EACH ONE TEACH ONE
We often think about how to make the world a better place. In order to create more harmony, humans need to change. We try to change policies, demand justice, and spread ideas. Some people sign petitions, others volunteer their time to non-profit organisations or for things like a beach or river clean-up. Some donate money to worthy causes.
But one powerful tool to change the way people think, is to educate others.
Each One Teach One is an African-American proverb. It was during slavery in the United States, when Africans were denied education, that this phrase originated. Many slaves were kept in a state of ignorance about the their immediate circumstances and when one enslaved person learnt how to read, it was his or her duty to teach someone else. This is how the phrase came about.
Each One Teach One was used with political prisoners in the apartheid era and is one of the guiding principles in one of the largest events in South Africa, Afrikaburn.
The Each One Teach One principle is also a fantastic way to raise awareness of environmental issues. Recently, the Animal Planet channel on DSTV aired an interesting programme with the title Racing Extinction. It delivered a lot of information, but what was truly inspiring was how a team of people that included National Geographic photographers set out to educate people who were largely responsible for a mass decline in a certain species. They created a beautiful movie showing the beauty and grace of this particular animal with a simple message, and they shared this with the villagers and their children. They also showed how a few people could change the way a community supports itself. Instead of hunting a species for consumption, as was done previously, these fishing boats now take people out to see them in their natural habitat. “My goal is to make a film that doesn’t just create awareness, but inspires people to get motivated to change this insane path we’re on.”- Louie Pslhoyos – Photographer and documentary film director
We did some research and found some brilliant teaching tips:
DESIRE – INTEREST AND EXPLANATION
You can lose your audience’s attention if you begin the wrong way. When our interest in something is aroused, we enjoy applying our minds to it. Establish the relevance of the topic and construct explanations that enable others to understand what you are communicating. Explain how your topic will benefit your audience so that they can in some way own it and use it to make sense of the world around them. You will need to know what your audience knows already and build on that to convey your message.
Help your audience feel that they can master the subject. A little bit of humility can go a long way in encouraging people to try something for themselves and succeeding.
ENHANCE THE SENSORY EXPERIENCE
Most people fall into three categories of learning: visual; audio and kinesthetic. The ideal learning environment is created when the audience sees, hears and feels the material themselves.
LEARN FROM YOUR AUDIENCE
A good communicator is open to change, constantly assessing the effects and modifying communication methods according to the evidence collected.
IT’S ALL IN THE DELIVERY
It’s not only about the content, but also how you deliver it. Being assertive from a position of power can put people off, and focusing on the positive is better than starting with doom and gloom.
We encourage you to go out and share your knowledge with others who can use it for the greater good. The media of today mainly focus on sensationalism and many environmental and other pertinent issues are ignored. We need to integrate and talk more. There are revolutions happening out there and you can join one or even start one. You are more powerful than you know.