Part 3: Selection of theme and format of materials
The first step in the production of effective materials is to correctly analyze results of surveys concerning their needs, establish priorities, and choose the theme or topic of the materials.
Selection of Theme
In deciding upon a theme, the evaluation of needs and suggested solutions to the problems produces basic data which leads to arriving at the appropriate theme.
1. Steps In Selecting Theme
1) First, set priorities based upon consideration of respective degree of urgency and importance of each issue to be addressed.
Theme decision based upon opinions and needs of a wide variety of people rather than only preliminary surveys and research can be accomplished systematically by using a "category" approach, itemizing each issue or problem by category.
2. Possible Themes for the Materials
1. Daily Health
1) drinking water and clean water
1) cleanliness of surroundings
3. Balanced Diet
1 ) nutritional values of foods for physical and mental health
4. Common Diseases
1) some contagious diseases
Environment and Science/Technology
1. What Is Good Environment
1) appreciation of nature and relationships between nature and human beings
1) importance of forests-practical uses of trees and wood
3. Science and Technology in Everyday Life
a. uses of water
2) The Sun
a. practical knowledge
3) Bio-gas, Wind power, etc.
1. Food Production
1) How to improve production (raising poultry, rabbits, goats, sheep, cows, and caribou; fish-farming, beekeeping, keeping silk worms; plantation and forestry; planting fruit trees, coconuts, cloves, coffee; etc.)
2. Handicrafts and Vocational Skills
1) Creative use of local materials (clay, reeds, bamboo, shells, stones, palm leaves, etc.)
a. identifying materials
Social and Economic Aspects
1. Citizen Life
1) Why be a good citizen? (relationship of individuals to community, value of sharing)
a) active participation in community development programmes
1) What is a cooperative?
3. Community Responsibility
1) Building a new village
4. Family Life
1) Morals in the family
5. Economic Efficiency
1) Marketing of products
1. Proper Use of Recreation and Leisure Time
1) What is proper leisure?
(Folk theatre, music, home decorating, painting, athletic activities, reading, etc.)
2) Spending extra time
a. activities for wholesome enjoyment
3) How to budget time
a. planning a year's schedule of activities
4) Providing facilities for recreation
2. Cultural Heritage
1) Cultural heritage (fostering love for folklore, monuments and sites, native arts, local history, etc.)
Selection of Format
1. Matters to be Considered When Selecting Format
Format of materials for neo-literates is decided on the basis of what may be most appropriate and effective for the content of the particular material to be produced.
When intended expression of content is most appropriately matched to format (booklet, pamphlet, poster, game, audio-visual medium, etc.), the highest degree of effectiveness is achieved. If the proper format is not selected, the content is not clearly and vividly conveyed and the communicative effect is markedly diminished.
In deciding upon the format to be used, it is important to be knowledgeable about:
(1) needs and literacy level of target audience neo-literates,
(1) Understanding needs and literacy level of target learners
As neo-literates or illiterates seldom have enough time to study in a school or special literacy class, it is necessary to be aware of target learner's preference for a particular format within that limited time frame. While producing posters and audio-visual materials to be presented before a group of people, it is particularly important to know the literacy level of the group as well as of individual members in order to employ an effective format for their use.
(2) Location and conditions in which materials are to be used
It is necessary to know in what type of setting (environmental conditions) the materials are to serve, and in what manner they are to be applied. Materials such as posters should be displayed prominently, over a long period of time, in locations where people assemble or on a large wall surface. Audio-visual materials normally require facilities and equipment such as electricity and slide projectors.
It is also necessary to see target group's extent of exposure to electronic media. If the community is using it freely then they are already trained to react to the programmes presented in this medium. But if the village has no electricity, then the electronic media is certainly not effective because, firstly, they do not have an opportunity to view programmes on them; secondly, they are too tired to drag themselves to the community centre to watch television or films, etc.; and thirdly, the medium itself fascinates them in such a way that the message remains unregistered.
In such circumstances, it would be better to select a medium from their own culture or create a kind of programme in which they can also participate. In many cases, multi-media approach is most suitable for conveying the message.
The producers of materials should be also well aware of the locally available resources and the background of the target learners' culture, customs, preferences, etc.
(3) Methods of application and their clarification
In producing materials for neo-literates such as games and comparatively thick books, care should be taken so that they do not require excessively detailed guidelines for their application by instructors. Format of materials must be carefully considered so that the materials can be at first easily accepted and understood by the instructors. A format which is complicated or poses problems in application or does not clearly and simply convey the intended message should be avoided.
(4) Production costs
Cost of material production varies greatly, depending on the format and the facilities available for production. It is important to determine best possible format, process, and supplies to be utilized within the budget set for the particular production.
2. Possible Formats for Materials for Neo-literates
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