A Visual Literacy Strategy - Why not?

Alan Howe
1999, Vol. 4, No. 3,

Abstract


The paper asserts that the National Curriculum subjects of 'art and design' and 'design and technology' have a fundamental connection that has not been fully recognised or exploited in primary schools. The two subjects help children to develop important skills of aesthetic awareness, discrimination and critical thinking and that they could do this through a common rationale and approach to the development of visual literacy. The paper goes on to review the term 'visual literacy'. A new term - 'visual field' is offered as a way of connecting objects and artefacts of both broadly functional and broadly aesthetic natures. Pedagogic frameworks in current use by primary teachers intended to promote critical discussion are analysed with reference to the visual field. It is concluded that each framework has a different emphasis yet each is concerned with and therefore connected by the visual field. The paper concludes that a coherent strategy to ensure all children have the opportunity to become visually literate should be developed.


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