|Oral Rehydration Therapy and the Control of Diarrheal Diseases (Peace Corps, 1985, 566 pages)|
|Module Six: Community health education|
|Session 17 - Selecting and using visual aids to promote CDD|
Pictures and other visual aids make communication and learning about diarrheal diseases control easier and more interesting by translating abstract ideas into more concrete familiar forms that relate to the experience of the learners. In Session 16 (Selecting and Using Nonformal Education Techniques) participants practiced combining visual aids with nonformal techniques. In this session they focus on visual aids, looking at different ways that they can use these aids in health education to promote the control of diarrheal diseases, particularly through ORT. They review cultural, educational and design criteria for selecting visual aids. They use these criteria to select visual aids for health education sessions in the project plans developed in Session 15 (Planning a Health Education Project on CDD).
· To describe ways that visual aids can be used to help learning and understanding.
(Step 1, 2)
· To select appropriate visual aids to promote activities to control diarrheal diseases, using criteria stated during the session.
- Teaching and Learning With Visual Aids
- Audiovisual/Communications Teaching Aids Teaching Aids Resource Packet P8
- Helping Health Workers Learn, Chapter 11
- Bridging the Gap
- On the People's Wavelengths Communications for Social Change, (UNICEF News 114/4)
- 17A Ways Visual Aids Help People Learn and Remember
- 17B Why Pictures Fall to Convey Ideas
- 17C Design Considerations
- 17D Using Pictures to Communicate Effectively
- 17A Why Use Visual Aids?
- 17B Villagers Teaching Us to Teach them
- 17C Examples of Teaching Situations
Examples of as many different kinds of visual aids as possible. Newsprint, markers, pencils, paper.
Prior to the session ask participants to look through Chapter 11 of Helping Health Workers Learn (Making and Using Teaching aids. and identify at least one new use of visual aids. that they would like to try out during this training course.
Ask three participants to work with you to prepare and demonstrate effective uses of visual aids. In the demonstration focus one creative uses of visual aids; appropriate selection of visual aids. and showing skill in the actual handling of the material, such as timing (when to show a visual) and making sure it can be seen.
Prior to the training, ask participants to bring visual aids. that they have developed and used. Also ask a few people to locate examples of different kinds of visual aids. on topics related to the control of diarrheal diseases and to arrange or display them in the training room. Include in the display all the visual aids. used in the training program thusfar. Assign this task enough in advance to enable them to visit local agencies to collect or borrow visual aids. If the location of the training site is too far from such agencies, collect these materials yourself prior to the training. Get as many locally designed and produced materials as possible and, where available, get multiple copies to give to the participants for their health education activities.
If you plan to use the Optional Step on Selecting Nell Designed Pictures (located at the end of the Procedure section) ask two people to help you find or prepare visual aids. that illustrate the design considerations shown in Handout 17C (Design Considerations). Ask for one good and one bad example for each consideration.
Trainer Attachment 17A Includes a short activity that you can use
to introduce this session if time allows.
Step 1 (60 min)
Ways Visual Aids Help People Learn and Remember
Introduce the session by reviewing the objectives and pointing out the display of visual aids. With the help of the participants who prepared with you, demonstrate at least three different uses of visual aids. for specific teaching situations dealing with the control of diarrheal diseases. For each demonstration, state the objective, and describe the target group. After each one, discuss questions such as the following:
- What did you like best about the ways visual aids. were used here?
- What did you like least?
- What different ways could you use this visual aid?
- Has the timing (when the visual aids were used in the session) and handling skillful and effective?
After all the demonstrations are finished, facilitate a discussion using the following kinds of questions:
- What kinds of information are best communicated using visual aids?
- How can visual aids. strengthen nonformal education techniques?
- Can visual aids. stand on their own for communicating health messages?
- What are some examples of effective use of visual aids. during this training program? How have you used visual aids.
You may want to begin this session with the activity described in Trainer Attachment 17A (Why Use Visual Aids?).
