This article from EDUPAX, a non-governmental organisation working on the affects on children of violence in visual media, is about a strategy for decreasing the average amount of television viewing in the lives of children. The author describes the research of Dr. Tom Robinson on the relationship between the reduction of television viewing and the reduction of aggressive behaviour in school-age children. Having learned of the positive correlation between the two found in Dr. Robinson's studies, 35 schools in Quebec staged a 10-Day TV-Free Challenge in 2003.
The author describes how schools can initiate the project, work with students and parents to implement it, incorporate academic assignments such as researching the affects of television viewing or surveying the community on television as a topic, invite community organisations to lend support by holding events during the 10-day period, and raise public awareness through student-generated publicity about their progress throughout the challenge period.
The author recommends that teachers end the project by leading an analysis session with students and parents to examine any changes in attitudes or behaviours within families, the school, and the community, opening the possibility of critiquing the cultural environment and articulating "a vision of a more tolerant, peaceful, and just society." He concludes with the hope that such a project would build young people's capacity to express themselves, to build relationships, to discover innate interests, and to gain perspective on resistance to corporate-controlled media.
Email to The Communication Initiative from Jacques Brodeur
on August 29 2006, and EDUPAX website.