Jun 4, 2020, 11:45 am385 pts
The human race, as a species, deserves its fair of credit for the progress we have made thus far. In 6 million years, barely a scope in the ocean on the grand scale of things, we have almost reinvented ourselves. The same instincts that guided us when our ancestors left the trees still prove to be immensely beneficial.
Humans are naturally a pattern-seeking species. In the modern age, when our lives are nothing remotely close to the savannahs of Africa for our ancestors, we are still finding ingenious ways to merge and move forward. For a long while, there had been a mainstream narrative that held entertainment and education on polar ends, if not two entirely different spectrums.
Much had been made of the adverse effects of entertainment slowly molding its place in our lives. The education sector was undoubtedly amongst the most vocal voices. Nevertheless, given enough time, there was always a way to bring together two of the most integral parts of our daily lives. This, hence, became the birth of entertainment education.
Within scholarly circles, education entertainment is defined as a process of designing media that has both entertainment and educational value. To put it simply, it is an intentional attempt at entertaining and educating the end-user. Subsequently, users who consume this information expand their knowledge on specific concepts or even a change in attitudes and behavior. This strategy, essentially, aims to impact social change directly at both an individual and a societal level.
Despite being in its formative stages, entertainment education is already making significant differences in various sectors:
- Rural Development;
- Resolving conflicts;
- Environmental Awareness.
The medical sector, for instance, applies entertainment education to educate the users about health-related concerns.
In this article, we would like to look at a specific education entertainment intervention, such as films. In recent decades, film industry has grown. Some, if not most, of what we consume from television influences how we lead certain aspects of our daily lives. Therefore, films and their appeal to large audiences, present an effective platform to convey favorable ideals, individually and socially.
Films could either be one-off episodes, movies (not limited to sequels), or a running series. Any essay writer will tell you where the beauty lies; the art of telling stories, one of our most basic capabilities as an intelligent species. Immersive stories are easily relatable. As soon as we can resonate with even a single aspect of someone else's life, we are equally able to reflect on our own.
With this approach, entertainment education has been able to capture storytelling and scientific analysis to produce narratives that allow us to see things from a different, albeit realistic perspective. Consequently, we are then able to make favorable changes in our lives. This can include, but not limited to, positive attitude and behavior changes.
Below are some of the films that demonstrate the potential and significance of entertainment education.
Sammi: A Pakistani Television Drama Series
Sammi is entirely fitting to be the first mention on this list. The show revolves around building a plot around a social cause. The rural setting shows the broader audience that the show looks to appeal to. On this show, the premise demonstrates and disseminates moral lessons on common and arguably significant social issues. Sammi posted approximately 3.5 million viewers per episode, quite a remarkable feat by any standard in the entertainment industry.
Seeds of Change: A Video Series
Seeds of Change had plenty to offer Guatemalans. Like any other nation in the world, Guatemalans are also facing their fair share of social issues that require favorable change. The series revolves around family issues as well as societal problems. By the end of the show, there is an evident positive transformation. It is perhaps yet to be significant at a societal level. Nevertheless, the education imparted at an individual level is undoubtedly essential and impactful.
Intersexions: An Award-Winning TV Series
Intersexions has been remarkable in creating awareness around the spread of HIV. Each episode builds upon a systematic spread of the virus through sexual networks. Intersexions, in a country with as high an HIV prevalence as South Africa, are doing a world of good to educate the masses while still entertaining thoroughly.
Entertainment education, theoretically, is based on the social learning theory. It posits that we partially acquire knowledge or learn new behaviors through observation and imitation of others. Others would go ahead to suggest it is a form of vicarious learning. Whatever the case may be, entertainment education will be integral to positive social change.
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