Be sure that you demonstrate the use of visual aids. when they are needed and not Just added because someone wants to use a visual aid. The visual aids. should be appropriate for the objectives, the learners, and communicate effectively (applying the Design Considerations in Handout 17C). Do short, focused demonstrations.
Include combinations of visual aids and nonformal education techniques to increase the participation of the learners, to identify and solve problems, evaluate projects and learning-by-doing as well as communicating health information. Handout 17A (Nays Visual Aids Help People Learn and Remember) and Helping Health Workers Learn offer many ideas.
The outcome of the discussion should be answers to the questions: - Why use visual aids? When should I use visual aids?
You can also write and discuss this Chinese proverb: "I hear I
forget' I see I remember; if I do it I know it".
Step 2 (15 min)
Gallery Tour of Visual aids.
Give participants 15 minutes to make a "gallery tour" of the visual aids. arranged in the display. Ask then to choose a partner for the "tour". Have the partners discuss ways to use these materials in their work in controlling diarrheal diseases and share creative ways that they have used visual aids. In the past. Encourage them to pick up the visual aids. and think about the ideas for using visual aids. that they read about in Helping Health Workers Learn. At the end of tints activity give them Handout 17A (Ways Visual Aids Help People Learn and Remember) as a reference.
Step 3 (20 min)
Selecting Visual Aids for the Local Community
Briefly summarize and discuss Trainer Attachment 17B (Villagers Teaching Us to Teach Thea) or a similar example to highlight the importance of involving the community in selecting (or developing) and using pictures for health education.
Ask the participants to agree on three or four main criteria to use in selecting visual aids. Ask someone to summarize these on newsprint for future use. After the discussion Distribute Handout 17B (Why Pictures Fall to Convey Ideas) as a reference,
Some of ideas that should come out of the discussion include:
- Consider local beliefs, customs, design preferences, meaning associated with colors, and familiar things such as clothing, houses, and household goods.
The following are the most important criteria for selecting visual aids.
- Skills, knowledge, attitudes, or organization stated in your health education objectives are accomplished more effectively and easily using visual aids.
If participants have a special interest in developing visual aids.
you may want to use the Optional Step on Selecting Nell Designed Visual Aids
after Step 3.
Step 4 (30 min.)
Practice Selecting Visual Aids
Divide into the pairs that developed project plans. Ask each pair to apply what they have Just learned about cultural and design considerations for visual aids and techniques, along with their project objectives, to decide and discuss how they would select visual aids for their target group for one health education session in that project.
Ask them to select visual aids if appropriate, from those displayed in the room and be prepared to explain their choice to the other groups. If the visual aids in the room are inappropriate, ask them to suggest what, if any, visual aids they plan to make for the session and explain why they need them.
It you find that participants need some practice in selecting
visual aids before starting their own sessions, divide them into three or more
groups and assign teaching situations such as those described in Trainer
Attachment 17C (Examples of Teaching Situations). Have each group select visual
aids and nonformal education techniques for the assigned situations and present
the session to the other groups. Allow additional time for this
Step 5 (40 min.)
Sharing Visual Aids Selections
Reconvene the large group. Ask each small group to describe their project objective, target group and the session during which they will use the visual aids. Then have them show the visual aids selected and explain why they were chosen.
After each report have the others assess the criteria used to select the visual Aids and how well the visual aids fit the criteria. Encourage suggestions for other possible combinations of nonformal education techniques and visual aids for each session. At the end of the discussion distribute Handout 17D (Using Pictures to Communicate Effectively) as supplementary reading.
Close the session by explaining that they will be applying these skills in selecting and using visual aids in Session 19 (Designing and Evaluating Health Education Sessions) and in their final project presentations (Session 22).
Optional Step (20 min)
Selecting Well Designed Visual Aids
Show the group the pairs of pictures prepared earlier to illustrate the design considerations in Handout 17C (Design Considerations). For each pair of pictures, ask the group which picture is better? When they decide, ask them what makes one picture better than the other. Ask someone to make up a simple rule for choosing well-designed visual aids based on each comparison.
