Educational Function of Documentary Television Series: Philosophical Understanding

Keywords: media communication, education, television series, documentary series (docu-soap)


The television series are viewed from the perspective of their potential educational role. It is noted that television as a whole, and separately its component – the television series, remain an influential form of media communication of our time, despite the diversification of the delivery channels of the media message and the rapid spread of digital devices.

In the complex hierarchy of TV formats, genres and niches, the television educational series, when it had being appear, became a hybrid documentary broadcast format. Considering the specificity of the video footage, television as a media is characterized by a high potential for reliable reflection of reality (another thing is how television channels operate on this potential). It is no wonder, then, that scientific documentary, as a genre, existed since the "pre-television" era.

The focus is on documentary television series that can directly perform educational functions. It is generalized the idea of creating of the television series that are specifically designed for educational purposes and which can be part of relevant educational programs. It is substantiated the expediency of using educational serials on special educational television channels that are already operating abroad and just beginning to develop in Ukraine. It is emphasized that in the broad sense of the word, all television series, even entertaining ones, have a certain educational function – through the translation of certain ideas, values and patterns of behavior embodied by the characters of these serials.

Typical popular documentary series of recent decades have been analyzed in terms of their specific educational functions. It is substantiated that documentary serials of the present day are able to relay information of a household, scientific and educational value, which should partially rehabilitate both television and television series for educational functions, which are guarded by the culture of any level of the organization.

Despite belonging to one television format, science and education serials communicate at the level of iconic and index characters, and more entertaining reality shows are saturated with symbolic signs. Because of their conventionality, uncertainty, to some extent, nebula, these shows widen the range of potential interpretations, so they can target a flexible and fragmented audience.

Author Biographies

Kateryna Karpenko, Kharkiv Medical University

Doctor of Philosophy, Professor of Department of Philosophy. She graduated from Kyiv University in 1980 He studies gender aspects of ecological communication, problems of communicative philosophy and bioethics.

Serhiy Gulevsky, Region TV and Radio Company (Kharkiv)



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How to Cite
Karpenko, K., & Gulevsky, S. (2020). Educational Function of Documentary Television Series: Philosophical Understanding. Filosofiya Osvity. Philosophy of Education, 25(2), 273-286.


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