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The Lost Nation: What Happened to the Children’s “Better World”?

by Jeanne Marie Iorio & Karen Zumwalt - October 28, 2008

Reality television attempted to empower children with last fall’s series Kid Nation. The anticipation of the show was supported by numerous commercials promising “40 children, 40 days, no adults--eager to prove they can build a better world for tomorrow.” Yet, the show did not last past its first season. Perhaps it was the ratings or the controversy about child labor laws, but whatever, as educators, intrigued with the possibility of what might have been, we were not sad to see this “reality” show bite the dust. In the end, some children believed they had changed adults’ view of children. Sadly, in reality, the children were manipulated by adults, rather than being trusted to create their own society. Upon reflection, we believe Kid Nation embraced current school constructed ideals, re-enforcing the weaknesses of K-12 education, which undermines the wonder, critical thoughts, talents, and unique abilities of children.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: October 28, 2008
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15427, Date Accessed: 6/15/2021 1:00:16 PM

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About the Author
  • Jeanne Marie Iorio
    University of Hawaii-West Oahu
    E-mail Author
    JEANNE MARIE IORIO is an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii-West Oahu.
  • Karen Zumwalt
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    KAREN ZUMWALT is Evendon Professor of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
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