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Educational DVDs for babies not effective, deceives parents

Babies do not need media tools to learn to read, according to experts.
Babies do not need media tools to learn to read, according to experts.

Researchers at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development found educational DVDs and other media tools to teach babies to read were not effective but deceived the parents into believing the infants did learn from them. The researchers assert they cannot verify infants and babies are not capable of learning printed words, but from the products they tested, the results suggest that all educational media products are useless in teaching babies to read, according to a press release on Feb. 25.

Babies aged nine to 18 months were studied to evaluate the effectiveness of educational tools such as DVDs, flash cards and word books. After seven months, the researchers found there was no difference between the experimental group and the control group. The children given the educational media tools did not learn to read earlier than the children without the educational media tools, although the parents believed the tools helped.

It is apparent parents are more confident of the educational media products they purchase to assist in educating their babies. This confidence may distort the fact the children are not learning from the purchases but may justify the parents’ purchases.

The experts suggest positive interactions between parents and children allow a conducive environment for learning and not to rely solely on educational media tools.

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