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Has Sesame become less educational?

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by beforemyway, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. beforemyway

    beforemyway Well-Known Member

    so.. is it just me, or does anyone else think the Sesame street show has degraded over the years? Hasn't it become much less eucational? I use to love the show, but it really seams to have degraded.
  2. DTF

    DTF Well-Known Member

    It would be ironic if they did downgrade it - which it feels like that to me but it's hard to tell - because Kindergarten seems to be getting tougher, more kids required to know their letters, numbers, etc.. I still remember entering Kindergarten in '74 and being able to count to 50, the only kid who could do that. I won't even get into reading, I was far above everyone else there, but it seems like nowadays, I wouldn't be *that* far ahead of my peers.
  3. ceecee

    ceecee Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that it's less educational now. Think of all the things that used to be covered in one episode. The letters and numbers used to have tons of different sketches. Now we get the number of the day mentioned once with The Count and the letter of the day once with Cookie Monster. They don't spend as much time hammering the point home to kids. They count to the number once and Cookie Monster mentions like 3 words that start with the letter. I don't think that has the same educational effect on kids.
  4. JaniceFerSure

    JaniceFerSure Well-Known Member

    Absolutely.Not only all of the afore mentioned,but what about the sketches on sharing,cooperation;things of that nature? I learned most of my early morals,alphabet and numbers from SS(started reading at 3). I miss the early days of SS,where you had a lot of sketches like One of these things;made you learn about differences. Like I mentioned in previous threads,SS nowadays: begins most of their shows with 12 minutes with something,Journey to Ernie,Cookie and the letter of the day,Count with his organ and the number of the day,Elmo's World,and the rest of the time filler talk with either puppets and/or humans.:smirk:
  5. superfan

    superfan Well-Known Member

    Because I had a few extra days off, I decided to sit and watch SS with my daughter...front to back. I haven't done that in quite some time. Today in particular..lemme see:

    A little story of ELMO trying to get Miles, Gordon and his Grandfather (who looked suspiciuosly like Miles in his younger days, which is funny since Miles was adopted...but I digress) to sing the Wubba Wubba Wubba song with him. The song was dismal, lemme tell ya. So there's 15 minutes gone.
    Then we have a couple cartoons about nothing in particular, the letter of the day is K with Prairie Dawn and Cookie, a K cartoon, Grover takes us to Australia to have a kid show us his underground home and Global Thingy teaches (??) the value of sharing popcorn with everyone, rather than eating it out of your own head...trust me. Then the Count announces the Number Four which itself is awful, Journey to Ernie chugs along and has a Bert and Ernie skit at the end in which Ernie just looks darn CREEPY and then Elmo's World...the highlight of which Mr.Noodle and his brother Mr.Noodle try to remember their Noodle Family dance.
    There you have it. Some pieces may be considered educational, but there's far too little of it and it's not reinforced.
    My husband and I exchanged bewildered glances on more than one occassion throughout the show.
    Thank goodness I have old clips and shows on tape.
  6. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Well-Known Member

    I can't tell if it's less smart, or I'm more smart ;)

    seriously, though...I can kinda see the point, but I think overrall it's a different type of education....
  7. KGJC

    KGJC Well-Known Member

    They still Talk about letters?
  8. Dantecat

    Dantecat Well-Known Member

    They sure do! But it's not as much educational like it used to always be! They should change it the it used to always be liked jim henson was still living! :sympathy:
  9. Docnzhoss

    Docnzhoss Well-Known Member

    I did a whole Power Point Presentation on how Sesame Street's educational value has declined. I keep saying I think Elmo is evil, and it's because he brings nothing but cuteness (I shudder while I say this) to the show! Now it's not just Elmo, the whole format of the show has changed, and they do not teach all the values, morals and principles that they did in the old days not to mention the decrease in teaching reading and counting. I am very disappointed with the product they air these days, and will always cherish the memories of the classic sketches, songs and episodes.
  10. mupitz

    mupitz Active Member

    I agree, of course, that I dislike the current format of Sesame Street. I grew up with it and loved it but I can barely sit through it with my children these days. Even the prime time anniversary special was a rip off. I can't stand ELMO. He's SS's Barney (no offense to Barney aficionados). I remember there being a central theme that lasted the HOUR in between the fun but educational skits. The theme was a social skill and the letters and numbers of the day were reinforced through the skits.

