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Barbara R. Fowles

Barbara R. Fowles

Department Chair and ProfessorCommunications and Film

B.A., Barnard College, Columbia University (Honors)M.A., Ph.D., Ferkauf Graduate School, Yeshiva University


Phone: 516-299-2382
Office Location: Humanities 102

Before coming to Long Island University, Barbara Fowles earned a doctorate in developmental psycholinguistics and spent ten years at Children’s Television Workshop (now titled Sesame Workshop), overseeing research for the educational program “The Electric Company.” She also taught at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus, Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School and in SUNY Stony Brook’s  Graduate Psychology program  before coming to LIU Post. She also spent a year as a Research Associate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Center for Children’s Television in 1975-76.

In addition, she earned advanced certification in child psychotherapy from the Advanced Institute for Analytic Psychotherapy in New York and is a New York State-certified clinical psychologist, specializing in children and adolescents. She had a private practice on Long Island for many years. Fowles has served as a consultant to several television productions for children, nationally and internationally, to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Planning Committee on educational technology and to the FTC’s investigation of the effects of advertising to children. Her research has focused on children’s cognitive development in relationship to both print and electronic media. Since coming to LIU Post, she has taught courses on children’s television, media ethics, media literacy,media culture, internet culture and related topics, including many Honors College courses.  


Children’s Television, Media Literacy, the Social Impact of Mass Media, Interactive Media, Media and Literacy, Language and Logic in News Reporting, Advertising to Children, and Development of Print Literacy in our Social Media Environment.



  • Author, “Profit Motive and Public Interest: Colliding forces in broadcast news,” published in "Styles, Structures and Ideas in Disciplinary Writing" (2005)
  • Author, "Developmentally appropriate alternatives to violence in television," Paper presented at conference on Violence in the Media at St. John’s University (1994)
  • Co-author, "The effects of sentence reversibility on young children’s comprehension of active and passive sentences” delivered at the Eastern Psychological Association Convention
  • Author, “Children’s Television Workshop: A Positive Instance,” Paper presented at the Conference on Psychological Research and Public Policy: The Case of Children’s Television, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Author  “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: PC on the Frontier” Popular Culture Review. (1999)
  • Author, “Learning to love reading: Interviews with older children and teens.," published in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (1999)
  • Co-author, "What readers do: Young children’s ideas about the nature of reading," published in The Reading Teacher (1997)
  • Co-author, "Why Ernie Can’t Read: Sesame Street and Literacy," published in The Reading Teacher (1996), reprinted in The Education Digest (1997)
  • Author, “A Child and his Television Set: What is the nature of the Relationship?” published in "Television and Education" (1980)
  • Author, “The Teaching Face: Current Emphasis," published in "Children and the Faces of Television" (1980)
  • Co-author, “Sesame Street, The Electric Company and Reading,” published in "Toward a Literate Society" (1975)
  • Co-author, “Piaget meets Big Bird: Is Television an Effective Teacher?” published in Urban Review (1974)
  • Co-author, "The impact of television on early childhood,” presented at the 20th International Congress for Psychology (1972)
  • Co-author, “Language Tests and the Disadvantaged Reader,” published in Reading World (1972) 


and Presentations (Selected):

  • Member of a “Delphi” expert panel on the predicted impact of multimedia interactive technology on Broadcast Journalism. Broadcast Education Assoc. Washington D.C. 1996 and 1999.
  • Television Advertising and the Preschool Child Testimony before the Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 1978.
  • “Effects of Sentence reversibility on Young Children’s Comprehension of Active and Passive Sentences. With P. Kramer. Presented at Eastern Psychological Association. Philidelphia. 1977. 
  • Invited participant , International Radio and Television Society Industry/Faculty Seminar . One of 75 faculty nationwide selected. 1992. 
  • Consultant to the Fund for the City of New York on development of a literacy channel for NYC. 1991


  • Invited Participant, International Radio and Television Society Industry/Faculty Seminar
  • Recipient, Broadcast Education Association Research Grant Award
  • Recipient, three Faculty Research Grants
  • Recipient, TLI Instructional Grant Award


  • Member, American Psychological Association
  • Member, Broadcast Education Association, Writing Division
  • New York State-Certified Clinical Psychologist
  • Member, Popular Culture Association