III: PEDAGOGY AND POWER: Power Rangers at Preschool: Negotiating Media in Child Care Settings

Seitter, Ellen; Kinder, Marsha
January 1999
Kid's Media Culture;1999, p237
Book Chapter
This chapter examines how children's popular media fit in the ecology of the preschool. Sara Kitses has taught at the suburban Montessori school for twenty-three years. More than any other teacher in the study, Sara denied having any knowledge of popular children's programming. She advises parents that the best thing to do with television is to keep it off, but the least they must do is monitor what their children are watching extremely carefully and remain with them during viewing. Sara's disdain for television dictates her selection of classroom media. Her complaints about television and children cluster around issues of fantasy and passivity. Sara's belief system about children and the media typifies that of those with the most training and investment in the professionalization of child care. In discussing children and television, Gloria Williams refuted the argument against fantasy as a developmentally dangerous activity. The children at Gloria's Place are reported to be much more sophisticated about their viewing and understanding of genre rules. One reason may be the relaxed atmosphere at the center, and another, Gloria's openness to listening to conversation about television. Her careful attention to children's play scenarios has also influenced her opinion of television's promotion of violence. Beliefs about media effects on children are inextricably bound to adult use of the media, class position, and ideologies of childhood. More integration of popular culture into the early childhood curriculum may be an important strategy to make school more inviting to children.


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