Toddlers Learn Early Math Skill from Elmo

August 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

In a recent study conducted at the Children’s Digital Media Center, Dr. Calvert, Alexis R. Lauricella, and Alice Ann Howard Gola examined toddlers’ ability to learn from Elmo. This MSNBC interview features Dr. Calvert discussing their finds that toddlers performed a sequencing task better when an Elmo puppet demonstrated it than when an unfamiliar puppet performed the same exact task. The study, funded by the National Science Foundation and a Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship, demonstrated the importance of meaningful characters for toddlers’ early learning.

“Very young children often have difficulty learning from videos,” said Calvert of the study. “But when a trusted ‘friend’ delivers the message, learning is much better. The findings have important implications for young children’s mastery of important mathematical skills in a 21st century learning environment.”