27 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session, Chaired by Convenors of NW 27
The expansion of visual culture and media significantly influences various aspect of everyday life. Educational context of the phenomena is expressed by increasing amount of visuals in school textbooks. With the proliferation of visuals in school textbooks some authors speak about “flood of visuals” (Heinze, 2010), “picture revolution” (Müller, 2010) or “visual turn” (LaSpina, 1998). Visuals could be characterised as external representations of real-world phenomena which consist of iconic signs and are associated through analogy with the content they represent (Schnotz & Bannert, 2003). Regarding pupils’ acquisition of knowledge, they serve as powerful educational devices which increase motivation and may facilitate learning because (under specific conditions) they promote retention and retrieval of encoded information, they increase comprehension and improve ability to perform transfer of knowledge (Carney & Levin, 2002). However they are potent to fulfil even other educational functions (Levin, Anglin, & Carney, 1987). The expansion of visuals significantly influences educational functioning of school textbook and has implications regarding pupils’ understanding of educational content and meanings. In broader sense this may have consequences even for curriculum practice (Eilam & Ben-Peretz, 2010, p. 752).
The issue of “visuals in school textbooks” represents a multidimensional concept which can be considered from specific points of view and is elaborated in various domains (for an overview see Anglin, Vaez, & Cunningham, 2004). The effort to describe the nature of visuals in texbooks therefore produces rich body of research data. The research on the concept is traditionally realised in an established framework – Research on Pictures, which in relation to analyses of human responses to visual representations combines educational and cognitive-psychological dimensions together with the concepts from communication studies (Levie, 1987). However in the present day research findings related to the concept appear in a rather isolated manner. The perspective which would summarise current body of related research is missing.
In this poster we attempt to (at least partly) contribute to reduction of this gap. Our research aim is to integrate and critically analyse the current body of research related to the concept “visuals in school textbooks”. In this manner an emphasis is put on the revealing of the current scope of the concept, identification of topical research themes, comparison of preferred methodological approaches and description of areas of interest on the one hand, and underresearched areas on the other hand. In addition, suggestions for future development of the research domain are proposed. To make above described aspects more salient we compare how the research on the concept “visuals in school textbooks” is conducted in two countries – the Czech Republic and Germany. These countries were selected because their educational traditions and philosophies show comparable patterns (in general manner) and in both the countries the concept “visuals in school textbooks” represents topical facet of educational research.
The research questions of our inquiry are related to the effort to synthesize current state of the art within the research on visuals in school textbooks. In congruence with the validity requirements on review studies (Randolph, 2009) research questions have been formulated as follows: Regarding the development of research on visuals in the Czech Republic and Germany which findings (trends) can be deduced from the related literature – regarding educational functioning of visuals in school textbooks? Which theories and concepts prevail as theoretical foundations? Which research methods are preferred when elaborating the concept? Which strengths and weaknesses can be identified within the research on the concept?
Anglin, G. J., Vaez, H., & Cunningham, K. L. (2004). Visual representations and learning. The role of static and animated graphic. In D. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research on education communications and technology (2nd ed.). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Carney, R. N., & Levin, J. R. (2002). Pictorial illustrations still improve students´ learning from text. Educational Psychology Review, 14 (1), 5–26. Eilam, B., & Ben-Peretz, M. (2010). Revising curriculum inquiry: the role of visual representations. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 42(6), 751–774. Heinze, C. (2010). Das Bild im Schulbuch. Zur Einführung. In C. Heinze & E. Matthes (Hrsg.), Das Bild im Schulbuch (pp. 9–16). Bad Heilbrunn: Julius Klinkhardt Verlag. LaSpina, J. A. (1998). The visual turn and the transformation of the textbook. New York, London: Routledge. Levie, W. H. (1987). Research on pictures: A guide to the literature. In: D. M. Willows & H. A. Houghton (Eds.), The psychology of illustration. vol. 1. Basic research. New York: Springer Verlag, 1–27. Levin, J. R., Anglin, G. R., & Carney, R. N. (1987). On empirical validating functions of picture in prose. In D. M. Willows & H. A. Houghton (Eds.), The psychology of illustration. Vol. 1. Basic research (pp. 51–85). New York: Springer Verlag. Müller, W. (2010). Die Verbilderung unserer Lebenswelt – eine pädagogische Herausforderung. In C. Heinze & E. Matthes (Hrsg.), Das Bild im Schulbuch (pp. 33–42). Bad Heilbrunn: Julius Klinkhardt Verlag. Randolph, J. J. (2009). A guide to writing the dissertation literature review. Practical Assessment Research and Evaluation, 14(13), 1–13. Available at http://pareonline.net/getvn.asp?v=14&n=13. Schnotz, W., & Bannert, M. (2003). Construction and Interference in Learning from Multiple Representation. Learning and Instruction, 13(2), 141–156. Whittemore, R., & Knafl, K. (2005). The integrative review: Updated methodology. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 52(5), 546–553.
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