Much controversy surrounds media and its long-lasting effects on children’s development and socialization. Television, video games, and graphic novels have all been studied in an effort to learn about the positive and negative lessons and messages it teaches children. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns parents and caregivers about the dangers of exposing children to too much or inappropriate television.
Enter Disney, a company built upon the idea of entertaining young children. Every year, at least one Disney film is released and many opposing opinions surface regarding the positive and negative messages it conveys. Most recently, parents took to social media to comment on the live-action film Cinderella, based on a beloved children’s fairy tale. On the positive side, parents believed it sent a message of hope and selflessness (i.e. stay strong even in the face of abuse and you will be rewarded; forgiveness is a trait to be valued, etc.). On the other side, disdainers believed it perpetuated sexism (i.e. Prince falls in love with Cinderella solely on her looks; women are nothing without men; etc.)
This week’s members-only resource includes an engaging activity that can be used to discuss media and its influence on development. Depending on your focus, it can apply to any of the following courses:
- Gender Studies (HSG3M)
- Families in Canada (HHS4U/C)
- Human Development throughout the Lifespan (HHG4M)
- Raising in Healthy Children (HPC3O)
- Challenge and Change in Society (HSB4U)
This activity has always been a great tool to engage my students in rich, authentic discussion about the impact of media on socialization and development.
Submitted by Derek Wun, OFSHEEA President