1 9 5 7 (UK)
8 x 30 minute episodes
Looking and Seeing was the very first television programme specifically for schools to be broadcast in Britain. It aimed to encourage children to look more attentively at the art, architecture and natural beauty around them and resulted from the initiative of Paul Adorian, the Managing Director of Associated-Rediffusion.
Adorian had been a radio engineer and became interested in visual aids for teaching during World War II when he was an adviser on special projects to the Air Ministry and invented a flight simulator.
Immediately after the war, he edited some film strips for instructors and was convinced of the value of visual aids in education.
He tried to interest the BBC in a television service for schools, and they carried out a limited experiment consisting of 20 programmes – one each school day from 5 May to 30 May 1952 – which were broadcast to six North London schools (five secondary modern and one grammar) in the vicinity of the Alexandra Palace transmitter.
It was not until 1956, however, when Adorian became managing director of Associated-Rediffusion (then ITV’s London weekday programme company) that he was really able to put his ideas into practice.
Looking and Seeing comprised eight episodes – introduced by Redvers Kyle – and they were only shown once, on Monday afternoons, in the summer term of 1957 on ATV. It could be watched only in the London and Midlands areas.
During the next 12 months, Associated-Rediffusion gave 100 TV sets to schools to watch further educational series, which included On Leaving School (a series for teenagers), A Year of Observation (dealing with the International Geophysical Year), and The Ballad Story (a folk song appreciation series).
To See Or Not To See | The Growing Eye Of Science | Can The Camera Lie? | Nature Looks At Us | The Eye Of History | Looking At Pictures | A Close Look | Summing Up