TITLE

10 Reasons "Sesame Street" Is Bad News for Reading

AUTHOR(S)
Healy, Jane M.
PUB. DATE
February 1991
SOURCE
Education Digest;Feb91, Vol. 56 Issue 6, p63
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article discusses the detrimental effects of the TV program, Sesame Street, on the reading and learning abilities of children. Sesame Street has popularized the erroneous belief that we should try to teach preschoolers to read. In fact, misguided efforts to train them to sound out words diverts valuable time and attention from their real learning needs: active, hands-on play and exploration to install the cognitive and language furnishings that will make the brain a comfortable place for real literacy to dwell. The ages of Sesame Street, optimistically crafted to narrow the chasms of disadvantage, has, in fact seen those gaps widen. Another reason may well be the facetious treatment of letters and other symbols that dance about, transform themselves, and generally give children a very erroneous idea of what to expect from the printed page. To organize the confusing array of sensory stimuli in a young child's world, children need an environment over which they feel some control. Yet, rather than encouraging children to develop perceptual organization, this program may actually force them to practice habits of perceptual defense as a matter of neural self-protection.
ACCESSION #
9106101326

 

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