Distribute Handout 17C (Design Considerations) as a summary. Briefly discuss how the list on the wall is similar to the list of considerations in the handout.
Use this optional step after Step 3.
The outcome of the discussion should be a list of rules about what makes a visual aid communicate well. Hake sure that the points on Handout 17C (Design Considerations) come out in the discussion.
Emphasize the importance of simplicity. Note that the most common error in visual Aids is including too much information. A good guideline is to include only one main idea in a picture. Also make it clear that the rule of thumb, "Use simple visual messages", does not assume a simple minded target audience. Nor does it imply omitting important information. Instead it means to identify what is necessary, as opposed to "nice" to know and to present that information step-by-step, one idea at a time.
If participants have already covered these concepts in preservice
or other training, simplify this step as follows. Ask one of the participants to
summarize what makes a visual aid communicate effectively. Have them demonstrate
by comparing a picture that communicates effectively with one that does not,
pointing to the parts of the pictures that illustrate their "rules of thumb" for
1. Visual aids can make something small look larger. A large picture of the inner ear can help students study the small parts. A drawing or poster of an egg and sperm help learners understand what these things look like. Because the pictures are much larger than real life. learners can study thee carefully.
2. Visual aids help us compare the similarities and differences between two things. Show your earners pictures of two similar objects side by side, and they can loot at the pictures and identify which things are the same and which are different.
The illustration here shows the drawings one nursing school instructor uses to teach her students about the differences in appearance of children with kwashiorkor and children with marasmus. She uses the pictures to help them learn the basic information, and then takes them to the clinic to see real children with these conditions.
3. Visual aids are an excellent wag to show the steps to follow in doing a task. Mr. Kamwengu, a nurse tutor, uses a series of pictures like the ones here to teach his students how to take temperatures.
4. Pictures can show how something changes or grows. One picture can show all the changes which take place. These kinds of pictures are good for showing how something happens. The example here shows how blood flukes spread schistosomiasis.
5. Visual aids can help learning by providing a basis for discussion. Most of the time, you want to be sure that everyone who looks at your visual aid will understand the same message. But sometimes it is valuable to use a visual aid which can be interpreted in more than one way.
You could use this picture as the bests for a discussion by asking, "What do you think this picture is about?". Often this is the only question you will need to ask. To keep the discussion going, you might ask other questions such as the ones below.
- Who are these peoples
- What is happening in the picture?
- How do the people feel about it?
You can use other pictures like this one to start discussions in which the learners explore their own needs, feelings, attitudes, and expectations. For learners who will be doing any counseling, this knowledge and discussion of their prejudices and feelings is very important.
Pictures like this are also useful in community health word. A group discussion helps you learn quickly how the villagers feel about many things, and what problems need to be solved in the community.
Discussing their interpretations of pictures encourages people to observe, think and question carefully and critically.
6. You can also use visual aids to review or test your learners to see if they really understand. After instruction, you can ask learners to identify or explain parts of a picture or other visual aid.
Flannel boards are very good for this kind of review, and learners seem to enjoy the activity. The community health worker in the picture here uses a folded blanket wrapped around a piece of wood as a flannel board. She has been teaching the village women about nutrition, using the flannel board as she talked about food groups. Afterward, she asks her learners to come up and place each food in its proper group on the board.
7. Visual aids can provide information when the trainer cannot be present. You cannot a ways be present when someone needs to ask you about something. Sometimes you have other work you must do or you must be somewhere else.
For example, Mrs. Macalou directs a community health clinic. She has one nurse's aid working for her full time. Mrs. Macalou needed to make time to see more clients at the clinic.
Mrs. Macalou made a poster to put over the table where clients check into the clinic. The poster shows the steps her aide should go through in taking a client's history and recording the person's complaint.
Now when her aide comes to work, she can help Mrs. Macalou by seeing all of the clients first. If Mrs. Macalou must be out of the clinic, the aide can still record the client's history and complaint.
Mrs. Macalou can come back to the clinic look at the histories, and decide quickly which patients need to be seen first.
