I am in my senior year of high school and for my Society & Culture Personal Interest Project (PIP) I will be conducting research on 'MUPPETS EDUCATING THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD - the sucess and impact of the Sesame Workshop'. A BIT OF BACKGROUND INFORMATION... I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was seven years old. My mother was diagnosed around the same time I was, except she was in her 30's. The struggle she underwent during school and the opportunities she missed out on were largely due to the fact that she was regarded as 'stupid' and merely given up on. I was much the same. I started my education a step behind the other children - I couldn't spell, add, concentrate, or even write in a straight line. My mother refused to let me go through school the way she had - 'stupid'. I began treatment which still continues today. If I had not been given this opportunity, I wouldn't have even passed 10th grade. I respect and admire the Sesame Workshop for their continuous effort to ensure that every child is recieving the right to education. I'VE CHOSE THIS PARTICULAR SUBJECT BECAUSE I BELIEVE: every child, no matter what their background, is entitled to a good education. television is a powerful and influential tool, especially to children. like older people, children don't like to be talked down to, or refused information because of their age. despite being up against an ever increasing number of rival television shows, Sesame Street has remained the most respected children's television show. Sesame Workshop is a non-profit organisation - a true indication that educating children is their #1 priority. IN RELATION TO SOCIETY AND CULTURE: SOCIETY -Sesame Street very early on, aimed to eliminate social inequalities by incorporating people of all different ethnic backgrounds, disabilities and lifestyles. The Muppets are designed to have no particular race or ethnicity, hence their variety of colours. CULTURE - Sesame Workshop has established co-productions all over the world. A team of researchers address the educational needs of the children and adapt Sesame Street to the country's specific culture. ENVIRONMENT - The setting of Sesame Workshop's productions are always places familiar to children. Joan Ganz-Cooney specified during preproduction that there was to be 'no magical land'. The viewer is addressed personally, as if they were a friend, going back to a sense of belonging somewhere. TIME - Sesame Street was created during the 1960's. On television there was a great deal of violence due to the Vietnam War, riots and assassinations. Over time, Sesame Street has grown to be one of the most truted educators of children. GENDER - Many of the co-productions of Sesame Street (especially those in countries lacking gender equality) encourage girls to be proud of who they are. Strong female characters - Zoe, Rosita, Abby Cadabby, Maria, Susan, Gina, Linda etc. TECHNOLOGY -Sesame Street began when television was a relatively new technology and was one of the first programs to use it to educate children. MY MAIN FOCUS AREAS WILL BE... TELEVISION AS A LEARNING TOOL. 'It's not whether children learn from television, it's what children learn from television. Because everything that children see is teaching them something." - JOAN GANZ-COONEY 'I'LL MISS YOU MISTER HOOPER' Sesame Street's policy of not talking down to children. The direct approach to the death of Mr. Hooper and why it was such a pivotal moment in children's television. #2895 'SNUFFY'S PARENTS GET A DIVORCE' 10 April 1992 What lead to the failure of the episode? Why did the children in the test screening audience come away with negative messages and misunderstandings? Was the issue of divorce too much of a complex social matter to put in a Sesame Street episode? Would the reaction be different if the issue was tackled today? KAMI - 'TAKALANI SESAME' Kami's name is derived from "Kamogelo", which means acceptance and/or welcome in Zulu, Sesotho and Setswana. HIV Positive - sparked controversy Raising HIV/AIDS awareness in South Africa. INTERNATIONAL CO-PRODUCTIONS CROSS CULTURAL ASPECTS Looking at the need for education around the world. How co-productions of Sesame Street have adapted the concept of early childhood education to their own culture. Exploring how Sesame Workshop has helped. Future plans of Sesame Workshop. I would really like some feedback/ideas/information/suggestions etc. on what direction to take for this research project. If anyone is confortable taking part in an interview for the research or acting as a source, it would be greatly appreciated!