In Northern Ireland the local Sesame Street programme, Sesame Tree, is a powerful vehicle for addressing issues of diversity, reconciliation, mutual respect, empathy, and perspective taking. Sesame Tree, launched in 2008 on BBC NI and CBeebies, includes live action films capturing depictions of daily life circumstances, presenting real children in meaningful activities, thereby humanising the face of the “other” and fostering positive community relations.
With the endearing antics of the series own Muppet characters, the project successfully engages young children while addressing important messages about positive resolution of conflict, mutual respect and appreciation of similarities and differences.
Research1 examining the educational impact of the programme offers evidence of our progress in achieving our educational aims. Study results link exposure to the programme to measurable change in children’s:
This Sesame Tree online platform incorporates the pre-school outreach materials for series one and series two of Sesame Tree, as well as all the full episodes from each series. The platform will act as a training guide for pre-school practitioners who are currently implementing, or intending to implement, the Sesame Tree Programme in their early years settings.
The Sesame Tree outreach materials are appropriate for children aged three to five and both series one and series two provide a wide range of ideas and activities that practitioners can easily incorporate into their early years curriculum.
Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit educational organisation specialising in creating multimedia educational content to address young children’s critical developmental needs. The organisation is best known for its award-winning television series, Sesame Street, which is viewed in more than 150 countries. Beyond Sesame Street, the Workshop is also engaged in locally specific educational initiatives in nearly 30 countries, with each one reflecting the cultural, social, and educational needs of the children in the respective country or region. Sesame Workshop’s international projects focus on a range of children’s developmental needs including:
For further information on Sesame Workshop go to: www.sesameworkshop.org
1. Connolly, P., Kehoe, S., Larkin, E. & Galanouli, D. (2008). A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluation of the Effects of Watching Sesame Tree on Young Children’s Attitudes and Awareness, Belfast: Centre for Effective Education, Queen’s University Belfast.