Another example how children can gain information through observational learning is watching television. American children between three and fourteen years of age watch more than three hours of television per day. Television is an important socializing agent in today’s society, and many programs are aimed at educating children. The most known and successful program that is aimed towards preschool children is Sesame Street (Pellegrini 110-11).
Early Studies by Ball and Bogatz evaluated the effects that Sesame Street had on preschool children. A group of preschool children were tested on their basic cognitive skills (including knowledge of letters, numbers, and geometric forms) prior to watching the show. Some children were asked to watch Sesame Street and others were not. They were then tested on their cognitive skills and the amount of cognitive gain children showed was directly related to how much they had watched the show (Pellegrini 111).
More recent research has studied the effect of watching Sesame Street on children’s vocabulary development. Children three to five were observed for two years as they continuously watched Sesame Street on a daily basis. Researchers noticed that changes in their vocabulary were related to their television habits. The results showed that Sesame Street had a positive effect on the vocabulary development (Pellegrini 111).
From these two experiments the results show that children gain knowledge from observing a model. By watching the television show Sesame Street, children will observe what is trying to be taught to them at a child level. They probably will store this information as entertainment and not even realize that they are learning until they duplicate it once they are in a similar situation. This can be a very beneficial way of learning because the children usually like to watch this show and think of it as entertainment and not education. While the child is enjoying the show they are most likely filling their...