An Emancipatory Approach in the Use of Entertainment in Non-Formal Education for Community Change
Emeka-Ogbonna, Caroline Obiageli
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
To enable publication of the research elsewhere
Entertainment Education is a communication strategy widely used in non-formal community education for the purpose of inspiring behaviour and social change. As an international development strategy for educational interventions in mostly developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, the practice is founded on persuasive communication aimed for the diffusion of ‘modern’ innovation. Entertainment Education has been commended for its efficiency in creation of awareness amongst target communities, but criticised for its inability to generate enduring practical change in the lives of the target community members. Situating this practice within Emancipatory Transformative Education, I interrogated the emancipatory principles of democratic practice in Entertainment Education as representational of an intercultural educational space. I did this with a sample case of Geenu Nti programme situated in Northern Nigeria and executed by an American centre for international development. My interaction with the programme stakeholders and audience through the use of semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and documentary analysis revealed that despite efforts at participatory practice, the programme fell short of the key emancipatory values of intellectual equality and freedom in its educational content and process. This raised the need for the reconceptualization of current approach in the management of transformative change in individuals and communities and a relational concern with practitioners’ approach to emancipatory education in general. Drawing on the thoughts of emancipatory education philosophers like Freire, Rancière and Biesta as well as trialectic change philosophers like Bergson, Chia and Ford & Ford, I conceptualised the principles of a model of emancipatory educational change practice. These principles were then articulated into a realisable interactional space with ideas drawn from Ross and Harré to develop a Model of Emancipatory Education for Change which presents an equally creative and expressive inter-subjective communicative relationship between the educator and the ‘educandee’**. Here the educator, through democratic authority simultaneously challenges and nourishes the educadee’s freedom for autonomous growth within individual and collective existential realities, while equally navigating personal growth. The model furthers the idea of emancipation as a process of subjectification to a conceptualisation of emancipation as a process of subjectified socialisation. NB **: The term ‘educandee’ is adopted from Kivelä et al. (1995) and Biesta (1998) and introduced in the later part of the work to signify my concept of participants in communicative educational engagements. I use the term educandee to convey my concept of an educational participant who, under a relatively equal power relation with the educator, actively participates in the educational process as an autonomous individual creating response to own existential circumstances under the intentional support or guidance of a skilled practitioner. This represents the ‘educated’ which is generally my preferred term as against the ‘learner’ or ‘student’ that I deliberately avoided using except when presenting the ideas of other scholars and in their own terms.
OBIAGELI, C., A Transcendent View of Audience Participation in Theatre for Change – Article accepted for publication in The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies, May 2014.
OBIAGELI, C. (2013), "Community as Voiceless Agent in Its own Change" Paper Presented in Researching Work and Learning International Conference, University of Stirling, UK. www.propel.stir.ac.uk/downloads/Paper104_Oby_Caroline.pdf
PhD in Education