There is some interesting stuff here. Do give a listen.
Susan Neuman teaches education at the University of Michigan. She was at the Department of Education when the decision was made to focus on literacy, and while she is very supportive of these shows, she adds that they sometimes "don't have the charm and the interaction and the excitement that some of the other programs have."
For instance, one episode of the Emmy Award-winning show Between the Lions demonstrates how to sound out the words "doodle" and "noodle."
"It focuses very much on phonological awareness, a key skill that is important to literacy development," says Neuman. "But at same time, phonological awareness ... is not terribly fun for young children."
In other words, kids would rather watch Curious George or Blue's Clues — which may explain why the literacy shows don't get great ratings. Only one — Super WHY — is in the top 10.
Friday, August 22, 2008
The PBS Literacy Offensive
NPR aired a story yesterday on the enhanced lineup of literacy shows on PBS. Entitled PBS Launches an ABCs Offensive with New Shows, it highlights current shows and the new Martha Speaks series. I found this excerpt to be of particular interest.