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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Elements of Visual Design for Teaching Writing

Susan Baker, Toni J. Castellon, Debra Wylie.

Two experienced composition instructors and a non-traditional college student demonstrate methods of integrating visual elements they have used to challenge students' way of thinking about socially and culturally constructed ideas about being a writer. These methods can be adapted for middle school, high school and college classrooms.

The presenters will use student writing as illustrations of method, give handouts with descriptions of techniques and ask participants to experiment with one of the methods, leaving time for questions and discussion at the end.

Our work is grounded in Robert H. McKim's 'Experiences in Visual Thinking': "Visual thinking pervades all human activity, from the abstract and theoretical to the down-to-earth and everyday". We believe that seeing and writing go hand in hand, exemplified by Howard Gardner's concept of different intelligences (visual-spatial and language.


Susan Baker  (United States)

English Department
Illinois State University

Toni J. Castellon  (United States)
Lecturer in English
English Department
Illinois State University

Debra Wylie  (United States)

English Department
Illinois State University

  • Composition
  • Visual thinking
  • Writing as discovery
  • Relationship between critical thinking and reading
Person as Subject
  • Howard Gardner John Berger

(60 min Workshop, English)