The Effects of Video and Television on Young Children: Research and Reflection for Christian Educators
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children younger than twenty-four months of age should not be exposed to television. It also suggests that children twenty-four months and older only be exposed to two hours of screen time per day (Chonchaiya & Pruksananonda, 2008). At the time the AAP made these recommendations in 1999, there was limited research on the effects of television on young children. The suggestions were made based primarily on research done on older children (Anderson & Pempek, 2005). Since then researchers have asked themselves: what are the effects of television and videos on young children?
This article will explore research findings on the effects of television and video on young children. It will explore the effects of both foreground and background television and video. This article will also address how exposure to television and video at a young age affects language acquisition, play, and the ability to stay focused. The article concludes with a theological reflection, including suggestions for parents and Christian educators.
Research findings reveal that never before have young children spent such considerable amounts of time “not interacting directly with the world around them—not exploring objects, not engaging in motor activity, not interacting with other people (DeLoache & Chiong, 2009). These research findings carry important implications for parents and Christian educators. Young children’s spiritual, social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and linguistic development demand an informed approach to the use of television and video.
Early Exposure to Television and Video
After conducting a national survey of parents of children ages zero months to six years the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that in America, media use has become an integral part of daily life (DeLoache & Chiong, 2009). According to the Kaiser report, children in the 1970’s were not exposed to television until the age of two. Nowadays young children are exposed to screen media as early as six months: 38% of children ages six to twenty-three months know how to turn the television on, 40% can change channels on the remote, and 7% can load a video on a DVD player. (DeLoache & Chiong, 2009).
DeLoache and Chiong (2009) report that television programs and videos serve a variety of purposes for parents. Some parents consider them a safe activity to keep young children occupied which frees parents to do chores, prepare a meal, or get ready for work. For some parents, video and television serve educational purposes. These parents believe that young children can learn numbers, the alphabet, and foreign languages at an early age through video. Other parents believe that when children are fussy or quarreling with siblings, videos calm them down. Lastly, some parents use videos and television as rewards and incentives for good behavior (DeLoache & Chiong, 2009).
The Importance of Studying the Effects of Television on Young Children
Christakis and Zimmerman (2009) believe there are three reasons why it is important to study the effects of media on very young children. First, young brains undergo rapid changes during the first three years of life. External stimuli are known to influence neurological development and to set patterns for life. Therefore the quality and quantity of stimulation that young children are exposed to, carries lifelong cognitive effects. It is worth noting that Christakis and Zimmerman (2009) estimate that children three years and younger are watching an average of one to three hours of television per day. Second, the more television young children watch, the more television they will demand to watch in subsequent years. Third, Christakis and Zimmerman (2009) explain that although certain programs have been shown to be appropriate for preschoolers, other programs and videos have been found to put young children’s cognitive and behavioral development at risk.
Videos for Babies
DeLoache and Chiong (2009) report that in 1997 Julie Aigner-Clark made a video for her young daughter. The video included classical music, art, languages, and poetry. Years later she was producing a line of videos for infants. In 2001, Walt Disney Company purchased Clark’s company known as Baby Einstein. By 2003 it is estimated that one out of every three American children had watched a Baby Einstein video. In 2005 alone, Baby Einstein, which is advertised as appropriate for children ages zero to two years old, sold more than four hundred million dollars. Following Baby Einstein’s lead, other companies such as Brainy Baby, Baby Bumblebee, and Baby Pro Sports emerged. Even Sesame Street is now producing infant-oriented programming (DeLoache & Chiong, 2009).
Clearly, educational videos for babies have become a multimillion dollar industry. According to DeLoache and Chiong (2009) many of these video companies use parent testimonials as endorsements; however some of the benefits attributed to the videos are due to normal developmental processes, not due to the videos themselves. DeLoache and Chiong (2009) assert that early learning occurs “as a result of seeing events transpire, manipulating objects, moving through space, and interacting with the people” (p.1120).