8. Visual aids can show people something they can't see in real life. The section on how visual Aids can make small things look larger mentioned that visual aids help learners see things such as cells, which are impossible to see unless you use a microscope because they are too small.
Sometimes it is impossible to see things in real life for other reasons as well.
Sometimes a visual aid is useful to show something that cannot be seen because it is inside the body.
Mrs. Hasan is a community health worker. She uses diagrams like the ones here to teach traditional birth attendants about the different positions the baby can have in the womb.
She discusses the pictures with the traditional birth attendants. Then she shows them how to feel the womb of a pregnant woman for the baby's head and buttocks.
You can also use visual aids to show your learners things which are impossible to visit in real life. You can show them pictures of an activity- in a village which is too far away for them to visit. The nurse in the picture here has used drawings to make a display which she can use in clinic presentations.
Some other examples of how visual Aids can show us things that are impossible to see in real life are:
- a nursing instructor uses a series of pictures when explaining the growth of the fetus
- a nurse/midlife uses a paper cut-out held against her body to show mothers what the womb looks like and where it is located in the body.
9. Making their own visual Aids is very useful in helping learners discover solutions to problems. When learners make their own Aids and Discover the answers for themselves, learning becomes an adventure. When people are having fun learning, they remember what they learn.
Mothers and children can learn about diarrhea and dehydration by making their own "baby". from clay, tin cans, plastic bottles, or gourds. They can experiment with the principle of rehydration by pouring water into the "baby" and mending the different holes with "food."
10. Visual Aids can make a difficult idea easier to understand. they do this by showing familiar people and things which illustrate the idea.
For example, suppose a nurse is counselling a family about the benefits of child spacing. She tells the family how child spacing means better health for the mother and for the children. But this is a new idea to the family. It is difficult to understand, because they do not know any other families who use child-spacing.
So the nurse shows the family some pictures which compare child spacing to the spacing of crops. Then the family begins to understand, They know from their experience that crops grow better if they are not planted too close together.
(From: Teaching and Learning With Visual Aids. pp.29-41)
1. Villagers who are not used to looking at pictures mar find it difficult to see what objects are shown in the picture.
"Reading" pictures is easier than reading words, but people have to learn to "read" pictures. This picture, intended to show how oral rehydration fluid is made at home, was shown to 410 villagers. Only 69 of them realized it was a picture of hands putting something into a pot. Ninety-nine others could see the hands but could not suggest what they might be doing. And the rest of the villagers (242 people) did not see the hands at all-82 of them thought it was a picture of flowers or a plant.
2. Villagers do not expect to receive ideas from pictures, and must be taught that pictures can instruct.
Staff members of the Honduran project, PROCOMSI, wanted to develop a set of visual instructions to remind mothers how to prepare a solution of oral rehydration salts from a packet. The question was whether the instructions would work without teaching. The mothers were handed the packet of salts with the visual instructions facing up.
None of the mothers perceived the series of drawings as "instructions." They seemed to think that the pictures were simply a product label. Several women tried to read the written instructions printed on the back of the packet but were able to understand only a few words. After no more than fifteen seconds of looking at the packet. most mothers opened it and began mixing the salts in water which was available near the test site.
A later stage of the test consisted of pointing out to the mothers that the visuals were intended to convey information and "teaching". them what the series of drawings meant. This proved very easy, and mothers understood almost instantly.
3. Villagers tend to "read" pictures very literally. That is even if they recognize the objects or people represented in the picture, they may not attempt to see any link between the objects, or any meaning behind the picture.
4. Villagers do not necessarily look at a series of pictures from left to kit, or assume that there is any connection between the pictures in a series.
This series of drawings is intended to show one way in which diarrheal diseases are spread. It was tested in the Nepal study.
Less than half of the 410 villagers in the study looked at these pictures in order from left to right (37% of them looked at the middle picture first.) Hardly any of the villagers appeared to think that the pictures were related to each other.
Visually "illiterate" people do not "fill" in missing steps. Each message or step must be conveyed with another picture.
