Re-framing primary school visual literacy: enrichment from interdisciplinary approaches
Currently the education field in Australia1 tends to view the concept of Visual Literacy2 in terms of a grammatical framework3. While use of this type of construct can provide students of all ages and stages with a meta-language to enable them to identify and discuss various aspects of visual literacy, it is far from the only way to frame the concept of visual literacy. Some researchers4 in fact question the notion that applying this type of framework to visual images is either possible or desirable5. There is a growing acknowledgment of the importance of teaching children to think critically about visual images6 and the ways they can serve to position the reader/viewer. Empowering children to respond variously to these images7 depending upon the range and type of visual media they encounter may require more knowledge and tools than those contained within a grammatical framework. There are a number of disciplines including for example those of art, anthropology, cultural studies, communication studies, narrative, philosophy and media studies that have knowledge that could enrich the ways that we currently view visual literacy in education in Australia. This paper forms part of a symposium that seeks to engage in a dialogue with researchers from these disciplines in order to develop a richer, deeper and more eclectic approach for teaching our children about Visual Literacy
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