DeLoache and Chiong (2009) declare that babies learn about reality through experience. By manipulating objects and playing with tools, they learn problem-solving skills. Through practice they gain mastery of these skills. Babies also learn through people and their facial expressions. They learn language by hearing others speak to each other and to them. The intricate ebb and flow of infant learning takes time and practice with “real people, real objects, and real events” (DeLoache & Chiong, 2009, p.1121). DeLoache and Chiong (2009) ask themselves, “how will spending a considerable amount of time with virtual people, virtual objects, and virtual events affect infant development?” (p. 1121)
DeLoache and Chiong (2009) conclude that a positive learning outcome for early video watching might involve the ability to label objects. This does not include, however, the ability to learn the structure of language. Exposing young children to videos might have some negative effects, as well. At best, videos targeting infants and toddlers might be nothing more than “electric babysitters.” A more serious risk to consider would be the possibility that extensive exposure to video at an early age may hinder development. DeLoache and Chiong (2009) close by saying that media exposure might hinder learning because it takes away from young children’s experience with the real world.
Foreground Television and Video
Foreground programming is that to which children pay attention. Video and television producers are now targeting an audience of children two years of age and younger. These videos and television programs are advertised as being educational. They are said to promote a child’s brain development. However, the question remains. What does the research show? (Anderson & Pempek, 2005)
The Video Deficit
Anderson and Pempek (2005) chose the term video deficit to describe the fact that infants learn more effectively from live presentations than from videos. The video deficit has been observed in a number of studies. Schmitt and Anderson (2002) found that when a group of two and three year olds were asked to watched a toy being hidden in an adjacent room and then were asked to find it, those who watched the live presentation through a window showed better results than those who watched a video presentation. Hayne, Herbert, and Simcock (2003) found similar results when they studied a group of infants who were shown a series of actions by an adult. The infants’ reproduction of the adults’ actions was then assessed. Researchers found that the performance of those who watched the presentation through video was inferior.
Diener, Pierroutsakos, Troseth, and Roberts (2008) set out to observe the behavioral reactions of young children. Some infants were exposed to a live presentation and others to a video version. Although infants responded to both presentations; the infants that watched the live display, “looked much longer at, reached more to, showed more interest in, and exhibited more fear” than those that watched the video (Diener et al., 2008, p. 418). Researchers concluded that even though infants do respond to video images (two-dimensional), they are less interested in video displays than in real events (three-dimensional). These findings suggest that videos will not replace “face-to-face interaction with people as the best source of learning for infants” (Diener et al., 2008, p. 418)
Another study conducted by Barr, Zack, García, and Muentener (2008) focused on infants’ responsiveness to video and parental interaction style. Their hypothesis was based on Vygotsky’s belief that all cognitive functions develop through social experiences. Vygostky found that once a child has mastered a skill in a supportive social context, the skill will be internalized, therefore enabling the child to apply this skill in new contexts. Researchers played a video (Baby Mozart) to the infant and observed the infant’s looking time and responsiveness (i.e. vocalizing and pointing) along with the parents’ interaction style with the baby. They found that higher numbers of questions and labels by parents were associated with higher looking time and infant responsiveness (Barr et al., 2008). A similar study was conducted among toddlers. Findings showed that the live parent label group performed better than the video no-label group. Researchers concluded that the effect of the video deficit was ameliorated by parent labels.
Parent-child interaction remains the most effective learning tool for young children. Although the studies related to video deficit are still few, findings show that even though learning does occur when young children are taught through video, the learning experience is superior when it involves lives displays and social interaction (Anderson & Pempek, 2005).
The Effects of Television and Video on Language, Speech, and Vocabulary
Learning to communicate is one of the major developmental milestones during early childhood. Language acquisition is an intricate process that involves auditory, linguistic, cognitive, and environmental factors (Chonchaiya & Pruksananonda, 2008). Therefore it is necessary to assess how video exposure affects the development of language during early childhood. Linebarger and Walker (2005) believe that the “nature of linguistic input a child receives can have large effects on how often the child actually talks and what words the child uses” (p. 625). They reveal that the amount of linguistic input mothers direct at children is strongly related to children’s vocabulary growth (Linebarger & Walker, 2005).
Chonchaiya and Pruksananonda (2008) conducted a pilot study to determine the relationship between the effects of television viewing before the age of two and language delays. They found that children who started watching television at two years of age or younger were approximately six times more likely to have language delays. In addition, researchers found that these infants did not watch educational media; they watched cartoons created for older children. The majority of children studied who had language delays started watching television around the age of ten months and over 60% of them watched television alone. In this study neglectful parenting was found to be the strongest factor associated with language delays (Chonchaiya & Pruksananonda, 2008).