5. Pictures which try to convey ideas or instructions often use symbols which are not understood by villagers.
For instance, villagers may never have learned that a check mark can mean "right" or "good" and an "X" stands for "wrong" or "bad." Thus, symbols such as these are often misunderstood or simply ignored.
6. Symbols which represent A concept in one culture do not necessarily convey the same idea to another group of people.
Visual perception varies greatly from culture to culture. Finding the right picture to transmit an idea is usually harder and more complicated than picking the right word.
For example, in looking for a visual symbol to represent "menstruation," PIACT designers tried a number of symbols: in Mexico, a Kotex (brand of sanitary napkins) box was originally tested but proved to be a satisfactory symbol only among urban women; a drawing of a roll of cotton was more successful in suggesting menstruation. In Bangladesh, a red spot at the back of A woman's sari was widely recognized to represent menstruation; in the Philippines, a red dot at the front of a woman's dress along with a calendar showing a date encircled were found to convey the idea.
(From: Population Communication Services, "Print Materials For Non-Readers").
1. Are the Pictures and Words easy to see?
2. Are the pictures and words easy to understand?
a) are unfamiliar words or graphic symbols used?
b) are all figures and objects in the same scale?
c) are full figures shown before showing parts of figures?
3. Is the information presented clearly and simply?
a) are there any unnecessary details?
b) is there one main idea for each picture?
4. Is each picture well organized?
a) does the picture fill the space?
b) is there a white margin around the outside of the picture?
c) if words are necessary, is it clear what words go with what pictures?
5. Does each picture direct the viewer's attention to important information? Examples of ways to do this include:
a) use of contrast to emphasize important information
b) making the most important thing the center of attention
6. Is the picture interesting to the people for whom it is intended?
- are the figures and objects in the picture based on the experience of the viewers ?
- does the design and style fit local ideas about what is attractive?
- is the topic considered important?
(Based on Wileman. "Pretesting and Revising Instructional Materials." pp. 26-36. And Teaching and Learning with Visual Aids. pp.85-103)
DEVELOPMENT OF VISUAL MESSAGES REQUIRES SKILL
· The design and testing of nonverbal materials are more complicated and require much more time than the development of comparable verbal materials. Simple does not mean easy.
KEEP PICTURES SIMPLE
· Keep pictures as simple as possible. It is better to show a family planning clinic set against a plain background than against a city street. A crowded street will only detract from the message befog conveyed.
· Though excessive, unnecessary detail interferes with understanding the message, the comprehension may also be reduced by deletion of all detail.
· Each picture and each page should have a single, sharp meaning. Putting multiple messages on one page will be confusing.
· A single page of a booklet should not include too many objects. It is better to have many drawings with one or two objects in thee than to try to put many things in one drawing.
· Comprehension of the picture is higher when a person's whole body, rather than Just some part of it, is portrayed.
THE MORE REALISTIC, THE BETTER
· for maximum comprehension, pictorial symbols should be as realistic as possible.
· Pictures of objects, people, and actions should loot like the objects, people and actions in the specific area where the pictures will be used. Such things as different styles of dress easily lead villagers to assume that a picture does not refer to their own village or their own life.
· Material produced for national distribution may not be equally appropriate for all regions of the country, since there are usually variations in styles and customs from one part of the country to another.
PICTURES WILL BE "READ" LITERALLY
· Remember that villagers will be likely to interpret your drawings very literally. For example, if you draw something larger than it is in real life (such as drawing a fly six inches high) people can assume you really mean it to be an impossibly enormous fly, or they may thins it is a strange kind of bird.
· if the material befog prepared will use more than one color ink, the color choices should be pretested in the same way the illustrations are tested. Keep in mind that certain colors have different meanings in different societies. Choose colors whose meaning in the culture corresponds to the ideas you wish to convey. Using color will also add to the production cost. Tests have shown that color does not, by itself, improve comprehension.
PEOPLE MAY NOT FOLLOW INTENDED SEQUENCE
· People who have not learned to read or write do not necessarily look at pictures in the order intended. It often proves helpful, as messages are being tested, to ask several groups of people to arrange the individual messages into a sequence that seems most logical to them.
