James Buckingham

Zayed UNIVERSITY

About James

Universities

Zayed University

Comments & conversations

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James Buckingham
Posted over 3 years ago
Why is visual literacy discouraged in most cultures & WHAT CAN WE DO to change that?
Yes.. wholeheartedly concur. I'm seeing students having fewer hangups about using any number of tools to help get their ideas down somewhere. I credit a lot of it to the growth of Web 2.0 where collaboration, invention and creativity are actually more encouraged. More opportunities to share with others one's talents, ideas and opinions. Problem for many is not knowing certain tools exist.
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James Buckingham
Posted over 3 years ago
Why is visual literacy discouraged in most cultures & WHAT CAN WE DO to change that?
Another take on WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT? A hunch .. that more and more of what is being communicated to us is being done through visual means rather than text (i.e. web pages, television, consumer objects, advertizing, design, architecture, etc. ) and yet we are NOT learning more about how to be more critical in our review and judgement of the values, ideas and emotions that these things or moments have inherent in them. A need to validate that hunch... then we're armed and "dangerous". Ironically .. we're using text here to explore these ideas. Perhaps if we had available to us some collaborative visual tools we could be reviewing and experiencing this more ..
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James Buckingham
Posted over 3 years ago
Why is visual literacy discouraged in most cultures & WHAT CAN WE DO to change that?
Was an Art Educator in a public art gallery for 6 years. Focused on this very issue. My take on why it's taken for granted? Because everyone assumes that because they can "look" at things that they can "see" them. Most of us are encouraged to "label" what we look at rather than be truly critical about what it is we "see". We typically have a very tiny vocabulary of terms to describe what it is we do see ... Another take? We've had a difficult enough time trying to promote the concept and importance of full literacy (reading & writing) to be functional in today's society and we still haven't managed to include everyone. To suggest that visual literacy is a "must" is going to be a very hard sell.. unless we can prove the shortcomings of not doing so .. the cost of it to society... This simply points out the need for more research on the topic. How to overcome the problem? First .. use opportunities to increase public awareness of the issue .. and what's at stake as a result of having someone who is not"visually literate". The whole Gallery, with its Art Education community would seem to be a likely starting place for organizing and lobbying for this.. Second the focus of that awareness should be on noting the cost of having that limited vocabulary. I'd suggest that we use the analogy of reading to help here. If we had the same limited vocabulary for reading books.. we'd also be limited in the number of books we could read .. and the extent to which we could understand the concepts presented in them .. and in understanding the world around us. I've found that for most people, the number of words used to describe visual objects or events is extremely limited .. and to complicate matters further.. with few opportunities to learn how to expand and practice that vocabulary. Third, get the research that's needed to know the true extent of people's visual vocabulary and detail the opportunities lost by it.