    Now it's a strictly enforced schedule with none of the glee I remember and way too much emphasis on ELMO. Give me back the Sesame of my youth and put Elmo back in the second story window he graced in "Follow That Bird".
  11. Docnzhoss

    Docnzhoss Well-Known Member

  12. JaniceFerSure

    JaniceFerSure Well-Known Member

    You took the words right out of my mouth Ryan.:excited:
  13. Docnzhoss

    Docnzhoss Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Dee. It's just so frustrating. I remember when I was in Elementary School, it was fine if a kid still liked Sesame Street. Nobody got made fun of if they mentioned it, and I'm certain we all sat and watched it on sick days or snow days. Today, every school-aged kid I talk to about it denounces Sesame Street like it's some kind of plague. It's because they've lowered their standards and made it a little too baby-ish for even first graders. It is very disappointing to know that classic characters such as Grover, Two-Headed Monster, Prarie Dawn, Count, and countless others aren't being properly utilized to their full potential. Everyone talks about kids' short attention spans and how you have to keep things moving so they don't get bored. It seems to me, that if you keep insulting their intelligence, they will lose interest anyway.
  14. ssetta

    ssetta Well-Known Member

    Actually, I think it was sometime in the 80s when it got labeled a "baby show." Because Andy told me that even by the time 2nd grade came (which would have been the 1988-89 season), he got made fun of for it.
  15. Hays

    Hays Well-Known Member

    New Audience

    I think what you all are really reacting to is that Sesame Street has had to face the reality that it's audience is a great deal younger than it was when we were kids. I remember watching Sesame Street with my peers all the way through early grade school (later mostly by myself :o ) Unfortunately, my four-year-old would rather watch shows that are more advanced, like Between the Lions and Arthur; even if they're similar in production values (of course, this could easily be because I like Sesame Street, and what kid wants to watch what their Mom likes.)

    But I think the educational aspect of Sesame Street has changed to reflect the large number of pre-preschoolers watching. I don't like Elmo's World myself, but it did, at least in our case, succeed in hammering in simple concepts for a two-year-old. Also, it's more structured than the SS of our day - so all the letter clips are arranged in a group, all the numbers, all the sharing, etc. - it may seem like there was more when these things appeared throughout the show.

    I think this year is far better than the last two in this aspect.
  16. mikebennidict

    mikebennidict Well-Known Member

    well if it's audience is younger it's because the producers are aiming it at younger kids. of course the earliest memory i have is at age 2 and always remembered watching SS Mr. Rogers and i'm sure i wasn't the only 1 of my time to watch at such a young age.
  17. Kids are learning things at ealier ages these days. There is so much stuff aimed at teaching kids. So, older kids move on to other things faster. I think that is why SS is now aimed at pre-school kids. Plus puppets are seen as young kids entertainment now. Puppets use to be for all ages put now they have this stigma about them. Animation has the same stigma. I think the only kind of animation that adults will watch is the cgi stuff and now that is starting to take on the same kiddy stigma. There is no escaping it.
  18. mupitz

    mupitz Active Member

    My complaint is this, if they are aimed toward younger children now...wouldn't concentrating on the fundamental basic skills of letter and number recognition of the older sesame be of more benefit, than teaching advanced social skills and environmental awareness to preschoolers?

    Wow, that's a run on sentence! My mom likes to tell people that the DAY I came home from the hospital then put me in front of sesame street. It wasn't too adult for me then. And most pre-schoolers I know are bored with the Sesame of today.
  19. Docnzhoss

    Docnzhoss Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'm not buying that. My parents had me watching Sesame Street way before pre-school. The quality was just so much better then than it is now. There was a greater diversity in characters and content. Who was the main character of SS in the early 80's? Big Bird? Bert and Ernie? Grover? There wasn't one. Ask a kid who the leader of SS is today, and I'm betting they'll say Elmo without hesitation. My problem with that is, he's a loopy prima donna who's utilized more as an entertainer with nothing educational to offer. One character, no matter how adorable he is, is way more boring than a large cast of wacky, fun characters in many different settings and scenarios(for a more "adult" example, see NBC's "Joey").

    As for puppetry and animation, it seems to me that shows such as Crank Yankers, The Simpsons, and others are doing quite well for themselves among adults. I have a lot of conversations with people my age about the greatness of shows like Family Guy, The Critic and Futurama. Also, anime is becoming more and more popular as its own genre. The problem is, in short, Spongebob Squarepants. Actually, I blame Ren and Stimpy. That show seemed to precede the course, kind of sick sense of humor that cartoons seem to rely on these days (Huh, let's show a close up of this character's butt! Huh huh!) The other problem is showing off. People are so impressed with themselves and the technology they possess that they go out and make extravagantly expensive shows and movies using CGI and there's all this talk about the realism of CGI and it means that classic animation is just being shoved aside.

    Ugh. I really didn't mean to rant for a third time. Maybe that will be all from me.
  20. mupitz

    mupitz Active Member

    One of the things I've always loved was that Sesame didn't condescend to kids. It was a matter of fact fun with a foundation of education. Now a days it seems like it talks down to kids, and tries to slip information in amoungst the zaniness from time to time.

    I agree with you Doc, I can't stand the potty humor of tv and won't let my kids watch it. I'm not saying that cartoons aren't appropriate entertainment for adults, but air during adult viewing hours on adult stations. Fart jokes are not funny, especially when coming out of a 3 year olds mouth.

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