IV. Audio-visual materials (folk media)
Today, the media of the pre-electronic age are variously known as "cultural" or "folk" or "traditional" media. Because they were and are used to express the world-view as well as the values and norms of a group through literacy and theatrical genres using artistic criteria acceptable to that particular group.
Folk or traditional media have familiarity and the stamp of legitimacy. The folk forms embody the people's beliefs, their self-concepts, their perceptions of their relationships, their philosophy of life and their social ethics.
Characteristics of Folk Media
(1 ) Folk media can provide a relatively concrete learning experience.
We must decide whether or not the learning experience is appropriate to the experiential background of the learners. Neo-literate people appreciate folk media. They are likely to develop greater interest in concrete and enactive learning processes. When we use folk media the retaining of new information and ideas is much more than an abstraction.
Folk Media Communication Process Analysis
The transfer of information from a source to a receiver is called communication. The principles of communication help us analyze the model of the folk media communication process.
In the past, the folk artists were the senders so the messages came from them. The message depended on their attitude and their world view.
Application of Folk Media in Education
(1) Content Replacement
In this application, we have to discuss with the artists the content we want to communicate and let them express the messages using their own techniques. In this way the forms are very interesting but it is very difficult to formulate the learner's attitude. To select the artists who can get access to the information is important.
(2) Message Treatment
With this application, we treat the message with an awareness of folk media form; dramatics, locality, scenario, characters, and images. The content is often interesting but sometimes the production lacks technique.
(3) As a Product or As a Process
Nowadays we apply folk media in forms such as:
- theatre in education
We must select our approach. As a product it means that the benefit is directed to the audience but as a process the benefit is directed at the participants.
(6) Puppet Play
One of the most popular media among folk traditions is the puppet play. Through enjoying the puppet play, community people can identify with the world that the puppets present, and become relaxed and receptive. Then they are ready to receive the messages that instructors want to convey. Traditional cultural media modified and utilized to cater to present needs serve as very effective tools for literacy programmes.
Puppetry in education should be conducted through a learner-centred approach
1) have direct impact on people since their messages are conveyed orally through a story which can be entertaining and, at the same time, serious
Process of Puppetry In Education
(1) state objective(s)
a) Script writing
- stage, scenery, puppetry, lighting and sound
- theatre as a product
(1) Planning, production and instruction
How to Conduct Puppet Plays for Literacy Programmes
1) Relate how literacy skills help to improve one's life in the scenario in a natural way.
Making and Handling Puppets
Many kinds of puppets exist in the respective cultures, and people are used to enjoying them. Simple puppets can be made with resources available in the local area, such as old cloth, newspapers, broken umbrellas, coconut shells, bamboo, etc.
In handling the puppets, please keep in mind the following points:
1) Move the puppets only when they are speaking.
Questionnaire for Puppet Show
1) What are the characters in the show?
"Save the Village with Literacy Skills"
- To make the community realize that one of the reasons for poverty is lack of literacy skills which can bring knowledge and skills to improve their lives.
Act 1: In the House
Wife: (to the audience) Hello, everybody. I'm a farmer in this village. We work very hard, but this village is very poor. We haven't enough food. My neighbour is always complaining that they haven't enough money to send their children to school.
Husband comes back home. He is a little drunk and is singing a song.
Wife: Oh, you're late again...(Pause) and drunk.
Husband: I'm sorry. How is my son, Bahadur? Is he getting better?
Wife: No, he's still sick. Did you get your wages today?
Husband: Yes, 250.
Wife: But you should get 300. Why only 250?
Husband: I asked my master that. But he said it's all right. He showed me the register too.
Wife: But you can't read. How can we say that his register is all right?
Husband: Oh, don't ask such silly questions. I'm very tired and hungry.
Wife brings the food. Husband starts eating.
Wife: We have to buy clothes for Bahadur for the festival. But we haven't enough money.
Husband: Oh, my God! I work so hard. You also work in the field day and night. Still we are so poor. Our son Bahadur is always ill. What should we do?
