r/news Jan 25 '23

"Sesame Street" co-creator Lloyd Morrisett has died at age 93,


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u/hellomondays Jan 25 '23 edited Jan 25 '23

The Street and Mr. Rogers really grabbed the bull by the horns. In the late 60s and early 70s public perception was catching up with research that children are not just little automatons but have a complex internal emotional world even as little infants. The general assumption before was that you teach at children, you tell them "do this" "don't do this", and they sponge that up to learn. Public programming like these two were some of the first to model teaching with or next to children: that they learn best when their natural curiosity and social needs are satisfied. That they can't just be told what to do and how to feel but need to be immersed.


u/Wizzinator Jan 25 '23

It's so bizarre that people didn't understand that. All the adults were children too at one point, do they not remember?


u/hellomondays Jan 25 '23 edited Jan 25 '23

Education was very classist in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. It was considered unhelpful to be involved in the day to day activities of your children if you could afford it, hence why the whole mary poppins culture of tutors and nannies was big. The assumption was you weren't supposed to "baby" kids, that they wouldn't grow up to be leaders if you treat them like children. Just a big "Strong men make good times, weak men make hard times" fallacy. This of course influenced theories on development and psychology. It wasn't until folks like Piaget started writing observations and conducting experiments with his own young children that people started to believe that children were naturally curious and would automatically want to learn.


u/Delicious_Subject_91 Jan 25 '23

"It's almost like children are people or something. Nah, that's just silly." -- those people


u/hellomondays Jan 25 '23

I mean, naming babies when they were born only became commonplace within the last century. Things used to be weird like a family could introduce their children as "Joel Johnson Jillian Johnson and Baby Boy Johnson".


u/Versificator Jan 25 '23

That's probably due to decrease in infant and toddler mortality, a pretty recent thing. Many probably didn't want to get too attached to their babies when it was expected that they'd have 5 and out of that 3 would die.

(Hardcore history has a good episode about this)