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Perception of the visual image

By Terry. Genin

Abstract

Many scholars tacitly or overtly support the position\ud that the image is becoming the primary means of communication.\ud It is therefore necessary to become visually\ud 'literate' which propensity, it seems, is (unlike 'numeracy'\ud and 'articulacy/literacy') partially innate. During early\ud maturation a complicated set of interactions occur between\ud the physical and psychological aspects of the observer,\ud forming the visually perceptive individual.\ud It is proposed in this thesis that an image comes\ud about as the result of technological, historical, geographic\ud and social forces, an understanding of which, it is suggested,\ud can contextualise the image and aid an understanding of\ud its meaning.\ud Problems seem to occur when fostering visual/spatial\ud understanding through a linguistic medium. Visual/spatial\ud memory is, it seems, capable of being trained, and through\ud that training enhanced. A range of visual image forms can\ud be listed which is shown to be growing while media continue\ud to be developed which can record that range with increasing\ud fidelity. These media appear to be moving towards a\ud standard. This simultaneous growth and containment suggests\ud that a taxonomy of visual images is both possible and\ud educationally desirable.\ud A syllabus is here put forward which consists of an\ud interwoven structure, made up of a database comprising a\ud chronological grouping of image categories, a set of skills\ud and a teaching strategy. The outcomes are evaluated.\ud It was found that the response of the pupils involved\ud could be evaluated in terms of (a) a largely quantitative\ud interpretation of meaning; and (b) a qualitative or\ud critical, idiosyncratic understanding of meaning. It was\ud observed that continuity and sequence were important factors\ud in teaching the syllabus. Test results showed marked\ud positive learning curves when the experimental group was\ud tested against a control group.\ud The a priori claim that si gnificant growth could be\ud shown to occur in a group 's visual understanding of images\ud if the y were sublected to a period of sustained teachin g was\ud substantiated, with the caveat that continuity and sequence\ud needed more attention. A framework for diagnostic evalu-\ud - ation was proposed which recognised the need for evaluating\ud the pupil as critic as well as interpreter

Year: 1987
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.ioe.ac.uk.oai2:6547
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