Sesame Street And The Death Of Reading

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?Sesame Street and the Death of Reading? was an interesting article to read. The author explains many who actually sit down and watch the program see no educational gain for their children. It teaches kids how to read (in some areas of the program), but it doesn?t teach these things that are needed most when learning to read: language, active reflection, persistence, and internal control. Sesame Street teaches words, numbers, etc. only for a short one minute time frame on the program. I?m sure the kid will remember the word for a while, but in order for growing brains to learn is to repeat what it is being taught – something that Sesame Street does not do.

Since the ?learning period? is so short, teachers are blaming kids? short attention span and low listening skills to Sesame Street. This program is kind of like commercials that play all day for the world to see. What you see is what you get. What you want is what sells. The Children?s Television Workshop?s philosophy is ?what kids watch is what ?sells? ? (formative) rather than evaluating it?s real educational outcomes (normative).

The author did a great job on pointing out the main factors on why Sesame Street is not the ?way to go? program for children, especially ones aged beyond preschool and kindergarten. I thought it was interesting that the author said that ?the visual events, noises, and slapstick comedy emphasize a trouble in view of the fact that both disadvantaged children and those with learning disabilities have difficulty using ?verbal strategies? for processing information.? When you learn in the class there is hardly ever any comedy to it like there is on Sesame Street. I remember watching Sesame Street when i was little. All of those short breaks of learning letters and numbers I already knew. I thought it was easy, and I liked the way they presents the letter/number.

The author also gives enough evidence to support her decision. I realize now that a program like Sesame Street really doesn?t teach you anything. It is what it is, and that is just a TV show for kids. The problem is that the program is NOT the teacher and should probably get rid of the little learning sessions.

Jane Healy brings up so many aspects to why Sesame Street is the death of reading. Kids are learning to read in short time spans, learning little words in short time spands and learning the names of ten animals in 90 seconds. Can these things that are brought to the child come from book. I think not! The book doesn?t come to the children like the program. It isn?t ?user friendly? to the children. Therefore most kids who watch Sesame Street are most likely to throw a book down or never pick one up.

The only weaknesses I can find is that there has not been any research to prove these things against Sesame Street. But the arguments are well in thought and explain in great detail the things children learn and don?t learn from the program.

Again, I remember watching Sesame Street when i was little. To tell you the truth, I pretty much only remember the theme songs to all the kids? shows I watched years ago. Of course I remember the names, but I don?t think I really learned anything on Sesame Street. I think I was at a good age when i watched it, meaning I was old enough to know the stuff being ?taught? to me.


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