Audio Visual Aids In Teaching Essay

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THE USE OF AUDIO-VISUAL AIDS IN EDUCATION by ANDRÉ LESTAGE Extract from UNESCO Chronicle , November 1959 1 By audio-visual aids, we usually mean the most modern or the most recently used of these methods (films, filmstrips, radio and television). This is a summary identification of very old methods and very modern instruments, and one should react against it. Visual aids are far older. They correspond to a profound tendency among the immense majority of men: to materialize their thoughts in the form of graphic or sonorous images or to give their thoughts a concrete frame of reference. Plato himself took care to set the scenery of his dialogues, and he used concrete words and concrete comparisons (for example, the cave) as foundations for his most abstract ideas. In France, the Très riches heures du duc de Berry bring out the importance which ‘illustration’ can take in a work which would have otherwise sunk into oblivion. Xylographic images preceded the printing press by three-quarters of a century and the first illustrated book by nearly a century. The tremendous success of the ‘images of Epinal’ in books peddled from door to door in France was only a manifestation of popular taste in a society where illiterates continued to be in a majority and where images went with oral literature. Films, radio and television, considered as educational instruments, have merely developed – at a rapid rate – alongside older means whose importance remains considerable. Their common denominator lies in their function as aids. This is not a theoretical conclusion, for it is confirmed by the very attitude of the educator. The educator basically must contribute to the training of the individual (in his character and conduct) with a view to his integration into a given society and teach new ideas, facts and techniques to a specific public. It is thus relatively easy to define the

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