Interesting concept, although I think it would be more accurate to say "one" characteristic thing rather than "the most".
Physical play is one of the main ways in which children interact with experience, points out Dr. Bernstein. "The most characteristic thing about the human is that we go looking for problems to solve - or in other words, playing. In fact, we usually worry about significant emotional issues in youngsters who are unable to look for problems to solve." (pg. 80)
"there's nothing wrong with TV of computers per se. However, it may be an issue whether the kids are active or passive when working with the machines. Sesame Street, for example, has brought a great deal of information to children who might not otherwise have got it, but this may have been obtained at a price. I hear many teachers complain that children in kindergarten and first grade don't know how to listen actively! They're used to fast-paced segments of information that are constantly changing. They should be doing something with what they're getting.Now, there are things in this quote that could be further qualified (and are in the book, I believe) but I think the point is valid and important regardless, and I think the point is about understanding priorities.
"The Sesame Street population is actually at the greatest risk for not understanding that language is communication, a back-and-forth interaction between people. They aren't personally involved in using language to think and solve problems with. Children who have been talked to and had stories read to them are at a real advantage. They've learned how to listen and pay attention - and had fun doing it. These basic abilities are critical if a youngster is to benefit from education in the classroom!" (pg. 80)