Sesame Street a Poor Teacher

At a recent meeting of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the National Speakers Association, Scott McKain, a well-recognized professional speaker, related a very interesting experience to me.

He said that he was asked to deliver a keynote speech at his former elementary school. After the presentation, he was surprised to see that his 3rd grade teacher was still teaching there, so he struck up a conversation with her. Scott inquired what his former teacher thought was the biggest problem in education today. Without hesitation, she replied, “Sesame Street.”

Scott was taken back and inquired into her reasoning. She responded that children today are brought up on entertainment, and when they arrive at school they expect to be entertained.

Regardless of how much people may learn from TV, the fact remains that it is a passive activity. In contrast, learning is active and requires effort. Watching television may be a wonderful baby sitter, but it’s a poor substitute for teaching.