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Is Sesame Steet getting to advanced for kids today?

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by mbmfrog, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. mbmfrog

    mbmfrog Active Member

    What I mean is that they're teachign kids more advance science this season, than they should.

    I mean Learning about Different birds, forming an experiment, I even heard that a later episode is centered around the different Rocks in the world.

    I mean these types of things should be discuss when they're older and not young at this age. :wisdom:

    However, what do you think of all of this...is the show getting a little too ahead of themselves lately or not ?
  2. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I've been saying for years that they're trying to do all too much with their shrinking resources (budgetary and time constraints). I do NOT like the nature initiative at ALL... too many similar identification/guessing game type episodes.

    But I feel the answer to the question is a definite yesno. Some things are unevenly becoming a little more complex. Basic math for example, now includes division and multiplication... they didn't even do that when the target audience was 4-6. Yet, we're getting less number and letter segments. And certain segments ONLY give symbol recognition, not value. And since there's only 1 letter and one number segment after the tune ins, I don't think the symbol recognition segments (I.e. kids painting murals) are going to cut it anymore. They're trying to teach more in the street segments, while getting away with far less in others.
  3. mrfinch

    mrfinch New Member

    It's part of Sesame Workshop's strategy of incompressible randomness.

    Step 1) Cater to infants and toddlers with bright colors; simpler plots; 1-dimensional, bubbly characters.

    Step 2) Gradually phase out 30 years worth of material that appealed to all age groups.

    Step 3) Defeat Barney.

    Step 3) Suddenly start teaching advanced concepts that are way over the head of the new audience.

    Ever think Sesame Street might be better off had they been gobbled up by Disney along with the other Muppets? The current crew, I know they mean well, but they're broke, have no comprehensible focus, and little appreciation/time for the show's tradition.
  4. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    The moment i saw this thread title, i knew exactly how i was going to respond - some of this has already been picked up by others, but here i go anyway -

    For over a decade, SST has been dumbing itself down in a lot of ways skewing to a generally younger target audience age range than when they first started. And largely, it's seemed to be more to fight for ratings more than staying true to its educational goals. Even if you do want to aim slighly younger, kids have more resources and are a bit more sophisticated at a younger age (thanks somewhat in part to SST's own advances in education innovation).

    So SST has been really needing to step up its game for quite some time. I usually welcome it when they do. For the most part, if/when SST does something a little more advanced, i'm all for it. Mind you i grew up with classic SST that aimed at 2-7 and most kids my age then kept watching for a few more years afterward because it was fun, a part of their lives, and because there was still value in it for them.

    Having said all that though, the current science cirriculum they've taken on for season 41 just seems kind of bizarre. Now i don't have children or am involved with an educational career so i have no idea how things have changed since i went to school, so it's entirely possible that things like scientific method are being taught much more earlier on, but this was stuff that usually wasn't really touched on til about grade four or five. So not only is it a bit weird to continually see it being covered so much on SST, but also given how there's a whole other show on PBS mornings (by Henson, no less) covering the same stuff in the form of Sid The Science Kid, it almost seems like overkill.

    Still, i always think it's cool when they throw in something a lot of the adults may not even know and given some of the really wack-jobs out there's disdain for science and people almost seeming to relish not being educated or dismissing what's in front of our own eyes (especially in regards to our environment and threats to the human race that could eventually mean our extinction), i am much more thankful than not that SST is taking care of instilling respect for science and the scientific method when they may be getting messages elsewhere that it's silly nonsense. The children are our future and this is a valuable thing to be exposing them too at this particular time. So i'll give them the benefit of the doubt even if it means endless jokes about mispronouncing "hypothesis" or having a harder time telling the difference between SST and Sid the Science Kid (though some similarities i would really welcome - hey, Sesame Street - isn't it time to bring out "Susie" to sing?)
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry... but NO. Even though I like how Disney is handling the Muppets as of late (which took them years to do after the acquisition, mind you) we'd see NOTHING but Elmo. Trust me on this. For the longest time, Disney marketed Pooh over their own Mickey and Co. Just trust me on this one.

    I've spoken my peace about everything over the years... I never necessarily called it dumbing down, just completely changing the focus group for younger and younger groups. Not only due to terrible competition, but due to the fact SS was supposed to be (in it's original conception) sort of a surrogate preschool experience. Now, with more kids going to preschool (and frankly growing up way too fast), they have to make this a toddler show, even though toddlers barely benefit from it (and they were part of the viewership for the longest time anyway).

    All of it to basically survive a trash ridden landscape of terrible for profit shows/toy commercials. Something that NEVER existed until the late 90's... even though there was competition in the 80's- early 90's, it wasn't as stiff.

    Well, I've noticed there are a LOT of shows that deal with science, nature, reading and even vocabulary also on PBS. Yet I've only seen one other Math show (Cyberchase... come on, SW... bring back Square One). I have no problem with SS touching on all kinds of subjects... but when it goes to initiative time, we get one subject shoved down our throats, yet we have to have letters and numbers take a back seat. We have 26 episodes a season with several segments that take up large amounts of time... we only have room for one letter and number segment (I object to that... but they're also usually too long).

    However, I still wonder why on Earth we have to learn about Mommy and Me Yoga (cough cough upperclass yuppies cough cough) and sushi making, especially when neither of them bother to get into any cultural aspects of them.

    But let's also not forget, they're teaching multiplication AND division (in simple ways, mind you). That's a big step too. Never did that when I watched.
  6. Mupp

    Mupp Member

    I agree.

    And yes, I'm glad that Disney does not own Sesame Street.
  7. mrfinch

    mrfinch New Member

    I'm not necessarily sure it would be a good thing, Disney owning Sesame. But I've only recently come to see the show in it's current form, now have a Sesame-age child. And I've been amazed at not only it's narrow focus, completely abandoning older kids, but the same episodes of it's new mini-shows being rerun constantly. I just thought the charm of the show for the first few decades was the way it had a community of characters and spoke to so many different ages.

    While it creeps me out to think of the Mouse owning just about every big kid's entertainment franchise on earth, I can't see the complaint of "ALL we'd see is Elmo." It's already his show now. It's not unthinkable that with a big Disney budget, you'd see more of everybody, perhaps spin-offs. You'd probably see them mine the classic episodes for whatever profit they could wring from them on DVD. So much of the show's educational value and charm has eroded over the years, under the "good guys", I just can't imagine it being any worse under Disney.
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    And you gotta think... considering Disney's preschool is like that anyway, would you want them to do with Sesame Street what they did with Mickey? And as I always said, we need another Three Musketeers/House of Mouse/Runaway Brain... I hope Epic Mickey lives up to the hype...etc. and so forth.

    I see what everyone's getting at, and even someone who can defend what SS is doing has his limits. I understand that kids like Elmo and somehow relate to him (since 3 year olds make up the most of the viewing audience... of COURSE 3 year olds are going to want to watch other 3 year olds) but he doesn't need to be the focus of EVERY episode, he doesn't have to be with EVERY celebrity (I'd work with Telly), and he doesn't need to be on EVERY segment. The block format, though I do like Murray and the idea of filming a Muppet live on the streets instead of a stuffy studio, just doesn't work for the show. And above all, longer segments SHOULD rotate to cut down on reused footage in multiple episodes. Oh, and initiatives are doo doo. it's code word for forcing something down someone's throat. They ALWAYS dealt with multiple subjects... they just could juggle it better.

    And there's NOTHING educational about Mommy and Me Yoga. I'd almost say they're getting something under the table, but seeing the same Abby 5 times tells me different.

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