On Becoming Neighbors: The Communication Ethics of Fred Rogers

Univ. of Pittsburgh. Oct. 2019. 264p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780822945901. $35. TV
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (1962–2001) was an entertaining and groundbreaking children’s TV series that imparted lessons on ethics, family, self-esteem, friendship, respect, and learning—for viewers of all ages. In this well-researched study, Klarén (Johns Hopkins Carey Business Sch.) thoroughly examines the show’s impact on educational television and U.S. culture. Drawing on expert studies, material from the Fred Rogers Archives, and other resources, she explores the show, from the many people who stopped by host Fred Rogers’s house to the puppets in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. The author also looks at the program’s use of everyday objects, conversations, problem-solving, fantasy, and play, as well as Rogers’s effective way of relating to his audience. Detailed, striking analyses of scenes and episodes and well-crafted examples of Rogers’s philosophies of communication and learning reveal the layers of preparation that went into the series.
VERDICT This is a scholarly narrative but well worth consideration by general readers as well as education and media professionals. Klarén’s commentary is thought provoking and illuminating.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing