My Thoughts on Sesame Street and Traditional Teaching

Before I begin, I just want to say I was a HUGE fan of Sesame Street and I loved watching it as a kid. I remember watching it every afternoon as I went to kindergarten in the morning. I feel like I did not realize how much learning was going on when I was watching it. I have always wondered why I was soooooo smart………JUST KIDDING HAHA!!!!

Here is the quote that we were asked to reflect on this week:

“…We now know that “Sesame Street” encourages children to love school only if school is like “Sesame Street.” Which is to say, we now know that “Sesame Street” undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents” This quote can be found in the following article:  Learning in the Age of Television, Neil Postman 

Neil Postman, who was an educational theorist, raises a valid point about the way in which our children could be educated during their school career. I believe that educators should use a variety of instructional strategies and methods in their classroom as all children learn in different ways. To me, one way of teaching is no better than the other. It totally depends on the learner as  one child may learn completely different from the other.

I think the main point Postman is trying to make here is that traditional ways of teaching is not the only way to teach. I feel like he was trying to make other educators aware that learning can be fun, just like the in the show Sesame Street! Back then however, I think it would be very difficult for teachers to change their “traditional” ways of teaching as that’s all they knew. In saying that, I don’t think Postman wanted the educators to change their ways completely, but just to recognize that all learners won’t necessarily learn the same way.

Even back then when technology and resources were sparse, Postman still believed that education could be fun by using a variety of instructional methods and materials. I think Brooke is on point when she states that “today’s technology capabilities are likely beyond what Postman imagined for education in 1985 but many of the positive implications of AV technology remain relevant.” I definitely think  now a days teachers understand that the traditional ways of teaching is not the only option for teaching. Many educators, including myself, are much more open to inquiry learning, using technology, incorporating manipulative, as well using audio visuals as we just learned all about.

A great article was posted this week called The Importance of Audio Visual Technology in Education. As we know from the wonderful presentation this past week by Michael, Joe, Sam, and Kyla M , using audio-visual  resources can benefit our learners in many ways. It states that a“ wide selection of AV tools make teaching and learning a rich and enjoyable experience, inspire learners with creative and innovative multimedia activities and will also save time in lesson preparation. The ability to share this information will eventually create a ‘global curriculum’”. In saying that, light shines on the fact that educators are continuing to and be open to using a variety of teaching methods in the classroom rather than just the old ways.

I thought it might be fun to interview my parents on their thoughts about Sesame Street. I read them the quote provided … “We now know that “Sesame Street” encourages children to love school only if school is like “Sesame Street.” Which is to say, we now know that “Sesame Street” undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents”. Here is what they responded ….

Mother (who is a teacher)
– I put it on because it made learning fun at home
-you can find a balance of using  teaching methods in the classroom
-you can maintain interest level when it’s fun
– education is not always fun, sometimes you just need to teach something
-people have great memories about it

-wanted us to watch it because it was educational
– enjoyed watching it himself
– always liked to ask questions about what was going on

In the end, I believe that both traditional ways and modern ways of teaching are important in order for a child to be successful in school.



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