A similar study took place where no association between time spent watching television and delayed language development at the age of two years was found. However, all two-year-old children (sixteen of them) who showed delayed language development had been watching television since they were six months of age. Researchers also found that most parents had a positive perception of television viewing (Ruangdaragann, Chuthapisith, Mo-suwan, Kriweradechachi, Udomsubpayakul, & Choprapawon, 2009).
Linebarger and Walker (2005) conducted a study to see if there is any association between television exposure and a child’s vocabulary knowledge. Researchers divided their findings by specific programs. They found that Blue’s Clues and Dora the Explorer were positively related to expressive language. Onscreen characters in these programs speak directly to children. In contrast, Teletubbies and Sesame Street were negatively related to children’s language outcomes. Researchers in the study speculate on the reasons. Teletubbies present a variety of musical and visual input, including difficult words that might be too hard for infants to process. Sesame Street does not provide enough support for comprehension between vignettes. Researchers concluded that while some educational programs might be beneficial for infants and toddlers, in regard to language acquisition, others programs are definitely not beneficial (Linebarger & Walker, 2005).
In a similar study Krcmar, Grela, and Kirsten (2007) found that toddlers learn more vocabulary from adult speakers than from programs such as Teletubbies. Researchers concluded that young children do not know where to focus their attention when presented with programs charged with stimuli. The sensory overload might be too much for toddlers to handle. Krcmar et al. (2007) believe that young children might have difficulty learning from puppet-like characters that do not sustain eye contact. Toddlers learn best when the teaching segment is not overly vivid and when they know exactly where and on whom to focus. That ensures that toddlers are engaged in the learning experience (Krcmar et al., 2007).
Okuma and Tanimura (2009) report that pediatricians in Japan recently declared that delayed language development and impaired social skills such as not speaking, lack of expression, or eye contact are found in young children with heavy television and video watching habits. These statements corroborate their findings. Okuma and Tanimura (2009) found that children who have a habit of heavy television watching were more likely to show delayed language development. Okuma and Tanimura (2009) also found that children who watched television alone were more likely to show delayed speech. These children displayed less language comprehension, pointing behavior, and fine motor ability (Okuma & Tanimura, 2009).
Okuma and Tanimura (2009) conducted another study where they collected eighty-five children’s videos. They examined the relationship between frequently watched videos and language development. Infants studied were between seventeen and nineteen months of age. Findings showed that infants with delayed speech preferred realistic short animation, realistic feature-length animation, and baby education. Okuma and Tanimura (2009) concluded that young children with speech delays watch videos passively. The characters in these videos do not speak to viewers directly and therefore do not stimulate conversation. Another factor to consider is that feature length videos promote continuous watching. This keeps young children from engaging in other activities that stimulate development (Okuma & Tanimura, 2009).
Early Television Watching and Attention Problems
ADHD is a common behavioral disorder among children. In the past, attention disorders have been attributed to heredity, however in recent years environmental factors have been considered as well. Neurological research shows that the newborn brain continues to develop during the first years of life. “The alerting and orientating networks that guide the direction of attention and the selection of targets are present at birth and mature rapidly over the first six months (Courage & Setliff, 2009, 73). The types and degrees of stimulation young children are exposed to affect the density of neurological connections. Visual and auditory influences play a vital role in brain development.
Concerns about the effects of television on attention first arose in the 1970’s after the release of Sesame Street (Courage & Setliff, 2009). Since then, researchers have found that television, which is highly stimulating, reduces attention, reading ability, and levels of concentration (Courage & Setliff, 2009). However, most of these studies involve older children. Recently the interest in studying very young children increased and studies began to emerge (Christakis, Zimmerman, DiGiuseppe & McCarty, 2004).
The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington, conducted a study to test the hypothesis that television exposure (ages one and three year olds) is associated with attention problems at age seven. They found that ten percent of the children tested had attentional problems at age seven. Researchers assert that their research findings are a compelling argument for the reduction of television exposure in young children (Christakis et al., 2004).
