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#1 of 44 Old 04-05-2003, 04:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I turned on PBS for dd recently, and a show called Little Monsters was on. Aside from being wierd and disturbing, the stupid show was spouting falsehoods! The particular episode was about water conservation, which was great, until they showed a diagram of the earth drying up and saying this could happen if we don't conserve water. I was appalled! How can they call this educational TV?

And does anyone have a problem with Dragon Tales? I have seen it a few times, and it seems like the little boy is always screwing something up, and gets rewarded for it in the end.

Are there any shows that actually ARE educational anymore?

I think it's time to turn off the TV altogether.

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#2 of 44 Old 04-05-2003, 09:30 AM
 
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Yes, new shows are popping up like mushrooms on PBS, and other than the fact that they're pretty much guaranteed not to be violent or profane, they're not any better than what's on Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel.

"Seven Little Monsters" drives me batty because of the mother's fake Russian accent. Surely some Eastern Europeans have complained about her caricatured grammatical errors. I didn't see the Water Conservation issue you described.

And I hate, hate, hate "Clifford" and "Berenstain Bears." The books are so lame, it's rediculous to call this bringing literature to kids. These books are like the Danielle Steele novels of children's lit.

Dragon Tales is just plain lame.
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#3 of 44 Old 04-05-2003, 10:22 AM
 
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Although I haven't watched regular PBS in awhile(only when my 7 year old wants to watch Clifford or Arthur, which is much better than the drivel he usually wants to watch on Nickelodeon) I do have the TV on Noggin in the mornings. While I know that my 8month old isn't absorbing much(if anything), it's basically back ground noise, but I've noticed that the Sesame street shows that are on Noggin have been edited more to emphasize the educational part. And there's a new show "Play with me Sesame", that has new parts, mostly of little games, that are definitely educational(matching, patterns, etc).
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#4 of 44 Old 04-05-2003, 10:45 AM
 
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Everytime that borught to you by a grant from the us department of education comes on I just cringe I don't want my education tax money to go to that, I know there are lots of schools out there that need it. We dont even watch that much tv just if I am really desperate and pbs is the only station that comes in.
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#5 of 44 Old 04-05-2003, 03:25 PM
 
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It's like Peggy O's "A Quiet Place" a couple of issue ago where she talked about the claim that kids learn from TV. They do learn a lot from TV, but do we want them to? Even PBS has a lot of shows I wouldn't want my children "learning" from. PBS is supposed to be commercial free (not where I live : ). It has public service announcements about why kids need to be immunized, among other things. I used to support our local station financially, but started getting really bugged that products are still mentioned by name during the kids programming. But, now I'm . So, in answer to your OP, there are a few shows, Sesame Street, Between the Lions, Mr. Rogers...we watch those occasionally, I like them a lot. I HATE Barney!!!! I'm done

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#6 of 44 Old 04-05-2003, 04:04 PM
 
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Sorry, but I disagree, I like all the shows on PBS, save barney, which just annoys the hell out of me. My favorite is Liberty Kids.
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#7 of 44 Old 04-05-2003, 05:09 PM
 
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We like Between the Lions is alright. Dragontales is kind of annoying cause of all the whining but dd loves it..so we let her watch it. At least it is better than Calliou

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#8 of 44 Old 04-05-2003, 07:54 PM
 
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The main reason I appreciate PBS is the absence of commercials. Its fine with me for the kids to watch limited amounts of TV for its "enterainment value." I don't expect TV to educate them. But I do hate that other channels take advantage or them by marketing toys and junk food toward them.
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#9 of 44 Old 04-05-2003, 08:37 PM
 
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well said, mamaduck
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#10 of 44 Old 04-05-2003, 10:23 PM
 
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I too agree with mamaduck!!!
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#11 of 44 Old 04-05-2003, 10:53 PM
 
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Dragon Tales drives dh up the wall because they never say goodbye before leaving Dragonland and because they waste their time in Dragonland doing mundane things they could have done at home, like ride a bike.

