Collateral Learning

Topics: Television, Will Smith, Education Pages: 2 (697 words) Published: November 11, 2014
“Collateral learning” was a term coined by John Dewey that “describes the cultural values and standards we learn while engaged in often entertaining pastimes” (Dewey). Neil Postman and Bell Hooks both found themselves intrigued when they learned of this term, which led to them researching more about them, and eventually writing two different sides to a very similar story. The television show the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, proves that it can be something educational to watch. While at the same time, show the story of a young man from West Philadelphia, just trying to make a better life for himself.

When it came to Neil Postman who talked about how television and movies can also double as being educational, I would have to agree with him. There are many shows on television that prove to be a good way to learn about different aspects of life that one may not have known about before. For example, the food network is where one would turn in order to learn more about a certain food dish, while a channel like the history channel would be used to learn about past times and other countries. Then, there are children’s shows like Dora the Explorer, that help children learn Spanish just by watching television for a mere thirty minutes. Postman made it clear that the television was not the only answer to educating people. There still needs to be a classroom environment in order to ask questions and socialize with other people.

On the other hand, Bell Hooks talked about how many television shows and movies portrayed poorer people as sort of lazy and not really wanting to better their lives for themselves and their families. She did not like this because she herself came from a poorer background which she got herself out of by going to Stanford. Even though she had to take out many loans in order to attend the school and often could not go home for holidays, the people she ended up spending the holidays with taught her that she did need to be there in order to...
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