Wife: We can't do anything. Is there any good way to save our village from this miserable situation?
Act 2: In the dark lane at the outskirts of the village
Son: It's always dark when I pass through this lane. I feel very lonely. I want to get home soon. Oh, what's that? Who is he? I've never seen such an awful thing. Oh, it's a mobster! He is murmuring something, pointing at our village. What is he murmuring about? I want to hear what he is talking about.
Monster: I, myself, made this village so poor. The people can't read or write. They don't know how to improve their living conditions or earn extra money. They are always busy working hard. Ah! The women are always busy in the field, cutting grass, fetching water and wood for the household. They don't have time to look after their children so how can they go to literacy class?
Son is very afraid. He shivers and runs off home.
Act 3: In the House
Husband: What happened?
Wife: Why are you panting?
Husband: What do you mean?
Son: Yes, that monster has made us so poor. We don't know many things. That's why we are so poor and weak.
Wife: Who is this monster? I'll kill him.
Son: His name is Illiteracy. His weak point is the people who read books. He is afraid of the people who read books because they know a lot of things.
Wife: Oh, clever boy! I'm going to join literacy classes.
Husband: Me, too...
Act 4: In the House. Four months later.
Wife is reading a book. The monster comes to their house.
Monster: Why did you start going to literacy class? You know you don't have time for these things. Can you answer my questions? If you can't answer my question, I'll make this village more miserable. Are you ready?
Wife: I have learnt many things.
Monster: Can you tell me why your son gets diarrhea?
Wife: Do you want to know? Yes, I know - because the water isn't clean.
Monster: Oh! Oh! That's nothing. Such a simple question! Now tell me why this village is so poor. Do you know the answer?
Wife: I know the answer. Our village is poor because of lack of knowledge. If they can read and write, they will know many things and improve their condition.
Monster: Why do you know so many things? Well, this is the last, but most difficult question. Why are women so unhappy is this village? He...ha... You don't know the answer to that!
Wife: Because they don't have time to attend literacy classes. They don't have a lot of knowledge. Go away monster, Illiteracy!
The monster is so surprised that he runs away.
After the puppet show...
You can encourage the audience to participate in a discussion on the topic of the play, and your show can be evaluated through asking such questions as:
1) What did they find interesting in the play?
Also if you provide the puppet plays regularly, it becomes more effective in maintaining the interest of the community.
The puppet play and other folk media are important cultural resources and they can be best preserved and conveyed to the next generation if they are revived to meet present needs such as utilization in literacys programmes.
Let's try out the puppet play now!
(7) Kamishibai (paper drama)
In Kamishibai, a performer recites stories accompanied by illustrated paper sheets. Kamishibai was traditionally performed on street corners or squares, and has been developed as popular educational media in libraries and schools. The kamishibai performer would set down a small box stage and starts telling stories while showing about ten accompanying illustrations which were drawn on hard paper boards of 30 cm by 40 cm. Pulling out one illustration after another, he told the story in the same manner as one turns pages of a picture book. The story and illustrations on each board coincided with each other, and children especially were absorbed in kamishibai as they saw illustrations which changed one after another as the kamishibai player told a story.
How to Make Kamishibai
1) The story should be dramatic, from introduction through development, climax and ending. It should maintain continuity as well as 'jumps' as the story progresses.
- shorter is better
How to Illustrate Pictures for Kamishibai
1) The illustrations should be easily recognized from a distance of 3 to 5 meters.
Advantages of Kamishibai
Kamishibai has distinctive advantages over other forms of communication media. These include the improvisational element in the performance of kamishibai, and two-way communication between the audience and the individual Kamishibai performer. Television and movies offer only one-way communication through impersonal electric appliances. In kamishibai, a small audience huddles close together and enjoys watching both illustrations and the expressions of the Kamishibai performer while listening to his live voice. The performer himself can hear and see the excitement and reaction of the audience. The unique characteristics of Kamishibai are proven to be effective in education, instruction and publicity.
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