· If a poster, wallchart, packet instruction or booklet consists of a series of pictures, numbering the pictures may indicate to the villagers the order in which the pictures should be "read." However, the Honduran tests of the visual instructions for mixing oral rehydration salts showed that this technique does not always word. The placing of the numbers inside the box with the drawings led some mothers to assume that the numbers referred to the number of packets to mix, rather than the sequence of instructions to follow
PICTURES ALONE ARE NOT ENOUGH
· Do not expect villagers to learn a lot from the drawings alone. Use drawings to capture the villagers' attention, to reinforce what you say, and to give the. an image to remember, but always give a clear and full oral explanation of your subject in addition to showing the drawings.
· Rural people need to be told explicitly that "pictures will show you how to mix the salts", or to "look at the pictures and follow the directions."
· People helping villagers to understand the message of pictures and posters should explain the meaning of conventional signs and symbols used by the artist. It is likely that if this is consistently done over a period in any given village, the villagers will learn to "read" the messages the pictures are trying to convey. Longitudinal tests in Honduras showed that rural women did not easily forget a symbol once learned.
· Not all kinds of technical information can be transferred primarily through illustrations. Pictures can probably be used to teach someone how to change a tractor tire, but it is doubtful they can be used to teach a person to drive that tractor.
THE AUDIENCE DECIDES WHAT PICTURES WORK BEST
· The intended audiences should have the final say about the content, illustrations and sequences that are used. Administrators and others indirectly connected with the project usually will have an abundance of suggestions for revisions, or state that they do not understand the message. But, the materials were not designed for this group!
(From: Population Communication Services. "Print Materials for Non-Readers.")
WHY USE VISUAL AIDS?
Learners will recognize and state that visual aids are sometimes necessary for a clear understanding of new information.
Pencils and paper for each participant.
Picture of the aardvark (or other animal or object to be described in activity). If you have more than 1520 participants, you will need a larger drawing. See Unit 2 for ways to enlarge pictures.
1. Be sure everyone has pencil and paper.
2. Explain that this activity is like a game that will lead to a discussion of teaching. Explain that you will be asking people to draw an animal based on a description from an encyclopedia which you will read to them 2 times. Emphasize that it doesn't matter how well they draw. Ask them to think about their reactions to the activity as they do it.
3. Read the description slowly and clearly. Do not worry if people express confusion. Ask your learners to draw whatever kind of picture the words suggest to them.
If learners want to hear the description again, read it to them again.
Tell them they have 5 minutes to complete the drawing. Let them work on the drawing for 5 minutes.
4. Ask learners how they feel about doing this activity. List some of their responses on the chalkboard to refer to later. Some of the responses you can expect are: "not clear," "not enough information," "I got lost after the first sentence."
5. Ask a few people to guess what kind of animal they have been drawing. Show participants the picture of the aardvark. Reread the description, pointing to each part of the picture as it is described.
6. Ask people to summarize what they have learned from this activity. They should state some version of the objective for this activity. If they have difficulty, give them a hint such as: "What has this shown you about learning new information with words and pictures?"
7. Ask learners to imagine they are nursing students and an instructor has just given them a verbal description of how an IUD is inserted, but has not shown them what the IUD or the inserter looks like! Point to the list of frustrations expressed while they tried to draw the animal. Ask them how they can apply what they have learned in this activity to their own work.
8. Summarize the activity by stating the objective ("You have stated that visual aids...."). Repeat their list of frustrations noting the similarity with frustrations often stated by students.
1. The aardvark seems to work well. But you may want to use another example that will be more interesting to your learners. Choose any description of an animal or object that is confusing when described only with words.
2. If time allows, in instruction 5 above, you may want to have learners post their pictures after they guess what animal it is, but before you show the aardvark picture.
3. This activity can be combined with part of activity 3, THINGS WE HAVE LEARNED THROUGH PICTURES). After instruction 7 above, have the large group do steps 1-3 of Activity 3.
