Television as Teacher Essay

651 Words3 Pages
Television as Teacher Television in 21st century America plays a key role in the culture of the country; it influences our sense of humor, causes millions of people to spend two days talking about last night’s episode of American Idol, and influences the behaviors of the adolescent population. Television is a huge part in the lives of many children. Children are sometimes attached to the television for it’s entertainment value. This attachment got it’s roots in 1969, when the first episode of sesame street aired on television. Parents loved Sesame Street because it helped their kids learn to read. The essay written by Neil Postman, Television as Teacher, argues that television has influenced the youths’ attitude towards education in a…show more content…
Officials of the Department of Education say that integrating television, print, and computers will lead to higher order thinking skills. Postman disagrees with this, saying that “What is referred to as ‘integrating three media’ or a ‘multimedia presentation’ was once called ‘audio-visual aids,’ used by teachers for years.” (FIAW pg.427) Postman is saying that these officials are changing the words around to sell the show as “beneficial,” and ultimately make a profit. Postman makes an appeal to ethos by mentioning a whole slew of scholars who conducted a study that proved the opposite of what the Department of Education was telling everyone. By doing this, the reader can build a level of trust for Postman. This trust is also contributed to by mentioning his earlier book Teaching as a Conserving Activity. It tells the reader that he is well educated and to devoted to the Television as Teacher dilemma.
Postman appeals to Pathos by discussing his views of television as a curriculum. He talks about a need for mending of the current educational system. “A curriculum is a specially constructed information system whose purpose is to influence, teach, train, or cultivate the mind and character of youth.”(FIAW pg.424) Postman says that television does exactly this, but even more relentlessly than the school curriculum. This pokes at the values of the reader, making them think about how they feel about the
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