Babies don't belong in front of the telly
Many parents would be happy "that they can show their toddlers something that is guaranteed not to contain violence or incomprehensible scenes." But is it really that important? Doesn't sensor motor development matter much more?
Because the shot backfires: the longer toddlers sit in front of digital toys, the less they experience the real world. With all the negative consequences for your cognitive development! What it appears to be promoting undermines its ability to discover the world.
The medium is the message
We should not discuss whether the Teletubbies carry more or less child-friendly content. Rather, we should discuss whether under two year olds do not waste valuable time when they are parked in front of tablets and the like. A time when they start crawling to explore our complex world. The American psychologist provides Dr. Jim Taylor notes:
"We concentrate on the content of the technology (videos, postings, social media), but refrain from discussing how the intensive use changes us." That was what Marshall McLuhan meant in 1964, when he found the famous phrase: “The medium is the message”. That means: behind the mediated content, the medium itself has an effect because it is unique in nature and has special properties. ”
From the Importance of Sensorimotor: Wasted Lifetime
What effect do electronic media have on under-two-year-olds? Every minute before a tablet or television is missing the child to progress in his sensorimotor development.
This term was coined by Jean Piaget (1896 - 1980), who designed a model of cognitive development for children between birth and puberty. At this point we zoom out the first phase. Because Piaget's considerations are the common thread for us to follow the development of children's thinking. After all, the Swiss psychologist is considered the "father of developmental psychology", as 2002 spectrum of science determined.
Back to the sensorimotor phase: The word “senso” stands for sensory experiences, which means that the child gathers his first experiences in the world by looking, hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling. The second part of the word “motorized” means that under two year olds use their musculoskeletal system in addition to the senses to explore the closer environment.
From doing to knowledge
They crawl, grab or clap into the water. "The child builds up his knowledge of this world by firstly gaining experience in his own body, later in the environment," summarizes Gerd Mietzel. And further he writes:
“The only way to think is to do something with the things you find, that is, to look at them, touch them, put them in your mouth and reach for them. While handling its object world, it receives feedback via its sensory organs; it repeats those activities that have interesting effects. ”
Children react to stimuli of the environment
Anyone who puts a small child in the bathtub can easily confirm that they will happily hit the water, sometimes with their rubber duck, sometimes with the palm of their hand. The spray effects are very different, and the child discovers how water can be used to play. The child reacts immediately to stimuli from the environment - far from forming abstract concepts for his experiences. Now we imagine a small child in front of a tablet that is watching Teletubbies.
We can make an initial observation, regardless of the content: what is happening on the screen is only two-dimensional, so it cannot give a real impression of the world. In addition, the content is taken out of context, which means that it is not directly related to the child's environment. Or does it move through the colorful rabbit landscape of the Teletubbies in normal life? Rather not…
The sensory experience is so important: the banana on the screen
The decisive point, however, is given by Prof. Ernst Schuberth, who studied mathematics, physics, philosophy and education. He became 1974 Professor at the University of Education (Bielefeld University), 1978 he was co-founder of the Academy for Waldorf Education in Mannheim. Schuberth emphasizes that "for the child, sensory experience plays a major role in the early years, specifically for the development of the brain and soul." What appears on the screen is never "the thing itself", but only a surrogate of reality.
What are the consequences for a child? The mathematician explains this with a simple comparison: if you visit an ice cream parlor, the waitress gives you an ice cream card - with colorful pictures from the range, including the prices. He ironically suggests:
“If you bite into the card with the pictures, you will not have the taste experience and all other perceptions that arise when you try a real sundae. The real Cup Denmark does a lot more in the brain than just looking at an ice card. So it is with all senses. Bite into a banana that is shown on the screen - and train your sense of taste. The iPad doesn't last long. ”
Reality reference - How children experience reality
The big issue is the relation to reality: In the first few years, the child develops the ability to really absorb sensory perceptions, says Schuberth. It's about “the sound of a voice; how a person who speaks feels; a certain music or the taste of the food ”.
This differentiates the entire sensory organization, the mathematician says. That's what Piaget meant when he described the sensorimotor phase of small children. Herbert Renz-Polster and Gerald Hüther also vividly describe what matters in this phase of life:
The first step towards self-awareness
“The human being [moves] initially along sensual tracks - everything is smelled, tasted, put into the mouth, looked at and felt, yes, the whole body is used, and how! There is crawling, climbing, jumping, hopping, tumbling and standing on tiptoe, every muscle is stretched, flexed, exercised, and this wonderful body sense is built up, which lets our hands, arms and legs take root in the environment. "
Her summary: This “gradually emerging sensual awareness” is the first step towards “our self-confidence”: “Possessing our senses makes us aware of ourselves,” said Renz-Polster and Hüther.
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