"The body is stout, with arched back; the limbs are short and stout, armed with strong, blunt claws; the ears long; the tail thick at the base and tapering gradually. The elongated head is set on a short, thick neck, and at the end of the snout is a disc in which the nostrils open. The mouth is small and tubular, furnished with a very long, thin tongue".
(From: Teaching and Learning with Visual Aids. pp. 45-48)
Handing the camera over to non-literate village women to photograph familiar village activities yielded interesting discoveries about the way rural people see things, and how they learn. By JOHN SICELOFF.
John Siceloff has worked in communications and development in Afghanistan, Peru and Tanzania, and is working on a book on the subject.
The photographer squints through the viewfinder, then motions to the woman holding the baby to dunk it in the bath. The baby shrieks. "Click!"
The scene might evoke familiar memories. But here in this Tanzanian village, there is a difference: the subject is a village woman, and so is the photographer. But even more novel than the scene was the assignment the photographer had undertaken: she was taking pictures of a familiar village activity of her own choosing in order to use the result to teach others how that activity could most easily and economically be performed.
The use of graphic illustrations in communicating ideas about development has been extensively researched. The central purpose of much of this research has been to understand how non-literate rural people respond to visual aids such as drawings, photographs. slide sets, and posters. My goal was similarly to enhance that understanding but to do so in a manner that gave the people themselves virtual control of the material that had to be produced and assessed. So I decided to hand over the tool - the camera to the villagers so that they could film their own activity. Their choice of perspective, 'editing' and the subject "frame" would, I felt, yield significant indications of the way they perceived things visually.
Over a two-year period in Peru and then Tanzania, two hundred delegated villagers cooperated enthusiastically in the exercise. Each learned how to use an instant picture camera, then took and explained their picture series on how to hoe, to harvest. to cook, to feed the baby, and many other everyday activities. And it became apparent very quickly how invaluable a tool in village education pictures can be. Again and again I saw photographs spark the interest of villagers and provide them with detailed images of both familiar and unfamiliar things and places.
In the process I learnt a great deal about the effective use of picture series amongst villagers, especially women, and as well about why villagers were sometimes left confused about the overall story or message of the pictures and films made by "experts". Particularly confusing have been "how-to" films designed to communicate new skills in essential activities. So putting the camera in the hands of villagers was a move hack to the basics, to find out how villagers related to their own productive work on the visual plane.
The picture series taken by the villagers could be roughly grouped into two categories. In the first group, the emphasis was on the action; each step was shown in a separate picture. The photographers in this grouping were mostly men. And they were men who lived in villages near major roads or in shanty-towns near urban centres.
Pictures taken by women, and by men in more isolated villages, were very different. Their pictures emphasized people doing the work, not each step of how the work was performed. Large blocks of activity were often shown in a single picture.
These photographers conceived of a "how-to" picture series in a very broad sense. They showed people travelling to work, working, resting, and often drinking. The emphasis was on "how we work", not a step-by-step presentation of an activity. It was a style of communicating with pictures that was descriptive, personal and "whole, reflecting how villagers taught and learned from one another in their daily lives.
"Why-to" and not just "How-to"
This provided insight into what kind of picture series would be needed to introduce new ideas into village areas. For men in the first grouping, conventional "how-to" pictures, with each step shown in a separate picture, were likely to work. But for nearly all village women, and for men in isolated villages, picture series would need to follow certain guidelines:
- The narration, or written description, that accompanied the pictures would be very important. Pictures in themselves would convey lime without highlighting what was seen in the image and why it was important.
- A picture series could not be expected to teach villagers how to perform a specific activity. This could only be done by someone on the spot. "How-to" picture series were unlikely to work.
- Picture series could be very successful in encouraging villagers to adopt new ideas, ranging from improved cropping techniques to better diets for babies. Instead of a "howto" series, these would be "why-to" pictures.
- A "why-to" picture series would need to be presented in a descriptive, person-to-person, style
- The picture series would need to present experience, not merely information. This would mean showing something which actually happened in a village and worked.
