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Some studies of interventions based on the dominant paradigm conclude that community participation is of essence to the effectiveness of the programs. On the other hand, some evaluators of the participatory approach recognize also the need of transmission of knowledge including the role that outside experts can play in the development and implementation of projects (Morris, 2001).

Freire recognizes that even though the teacher learns from the student, they are not on an equal footing; there are many differences between them, one of them being a generational difference (1985). Freire (1987) further explains that “at the moment the teacher begins the dialogue, he or she knows a great deal, first in terms of knowledge, and second in terms of the horizon that he or she wants to get to”.

The dichotomy between the diffusion model and participatory theory appears to be breached when theorist from both ends incorporate elements of importance for both theories. Rogers (1983) realizes that the media has an important role in increasing awareness, but interpersonal communications and personal sources are crucial in the adoption of innovations. Therefore, he incorporates some participatory component in his rationale. Reardon & Rogers (1988) reiterates the importance of peer networks in the decision to adopt a new idea, not withstanding media influence. The diffusion of innovations model proposes that both media and interpersonal communications are necessary to bring change. In his own words:

Other types of diffusion are more accurately described by a convergence model, in which communication is defined as a process in which the participants create and share information with one another to reach a mutual understanding (Rogers, 1983, p.xviii).


Moacir Gadotti (1996) calls attention to the importance of evaluating the power of audiovisual communications in education, either to inform or to narrow minds. He argues that the purpose of the school is to teach how to think critically, therefore it is necessary to dominate language, including electronic language. In this assertion, the participatory paradigm goes beyond the teacher-student dialogue to also include other forms of communication and electronic interaction in the equation.

Some of the current approaches to entertainment-education consider the integration of media channels and interpersonal communications for effective intervention strategy (Flay & Burton, 1990). Aligned with this concept, this research comes from the perspective that the media is a valuable tool to raise awareness and knowledge about a given problem, combined with Rogers’ (1998) conclusion that the media are able to expose a large amount of people to a subject and generate conversations among audiences and others who otherwise would not be exposed to the specific message. Furthermore, it comes from the understanding that Subjects (audience, forum participants) are able to critically act and reflect about the media message, in this case the Muslim culture. Praxis is evident by the participation in the dialogue through the forum website.

Pulling from these two theories, the theoretical framework for this research will combine the social learning/cognitive theory notion of vicarious learning, self-reflective capabilities, and Freire’s theory of dialogue and critical thinking. At the heart of these theories lie their commonalities: the belief that individuals and communities have the intrinsic power to bring change through self-efficacy and empowerment.

 



 



Table of Contents

Acknowledgements / Dedication - Abstract

CHAPETER 1- INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER II - REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

CHAPTER III - THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
40-41-42-43-44-45-46





Acknowledgements / Dedication -

Abstract


CHAPETER 1- INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER II - REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

CHAPTER III - THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

CHAPTER IV - THE STUDY

CHAPTER V - THE RESULTS

CHAPTER VI - CONCLUSION

APPENDIX - MESSAGES STUDIED

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