Educational Characterization is an educational methodology that uses Characters - Puppets, Clowns and other characters as a vehicle to deliver lessons to our target audience of Kindergarten through second or third grade children. This method was developed as an alternate to a lecture-based teaching methology as a way to help keep the kids' attention. Educational Characterization also takes a cue from television programs like "Sesame Street"© or "Barney & Friends"© and uses songs, repetition and participation to involve as many of the students' senses as possible in order to deliver the subject matter. In this day and age of television and video games, children are routinely barraged with messages, television commercials and other media and they absorb information rapidly. A traditional lecture, while effective on adults with longer attention spans, simply doesn't typically move fast enough to engage and retain the attention of children of the target range which makes it less effective. Also, children are routinely exposed to characters in the television shows they watch from cartoons to the aforementioned programs. This, coupled with their vivid imaginations at this stage of their lives makes Educational Characterization an ideal way to present information to them and increase the retention of the material presented.
Educational Characterization uses traditional teaching methodologies such as demonstration, recitation and group participation. However, it builds on these traditional methods by incorporating elements that are designed to both entertain and educate, sometimes known as edu-tainment.
By using characters to deliver the educational message we also tap into the vanishing folk art of storytelling, where the story teller plays the "roles" of the characters in the story being told. In a manner similar to how the story teller would portray all three bears plus Goldilocks in telling the traditional story of "Goldilocks And The Three Bears" to animate the story and bring the characters to life, educators using Educational Characterization bring their subject matter to life by couching the lessons in a story delivered by the characters.