Educational Entertainment

Discussion in 'General Education' started by newbie87, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    Nov 26, 2009

    I was in a class Tuesday and my professor started singing and dancing. He's a bit of an odd duck, but he said he does it because of Sesame Street, and shows like that. Explaining you started your education being entertained and that's the only way to keep it. As we all know, there's more educational shows and toys now. Do you think these shows and toys get in the way of traditional educational? Do them make children think education should always be fun? I think learning should be fun, let's be honest there's certain things that just aren't.
     
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  3. word girl

    word girl Rookie

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    Nov 26, 2009

    I loved Sesame Street! I can still remember and sing some of the silly songs that were meant to instruct. "One of these things is not like the other" and many more! This was brought to you by the letter ___!
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Teachers should look for ways to ENGAGE their students, not necessarily ENTERTAIN them.
     
  5. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    ^^^Yes, but do you think toys/shows/ect that push the idea that education and entertainment should always mesh make it difficult to engage students without entertaining them?
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I have no problem with finding ways to engage my students without the use of muppets or other toys.
     
  7. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I think teachers should be forced to watch Sesame Street and the like and be reminded that the brain functions best when entertained. You should be entertaining your students.

    I don't buy the "some stuff just isn't entertaining" argument in the least. I've yet to find a subject that some teacher somewhere hasn't found a great way to present.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm not saying 'some stuff just isn't entertaining'...I do think that creative teachers can present material, plan activities that engage kids without a dog and pony show. Sometimes it's just a matter of teacher passion and enthusiasm for the subject matter and for the kids.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Maybe it's because I'm secondary ed in a college prep school, but I don't strive for "entertaining."

    I strive for "interesting" and "easy to understand" (and of course "mathmatically correct") and "intruiging."

    But "entertaining"?? Nope.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 27, 2009

    Alice-
    I'm grade 2- I don't entertain either, I teach. I engage kids in their own learning. I differentiate. I do what I do with passion and commitment- that may seem entertaining to some, I am certainly not boring...but Sesame Street it ain't.
     
  11. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Studies show that Mr. Rogers was far superior to Sesame Street.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Cool. I did love his cardigan sweaters and that bell-ringing trolley. Maybe we should all get some cardigans in different colors, comfy sneakers and install a trolley to Make-Believe in our classrooms. Now that's entertainment.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oh, good-- I own several cardigans :)
     
  14. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    I wish they'd let me wear sneakers. :love:
     
  15. dcnuck

    dcnuck Companion

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    Sorry but Mr. Rogers drove me nuts, I always felt like he talked to kids like they were not smart but I know he was very popular. I preferred sesame street---and I totally understand your original question. Kids do expect to be entertained these days ---they are so used to technology and playing games like nintendo and PSP, I really do think they are wired differently than I was when I was a kid. They are always being bombarded by technology and I do believe music is a great way to teach---I use it all of the time but I also teach four year olds and their attention span is not real long and they do learn a lot by using music so I think it is a usefull tool to teach things. I know my son still remembers from 1st grade or maybe it was 2nd grade they used Dr. jeans song for the capitals and he still remembers it.
     
  16. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Songs have a powerful way of becoming engrained in memory- human societies often entrust the passing of the most important information on culture or religion to song. I wish I could put rhyme and rhythm to everything I taught, as it would appeal to a variety of kids.

    There is a point at which entertainment turns kids to trivialize and mock what is learned. But engaging the senses, telling stories and applications of content, adding humor and personality, all seek to light that spark of learning in the kids. We've got a lot to compete with for their attention!
     
  17. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    In the UK it is refered to as 'Edutainment' and we get endless people (most of whom have never spent time in a classroom except as a pupil) that we must entertain our students. Needless to say they are ignored by the teachers. We are paid to educate not to entertain. There are times when you can do both but not most of the time.
     
  18. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I had to interview with our district's human resource department before I could start interviewing with individual schools. The only question they asked that made me hesitate (and the only one I still remember) was "Are educators entertainers?". I had to think for a minute because I wasn't sure what answer they would be looking for. I answered no and that was the answer they wanted.

