ERIC Number: ED341632
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Oct
Teaching Visual Literacy.
Heil, Lillian H.
Until recently, little scholarly attention has been paid to the art found in children's books. This study describes a project with a fifth grade class in an effort to increase their ability to critique book illustrations. Ten slides from picture books were shown to one experimental and one control group. Students were asked to critique the illustrations by answering two questions: (1) what is the artist trying to communicate? and (2) how well did she/he succeed? One week later both groups had a debriefing session where the writer/teacher showed the slides again and rated them good or bad, giving reasons for her/his decisions. The experimental group had eight more sessions during the year. Analysis of results focused on four items: (1) children's attitudes towards the rating and debriefing sessions; (2) the experimental group's response to the eight sessions on art in picture books; (3) patterns of disagreement with expert opinion; and (4) comparison of experimental and control group's reasons for rating. By the end of the project, children were begging to give logical reasons for their ratings, with the treatment group doing so at a higher rate than the control group. Neither group, however, seemed to grasp the importance of connecting the details of the artist's skill in creating the picture with what he/she was trying to communicate. Girls seemed to like "cutesy" art better than boys and all seemed to view anything different as unrealistic, weird, or not understandable. The limiting effects of a constant environment of artistic sameness in the schools is considered. (KM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Northern Rocky Mountain Educational Research Association (Jackson, WY, October 3-5, 1991).