Source: The Mercury, 25 November, 1996, p.1

TV: the
urban myths

WATCHING television for 
up to two hours a day has   
no impact on school stu-
dents' academic ability, a 
new study shows.

   And junior secondary 
school students who bury 
themselves in books for five 
hours each night are likely 
to perform poorly at school.

   The Third International 
Mathematics and Science 
Study, involving 14,000 stu-
dents across Australia, chal-
lenges modern urban myths 
about the negative effects of 
watching "the box".

Key results included:

* Students who watched 
TV or videos for up to two 
hours a day posted similar 
maths test scores to stu-
dents who watched none.
Continued Page 2

TV myths


   * Students who watched TV 
or videos for about three hours 
achieved maths scores only 
marginally lower than those of 
their non-watching classmates.

   * But students on a diet of five 
hours' television a day per-
formed significantly worse.

   The research in Australia was 
conducted by a team set up by 
the Australian Council of Edu-
cation Research.

   Its findings indicated that all 
work and no play made poor 
students, including:

   * Students who tackled five 
hours' homework a night had 
significantly lower science test 
scores than students who spent 
about two hours on homework.

   * Between one and two hours' 
homework appeared to be the 
most baneficial.

   * Reading for pleasure each 
day was linked to high test 

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