In our essay we are planning to examine the benefits and hazards of two types of educating children. Those are by means of video games and outdoor play. This issue is a controversial one and with our essay we will try to shed some light on the opinions which are usually stated about advantages and disadvantages of these two methods of educating children.
Firstly we will discuss video games. Here we take the notion “video games” broadly as any educational and non-educational interactive games on computer or home console games.
Thus, as benefits for this kind of child’s activity can be regarded the following. A child, while playing video games can get an increase in visual, iconic and spatial attentions skills, gain more self-control skills if he is ill with asthma or diabetes. In addition, video games can boost mental processes such as critical thinking, cognition and decision-making process, thus improving the speed of physical reflexes. It is obvious that video games affect not only simple speed of mental processing but also their accuracy and rationality. Unfortunately, with these are all the benefits stated for this method of teaching.
As for the disadvantages of it, these can be of various characters: both mental and physical. As for staying indoors it is generally accepted, that a child has a lack of fresh air and motor activity. Moreover, if a child spends too much time in front of a computer, this can result in various physical disorders, such as posture, muscular and skeletal deformation. Physical hazards of playing computer game s are not limited to that. While spending too much time in front of a screen, a child can simply loose sight. An increase in child obesity can also be regarded as a drawback of video games. As for mental drawbacks we can add children’s low academic performance and, if a child plays violent video games, rise in aggressiveness or on the contrary, fear of the outside world. (Gentile, 2004)
Outdoor play is widely accepted to be one of the best methods of educating children. A child can benefit greatly by communicating with his friends in natural environment. While a child is outdoors, little adult supervision is required. With the freedom experienced by a child in the open air he learns to be more independent, enthusiastic and energetic. Also outdoor play allows a child to experience the environment in all forms of feeling: via sound, textures, smells and hands-on interaction. This kind of activity can enhance both physical and mental well-being of a child. Being outdoors and exercising is essential for development of risk management and motor skills such as running and climbing. Not the last place here belongs to social development and interaction, which takes place between children of different ages while they are making friends in the open air. Also children can learn many essential things about plants and animals, environment in general and the mechanic of nature and universe. (Finetti, Sounders, 2010) We must not forget that our children are also children of nature and nature is the greatest teacher of all.
As for the disadvantages, we can say only that sometimes it is not so safe in the street and because of that children must not be allowed to stay out late. Today, in our brutal society children can be kidnapped for ransom or even killed. That is why parents must put extra attention to the safety of their children outdoors.
In conclusion, considering all what was said above about educating children by means of playing video games and by means of outdoor play we can state that the better way is, of course, outdoor play. The argumentation is simple. A human being is a social creature, and needs to communicate with other humans not only via computer but also personally, face-to-face. From other people we can learn all what we desire, we can benefit from real communication by means of attaining various skills and by simply the joy of having friends. The same is true about our children. Nature and human society are those two things which make a human, not by name but by right. We can not deprive children of that important experience.
In that way, our research helped us to better understand pros and cons of both ways of education, but we did not change our opinion, that the outdoor play and socialization is better for children.
Finetti, Marisa. (Nov. 2010). Mother Nature Misses Her Kids: Benefits to Playing Outdoors. Retrieved from: http://www.hivehealthmedia.com/mother-nature-misses-kids-benefits-playing-outdoors/
Gentile, Douglas A. (2004). The effects of video games on children: what parents need to know. Pediatrics for Parents, June.
Sounders, Frank F. (Mar. 2010). Indoor Vs Outdoor Play – Video Games Vs Wooden Swing Sets. Retrieved from: http://www.articlesbase.com/video-games-articles/indoor-vs-outdoor-play-video-games-vs-wooden-swing-sets-2011663.html