BALTIMORE—To get toddlers to learn new information from educational television shows or DVDs, don’t bribe them or bully them — just trick them. One way to teach young children with video is to convince them that what they see on the screen is as real as anything they encounter in person, new research presented March 12 at the International Conference on Infant Studies shows.
Through an elaborate experimental deception, researchers were able to erase much of the “video deficit” in learning that has previously been observed in children under age 3.
“Under normal circumstances, television and videos may be so captivatingly interesting to young children that they have difficulty learning from these media,” said psychologist Sarah Roseberry of Temple University in Philadelphia. In the experiment, overcoming that obstacle hinged on youngsters believing that researchers could turn stuffed animals into real animals by