International Association of Educators   |  ISSN: 1949-4270   |  e-ISSN: 1949-4289

Original article | Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research 2021, Vol. 16(3) 67-88

Developing Visual Literacy Skills in Teacher Education: Different Ways of Looking at the Visual Images

Vedat Özsoy & Sevcan Saribaş

pp. 67 - 88   |  DOI:   |  Manu. Number: MANU-2106-11-0006.R1

Published online: September 20, 2021  |   Number of Views: 214  |  Number of Download: 393


This article attempts to use different ways of looking that help classroom and visual art teachers analyze the meanings attributed to visual images, thereby enhancing their visual literacy skills. In the study, holistic multiple-case sampling was employed in the context of case study method as each group of teachers was individually considered as an analysis unit and their analysis of visual images through different ways of looking was evaluated in a holistic way. The participants of the study comprised of a total of 508 teachers who attended teacher training workshop of the Project titled ‘The Implementation of Visual Culture Theory on Primary and Secondary Visual Arts Courses.’ The data were collected with worksheets, artistic drawings and participant diaries and analyzed inductively.  The data were presented in three themes: analyzing visual elements, approaching the visual contextually, and determining the contributions of visual experience. The results denoted that classroom and visual arts teachers interacted with images through a series of questions related to different ways of looking at visual images, questioned visual representations, artistic components and sub-meanings and created various meanings in terms of social, economic, psychological and cultural contexts, thereby increasing their visual literacy skills.

Keywords: Visual Culture, Visual Literacy, Teacher Education, Visual Art Education

How to Cite this Article?

APA 6th edition
Ozsoy, V. & Saribas, S. (2021). Developing Visual Literacy Skills in Teacher Education: Different Ways of Looking at the Visual Images . Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research, 16(3), 67-88. doi: 10.29329/epasr.2021.373.5

Ozsoy, V. and Saribas, S. (2021). Developing Visual Literacy Skills in Teacher Education: Different Ways of Looking at the Visual Images . Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research, 16(3), pp. 67-88.

Chicago 16th edition
Ozsoy, Vedat and Sevcan Saribas (2021). "Developing Visual Literacy Skills in Teacher Education: Different Ways of Looking at the Visual Images ". Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research 16 (3):67-88. doi:10.29329/epasr.2021.373.5.

