Identifier

etd-04112007-113225

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Scholars argue that a scientifically literate public is a requirement for a democracy. Children are watching television more today than ever before, and studies have shown that children learn academically educational content from television. The Children's Television Act of 1990 requires broadcasters to provide educational and informational content for children. This study qualitatively evaluated a sample of 38 children's television programs to obtain a description of the scientific content contained in children's television. The study yielded a large quantity of scientific content, yet the quality of the content left much to be desired. Based on the findings of this study, science in children's television can be divided into two categories: exposures and lessons. Scientific content contains both fact and fiction, and a mixture of the two. Science is generally looked upon favorably in children's television; it's just not brought up enough. The major scientific topics covered were life sciences and earth and space sciences; other topics were mentioned at a much lower rate. In comparing the number of programs containing scientific content, the cable channels outperformed the networks. Possible remedies are discussed, as well as the limitations and possible further research.

Date

2007

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Lisa K. Lundy

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