BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Health and Edutainment



Edutainment is defined as the means and method of educating, teaching or impacting knowledge through various forms of entertainment. Many scholars agree that edutainment originated in Latin America where it was mostly used in Tele dramas. The term is fairly new to a lot of people; however, we experience its influence when we watch and learn from movies, documentaries and shows. Edutainment is an effective teaching strategy used to describe the acquisition of knowledge through a medium which individuals can connect to as fun or exciting. The major aim of edutainment is to catch and keep the attention and interest of participants while passing relevant life changing knowledge and lessons that have the potential to inspire behavior change and improve health.

There are many different forms of Edutainment. Programs that are “edutaining” include television (TV.) productions, movies, museum exhibits, games and computer software; the most common being the use of games and technology to educate children. As we know, it’s a tough job to get and keep the attention of many children; therefore, edutainment provides a means of strategically and effectively holding their interest while teaching. Additionally, edutainment has been successfully used in the adult population to address some health and social issues including obesity, poverty, substance abuseimmunizationteenage pregnancyHIV/AIDS and cancer. Reputable universities in the United States such as, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have also used edutainment initiatives. Furthermore, Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government agencies such as Population Communications International (PCI) Media Impact and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) respectively have created and used materials with edutainment content effectively.

Edutainment has been used in different countries and its benefits are convincing. Examples include East Los High, a trans-media program targeted towards young Latin Americans. Since studies have shown that this population has a high risk of sexually transmitted infections and adolescent pregnancies, the program promoted sexual and reproductive health using educational messages in entertainment narratives across digital platforms. At the end of the program, findings from online analytics tracking, viewer surveys and laboratory experiments showed that it had a positive emotional and social impact on sexual and reproductive health in the population. Another study in Belgium proved that students who watched edutainment series of TV cooking shows and dramas significantly demonstrated more knowledge about fruit and vegetable recommendations compared to a control group.

Despite the many benefits of using edutainment, some people argue that some activities emphasize entertainment much more than education, hence, undermining the importance of education. Also, learning is a cognitive process which requires attention by concentration and active thoughts rather than entertainment. That said, it is important to understand and use the appropriate combination of education and entertainment in any edutainment program in order to achieve effective results. Moreover, changing a behavior requires more than just the knowledge acquired through edutainment; therefore, efforts should be made to concurrently address the social and structural factors that hinder behavior change.


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