I have never seen Caillou but I have read several Caillou board books. The stories always have a lesson that I don't necessarily want my dd to learn, e.g., daycare sucks at first, but is ultimately fun. I'm hoping that dd doesn't get into Caillou because of the endless merchandise (Caillou umbrella, Caillou cup, Caillou sandals, Caillou pail, Caillou underwear).
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#12 of 44 Old 04-05-2003, 11:15 PM
 
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yeah, I do not expect tv to educate my child. They learn stuff from tv, but that's just part of doing anything. Children learn from everything, and as long as there is a balance between active and passive learning, they are balanced in the skills they learn. My kids need down time when they get home from school. Sometimes they read, sometimes they play outside, sometimes they play with legos. They do watch a lot of tv in the winter, but they do A LOT of physical activity at school. There are no tvs at the school, they choose all their own work, they are not confined to any one space EVER save eating, and then there is a cetain amount of food prep they do, too. Tv is a part of our household, we have made that choice, and the tv has a role there, to entertain. We really regulate what kind of tv they watch, and in no way give in to the advertising game, and they know it.
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#13 of 44 Old 04-06-2003, 09:18 AM
 
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I agree, Sunmountain and Mamaduck, that we shouldn't expect TV to educate, although if it does anyway, then that's OK with me.

Like Dodo said, it's the endless merchandise associated with most PBS shows that bothers me. The Clifford books/toys are heavily marketed by Scholastic. The show is little more than a commercial for the books. To run a 30 minute commercial and call it educational really frosts my cookies.

And I loathe Sesame Street. It used to be a good show, but there are too many Sesame Street toys, the lame Sesame Street parents magazine, the ads for pharmaceuticals incorporated into the show (" 'Z' for Zithromax") and, most importantly, Elmo and Zoe are just incredibly annoying.
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#14 of 44 Old 04-06-2003, 01:51 PM
 
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It's just the culture that we live in. There's advertising everywhere. We just choose to filter out, I guess. We don't go to toy stores except on specific missions, and those are few and far between. My kids just don't ask for it. And Z mean zipping zebras to them as much, if not more, than zithromax.

What pisses me off is the advertising in the public school system. Kids don't need to be advertised to when they are learning. Clifford has ALWAYS been a scholastic book. My kids don't buy from there very often, and they always pick a science kit or a magic book or something. We have Clifford books that were mine, and they read those. The characters even look different.
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#15 of 44 Old 04-06-2003, 03:42 PM
 
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I'm not sure my kids even realize there is so much PBS toy stuff available. The shows don't directly let them know, and we don't spend much time in toy aisles.

Niether of them are big toy fanatics anyway. Give them paper and markers any day though!
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#16 of 44 Old 04-06-2003, 03:58 PM
 
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PBS is better than the other options, by far. To expect it to educate is too much. But to assume it doesn't educate at all is to underestimate it a lot, too.

Agreed about "Seven Little Monsters" and "Dragontales," but disagree about "Clifford." The morality tales in "Clifford" are easy to take, & for the youngest.

"Arthur" can be really nasty sometimes, though.

Just keep your attention on PBS, too, don't just leave the room. I did that at 8:30 a.m. on 9/11/01 while DS#1 watched PBS, and then found out the plane hit the WTC because my 3.5yo was watching it ... and so we ended up watching the 2nd plane hit the WTC in realtime together ... yes, they cut into "Clifford" to show the BBC feed of the news ...

Anyway, in today's news climate, don't ever leave 'em alone expecting they're watching the children's stuff ...

Just an off-topic interjection ...
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#17 of 44 Old 04-06-2003, 04:41 PM
 
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There are some educatonal shows on PBS such as between the lions (our favorite ) and cyberchase although that one has questionable stuff in it.

What realy bugs me is all the advertising they do on and advertisment free channel. Fine if you want to have advertisments but good grief don't pretend like you don't and then be all upity about it., Baby Gap was one of dd first words. Why? Becuase they have a nice long commercial at the beginning of seseme street.