I struggled with different ways to carry out these guidelines. I found it was difficult to script a picture series that would speak on a person-to-person basis to villagers. The problem was the enormous gap between the actual situation of villagers and my own situation-or indeed that of any highly-trained communications worker living in an urban centre.
Eventually, I found the best way was to involve villagers directly in the planning and production of picture series.
My method was to choose a village where a development idea had been successfully applied, and then to select a group of villagers and ask them to tell with pictures why they had adopted the idea. They planned the story-line and composed the pictures; I shot them. The narration was written jointly and recorded by the villagers. The final product became a testimonial from one village group to other village groups on why they adopted a particular idea, ranging from ox-ploughs to sanitary latrines.
The final step was to create an effective method of using picture series in villages. I settled on a slide series with a recorded narration as a format. I then designed a means of distribution which depended on the villagers themselves. This was an audio-visual kit which can be carried on the back of a bicycle and includes a 12-volt projector and a cassette recorder, both powered by generators fined to the bicycle. It requires no petrol and no batteries. The advantage of this small kit is that it can be left in the village for weeks at a time. A village worker, paid on a part-time basis, can show the picture and answer questions. Many small showings can be scheduled at times which are convenient for the people in the village.
Reporting on concrete results
As a result of producing these picture series with villagers, I found that I also developed a new attitude toward the role of communication workers in development. I began to see specialists in development communications primarily as journalists, not producers. The first requirement of a successful picture series, I found, was a successful village project on which to base it.
This would mean, for instance, that to educate village women about a balanced diet, the first step would be to find a village where this has actually happened. This might be a village where a co-operatives had started to raise chickens and a group of women had planted beans. Should a setback have occurred, such as the treasurer running off with the money, this would also be portrayed in the picture series, along with the remedial action taken. The essential characteristic of the village selected for the series would be that the results of the project were visible. Picture series for villagers are effective only if they are based on actual occurrences, not merely on advocacy or promotion.
What this means is that communications workers must be effective journalists if they are to be effective educators. Before snapping the first picture or drawing the first storyboard, they must be able le. see how a project is operating in the field. Only then will they be able to make audio-visual or other aids which present concrete, realistic options likely to motivate villagers to reassess their own practices in favour of more productive alternatives.
(From: UNICEF News, Issue 14 Number 4. pp.18-19)
In all three of the following sample teaching situations, the participants will use the WHO chart information to develop a short (15 minute) presentation using a visual aid. They will prepare a simple visual aid using the guidelines from the earlier part of this Session as well as their own experience and imagination. Encourage the to use the "real thing" when possible and to avoid making a picture Just for the sake of having a picture to use. The sample situations intentionally identify three different audiences for the messages (1) health workers, (2) community members in a group, and (3) individuals.
This will provide a basis for comparison when the groups present their events. Recommend looking at Helping Health Workers Learn for additional ideas for their sessions.
Situation 1: Staff Development for Health
You are working in a community health clinic. The clinic health workers have asked you to do a 15 minute staff development session on how to distinguish between dehydration that requires ORS and the most severe dehydration that requires referral for IV or nasogastric tube treatment. The staff has knowledge of ORT and is familiar with the WHO chart but some people have had difficulty reading the chart and using it.
Situation 2: Child-to-Child Activity
You are a PCV health worker in a community with no health center and many children suffering from diarrhea and dehydration. Children care for their younger brothers and sisters most of the day while mothers and fathers work in the fields. You have decided to use the child-to-child approach to reduce deaths from dehydration. Develop a 5 minute activity for children that helps them learn when a child or baby needs the "special drink". Be sure to see Helping Health Workers Learn, for ideas such as the gourd baby and songs.
Situation 3: Teaching e Mother During a Home Visit
You have worked with a group of mothers during a health education session in the clinic. They learned to mix oral rehydration solution using local ingredients. They also learned when and how much of the solution to give to a child with diarrhea. You want to make certain in your home visit that the mother understands when a child is showing signs of dehydration so she will bring the child to the clinic for care. You prepare a visual aid and plan the methods that you will use in working with her during the home visit.