Miller, Marks, Miller, Berwid, Kera, Santra, and Halperin (2007) conducted similar research and found the same results. Television viewing was significantly associated with attention problems. However, researchers clarify that this does not imply causation; it is still unclear whether there is a causal link between ADHD and heavy television viewing. It is possible that television might be more often used as a surrogate baby-sitter for children with ADHD. Researchers conclude, however, that television viewing is a highly rewarding activity that demands very little effort on the part of young viewers. This produces adverse consequences such as cognitive underdevelopment (Miller et al., 2007).
Zimmerman and Christakis (2007) investigated the effects of television and video by focusing on content type. The three content types identified were educational, nonviolent entertainment, and violent entertainment. Educational programs were identified as having pro-social or cognitive components (Winnie the Pooh, Barney, Blue’s Clues). Non-violent programs were not violent and not educational (Flintstones, Babe, Family Matters). Violent programs were identified as those whose central theme was violent in nature (Space Jam, Scooby Doo, Looney Tunes). Findings showed that educational television watched before the age of three was not significantly associated with attention problems. However, non-violent and violent programs watched before the age of three were significantly associated with attention problems five years later. In fact each hour per day spent viewing violent programs, accounted for double the odds for attention problems later on (Zimmerman & Christakis, 2007). Zimmerman and Christakis (2007) also found that watching violent programming inhibits emotional regulation and pretend play.
The effect of foreground video and television is not the only concern of researchers. Background television has recently become a strong consideration as well. This type of exposure usually takes place when caregivers watch television while young children are in the room. This type of programming consists of “adult content that is largely incomprehensible to a very young child and to which they ordinarily pay little cumulative attention” (Schmidt, Pempek, Kirkorian, Frankenfield-Lund, & Anderson, 2008, p. 1137). Anderson and Pempek (2005) reveal that when television is playing in the background it affects the intensity of play and diminishes the amount of parent-child interaction.
The Effects of Background Television on Play Behavior
Schmidt et al. (2002) conducted an experiment to test the hypothesis that background adult television is a disruptive influence on young children’s play. They were compelled to conduct the study in light of previous research which shows that television exposure for children thirty months and younger is associated with poorer cognitive and language development. These findings were corroborated by other studies that show that levels of ambient noise and household chaos are negatively related to cognitive development among children five years of age and younger. Background noise has also been shown to have a negative association with a mother’s verbal responsiveness (Schmidt et al., 2002).
Schmidt et al. (2002) assert that during play children refine motor skills, learn cause and effect, and problem solving techniques. Pretend play also helps children to explore representational abilities and social roles. Schmidt et al. (2002) declare that “television may be viewed as competing for cognitive resources necessary to execute play schemes. In addition, television may have a general disruptive effect that has been observed in children in noisy environments (p. 1138).”
In the Schmidt et al. (2002) study young children were observed while playing with toys in a room for one hour. During the first thirty minutes a television program played in the background, the television was turned off for the remaining thirty minutes of play. Findings show that children’s toy play was disrupted by background television; resulting in less play overall, shorter play episodes, and shorter periods of focused attention (Schmidt et al., 2002).
Heavy Television Exposure and Young Children’s Development
Television has become a default activity for the average American family. On average, Americans watch television approximately six hours per day. Vandewater, Bickham, Lee, Cummings, Wartella, and Rideout, (2005) interviewed 1065 parents of children six months to six years of age via phone. Researchers sought to determine the prevalence of television viewing, demographics, family variables related to heavy television viewing, and time spent in other various activities. Vandewater et al. (2005) found that 39% of the children ages zero to four live in heavy television households. These are homes where the television is on always or most of the time. For children six months to two years of age, parental views on television was the primary predictor. Children that live in heavy-television households not only watch more television than other children, but also spend more time playing video games and listening to music. Two types of parents were found among heavy television households, those who are likely to use television as a baby-sitter and those who believe that educational television contributes to healthy development. Children from heavy television households were found to be less likely to read and be read to (Vandewater et al., 2005).
Exploring Reading as an Alternative to Watching Television and Videos
Concerning the presence of noise in the home, Callahan (2007) believes that “the enchantment of the Noise begins before children even learn to walk or talk. Their role as passive viewers increases the prospect of becoming imitators rather than original, inventive, and inspired doers and actors” (p. 252-253). Her greatest concern however, is that young children become imitators of role models that live in direct contrast to biblical values.
