Monday, January 30, 2012

Visual Communication and Design Complete a Visual Literacy Curriculum

All students, not just visual thinkers, need to learn to create and understand diagrams, pictures, photos, illustrations, maps and charts to learn any subject matter. Steve Moline, author of "I See What You Mean: Visual Literacy K-8" sees visual literacy as fundamental to learning and to what it means to be human. In Moline's view, we are all bilingual. Our second language, which we do not speak but which we read and write every day, is visual. From reading maps to decoding icons to using concept webs, visual literacy is critical to success in today's world.

The first edition of I See What You Mean, published in 1995, was one of the first books for teachers to outline practical strategies for improving students' visual literacy. In this new and substantially revised edition, Moline includes dozens of new examples of a wide range of visual texts--from time maps and exploded diagrams to digital tools like smartphone apps and "tactile texts." In addition to the new chapters and nearly 200 illustrations, he has reorganized the book in a useful teaching sequence, moving from simple to complex texts.

The kind of visual literacy Moline describes is Visual Communication is complemented by Design Education represented by resources such as the Design Dossier series by Pamela Pease for children 9 and up (grades 4 and up). Children experience design firsthand in this interactive series that engages a variety of learning styles and develops creative problem-solving skills. Books in the series focus on a wide array of design disciplines, ranging from architecture and interior design to film, animation, and environmental design.

In The World of Design (right), kids explore line, color, shape, texture, pattern and composition, and questions including What is design? and How does the creative process work? Insights from top contemporary designers and fold-out timelines help kids understand how design affects their everyday lives. A project at the end of the book challenges kids to put what they learn into action.

Click on the heading above to learn more about the Design Dossier series by Pease.

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