1. Postman gives three commandments that describe the television educational philosophy: avoiding perplexity, exposition, and perquisites. It is vital to understand the characteristics of the education system as most families spend around 5-6 hours a day watching TV. The emergence of electronic image, as a new form of disseminating knowledge in comparison to the original print media, has led to a dilemma. Television and other visual media have emerged as a powerful tool of teaching, influencing, training, and shaping the mind and character of the youth.
2. The three commandments apply equally to all the visual media in America. The other visual media include art, photographs, film, advertisements, architecture, clipart, and body language. Most people find it easier and more entertaining to learn through the visual media rather than from a book. It is beneficial for adults and children who have short attention spans. However, studies show that visual media relaxes the mind after 1-2 minute of watching. It also reduces the concentration span of children as they cannot concentrate for 10-15 minutes on one thing. It is especially typical of visual media of low educational value. Therefore, visual media do not induce perplexity.
3. The visual media do not need to have prerequisites such as the print media. People can use visual media without previous editions. However, in order to foster understanding print media requires the use of prerequisites. Electronic images provide diversified programming on many fields such as science, history, nature, arts, medicine, and many more. Due to this, they do not handle all the information of specific fields. An example of an electronic learning process is online courses that have demonstrated a 17% increase over the years. It is also worth noting that, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics report, 98% of schools have assimilated the use of web technologies for class and online learning.
a) Another characteristic of the visual media is avoidance of exposition. They mostly employ styles that make them entertaining. Therefore, they avoid hypotheses, refutations, discussions, and resonating instruments. The study carried out by Jacob Nielsen in 2000 revealed that 78% of users preferred visual content to textual one (Nielsen 5). An example of a visual tool that is commonly employed for educational purposes is the Arromanches 360.
4. Critical thinking involves a process of actively and skillfully forming a concept, analyzing, resonating, and finally applying it. It involves evaluating information obtained from the process of observation, reasoning, experience, reflection, communication, and action. It leads to the formation of hypotheses and conclusions (Hughes 15). Postman’s three commandments for TV educational philosophy are not relevant to critical thinking and reasoning. The characteristics of the visual media in the process of disseminating education do not match the criteria required for critical thinking. They do not put an emphasis on logical thought as there is no need for prerequisites. There is no application of knowledge acquired as they do not induce perplexity and finally, they do not induce the viewer to form hypotheses, refutations, reasons, or discussions as it is mainly meant for entertainment. Therefore, Postman’s claims have no relevance to critical thinking.
5. If I were the current secretary of education with enough powers, I would implement the following changes. I would ensure that teachers include into their methods of teaching a new methodology. This may include use of short film, art, photography, clipart, and many other visual media forms. The visual forms have an advantage over the printed ones as they increase concentration, impart a wide range of skills, and promote comprehension while providing entertainment.
6. However, I would encourage the use of visual media in education only if it is used to a certain limit. Visual media possess disadvantages of using them in the education process. They include addiction, violence, nudity, and low educational content. The use of visual media should only complement teaching and print media, but should not replace them entirely. I will only implement visual media in the learning curriculum to complement the current methodology. The successfulness of the project will also depend on the effective performance of roles by concerned participants.