  1. Abas, S. (2019). Reading the world – Teaching visual analysis in higher education. Journal of Visual Literacy, 38(1-2), 100-109. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  2. Amburgy, P. M. (2011). Diversity, pedagogy, and visual culture. Art Education, 64(5), 6-11. [Google Scholar]
  3. Anderson, T., & Milbrandt, M. K. (2005). Art for life authentic instruction in art. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. [Google Scholar]
  4. Avgerinou, M. D. (2009). Re-viewing visual literacy in the “Bain D’image” era.  TechTrends, 53(2), 28–34. [Google Scholar]
  5. Avgerinou, M.D., & Pettersson, R. (2011). Toward a cohesive theory of visual literacy.  Journal of Visual Literacy, 30(2), 1-19.  [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  6. Bamford, A. (2003). The visual literacy white paper. Adobe Systems. Retrieved from  [Google Scholar]
  7. Begoray, D.L. (2001). Through a class darkly: Visual literacy in the classroom. Canadian Journal of Education, 26(2), 201-217. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  8. Bertling, J.G. (2019). Layered collaborative visual reflection: Sharing lived experiences and making meaning. Art Education, 72(3), 28-38. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  9. Blaikie, F. (2019). A review of the common european framework of reference for visual literacy–prototype (CEFR-VL). International Journal of Education Through Art, 15(1), 51-61. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  10. Bleed, R. (2005). Visual literacy in higher education.  EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Explorations, 1(1), 1-11. [Google Scholar]
  11. Bozdik, N. (2019). Görsel sanatlar öğretmen adaylarının görsel okuryazarlık becerilerinin incelenmesi [Investigation of the visual literacy skills of visual arts teacher candidates] (Unpublished master’s thesis). Çukurova University, Adana.  [Google Scholar]
  12. Callow. J. (2008). Show me: Principles for assessing students' visual literacy. The Reading Teacher, 61(8), 616-626. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  13. Carpenter II, B.S., & Cifuentes, L. (2011). Visual culture and literacy online: Image galleries as sites of learning. Art Education, 64 (4), 33-40.  [Google Scholar]
  14. Cheung, C.K., & Jhaveri, A.D. (2016). Developing students' critical thinking skills through visual literacy in the new secondary school curriculum in hong kong.  Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 36(3), 379-389. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  15. Chung, S.K. (2005). Media/visual literacy art education: Cigarette ad deconstruction. Art Education, 58(3),19-24. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  16. Çakmak, N. & Türkcan. B. (2019). Değişmeyen algılar, değişmeyen sorunlar: Öğrenci-öğretmen- veli bağlamında ilkokul görsel sanatlar dersi [Permanent perceptions, unchanging problems: Visual arts course in primary school at the context of student-teacher-parent]. Eğitimde Nitel Araştırmalar Dergisi, 7 (2), 768-791.  [Google Scholar]
  17. Dilli, R. (2013). Görsel kültür kuramının ilköğretim 4.sınıf görsel sanatlar dersinde uygulanması [Application of the visual culture concept in visual art courses in the 4th classes of primary schools] (Unpublished doctorate dissertation). Gazi University, Ankara.  [Google Scholar]
  18. Dilli, R., Mamur, N., & Alakuş, A .O. (2016). Sanat ve tasarım eğitimi alan üniversite öğrencilerinin popüler görsel kültüre yönelik eleştirel yaklaşımları [Critical approach of undergraduate students of the departments of arts and design towards popular visual culture]. Journal of National Education, 45 (211), 187-209.  [Google Scholar]
  19. Doğru, A.G. (2014). Lise düzeyi görsel sanatlar dersinin, öğrencilerin görsel okuryazarlık becerilerinin gelişimine etkisi [The effect of visual arts course on the development of visual literacy skills of high school students] (Unpublished master’s thesis). Gazi University, Ankara.  [Google Scholar]
  20. Duncum, P. (2004). Visual culture ısn’t just visual: Multiliteracy, multimodality and meaning. Studies in Art Education,  45(3), 252-264. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  21. Duncum, P. (2015). A journey toward an art education for wired youth. Studies in Art Education, 56(4), 295-306. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  22. Elkins, J. (2003). Visual studies: A skeptical introduction. New York: Routledge. [Google Scholar]
  23. Emanuel, R., & Challons-Lipton, S. (2013). Visual literacy and the digital native: Another look. Journal of Visual Literacy, 32(1),7–26. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  24. Eraslan, S. (2019). Ortaokul 8.sınıf görsel sanatlar dersinde pedagojik sanat eleştirisi yönteminin öğrencilerin görsel okuryazarlık becerilerine etkisi[The effect of the pedegeogical art criticism method in visual arts class in secondary school in visual muscular skills of students] (Unpublished master’s thesis). Atatürk Universty, Erzurum.  [Google Scholar]