There was an article in a local magazine about the link between the changes in seseme street and thier connection with AOL. I think the writer has a point. Here is the link to the story:http://www.etcsiouxfalls.com/ufiles/April03_thetube.pdf

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#18 of 44 Old 04-06-2003, 05:01 PM
 
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lilyka, that's my beef too. I realize that you can pick and choose your shows easily...but, PBS is not supposed to advertise, that's why they have membership drives several times a year. It used to be that corporate sponsors' names would be listed at the beginning or end of the show, not given ad time like they are now. It seems like they sort of slipped it in slowly and now there are full blown commercials for FORD! Yes, public TV is better than commercial TV (in my opinion), but I still can be irritated by the direction it seems to be going. As far as the quality, or educational factor, it varies by show. I don't want TV to educate my children. I'm with the, TV for entertainment camp, and I'm bugged by the advertising on public television.

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#19 of 44 Old 04-07-2003, 01:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My complaint is not necessarily against PBS, I guess. They have some wonderful shows, and I agree that you have to pick & choose. I was just appalled by the falsehoods taught on Seven little Monsters. I have seen it on other shows, too, where they are ATTEMPTING to educate the viewers about something, but it is obvious that the show's writers were completely ignorant. Sorry to sound ugly, but when I let my dd watch a little TV for entertainment, I wish they wouldn't tell her lies, and what's more, scary ones. Some children might latch on to the idea of the world drying up and get the b'geeses scared out of them. In defense of PBS, dd & I LOVE Angelina Ballerina, which is solely entertaining and very sweet. I wish they would review their programmes more carefully before they bought them.



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#20 of 44 Old 04-07-2003, 02:22 AM
 
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I do agree with some of the post about PBS and advertising our station has a"commercial" for Frootloops and Spaghetti'o's! I find that a little aggrivating also. But like some other post I don't use t.v. as the means to educate my children, it is for entertainment purposes and I would rather them watch PBS and the couple of "commercials" they show then Nicklelodeon and the 15 minutes of product pushing they do. I also am not a big fan of Dragontales I just don't get the premis. & little monsters is taken from Maurice Sendak"s Where The Wild Things Are, we have given in a shot and have enjoyed some of the shows. I like Bearenstein Bears we used there book about a baby coming into the family when I was preg. And during National turn off your t.v. week we read their to much t.v. book. As for Clifford and it's connection to Scholastic I like that Clifford is about promoting reading, Hence the shows saying about being the" best read dog on your block." Scholastic book fairs are done in my dd's school it is one of the big ways the school librarian gets books for the school library. Scholastic book fairs were what I remebered from elementary they encouraged my love of books and I do purchase books from them, I am careful about what I get and look for ones that have won either Newbury or Caledcott awards.

As far as the merchandising what station or childrens show does not have a market of products, it is sad but our children are a demographic that companies want to appeal to. There are toys and clothes and books for pretty much every childrens show and charachter out there. I feel it is my obligation to find the balance between the two, allowing my children to watch shows they enjoy without becoming a target for the marketing. So I watch shows with them and when the commercials come on I hit the mute button. They lose interest with the commercial and move on. This has made me think about how at times I and probally others have relied on the fact that PBS is "educational" as a crutch and not monitor as close as I should at times, I honestly just a month ago noticed the advertising on PBS.
I will say one thing our station postponned thier funraising for a month so that children and parents had a station they could watch while all the other stations were focusing 24/7 on war coverage. I was impressed by that and grateful also.
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#21 of 44 Old 04-07-2003, 03:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Reguarding advertising:
A friend of mine grew up playing a game with her parents and sibs. Whenever commercials came on they would play "Spot the lie" and the kids would pick out the deceptions in commercials. They learned to discern between want and need, and they learned to question what they were told and not fall for sales pitches. What a great idea!

