Visual literacy can be defined as the ability to interpret and generate images for communicating ideas and concepts. The idea of visual literacy as a theoretical concept was introduced by John Debes in 1969 (Elkins, 2007)…
It refers to a group of vision competencies which human beings develop by seeing and integrating other sensory experiences at the same time. Apparently, the development of these competences is important to normal human learning. In this regard, when these competencies are developed, they enable people who are visually literate to discriminate and interpret visible actions, symbols, objects, whether or natural or man-made, that they encounter in their environment (Elkins, 2007). Through the creative use of these competencies, people are able to communicate with others effectively. Research has proved that the use of visuals in teaching enhance learning to a larger extent. Proper utilization of visuals results in a greater degree of learning. This paper examines the application of visual literacy in the teaching and learning process as a contemporary issue in visual literacy. Description of visual literacy in teaching and learning In the recent years, there has been a tremendous increase in the use of visual elements in teaching and learning processes....
In addition, visuals such as graphics, images and other visual strategies used today are designed to increase learners’ comprehension of literary texts. Pictures, charts, maps and diagrams are among the common visual tools which are extensively used for effective learning. Through paintings, comic strips and creating collages, learners are able to demonstrate high levels of comprehension and are able to link visuals with texts (Bull & Anstey, 2006). Tattoos are also used to represent various literary characters. Proper care should always be taken when selecting an appropriate visual tool to use. However, preference should be given to color graphics in that black and white graphics are preferred. Film is also another effective form of visual aid used in teaching and learning. Visuals help students to focus and have full attention to the pictures and the accompanying words. Genesis of visual literacy in teaching and learning It is worth noting that although there has been increased integration of visual enhancement in the educational process in the recent years, the idea is not a new one. In this purview, the integration of visual and verbal information is evident throughout history. For instance, renowned educators and philosophers of ancient time clearly displayed appreciation for visual enhancements. Aristotle once noted that it is impossible to think without image (Bull & Anstey, 2006). A renowned ancient painter, Leonardo da Vinci, too, recognized the importance of visuals. He translated words from various aspects into drawings (Bull & Anstey, 2006) Also, alphabetical characters began as pictures that depicted various meanings. These symbols depicted man-made language devoid of distinctions between pictures and words. It is only ...
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