Through a poignant statement, Callahan (2007) reveals that “the Noise”, i.e., television, has for many families, become a god. She says,
…media, considered as a conglomerate, bear the attributes of God in that they are everywhere (omnipresence), inform us about everything (omniscience), and seemingly can accomplish anything (omnipotence). In subtle and not so subtle ways, television and film are contributing to the indifference to Christian spirituality (Callahan, 2007, p. 254-255).
To counteract the lasting effects of the Noise, Callahan (2007) suggests that reading is a lost art that fosters the spiritual development of children. The connection established between parent and child during family times of reading is one of the primary benefits of the practice. She believes that when children are read to by their parents, the emotional bonds established provide children with the framework from which the attributes of God can be experienced. She declares,
Loving touch is particularly important in the early years of life. Rocking and reading to an infant can promote feelings of security and peace. Withdrawing with a child to a quiet place and reading a book together can result in a oneness of heart and mind, and can allow both the child and adult to hear the voice of God (Callahan, 2007, p. 256).
Callahan (2007) suggests yet another benefit of reading. It cultivates important disciplines such as solitude, silence, study, and meditation. “Silence is imagination’s habitat…the voice of God…God’s first language” (Callahan, 2007, p. 256). During times of Bible study and meditation God transforms the reader. Fear and anxiety, often faced by young children, can be alleviated during “deliberate, unrushed, reflective reading”(Callahan, 2007, 256).
On the home front Callahan (2007) suggests that parents invest in a rich library for their children; regular visits to the library is another of her recommendations. Noise-free reading times can become a part of daily life. Setting quiet reading nooks in the home is another practical suggestion that reaps tremendous benefits. In literacy-rich environments children are encouraged to invest in special books. Parents could also give their children book collections for birthdays and Christian holidays.
Callahan (2007) offers wise suggestions for Christian educators as well. She encourages educators to evaluate the effects of the Noise within the church.
It is tempting to play a Christian cartoon on DVD to entertain babies and toddlers. With only a little more effort the nursery worker can foster spiritual development by looking at a picture book with a baby or reading a Bible story to a group of toddlers (p. 261).
Lastly, Callahan (2007) reminds the reader that in order to foster community and connectedness, children’s environments must be Noise-free. It is nearly impossible to nurture spirituality and spiritual disciplines in the midst of video games, television, or the internet. “Reading is a spiritual gift and also a spiritual discipline that must be practiced. A first step is to deliberately turn down the Noise and pick up a book” (Callahan, 2007, p. 264).
Is it Beneficial?
While it is true that Paul taught about freedom in Christ, it is also true that he emphasized the dangerous grip of sin. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1), “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). Paul taught these truths to the Corinthians who were using his teaching in “freedom” as a “theological excuse to sin” (MacArthur, 1984, p. 146). Freedom in Christ never releases believers to indulge in the desires of the flesh (Gal. 5:13). Therefore, Paul confronts the Corinthian church with these words, “Everything is permissible for me—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me—but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Cor. 6:12). Fee (1987) explains that the Corinthians had appropriated the slogan “Everything is permissible for me” without regard to the “in Christ” perspective which was central in Paul’s teaching. The Corinthian church and the church of the twenty-first century have this in common they rationalize their habits (MacArthur, 1984).
Paul on the other hand was compelled to remind them that even though believers are no longer under the penalty of the law, believers are still accountable for answering important questions regarding behavior and habits. Is this profitable? Is this beneficial? Is this advantageous? Has this become a master? (MacArthur, 1984) Fee (1987) explains “the question is not whether an action is “lawful” or “right” or even “all right,” but whether it is good, whether it benefits. Truly Christian conduct is not predicated on whether one has the right to do something, but on whether a certain conduct is helpful to others (p. 252).
With this perspective in mind, the use of media by very young children, which largely depends on decisions made by adults (parents, caregivers, Christian educators) calls for similar questions. Is the use of media at a very young age profitable? Are the large amounts of media which infants and toddlers are being exposed to daily, truly advantageous? Is media beneficial to a child’s development? Has media become a master?
