How an Educational Television Program Depicts Literacy and How its Messages Affect Young Children’s Literacy Attitudes


  • Annie M. Moses John Carroll University
  • Nancy A. Jennings University of Cincinnati
  • Rachel Brod John Carroll University
  • Steven D. Hooker Arcadia University
  • Brian Cordell University of Cincinnati
  • Tabatha Sallee University of Cincinnati



television, early literacy, literacy attitudes


The current study involved a content analysis and field experiment investigating messages about literacy within a children’s television program. The content analysis showed that the program episodes contained many positive, explicit statements about reading and, to a lesser extent, writing and other literacy activities. Select episodes were then used in the experiment, which included preschool- and kindergarten-aged children either viewing or not viewing the episodes. Participants’ attitudes about literacy were measured before (pre-test) and after the viewing period (post-test). A measure of children’s feelings about the program and its characters was also administered to the viewing group. Results from the experiment were not statistically significant, but indicated several trends. When considering children’s media consumption, findings suggest that the program offers many positive literacy messages to young viewers. Although statistically significant effects were not found, the literacy messages in the program may have an influence with greater exposure, and potentially more so for young boys.

Author Biography

Annie M. Moses, John Carroll University

Assistant Professor

Department of Education and Allied Studies


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Research-to-Practice Summaries