alexa A Capacity Model of Children's Comprehension of Educational Content on Television.
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Author(s): Fisch Shalom M

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Many studies have shown that children of various ages learn from educational television, but the studies have not explained how children extract and comprehend educational content from these television programs. This paper proposes a model, the "capacity model," that focuses on children's allocation of working memory resources while watching television. The model consists of a theoretical construct with three basic components (processing of narrative, processing of educational content, and distance--the degree to which the educational content is integral or tangential to the narrative), plus several governing principles that determine the allocation of resources between narrative and educational content. The paper reviews the empirical research for characteristics of both television programs and viewers that affect the allocation of resources under the model, as well as developmental influences on the relevant processing. Finally, the paper discusses implications of the model for the production of effective educational television. (Author/HTH)

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This article was published in Media Psychology and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

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