Children Who Watched ‘Sesame Street’ Perform Better In School, Study Finds

Kids That Grew Up On Sesame Street Are Smarter

Did you grow up watching “Sesame Street”? According to a study recently published in the American Economic Journal, kids with access to the classic children’s show before the age of 7 had improved elementary school performance.

“Early Childhood Education by Television: Lessons from ‘Sesame Street,” first written in 2015, studied American counties that had access to the show in 1969. Researchers Melissa Kearney and Phillip Levine compared the educational and professional achievements of kids who were around the show, to the achievements of children who weren’t.

“You can think about this as kids potentially having access as opposed to watching the show,” Kearney said to the American Economic Association. “We don’t know who actually watched the show. We know that you probably could get it in your house or you probably couldn’t. And we also know that at the time, most of the kids who probably could get it were probably watching it.”

The study specifically looked into whether a child’s access to “Sesame Street” before turning 7 years of age affected performance in elementary school and long-term outcomes in education and the job market. Results found that kids with access to the show had improved school performance.

As part of their research, however, Kearney and Levine had to examine many factors in their research: who had access to high- or low-quality TV signals, who was around the show, then assessed kids based on things like what grade level they operated at, and later on, whether they went on to graduate college.

By: Maytinee Kramer

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