Is it Wise?
In light of differing opinions and contradicting information regarding the use of media by young children, the need for godly wisdom is pressing. It is comforting to know that the wisdom that is so urgently needed is available to believers. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (Jas. 1:5). The wisdom that James refers to is above all, usable. Barclay (1976) contends that biblical wisdom,
It is not a philosophical speculation and intellectual knowledge; it is concerned with the business of living. [It is] knowledge of the deep things of God; but it is essentially practical; it is knowledge turned into action in the decisions and personal relationships of everyday life (p. 45).
The wisdom that James refers to is also available, but believers must ask for it. Romans 8:32 promises, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” God generously gives wisdom and grace to earnest seekers. He gives it with no strings attached. “Because God does not reproach us, we can be honest with God in our prayers…God accepts us and understands our weaknesses…So we must never hesitate but come boldly to God to get his wisdom (Barton, Veerman & Wilson, 1992, p. 12).
Christian parents and educators have the wisdom of God available to them for matters of education and training. He will guide them to answer important question because the thriving development of children matters greatly to God. Is exposing young children to considerable amounts of television and video wise? What are the best ways to foster godly wisdom in children? How can families pursue wisdom together?
Is it a good use of time?
The Bible says, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16 NASB). Here again a reminder to be wise is found. The concept of living carefully denotes a call to give every action accurate, precise, and close attention. In the Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, “every incident conversation, and, observation…focuses on obeying or disobeying, heeding or ignoring, following or departing from God’s divine path for Christian living” (MacArthur, 1986, p. 219). The careful consideration of the effects of media on young children is necessary. The emphasis of this passage “once again is on the mind and on careful attention to keep life on target, the target being that which pleases Christ and fits his purpose” (Snodgrass, 1996, p.288).
This passage introduces the concept of time, as well. The need to be wise and the need to live carefully must take into consideration that God in His sovereignty knows the beginning and end of everyone’s life. MacArthur (1986) declares, “As believers we can achieve our potential in His service only as we maximize the time He has given us” (p. 221). This includes the time allotted to media in the lives of young children and the adults that care for them. Believers’ views on the stewardship of time will be reflected by the way time is spent. Because time belongs to God, it is given to believers as a gift to be used for His purposes and for His glory. Since studies show that young children spend considerable amounts of time watching television and videos, raising godly children raises the question of time and its proper use. What is the best use of time when seeking to nurture the spiritual, emotional, social, and cognitive development of young children? Is watching considerable amounts of television a wise stewardship of God’s gift of time? How can we teach children to use time wisely and for God’s glory?
The effects of video and television on very young children carry important implications for parents and Christian educators. The multitude of videos and television programs produced specifically for infants and toddlers is rapidly growing. Until recent years the vast majority of research focused on the effects of television on older children. However, during the last few years researchers have become increasingly interested on media effects on young children.
The above exposition would not be complete without acknowledging that further research is not only essential but also compelling. The growing presence of media in the lives of very young children and the salient questions concerning its effects on children’s emotional, social, and cognitive development demand it. Christakis and Zimmerman (2009) argue that, “…studies should be solution oriented in their design, exploring specific approaches, and populations that might benefit from interventions” (p. 1182). Anderson and Pempek (2005) concludes by saying:
As a society, we are engaged in a vast and incontrollable experiment with our infants and toddlers, plunging them into home environments that are saturated with electronic media. We should try to understand what we are doing and what are the consequences (p. 519).
Lastly, regarding media’s role in the spiritual development of young children, the right conclusions constrain parents and Christian educators to seek answers, not based on fad or popularized notions but on solid biblical teaching and reliable research. Furthermore, children deserve that truly beneficial and wise conclusions are reached in a spirit of thoughtful reflection, prayer, and sound judgment.
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Sudi Kate Gliebe is a doctoral student in Childhood Education and Foundations of Education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX where she also completed the Masters in Christian Education. Her work is framed in integrating the spiritual and emotional formation of the child and that a faith-based perspective on education which critically engages empirical research holds no contradiction. Consistent with the Great Commission, Christ-followers in science, education and other fields of study have the privilege of submitting their endeavors to the authority of Scripture and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Sudi Kate Gliebe may be contacted at email@example.com.