Recognizing that the current system does not include everyone is not enough. It is necessary...to fight against it, and to not assume the fatalistic position forged by the system itself,...(that) reality is what it is.
The transformation education (TE) model can be used to develop effective social marketing messages. This model (also referred to as problem-posing, empowerment education, popular education, or critical thinking education) is based on the theoretical and practical application of work by Brazilian educator/philosopher, Paolo Freire.
A core concept in TE is the belief that education is not neutral and that the community can define and resolve their own problems in a manner that best meets their needs.
Freire's problem-solving method consists of three phases: listening, dialogue and action.
• Stage 1: Listening - information is presented by participants from their frame of reference. This stage provides each person an opportunity to report their ‘reality' and assessment of the dilemma or social/health problem that is being posed. During this step, listening is an active process of gathering the many factors that contribute to the problem from the community perspective. It is the facilitator's responsibility to organize the comments into themes or issues.
• Stage 2: Dialogue - open group participation incorporates the personal and political aspects of the problem. Open-ended presentation of the problems (scenarios, case studies, etc.) are used to generate the discussion in order to explore the ‘root causes' of the problem. These are called codes or cues.
• Stage 3: Action - is the identification of possible solutions of the identified problem. This final phase is identified as praxis which describes a thoughtful process of determined action, versus an impulsive reaction to a problem.
The SHOWED model is a structural guide to facilitate a problem-posing group discussion. This participatory process elicits the group's unique understanding of the problem resulting in a culturally authentic message. For an example of a social marketing campaign that utilizes the SHOWED model, click here.
The role of the facilitator in this process is not to supply solutions but to listen, guide discussion, clarify the various actions recommended from group discussion and assist the group in reaching consensus. The creation of an effective code or cue is crucial to the success of this method. The development of the cue is described below.
The Code or Cue is most effective when it is based on the themes identified in the listening stage that is similar to a needs assessment. The code is a representation of an unresolved dilemma. It is not to indicate a solution: that is the work of the participants.
The code can be in the form of a song, poem, skit, photo, cartoon, or any format that serves as a catalyst to initiate dialogue and a participant based solution.
Preparation of CODES
Most codes are best prepared within a group context. They should:
A. deal with a theme about which the community/group has strong feelings,
B. represent a familiar scene from everyday life,
C. present contrasts to raise awareness and questions,
D. focus attention on only one theme so that the discussion can "dig" into the root causes of the dilemma/problem
E. be simple and clear
F. avoid distracting details, especially those from outside situations,
G. stimulate the groups' interest and touch their hearts
(Training for Transformation, Book 1, page 58)
The SHOWED model
These steps guide the facilitator through a group discussion that assures a thorough problem-solving response to the code presented.
S = What did you SEE? Statements from the group establish an agreement about the basic situation presented in the code
H = What HAPPENED? Exploring what really happened invites analysis of the behavior and the impact and intent of those behaviors.
O = Was this in OUR experience? Is this dilemma pertinent to our own lives?
W = WHY does this happen? Answering this question requires asking questions that identify root causes of the problem.
E = EVALUATE the process. Did we cover all of the SHOWED phases for an inclusive, complete dialogue?
D = What can we DO about it? Collecting and sorting out the recommended actions to solve the dilemma (social marketing messages) requires group cooperation and consensus.
For an example of the SHOWED model, click here.
See Sally utilize the SHOWED method