Kids, Take a Look at This! Visual Literacy Skills in the School Curriculum

Although the paradigm of visual literacy (VL) is rapidly emerging, the construct itself still lacks operational specificity. Based on a semiotic understanding of visual culture as an ongoing process of ‘making meaning’, we present in this study a skill-based classification of VL, differentiating four sets of VL skills: perception; imagination and creation; conceptualization; analysis. A qualitative curriculum analysis based on this framework revealed that curriculum standards for compulsory education in Belgium refer only peripherally to the use of visuals. The attention for VL skills also decreases from secondary education on, especially curriculum standards related to the analysis of images are scarce.

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