How To Get To Sesame Street: Cultivation Theory

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How To Get to Sesame Street: Cultivation Theory and the Representation of Racial Harmony ABSTRACT. Thanks to Sesame Street, television now acts as an educational tool. Sesame Street was the first television program to create curriculum (Smallwood 2006). Children’s Television Workshop (CTW) -creators of Sesame Street- use entertainment to capture the attention of young children and make learning “stick” (Gladwell 2000). CTW encourages students to develop personal attributes such as self confidence, and interpersonal skills such as cooperation with peers (Fisch, Truglio and Cole 2009). CTW has used this power to educate children about empathy and understanding with others, especially when covering difficult social issues such as race. Using…show more content…
The children imagined as the primary audience for the TV show, co-creator Lesser explained in 1974, “are those we have been calling, over the past decade, ‘disadvantaged’— children who live in inner cities, usually poor, usually black or Spanish-speaking” (Reimer 2013). Critics argue that the power of Sesame Street to teach these children is hindered because despite the show being deliberately created for the “disadvantaged” children, it is largely unauthentic for these children. The “sunny” portrayal of urban life glosses over the social issues that pervade the lives of these children. Likewise, critics assert that, rather than creating a utopia, social issues must be depicted and worked through on television in order for the children to understand why pro social behavior is necessary. Realistically demonstrating how to work through these everyday issues on television may help the child to identify similar situations in their own life and subsequently adopt similar pro social behaviors to handle these…show more content…
This program was to be more explicit about physical and cultural differences and to encourage friendship between people of different cultures and races. Sparked by the increasing issues of race relations throughout the US (particularly in NYC) at this time, this show aimed to promote positive interactions between African Americans, American Indians, Latinos, Asian Americans and White Americans by emphasizing similarities. Through these curriculum goals, children were encouraged to view people who look different from themselves as possible friends, and bring a child who has been rejected because of physical and/or cultural differences into the

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