Films Can Enhance Child Development Says Report

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), October 26, 2001 | Go to article overview

Films Can Enhance Child Development Says Report


CHILDREN'S films, such as Free Willy and Toy Story, can enhance a youngster's development, rather than simply pass the time, new research has shown.

The study, commissioned by Amazon. co. uk, found that many movies help children to develop moral qualities like friendship, loyalty, tolerance and trust.

Dr Sandy Wolfson, head of psychology at the University of Northumbria, observed 53 children, aged nine to 11, as they watched clips from Toy Story, Free Willy, Oliver and Dumbo. Each child then filled out a questionnaire and took part in a discussion group about the popular children's films.

Toy Story was identified as teaching the group the virtues of friendship and the dangers of jealousy, while Free Willy encouraged the children to debate animal rights.

The children learned that stealing and greed were wrong from watching Oliver. And although Dumbo was the least popular, the children learned the importance of tolerance from the cartoon.

Dr Wolfson found that five key areas of a child's development were stimulated by watching and discussing films. …

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