Don’t expect Danica McKellar to be starring on a reality show anytime soon.
“(Because of reality TV) kids don’t think they have to work hard to be famous and to get glory,” the former child star told FOX411. “If they really look at the trajectory of the lives of these people that they are admiring, they might find out that it’s not a life that would make them happy. I think before we can really improve education, we have to improve the motivation that kids have to become educated."
McKellar is most noted for playing Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years” over 20 years ago but once the show ended in 1993, she made the decision to continue her education.
“All of the cast of the ‘Wonder Years,’ we kids were fortunate to have parents who really kept us grounded and kept us in touch with what was most important in life, which is health, family, education, those all came before anything related to Hollywood,” she said. “Our entire set was blessed in that way and I think that’s why everyone on the show ended up continuing their education and doing really well for themselves.”
Doing well for herself is an understatement for McKellar, she is a health advocate for Colgate’s Smile for Picture Day, has earned her degree in mathematics from UCLA, is a co-author for a ground breaking physics theorem named the Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem and has penned four math education books.
While Danica did pose for Maxim, she is determined to show that there is more to a female than her face and figure.
“Girls are inundated by all forms of media that tell them the most important thing they can do for themselves is to be attractive," she said. "That is why I write books to encourage girls not just to be good at math, but to see themselves as being good at math and to see they belong.”
As for McKellar’s opinion on the state of education in this country, she says it’s not so much about quality of education as it is about the influences.
“As I reinforce in my books, success and happiness come from self-improvement and the confidence that comes from feeling smart and capable,” she added. “Once kids really understand that, they will be on a path to embracing the education already available to them here in the greatest country on earth.”