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Learning differences

Visual Literacy & theVisual Teacher By Timothy Gangwer Changing perspectives changes lives. As one of the many pioneers in the field of visual literacy, I have travelled throughout the world observing the universal visual expression that crosses all cultural boundaries. Humans are hardwired for learning and what we learn is not nearly as important as how we learn. By opening our eyes and ears, we open our minds. When our perceptions begin to change, so too does our ability to change the world. Maestro Arturo Toscanini couldn’t describe what he 102

Fall 2016

SouthEast Education Network

wanted from his orchestra, so he tossed his silk handkerchief into the air. After its gradual, graceful decent to the ground, he said, “There…play it like that.” Why Visual Teaching? Visual literacy is the ability to encode, or create a visual language, and the ability to decode, or understand the visual language. Decoding requires creative/ critical thinking skills, as moving and still images often have a conscious and unconscious meaning. Sixty-five percent

of the population are by definition, visual learners. This means teachers can expect 65 % of their students to be visual learners. Our eyes can register 36,000 visual messages per hour, yet, how many teachers rely on text for instruction without the support of visuals? Famed film director Martin Scorsese once said, “If one wants to reach younger people at an earlier age to shape their minds in a critical way, you really need to know how ideas and emotions are expressed visually.” Notwithstanding individual

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