TED Conversations

Sunni Brown

Author, Chief Infodoodler, sunnibrown.com


This conversation is closed.

Why is visual literacy discouraged in most cultures & WHAT CAN WE DO to change that?

This LIVE CONVERSATION will open at 1PM ET/ 10AM PT on Monday, October 31th! Join me!

Visual literacy, if described as the ability to communicate via doodling, drawing, and sketching or described as the ability to display complex information in visual language formats, is often a literacy missing in adults despite it being a universal and natural inclination in children. Why does it disappear? And more importantly, what can we do to alter this course?

**ADMIN UPDATE: Sunni Brown has asked to extend her Conversation for two weeks. She will be jumping in to catch up with responses over the next two weeks. Happy posting everyone!


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Nov 13 2011: I found this article this evening, every day I search for new information on visual literacy in the hope that somebody has realised the importance of it and will have gone on to develop a suitable visual literacy reading programme! As I have found this question and read the answers I thought you may like to hear why it is so crucial. Imagine a child who is so disabled by his dyslexia that sounds mean nothing to him, despite years of specialist teaching and numerous phonic based programmes, his brain does not allow the sounds to blend, imagine recognising c-a -t but not hearing or seeing cat after 7 years of being taught the sounds systematically! Now, put a picture of a cat incorporated into the word, show it 3/4 times and the visual memory remembers the shape and pattern of the symbols! Imagine the importance of finding a visual approach to teach all words/ morphemes in this way, remember the picture/ icon has got to relate to the group of symbols! The obvious picture word cards is not enough in this case! The problem being, there does not seem to be such a programme which is accessible to all, the whole focus in schools is to teach children phonics! Due to this child's illiteracy he cannot lead a normal life, imagine having a high IQ but cannot access the written word, IF only there was an alternative. In fact imagine if there was an alternative and you absolutely knew 100% it would work and this child could learn in a different way using a visual literacy programme but due to years of failure and the fact he is to far behind, he and everybody involved in his education had given up on him! Unfortunately, this story is true and we will keep searching in the hope that soon, somebody in education will want to see the whole picture of illiteracy in children and adults and want to do something different to help. I have through research and desperation found a way to develop a programme but time and ability does not allow me to do so.Any suggestions? Yes please.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.