  25. Errázuriz, L. (2019). Metamorphosis of visual literacy: From'reading images' to a critical visual education. International Journal of Education Through Art, 15(1),15-26. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  26. Etherington, M. (2018). Criticizing visual culture through fashion design and role-playing. Art Education, 71(6), 26-32. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  27. Felten, P. (2008). Visual literacy. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 40(6), 60-64.  [Google Scholar]
  28. Fransecky, R. B., & Debes, J. L. (1972). Visual literacy: A way to learn--a way to teach. Washington, D.C.: AECT Publications. [Google Scholar]
  29. Freedman, K. (2003). Teaching visual culture: Curriculum, aesthetics and the social life of art. New York: Teachers College Press. [Google Scholar]
  30. Grodoski, C. (2016). Unpacking & packing visual culture: Creative thinking strategies. Art Education, 69(3), 20-26. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  31. Grushka, K. (2010). Conceptualising visual learning as an embodied and performative pedagogy for all classrooms. Encounters in Theory and History of Education, 11, 13-23. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  32. Grushka, K., Lawry, M., Chand, A., & Devine, A. (2021). Visual borderlands: Visuality, performance, fluidity and art-science learning. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 1-18. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  33. Herrmann, R. (2005). The disconnect between theory and practice in a visual culture approach to art education. Art Education, 58(6), 41- 46.  [Google Scholar]
  34. Huggins, M. (2008). The sporting gaze: Towards a visual turn in sports history—documenting art and sport. Journal of Sport History, 35(2), 311- 329.  [Google Scholar]
  35. Karagöz, C.T. (2020). Okul dışı öğrenme programlarına yönelik görsel kültür temelli görsel sanatlar etkinliklerinin geliştirilmesi ve uygulanması: Bir eylem araştırması [Developing and implementing visual culture based visual arts activities for out-of school learning programs: An action research] (Unpublished doctoral dissertation).  Gazi Universty, Ankara.   [Google Scholar]
  36. Kędra, J. (2018). What does it mean to be visually literate? Examination of visual literacy definitions in a context of higher education. Journal of Visual Literacy, 37(2), 67–84. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  37. Keifer-Boyd, K. T., & Maitland-Gholson, J. (2007). Engaging visual culture. Worcester, MA: Davis Publications. [Google Scholar]
  38. Kelly-Jackson, C., & Delacruz, S. (2014). Using visual literacy to teach science academic language: Experiences from three preservice teachers. Action in Teacher Education,  36(3), 192-210. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  39. Kraehe, A.M. (2019). Visual(ization) education: More than meets the eye. Art Education, 72( 3), 4-7. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  40. Kwon, H. (2020). Graphic novels: Exploring visual culture and multimodal literacy in preservice art teacher education. Art Education, 73(2), 33-42. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  41. Lai, A., & Cooper, Y. (2016). Untangling gender divides through girly and gendered visual culture. Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, 36(1), 96-107.  [Google Scholar]
  42. LaJevic, L. (2013). Arts integration: What is really happening in the elementary classroom?. Journal for Learning through the Arts, 9(1), 1-28. [Google Scholar]
  43. Leppert, R.D. (1996). Art and the committed eye: The cultural functions of imagery. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.   [Google Scholar]
  44. Lopatovska, I. Hatoum, S., Waterstraut, S., Novak, L., & Sheer, S. (2016). Not just a pretty picture: Visual literacy education through art for young children. Journal of Documentation, 72 (6), 1197-1227. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  45. Mamur, N. (2012). Görsel sanatlar öğretmen adaylarının görsel kültür diyaloglarına yönelik algıları [Perceptions concerning visual culture dialogues of visual art pre-service teachers]. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 12 (3), 2149-2174. [Google Scholar]
  46. Milbourn, A. (2013). A big picture approach: Using embedded librarianship to proactively address the need for visual literacy instruction in higher education. Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America, 32(2), 274–283. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  47. Mitchell, W.J.T. (2002). Showing seeing: A critique of visual culture. Journal of Visual Culture, 1(2),165-181. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  48. Özkubat, S., & Ulutaş, İ. (2018). The effect of the visual awareness education programme on the visual literacy of children aged 5-6. Educational Studies, 44(3), 313-325. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  49. Özsoy, V. (2019). Sanat Galerileri, Sanatçı Atölyeleri, Tasarım Stüdyoları ve El Sanatları İşlikleri [Art Galleries, Artists’ Studios, Design Studios and Craft Studios]. In A.İ. Şen (Ed.), Okul Dışı Öğrenme Ortamları [Out of School Learning Environments](pp.275-305). Ankara: Pegem. [Google Scholar]
  50. Parsa, A.F. (2012). 21.Yüzyıl okuryazarlığında sayısal noktalarda buluşmak [Meeting at Numerical Points in 21st Century Literacy]. In V.D.Günay, and A.F.Parsa (Eds.), Görsel Göstergebilim İmgenin Anlamlandırılması [Visual Semiotics Making Sense Image] (pp.153-172). Istanbul: Es Yayınları.   [Google Scholar]
