Freirean pedagogy as applied by DramAidE for HIV/AIDS education.
This phenomenological study discusses the problem of whether the agents or actors who design strategies take full account of the concepts that their plans are designed to change. Therefore, I critically assess DramAidE's methodology in order to show how efficient it is in the light of Freirean pedagogy. In that, the study investigates whether there is an analytically bulletproof communication form that necessarily achieves behaviour change, as has occasionally been attributed to Freire. The theoretical framework of this study includes development communication theories along with the Entertainment-Education approach (EE) used in health communication. More specifically, the study is informed by Freirean critical pedagogy and behaviour change theories. On the other hand, the Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1977), the Fixation of Belief Model (Peirce, 1877) and the concepts of intimate and social realms (Arendt, 1958) are also used to explain the realities observed in DramAidE's programmes. The methodologies used, in addition to the literature review, consisted of semistructured in-depth interviews along with focus group discussions with DramAidE's staff, schoolchildren, teachers and caregivers. Among the results established by this study, it is worth mentioning the growing interest displayed by beneficiaries towards DramAidE's programmes. Life-skills claimed by learners included aspects such as self-confidence, assertiveness, decision making skills, informed sexuality, and improved communication. However, serious discrepancies were noticed between these life-skills, how well they were mastered and how effectively the learners put them into practice. Reasons for that proved to be rooted chiefly in peer pressures and cultural stumbling blocks, for example gender inequality and violence against females. This means that peer educators needed a more supportive environment to extend DramAidE's action.
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