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#22 of 44 Old 04-07-2003, 08:24 AM
 
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Lila, we do that with our kids, too. Me and my 8yo play, "what are they trying to tell you that you need?" like for instance, the drug commercials are the best: "if you take this drug the babies will stop crying" for Imitrex. He doesn't even need an explanation for why that is absurd. He's starting to make the connection that the pharmaceutical companies think they can "cure whatever ails you" a frightening opinion in our culture, one that teaches kids to look to drugs in the first place to make them feel better, regardless of the "ailment." It sickens me that they are even allowed to advertise on tv. And we wonder why our teens turn to drugs and alcohol to feel better?

At least with PBS I know when the commercials are going to be on, they aren't popping in every 2 minutes.

Though I will admit, this thread has served as a gentle reminder that my kids are watching too much tv. It so easy to just plop them down in front of it whenever I need to get something done without interuption--dishes, going on the puter, whatever. This week I vow to curb their tv watching dramatically.
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#23 of 44 Old 04-07-2003, 12:48 PM
 
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the only program we have really watched has been sagwa the chinese siamese cat. my dd loves this show(we have 5 cats) and now wants to go to china. instead we have "visited" via library books, eaten chinese food, and talked with my friend who is chinese. i agree that the commercials they have between shows are so obnoxious.
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#24 of 44 Old 04-07-2003, 03:19 PM
 
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Teletubbies are about the only thing Fiona likes on PBS (though she does watch nature shows with me in the evening). Sometimes she'll watch Dragon Tales, but that has to be with my husband because I can't stand one of the voices (the big dumb guy, for lack of better descriptors).

As far as Clifford...those books have been around for at least 15 years and have ALWAYS been heavily marketed by Scholastic...so I don't really consider that one an informercial. I grew up on Clifford books, and was surprised that they'd turned it into an animated series. While I don't like it because the characters don't sound anything like how I'd imagined them, it's no more than my dislike of other movies-from-books in the adult world.

I don't like the mass marketing of the characters either. I wonder what could be done about that? If the studios supported by PBS are the ones responsible for signing those rights away, then a campaign could be started...I'm not sure a startup studio would listen...and then you have the BBC and CBC imports.

I don't really consider much on TV educational. I'd rather my daughter go dig in the dirt, discover scientific principles by playing with playdough, water, and/or sand...or watch bugs and birds and squirrels in the back yard. TV for us is a way for my husband and I to catch a snuggle break with Fia (who is off doing her own thing most of the time) during the day, and because it's fun for us to see her enjoy the show. We like the marketing demon that is the Baby Einstein (hate the pretentious name too) DVD series...but once again, we didn't choose that for its educational value (I find it really funny how they try to spin it off that way though!), but because Fiona saw one at a friends house and really enjoyed it...and it's not violent or flashy or hyper, so we decided that'd be fine to add to her choices of lazy entertainment.

BTW, carrots--Hubby and I LOVE Sagwa, Fiona could care less. Sometimes we watch it while she is building towers with her blocks, cans, and books. How sad is that? ;>
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#25 of 44 Old 04-07-2003, 03:46 PM
 
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...don't even get me started on baby einstein

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#26 of 44 Old 04-07-2003, 03:53 PM
 
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While I agree that I don't really care if the shows are educational, it doesn't bother anyone else that they are brought to you by a grant by the us department of education?
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#27 of 44 Old 04-07-2003, 07:49 PM
 
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Ds loves zooboomafoo. I hate where's Ernie on Sesame Street, when he is in a box somewhere and big bird takes 200 years to find him. geez, it's like watching Groundhog Day!

I find the commercials irritating, especially for products they are going to want to get ...
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#28 of 44 Old 04-07-2003, 08:04 PM
 
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It does bother me but it doesn't surprise me. I wonder, now that seseme street is so watered down if they are going t pull the funding. I swear there isnothing remotely educational left on it.

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#29 of 44 Old 04-07-2003, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by daylily
... the ads for pharmaceuticals incorporated into the show (" 'Z' for Zithromax") ...
Are you serious? We don't watch tv (well, almost never), but I was just starting to tape Sesame Street for dd. I'll have to watch several episodes.
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#30 of 44 Old 04-07-2003, 10:31 PM
 
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That ad is not IN the show. It is just before or just after it. Between the shows.
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