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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Visual Literacy: An Exploration of a Constructivist Approach

Anne Bamford, Adele Flood.

Using the graphic software manipulation package, Adobe PhotoShop, Australian adolescents were surveyed on their visual and conversational responses to a range of manipulated images to ascertain an understanding of the nature of visual literacy. The research adopted a Constructivist paradigm allowing for multiple interpretations of views while providing a forum for the students to produce knowledge through interactive visual responses. The results of the research provide fundamental knowledge in relation to the manner in which adolescent’s read images and a clearer understanding of the nature of visual literacy. The study provides guidelines on the way to interpret visual s in the context of interactive technology. The study proposes a learnable grammar of visual literacy that is both contextualised and localised to the needs of students.


Anne Bamford  (Australia)
Senior Lecturer, Director of Visual Arts
Centre for Research in Education and the Arts (CREA)
University of Technology, Sydney

Dr Anne Bamford has taught in education, interactive media and Visual Arts. She has been recognised internationally for her research in emerging literacies and visual communication. She has published books, journal articles and conference papers. She is involved in professional development and a national writer for the Curriculum Corporation. Anne is a recipient of the UTS Excellence award and a nominee for the Australian Award for University teaching. She has completed a project examining issues in assessment and online learning and completing research into adolescents' use of interactive imagery. She is undertaking a major project on the impact of creativity on 'at risk' learners.

Adele Flood  (Australia)

RMIT University

  • Visual Literacy
  • Constructivist Learning
  • Interactive Technology
  • Adolescents

(30 min Conference Paper, English)