Storytelling and our reponsibility

Childrens tv the womblesJust reading Bernard Cribbins talk about children’s TV being too fast and noisy made me think of a very thought provoking article written by the late, great Oliver Postgate of Bagpuss fame.

In this article entitled DOES CHILDREN’S TELEVISION MATTER? Oliver Postgate concludes,

Finally, let me offer you the following serious thought.

Suppose, if you will, that I am part of a silent Martian invasion and that my intention is slowly to destroy the whole culture of the human race. So where would I start?

I would naturally start where thought first grows. I would start with children’s television. My policy would be ‘to give the children of today only the sort of thing that they ‘already know they enjoy’ – like a fizzing diet of manic jelly-babies. This would no doubt be exciting, but their hearts and their minds would receive no nourishment, they would come to know nothing of the richness of human life, love and knowledge, and slowly whole generations would grow up knowing nothing about anything but violence and personal supremacy.

It is easy to think that as adults us thinking that such and such is too fast or noisy is mere nostalgia. However if you think of the depth of feeling we have for the stories we watched as a child, the attachment we have to them then it does seem to suggest they have an important influence on us. They help shape the way we see the world, how we learn to relate to other people and compare how we would react if we were in the mind of the characters in the story.

So whether it is too fast or noisy or not, I am sure the quality and  thought put into any show, film, book or poem for a child is very important as they help shape the minds of the future.

Another little jem whilst I’m on a Bernard Cribbins fest here is a link to Wind in the Willows read by Bernard himself

Steve

 

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