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Visual Literacy

Page history last edited by Candance Doerr-Stevens 7 years, 7 months ago


          Our language abilities do not define the limits of our cognition.  -- Elliot Eisner


Every field has some central tension it is trying to resolve. Visualization deals with the inhuman scale of the information and the need to present it at the very human scale of what the eye can see.

-- Martin Wattenberg in The Economist, 2010


Visualization is the ability to translate information into visual models and understand the information visual models are communicating. Visualization has become a key way we cope with large data sets and make sense of the complexity of our environment.

                                        -- From 2006 MacArthur Whitepaper, Media Education in the 21st Century


Examples that push our understanding of the visual & design:



 ... for teaching visual literacy 

  • Visual Thinking Skills (VTS) -- "What's going on in this picture?"
  • Carpe Diem: Seizing the Common Core   by Mary Franco and Kathleen Unrath
    Originally appearing in: National Art Education Association Art Education Journal, January 2014. (c)2013. Used with permission of the National Art Education Association. (5 pg intro to VTS and link to CCSS)
  • Jump Starting Visual Literacy  - by Philip Yenawine
    originally published: Journal of the NAEA, January 2003. Reprinted with permission from the National Art Education Association.
    This document makes suggestions for selecting images to foster visual literacy, using as a guide Housen's theory of and research into aesthetic development. Beginning readers learn by being taught what they are developmentally ready to understand, what is likely to sustain their interest, and what encourages them to read more deeply while supplying challenges at the right time. This document presents a comparable approach to helping beginning viewers of art develop skills related to looking at and understanding art. Download en Espanol.
  • Visual Literacy Across the Curriculum(3:46) on YouTube - Shows a variety of images from different disciplines
  • Visual Literacy: Why We Need It (16:03) - 2010 TEDx Talk by Brian Kennedy "The ability to construct meaning from images"


 ... for teaching visualization of information



Articles about Visual literacy



Graphic Novels/Comics (see also "Anime - Graphic Novels - Manga" page)


Advertising & Marketing


Arts-Based Literacy Curriculum


Books & Blogs:




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