    Personally, I think part of our job is to bring them back to reality and start preparing them for real life-I don't think there are many jobs out there where your boss "entertains" you when explaining what to do. Do I use songs? Sure, all the time-but it's rare that the kids can take the knowledge from the song to apply to something. In other words, if they are singing about the values of money, they have to sing the whole song to get to the one they want-it's more of a mnemonic device.
     
  19. teach2read10

    teach2read10 Companion

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    Entertain

    I suppose the problem with this idea is that everyone has a different idea of what "entertaining" means. The stuffed shirt types long for the days when pupils just had their faces rubbed in the classics. You have to reach students in the manner that works best. You don't have to be a clown! Unless clown is the style that works best for you. Think of all of the different ways that people are entertained. Think of which elements of those forms of entertainment you use in your classroom. I would love to see the results of a secret survey of students who have suffered through classes taught by "serious" teachers.
     
  20. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Strangely when you ask former students about their school days they invariably remember those teachers who took the education of the students seriously and regard those that fannied about at the front of the class trying to be cool and popular (which is what entertainment really is) as a waste of space.
     
  21. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    I agree 100% czacza! Sesame Street ain't in my class either. My students get caught up in my enthusiam and they work very hard to please me.

    "The Entertainers" need to come up with some kind of entertaining standardized test.
     
  22. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I was so ready to let this thread go until...

    <<Strangely when you ask former students about their school days they invariably remember those teachers who took the education of the students seriously and regard those that fannied about at the front of the class trying to be cool and popular (which is what entertainment really is) as a waste of space.>>



    You think I entertain to be popular? Why would any teacher take any arrow out of the quiver? I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'll put my test scores up against anyone's. My students perform, period.

    I have found that every time I truly get into this discussion with teachers I find one of two things to be true. Either (as was mentioned) we disagree on what it means to entertain. Everyone, for example, that said you "intrigue" them is actually entertaining them. Discovery Channel's tagline for years was "Entertain your Brain" after all. That group, I have no problem with. They are doing their job well and we just disagree on words.

    The second group, however, is a bad group of teachers. They are those who feel that since they don't want to entertain it must be the wrong thing to do. There are simply teachers who would rather rule by fear and robotic reaction than stimulation.

    And no, those are not the teachers kids fondly remember when they look back. Oh, they remember them all right, I won't deny that, but certainly not fondly. I'll never forget Ms. Harrison in 3rd grade no matter how much therapy or hypnotism I might have. I'll also never forget Mrs. Krupnik in 4th who introduced us to incredibly entertaining topics on mapping volcanic activity, the velocity of race cars and how to speak French (gasp! she showed us cartoons!)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2009
  23. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My best teacher ever was known for standing on her desk or pulling a paper bag over her head to illustrate her lesson on Existentialism in The Plague. We were definitely entertained (and even recreated the paper bag thing as a class on April Fools Day), but I still remember her lessons on that novel 20 years later. A quick call to my brother shows he also recalls that lesson from the same teacher in a different year.

    Rockguykev is right that if entertainment serves as sense memory for the students, and if they get the point beyond the spectacle, it is a phenomenal teaching tool. If it's only to keep butts in the seat, however, it is sadly misused.
     
  24. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I think what some are saying is that children seem to learn differently today than they did a generation and more ago (perhaps even less). We've discussed many times the effects of culture on the learning process, how even babies have been seriously impacted by current lifestyles.

    I think it is appropriate to consider our response as educators to these changes. Perhaps brain patterns, memory, analysis, perception, etc., have been influenced by the society today's children grow up in. The advent of car seats, walkers, baby bouncers, tv, computers, pace of life, demands for instant-gratification, over-scheduled lives, changes in family structure,
    etc., have affected the way children learn, and their willingness and readiness to read.

    I doubt anybody thinks we should all dress up every day as clowns, or characters, or anything we are not, just to grab attention. But, let's face it, attention is one thing that is so apparently affected these days and we all address its lack constantly.

    We don't need to insult each other in the attempt to try and wrestle with the seriousness of the needs of today's students.
     

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