Manfred Spitzer: keep your kids away from the TV and computer

An interview with Manfred Spitzer appeared in the June 23, 2006 issue of Weltwoche. Spitzer is adamantly against TVs, in particular where your kids and your kids ability to learn are concerned.

Spitzer bases his position on neuroscience research (his fields include psychiatry, medicine, philosophy, and mathematics), citing study after study to back up his points. For example, he cites a long term study in New Zealand that followed over a thousand subjects for thirty years from the time they were babies. The results, corrected for socio-economic level and IQ, show that those who spent more time in front of the TV did not achieve the same academic levels as those with less TV time.

Spitzer states that children need to develop their neural pathways with real, 3 dimensional experiences, whereas TV and computers give only a 2 dimensional image of their environment. In addition, he points to studies that show that our brains are most active when we are dealing with people. So whether or not we are in front of a computer, working with someone else to solve a problem (in a fun way) improves our learning effectiveness much more than trying to work out an assignment on our own.

In the end, his message is clear: toss the TV!

via Der Newsletter E-Learning des Learning Center der Universität St. Gallen

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