Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Si, se puede!"

"Si, se puede!" or "Yes, I can!" is the tagline of Dora the Explorer whenever she is in the midst of a new adventure. Children all over the world have been captured by the popular cartoon and her team of sidekicks through the use of catchy songs and cheery characters. Behind all the merriment in every episode lies a different educational lesson. Some of these lessons include learning a new language, overcoming obstacles and building strong friendships. Dora achieves every goal through self motivation. This is one of the most important lessons children can get from this show. Dora demonstrates her motivation in every episode when she is embarking on an adventure to find a friend or to get to a distant location. Unfortunately for Dora (but good for me in making my point in this post), she has to overcome many obstacles before finally reaching her destination. Most of Dora’s motivation come from external motives such as seeing her friends or reaching a new location. A psychological variable that contributes to her motives is her need for belonging. She goes through what she needs to do in order fulfill a social need. Another motive that could be argued is sheer curiosity. Often times people will justify a situation by saying they were overcome by their own curiosity. Whatever Dora’s motives may be that drive her to new daily adventures, they are all driven by incentives. She knows that if she prevails in her quest, she will be rewarded in some way, shape or form. Sometimes that reward is finding a friend or finally finding the location she’s been searching for.

In the end, Dora teaches children that they have two choices when it comes to solving problem s and reaching your goals: you either have self motivation and push towards the end or you give up and miss a hell of an adventure!

(Image from


  1. I like this very simple, yet very accurate illustration of the push and pull in motivation. Dora is pushed by her inner curiosity(inner hunger)as well as her need to belong, as well as pulled by her friends and knowing that she can get where she wants to go. As annoying as the show can be to me sometimes, I love that this show can teach my kids and is a great learning tool, especially for motivation.

  2. This is a great use of a seemingly simple example (a children's tv show) to explain the benefits of motivation. My daughter is a huge fan of Dora and I watch the show with her often; I noticed as you pointed out the many obstacles she has to overcome to reach a certain destination, but didn't think about it in terms of motivation.

    Dora is a wonderfully positive show; I think it benefits kids to see Dora tackle each obstacle with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. It reinforces the concept of motivation (even if they don't realize it yet), but also the necessity of persistence in reaching goals.