. If, for example, after watching The Phoenix and the Carpet, children do indeed go in search of the works of Enid Nesbit, they will look in vain.

Joan McGrath, Toronto Board of Education. Toronto, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works