Saturday, March 30, 2013

"Educational" television and yourself

Hello! I'm going to open this post to anybody who feels like talking about themselves for a brief moment. We've probably grew up watching television and watching different television shows targeted to early childhood education. Nick Jr. Playhouse Disney, Ect. I was just wondering if anybody here agrees or disagrees with Postman's attack on Sesame Street.

I was wondering if YOU remember learning anything while watching those early childhood shows.

Are there any songs or scenes you remember that contributed to your "knowledge"?

Were there any early childhood shows that you remember that your parents didn't want you to watch? Why?

Feel free to talk about your favorite early TV show and discuss if you think it was educational or not.


  1. When I was little, I remember watching Barney, which is considered "educational". The only thing I really remember learning from it was the "I Love You" song. I really didn't watch much TV though. On a more relevant note, I have two niecves who are 2 and 5. They watch Dora, Yo Gabba Gabba, and Backyardigans. From my observations it seems that they pick up songs like I did as a child. My niece sings the Yo Gabba Gabba song "Don't bite your friends" and "There's a party in my tummy, so yummy, so yummy." I think the songs are pretty weird, but it's what she likes. I don't think these shows are for educational purposes as much as they are for moral purposes. My nieces would get very bored watching PBS after watching the shows they are used to now.

  2. I actually didn't grow up on cable, so I haven't seen many of the shows my friends reference now. I didn't watch Sesame Street all that much either. I grew up on Barney and Disney movies. I have stumbled on SS as I've flipped channels over the years and I honestly don't understand why Postman is so against it. Of all the "junk" found on tv then and now, it's one of the better shows. Ok, so maybe it's teaching kids to love TV, but it's not making them hate school- it's educating them and making them enjoy learning.

  3. I grew up like Tierney and Amanda have mentioned with Barney, and Disney movies too. I remember shows like Out of the Box, Zaboomafo (wow, I'm not sure how to spell that, but you get the idea), and Between the Lions.

    Now those last few were when I was a little older, but I remember songs from them, learning about animals, and the stories that they went over. Maybe not perfectly, but those things shaped my childhood, and I think in a pretty positive way. I learned that I have a love for books and animals, and I feel like these shows helped stimulation not only my imagination, but the creativity I seek now.

    Maybe a television show didn't teach me my ABCs, but I have fond memories of these shows, and I think they offered kids in my generation a good source of entertainment.

  4. Like Melanie, I grew up largely on Between the Lions, Zaboomafoo, and also that evil of all evils, Sesame Street. I don't remember a whole lot about Sesame Street, because I watched it when I was very very young, but I remember learning a crapload from the Krat brothers while watching Zaboomafoo. It occurs to me that this may tie in to one of the ideas we discussed in class: whether or not you learn better when you are interested, or when you are entertained. Understand, I'm not pitting the two against each other, I'm saying they are two separate questions. You see, when I was younger (and still today, really) I freaking loved animals. I LOVED them. Zaboomafoo was right down my alley, and I learned all sorts of random facts from that show because I was riveted to the screen when it was on. I would call this being interested, and I would say that being interested largely helped me learn. I don't know, however, if being entertained is the same thing.

    I don't remember so much from Between the Lions, which is interesting, because I also LOVED reading. I do remember, however, that the show was cut up into sections that taught you different things, fragmented like Postman warns against. Maybe I remember more of the form and less of the content because of the way it was structure, whereas I remember more of the content and less of the form of Zaboomafoo because it was a more effective form, one that taught me how to learn better than Between the Lions? Just a thought.

  5. I think that i learned a little from these shows. I will say it did teach me how to learn to love television. I can say that it also did help me with little things like counting and colors. Did it teach me how to do math or how to read? No. That is the purpose though. It isn't meant to teach you how to do something. I think it is there to help reinforce many of the ideas we had taken home with us from preschool. It also is there to teach you to enjoy school. I think that we associate the numbers and colors with what we enjoy on television and translate that to what we do in school. Maybe sesame street is helping us. What happens is that near the drop off of children liking school, the television the watch becomes so much less educational. Think about that.

  6. As a child I loved watching shows that were on the PBS channel such as Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, Wishbone and Reading Rainbow. I remember from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood that there was always a segment about how thing were made, which I always liked as a child. The show also usually had some sort of lesson tied into it where Mr. Roger's had to help the puppets solve some sort social issue. I think that Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and other shows such as Reading Rainbow and Wishbone played their own sort of helpful role in my development as a child. Also, they bring back happy memories of the 90's.

  7. As far as children's educational tv goes, I think Barney and Sesame street were my go to shows when I was really young. As I got a bit older I got into Beast Wars (which is NOT educational but is still awesome) and Blue's Clues. There were plenty of other shows mixed in there (a lot rented from the library I think), but honestly nothing particularly stands out song or message-wise except for various Blue's Clues songs (like the intro/outro, mail time song, etc.).

    Despite my memory failing me, I believe that the educational shows I watched were positive (albeit small) influences on my development. Regardless, they were certainly not detrimental in any way.