Lessons from Sesame Street

| July 15, 2015

By James J. Heckman • Heckman — The economics of human potential

A recent study, Early Childhood Education by MOOC: Lessons from Sesame Street by Melissa Kearney and Phillip Levine, has been generating interest and, unfortunately, generalized comparisons with other early childhood programs.

As noted by the authors, the study looks at the effects of access to Sesame Street, not at the value of Sesame Street versus Head Start or any other high-quality preschool program. The study measured a small set of relatively short-term outcomes that mirrored some—but by no means all—outcomes from Head Start and other preschool programs.

If you’re looking for a silver bullet, it’s not television, but rather a scaffolding of support for skills development from birth to age five. Skill begets skill over the lifecycle of human development and learning.

A large body of solid research shows that better outcomes for disadvantaged children come from a combination of health, nutrition, parental education and early learning resources from birth to age five that nurture cognitive and social and emotional development, and provide the foundation for success in school and life.

…Read the full article HERE

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Category: Education

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