1. What is visual literacy?
2. How can understanding the Elements of Art and Principles of Design help me to ‘read’ visual images?
Mastery Objective(s): The student will…
1. demonstrate visual literacy by analyzing works of art using the Elements of Art.
Visual literacy can be defined as the ability to interpret and understand visual texts,with “texts” being broadly defined as any print visual item, including artwork, illustrations, advertising, web sites, or any other item that can be visually interpreted.
“Visual literacy is a critical life skill, and when practiced regularly will increase creative problem solving, critical thinking, and evidential reasoning skills in all academic disciplines. For example, being more visually literate will help a biologist examine cultured cells in a petri dish. Practicing visual literacy will benefit economists as they develop and evaluate graphic organizers that explain the circulation of macroeconomics. Agronomists can use visual literacy skills to visually identify the effects of erosion. Visual literacy goes beyond simple literal description to incorporate explanation and results in understanding. Visual literacy and learning makes connections with art, history, technology, culture, and integrates these primary educational resources into our everyday lives. All people do not “see” the same things when looking at a visual or object, but visual literacy can bring everyone to an informed understanding. Just as books are a primary research tool, so too are objects a source of primary information.
We live in the information age, with ever-increasing amounts of information being presented to us visually. This makes it even more important to focus on visual literacy so that we are able to understand the world around us. The description, analysis, interpretation, and judgment of daily messages form the foundation of visual literacy. Children learn to read images before words, but often teaching visual literacy stops as soon as the child learns to read text. Continuing our visual literacy education will teach us to analyze what we see and make educated judgments.” – Iowa State University Museum
*click on the links below to access images.