This study explores the role of visuality in education associated with developing students’ critical and creative thinking, sense of care, responsibility, and academic advancement through critical visual production. Visuality, or the capacity to see and be seen, does not necessarily have a critical dimension. Most of the time people do not question the validity of the information offered to them through text and images by media. Critical visuality, however, has to do with purposeful and directed viewing. It means having the ability to see and analyze visual experiences purposefully by deconstructing elements of images and reconstructing them through critical viewing and interpreting messages in a broad social, environmental, and cultural context. Critical visuality therefore is essential to the process of critical visual viewing.
Our ability to interpret any visual experience is cumulative depending on previous similar and different experiences and specific understanding of those experiences. It is also determined by the effects of various circumstances and the social and cultural meanings of elements. Each element in a received visual experience needs to be followed with an interpretation of the whole concept, as well as the relationship of the elements to each other in a broader context.
This understanding and interpretation of the elements also has to be viewed with regard to the specific historical, sociological, cultural, political and environmental aspects of their being, in the process of making sense of the whole experience. The nature and level of received information, knowledge and experience that support the interpretation of a visual experience all play a role in the process of critical visual literacy. Writing as the other part of literacy, is a process of construction. It includes generating visuals in the form of texts and images, which implies exercising the power of the imagination and creativity.
|Keywords:||Critical Visuality, Critical Visual Literacy, Critical Viewing, Critical Composing, Visual Production|
Researcher, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Professor, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
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