So what is popular to young people?

When I approached this task I initially thought that I knew what was popular amongst young people, as I’m not that old. When I thought about interviewing a young person I wonder who I would choose. I found this a little hard to just choose one person so I decided to interview the children from my grade 3 class. It gave be a broader idea of what was popular amongst young people. The results from the  Pop culture survey  I conducted were interesting, as there were things that I had never heard of before. I had to look this ‘stuff’ up so I understood what they were talking about. Then there were other times that I was surprised because these were the things I was interested in when I was their age.

I decided to split the class into small groups of 3 or 4 with the same genders in each group. I wanted to compare the genders and see if they were actually watching, reading, using different things. It amazed me how similar some of their answers were but it was evident that some of the things they listed were very much gender biased. An example of this would be the boys liking transformers while the girls liked Mary Poppins when it came to movies.

Mary-Poppins-poster      VS    transformers

                          Photo credit: Mary Poppins Image (cc)        Photo Credit: Transformers Image (cc)

Some of the similarities were not so surprising as I had heard them talking about it during lunch breaks or whilst they were lining up to come into class in the morning. Some of these similarities were the viewing of shows like Scooby Doo and Big Brother. Big Brother was a little bit of a shock as I thought this wouldn’t be something that interested this age group with it being a reality tv show, but the students raved on about each of the house members and how they felt about the recent evictees.

An area that surprised me a little was the use of technologies and the viewing of YouTube. The majority of the students said they were not permitted to view YouTube, with the few students who are allowed said they watch it ’cause my older brother/sister does and I just watch what they are watching’. The only student who said they did watch it without siblings was the one who watched ‘How to Basics’ videos. This helped her bake and do craft without the assistance of her parents. She said it is like a coach or teacher and they walk through each step in really simple terms. An example of one of these videos is below.

With use of these popular texts came me questioning ratings, as some of the movies they are suggesting they like is Transformers which is M rated. How are these students being allowed to view these shows, listen to some of these songs or more so having so much freedom to use such devices? Are parents watching their children while they are doing this or are these students left to their own devices? It makes me wonder what else could be popular among this group of children if parents didn’t have some kind of limitation on the viewing, reading and use of popular texts. I guess is something for me to look forward to with my own child and something to be mindful with my students in the mean time 🙂


3 thoughts on “So what is popular to young people?

  1. It was interesting to look at your survey questions and results and compare them to my own. This gave a good idea of the differences in popular culture between Year 3 students and Year 7 students. It was however also interesting to see that there were some similarities despite the age gap between these years.

    I really relate to the concept of using YouTube for ‘How To’ videos. I never would have guessed that Year 3 students would have been using YouTube for this reason though. Whenever I need to know how to do anything, from something around the house to a beauty/hair style tip, cooking tips and mathematics tutorials – I go to YouTube! I am so thankful for all those people out there in the www who upload these helpful hints. I even use educational ‘How To’ videos in my classroom lessons (gives the kids a break from listening to me!). Thankfully my current school has not blocked YouTube for staff.

    I found it really interesting that your Year 3 students are so into Big Brother. I hear my Year 7s talk about certain TV programmes or ask me if I watched ‘so and so’ last night. My initial thoughts are always ‘That isn’t appropriate for 12 year olds’ or ‘That show doesn’t start until 9:30pm! Why are you awake at that time?’ It seems like the television viewing of some children is not closely monitored. When I was a kid TV was not allowed during the week and my bedtime was always 8:30pm. I feel if I ever have my own children I would like to have similar rules in place, but maybe my child will be the only one with these rules…

    • Monica I too was surprised by the results when it came to the viewing of tv shows and movies. It made me wonder about the time these children were going to bed, how much tv they were actually watching, what they were allowed to watch and if their parents really knew all this.

      I too had a strict bedtime (8pm) during primary school and was limited to minimal hours of television viewing during the week. I actually spent time with my family members not an iPod or play station (even though they weren’t really around then). But still the point is it seems that there is not enough family time and too much tv or tech time for our students at school.

      Thank you Monica for this fabulous insight into your childhood and as always your feedback is always appreciated.

  2. Stacey following on from what you said about being surprised, I honestly don’t think anything surprises me these days with regards to children’s viewing and bed times… One of my 5 year old prep students once told me that his favourite movies are Blood Diamond, Transformers and I even think he watched Munich once. I was very concerned about this, however the mother quite cheerfully confirmed that this was true. I think the majority of the content was probably beyond him, like wise with Big Brother and Primary school students. However I distinctly remember feeling left out (even in high school) because I wasn’t allowed to watch Big Brother. I desperately wanted to watch the show just so I could feel involved in my friends’ conversations. Very much thankful now that my parents did not let me watch this show! I think this may well be the case with most of the younger students watching Big Brother, they may not necessarily know what is going on, however they need to watch it to be a part of the playground talk…

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