Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Good Question

by Antonio C. Antonio
June 6, 2014

“How would you popularize Landscape Ecology to the ignorant and illiterate?” is more than just a question… it actually is a challenge in its purpose and objective.

I seriously took up the challenge.  At first, I was at a loss for ways and means to put my finger on the right method in popularizing Landscape Ecology to the ignorant and illiterate.  I initially had some ideas but was not too comfortable with them.  So I did a quick survey to gather more useable information.

The survey question was straight-forward:  “Ano ang naiisip mong paraan upang ipabatid sa mga hindi nakapag-aral ang Landscape Ecology?”  I was tempted to use “mangmang” and “ignorante” (as translations for ignorant and illiterate) in the question but felt it was not appropriate… so I chose “hindi napakag-aral” instead.  Here are the survey results:

In the conduct of the survey, I noticed that the respondents had a tough time answering the question or making suggestion especially after they are made aware that the “target” subjects are the illiterate and ignorant.  One elderly respondent, with her religiously veteran smarts, offered an alternative:  “Ipag-dasal na lang natin sila.”

The most suggested way was a Music Video on Landscape Ecology (13%).  But I felt that a music video was hard to conceptualize along the lines of Landscape Ecology.  It will also be a logistical and production nightmare.  Besides, I might only end up composing an environmental advocacy song that will not be too effective in communicating Landscape Ecology to a specific target audience.  Another relatively popular suggestion was a Cartoon/Animation film (7%).  This may seem to be a good idea but animation films are harder to make than comedy films with real people/characters in it.  The most practical and plausible way was a short Comedy Film (10%) which also needs logistics and professional help to accomplish.  After the survey was done, I could only conclude that popularizing Landscape Ecology will be a tough and expensive undertaking.  There has to be a more structured way to accomplish any of the suggestions than making it an individual undertaking.

The question also resulted in capturing this disturbing information… a clear majority of 64% of the respondents actually had no suggestions simply because they did not know what Landscape Ecology is all about.  This is another indicator on the level of knowledge and awareness regarding Landscape Ecology.  It shows that there really is an immediate need to popularize Landscape Ecology not only limited to the illiterate and ignorant but to a larger number of people.

Simplifying things… mundane concerns for the environment are hard to communicate to a larger segment of society.  Landscape Ecology, as a multi-disciplinary science, will be a harder sell.  Mundane environmental concerns are already hard to popularize to the educated and learned.  How much harder will it be to popularize Landscape Ecology to the ignorant and illiterate?

Just my little thoughts…

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