Sesame Street is watched by 6 million children each week; there are more than 82 million Sesame Street “graduates” who grew up watching the show that debuted in 1969. This groundbreaking show has featured over 125 monster characters who are part of shaping the social, emotional, and academic lives of its viewers. Using video examples, Dr. Rachael Waller and Dr. Melanie Reaves demonstrate how the monsters of this show work to intentionally construct a set of shared meanings as everyday resources for cultural life.
Dr. Rachael Waller is an associate professor in the College of Education. She has a B.S. in elementary education from Minnesota State University Moorhead, a M.Ed. in Reading Education from the University of North Dakota, and a Ph.D. in Teacher Education from the University of North Dakota. Her research centers around access to literacy for marginalized populations and best practices in literacy teacher education. She is the current President of the Montana State Reading Association. She was also the recipient of a Faculty Excellence Award in 2018.
Dr. Melanie Reaves is an assistant professor in the College of Education. She has a B.S. in history and writing and rhetoric and a Master’s of Teacher Education from Eastern Oregon University. After teaching at the elementary level for 15 years, she obtained a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction—Literacy Education from the University of Wyoming in 2014. Her research focuses on literacy as culture-creator imbued with affective ways of being.