Culturally modified pictures in printed media as an adjuvant to education in developing communities

De Lange, Rudi Wynand (1999-12)

Thesis (D.Phil.) -- University of Stellenbosch, 1999.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: Instructional pictures can significantly facilitate recall, comprehension and problem-solving skills. This learning effect is robust and can be achieved with a variety of learners, text, pictures, media, and learning conditions. Pictures can also distract from the learning process and interfere with the process of learning how to read. People can experience difficulty in utilising pictures in picture-text learning material due to unfamiliar graphic conventions and inadequate visual and verbal literacy skills. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of pictures in picture-text learning material, and in particular the value of culturally modifying pictures in such material to increase the learning facilitation effect. The focus was on learners from developing communities. The study consisted of four phases: the development of a theoretical foundation through a literature study; an empirical component that investigated the effect of culturally modified pictures when they are combined with printed educational text; recommendations for the design and development of picture-text learning material; and the development of a model that explains and predicts pictorial learning facilitation. The literature study isolated twenty-two general factors that influence the learning effect of pictures and a further ten factors applicable to learners from developing communities. Nineteen principles were identified that can improve pictorial material that is used in educational material, health education and development programmes. Culture was shown as a filter through which people receive, interpret and transmit messages. The literature study concluded with a model that projected the picture-text-communication process in education as an open system, which takes place within a cultural environment. More than seven hundred subjects participated in eight experiments. The results have shown that culturally modified pictures do not necessarily increase recall, comprehension or problem-solving abilities more than instructional pictures that are not culturally sensitised or modified to their audience. Subjects have shown that they prefer pictures that are modified to their own culture. Culturally appropriate and relevant graphic elements and conventions might not necessarily reveal measurable cognitive value, but are important elements in instructional picture-text learning materials that are specifically aimed at developing and undeveloped communities. The study proposed a learner-centred theory for pictorial learning facilitation, seven principles for the design and development of picture-text learning material, and an analytical model that instructional designers can use during a formative and evaluative process of pictures in picture-text learning material. The main contribution of the study is a model for the explanation and prediction of pictorial learning facilitation in picture-text learning material. This model provides the means to use existing and anticipated data to predict the effect of picture-text learning material in a specific learning situation with specific learners. It also provides a means to explain the results of a picture-text learning occurrence. Sociocultural variables in text and pictures play an important role in picture-text learning material when such material is aimed at learners from developing communities. These variables become less important when the subjects move towards an urbanised, developed and heterogeneous community. Cultural appropriateness in pictures can affect the congeniality of picture-text learning material, but does not necessarily contribute on a cognitive level to the value of picture-text learning material. Inappropriate cultural conventions in text and pictures can, however, create a barrier in communication and thereby affect the cognitive value of such learning material.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Onderrigbeelde kan herroeping-, begrip- en probleemoplossingsvaardighede betekenisvol fasiliteer. Hierdie leereffek is kragtig en kan met 'n verskeidenheid leerders, tekste, beelde, media en in verskillende leeromstandighede bereik word. Beelde kan ook aandag van die leerproses aftrek en met die proses inmeng waar geleer word hoe om te lees. Mense kan probleme ondervind met die gebruik van beelde in beeldteksleermateriaal as gevolg van onbekende grafiese konvensies en onvoldoende visuele en verbale geletterdheidsvaardighede. Die doel van hierdie studie was om die gebruik van beelde in beeld-teksleermateriaal te ondersoek, met spesifieke klem op die waarde van kultuuraangepaste beelde in sodanige materiaal om die leerfasiliteringseffek te verhoog. Die fokus was op leerders vanuit ontwikkelende gemeenskappe. Die studie het uit vier fases bestaan: die ontwikkeling van 'n teoretiese grondslag deur 'n literatuurstudie; 'n empiriese komponent wat die effek ondersoek het van kultuuraangepaste beelde wanneer dit met gedrukte onderrigteks kombineer word; aanbevelings vir die ontwerp en ontwikkeling van beeld-teksleermateriaal; en die ontwikkeling van 'n model wat onderrigbeeldleerfasilitering verduidelik en voorspel. Die literatuurstudie het twee en twintig algemene faktore gelsoleer wat die leereffek van beelde belnvloed, sowel as 'n verdere tien faktore wat van toepassing is op leerders vanuit ontwikkelende gemeenskappe. Negentien beginsels is geldentifiseer vir die verbetering van onderrigbeeldmateriaal wat in onderrigmateriaal, gesondheidsopvoeding en ontwikkelingsprogramme gebruik word. Kultuur het na yore gekom as 'n filter waardeur mense boodskappe ontvang, interpreteer en oordra. Die literatuurstudie het afgesluit met 'n model wat die beeld-tekskommunikasieproses in onderwys geprojekteer het as 'n oop stelsel wat binne 'n kulturele omgewing plaasvind. Meer as sewe honderd proefpersone het aan agt eksperimente deelgeneem. Die resultate het getoon dat kultuuraangepaste beelde nie noodwendig herroepings, begripof probleemoplossingsvaardighede meer verhoog as onderrigbeelde wat nie kultureel vir sy teikengroep vatbaar gemaak of aangepas is nie. Proefpersone het egter getoon dat hulle beelde verkies watby hul eie kultuur aangepas is. Kultuurtoepaslike en -relevante grafiese elemente en konvensies sal nie noodwendig meetbare kognitiewe waarde openbaar nie, maar is belangrike elemente in onderrigbeeld-teksleermateriale wat spesifiek gerig is op die ontwikkelende gemeenskappe. Die studie het 'n leerdergesentreerde teorie voorgestel vir onderrigbeeldleerfasilitering, asook sewe beginsels vir die ontwerp en ontwikkeling van beeld-teksleermateriaal, en 'n analitiese model wat onderrigontwerpers kan gebruik gedurende 'n formatiewe en evaluerende proses van beelde in beeld-teksleermateriaal. Die vernaamste bydrae van die studie is 'n model vir die verduideliking en voorspelling van onderrigbeeldleerfasilitering in beeld-teksleermateriaal. Hierdie model maak dit moontlik om bestaande en verwagte data te gebruik om die effek van beeldteksleermateriaal in 'n spesifieke leersituasie met spesifieke Ieerders te voorspel. Dit voorsien ook 'n metode om die resultate van 'n beeid-teksleergebeurtenis te verduidelik. Sosiokulturele veranderlikes in teks en in beeide vervul 'n belangrike rol in beeIdteksleermateriaal wanneer sodanige materiaal gerig is op Ieerders uit ontwikkelende gemeenskappe. Hierdie veranderlikes vervul 'n minder belangrike rol wanneer die proefpersone na 'n verstedelikte, ontwikkelde en heterogene gemeenskap beweeg. Kulturele toepaslikheid in beelde kan die geskiktheid van beeid-teksleermateriaal affekteer, maar dra nie noodwendig op 'n kognitiewe vlak tot die waarde van beeldteksIeermateriaai by nie. Ontoepaslike kulturele konvensies in teks en beeide kan egter 'n hindernis in kommunikasie veroorsaak en daardeur die kognitiewe waarde van sodanige leermateriaal affekteer.

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