Edutopia (right), an online publication of the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), has a video of famed film director, Martin Scorsese (left), talking about the importance of young people learning to be visually literate in regard to film and video.
Scorsese talks about students learning to see and understand the impact of close-ups, medium shots, long shots, pans, tilts, dollies, zooms, etc. as part of the grammar of film. He argues that students need to be able to understand the emotional impact and storytelling power of film and video.
Scorsese acknowledges that images are powerful tools and students need to be educated about how ideas and emotions are expressed through visual forms as well as words and numbers.
There is a systematic bias against visual literacy in many educational institutions from universities on down. Universities, State Education Agencies, and K-12 school systems do not include visual communication in their lists of basic skills along with reading, writing, and mathematics. The ability to learn, think, and communicate with images, objects, environments, and experiences is not currently recognized as "scholarly".
Scorsese sees that bias as short-sighted and outdated with the increased ability to view, create and disseminate visual messages today. Schools run the risk of falling behind the times by not acknowledging these visual modes as viable ways in which students learn, think and communicate.
Click on the heading above to see the 11 minute video of Martin Scorsese advocating for visual literacy for young people at the Edutopia website.