  51. Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative research and evalutaion methods. (4th ed).Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.  [Google Scholar]
  52. Ravas, T., & Stark, M. (2012). Pulitzer-prize-winning photographs and visual literacy at the university of montana: A case study. Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America,  31(1), 34-44. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  53. Riedler, M. (2016). Exploring the Visual Culture Approach to Art Literacy and Education In Terms of the Condition of Postmodern Children. Electronic Turkish Studies, 11 (14), 623-630. [Google Scholar]
  54. Romero, E. D., & Bobkina, J. (2021). Exploring critical and visual literacy needs in digital learning environments: The use of memes in the EFL/ESL university classroom. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 40, 1-16. [Google Scholar]
  55. Rose, G. (2002). Visual methodologies: An introduction to the interpretation of visual materials. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. [Google Scholar]
  56. Roswell, J., McLean, C., & Hamilton, M. (2012). Visual literacy as a classroom approach. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 55(5), 444-447. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  57.  Saribaş, S. (2019). Görsel sanatlar öğretmen eğitimi bağlamında görsel kültür öğretimi [Visual culture teaching within the context of visual arts teacher education] (Unpublished doctorate dissertation). Anadolu University, Eskişehir.  [Google Scholar]
  58. Serafini, F. (2011). Expanding perspectives for comprehending visual ımages in multimodal texts. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54(5), 342-350. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  59. Smilan, C., & Miraglia, K. M. (2009). Art teachers as leaders of authentic art integration. Art Education, 62(6), 39-45. [Google Scholar]
  60. Stankiewicz, M.A. (2004). Notions of technology and visual literacy. Studies in Art Education, 46(1), 88-91. [Google Scholar]
  61. Stewart, M.G. (2014). Enduring understandings, artistic processes, and the new visual arts standards: A close-up consideration for curriculum planning. Art Education, 67(5), 6-11.  [Google Scholar]
  62. Sturken, M., & Cartwright. L. (2009). Practices of looking: An ıntroduction to visual culture.  New York: Oxford University Press. [Google Scholar]
  63. Şahin, Ç. & Kıran, I. (2011). İlköğretim 5. sınıf öğretmen ve öğrencilerinin görsel okuryazarlıkları üzerine bir araştırma [A search about the visual literacy of 5th grade students and their teachers]. Selçuk Üniversitesi Ahmet Keleşoğlu Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 31, 363-381. [Google Scholar]
  64. Tarı, H. (2011). İlköğretim okullarının 1. 2. 3. sınıflarında uygulanan güzel sanatlar dersinin öğretmen görüşlerine dayalı olarak değerlendirilmesi [The evaluation of the education and the training of the class teachers concerning the visual arts of 1st, 2nd, 3rd grades] (Unpublished master’s thesis). Marmara University, İstanbul. [Google Scholar]
  65. Taşpınar, Ş. E. (2017). Görsel Sanatlar Öğretmeni Adaylarının Görsel Okuryazarlık Düzeylerinin Belirlenmesi [Determination of visual literacy levels of visual art teacher candidates]. Erzincan Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 19(2), 321-334. [Google Scholar]
  66. Tavin, K. (2014). Art education is stupid (and it should be). Studies in Art Education, 56(1), 438-441.  [Google Scholar]
  67. Tishman, S. (2018). Slow looking: The art and practice of learning through observation, Routledge.  [Google Scholar]
  68. Tomljenovic, Z. (2015). An interactive approach to learning and teaching in visual arts education. CEPS Journal, 5(3), 73-93. DOI: 10.25656/01:11406 [Google Scholar]
  69. Yin, R.K. (2018). Case study research and applications: Design and methods. (6th ed).Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.  [Google Scholar]
  70. Yıldırım, A., & Şimşek, H. (2013). Sosyal bilimlerde nitel araştırma yöntemleri [Qualitative research methods in social sciences]. Ankara: Seçkin Yayınları.  [Google Scholar]
  71. Yeh, H. (2010). Towards evidence of visual literacy: Assessing preservice teachers’ perceptions of ınstructional visuals. Journal of Visual Literacy, 29(2),183-197. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  72. Yükselgün, Ö. & Türkcan, B. (2012). İlköğretim görsel sanatlar dersi öğretim programındaki “görsel sanat kültürü” öğrenme alanının uygulanması [Application of the “visual art culture” learning field in the primary school visual arts course curricullum]. Abant İzzet Baysal Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi, 12, 337-366. [Google Scholar]
  73. Williams, W.R. (2019). Attending to the visual aspects of visual storytelling: Using art and design concepts to interpret and compose narratives with images. Journal of Visual Literacy, 38(1-2), 66-82. [Google Scholar] [Crossref] 
  74. Wilson, G. J. (2019). Visual(ization) education: Expanding possibilities of arts-based pedagogy. Art Education, 72(3), 50-53. [Google Scholar] [Crossref]