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The Educational Impact Of 'Sesame Street'20:26
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Super Grover drew a plan describing how he can cross the river. One idea: by making a bridge with broccoli. (Courtesy, Sesame Workshop).
Super Grover drew a plan describing how he can cross the river. One idea: by making a bridge with broccoli. (Courtesy, Sesame Workshop).

"Sesame Street" has been a staple for millions of kids for over four decades. The street — with the help of Elmo, Big Bird, and Cookie Monster — has helped kids to learn to spell, count, and share.

Now, a new study out of Wellesley College shows that those lessons have delivered lasting benefits to millions of children. In fact, the study found that the benefits of watching the show might be every bit as good as going to pre-school.

Guest

Phillip Levine, professor of economics at Wellesley College. He tweets @phil_wellesley.

Jennifer Kotler Clarke, vice president of research and evaluation at Sesame Workshop. She tweets @grovergirl72.

More

The Washington Post: Study: Kids Can Learn As Much From ‘Sesame Street’ As From Preschool

  • "The researchers also say those effects probably come from 'Sesame Street's' focus on presenting viewers with an academic curriculum, heavy on reading and math, that would appear to have helped prepare children for school."

Wellesley College: Study Finds Sesame Street Improves School Readiness

  • "'Sesame Street' had a sizable effect on that rate at which students stayed on track through elementary school. This is impressive, but perhaps even more so since the per-child costs of airing this program are extremely small — by one estimate, $5 per year per child. In light of all the emphasis on the importance of early childhood interventions, the fact that a television show can have this type of an effect should be taken as very good news."

National Bureau of Economic Research: Early Childhood Education By MOOC: Lessons From Sesame Street

  • "(P) erhaps a blended learning environment incorporating both electronic communication of educational content and the human element to affect the 'soft skills' may be preferable, and cost-effective. ... As research and policy discussions continue to focus on early childhood education, we believe that the impact of Sesame Street deserves to be included along with Perry Preschool, Head Start and other programs."

This segment aired on June 9, 2015.

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