Visual Literacy Initiative at National College of Education


Carol M. Highsmith, History of San Francisco mural "War and Peace" by Anton Refregier at Rincon Annex Post Office located near the Embarcadero at 101 Spear Street, San Francisco, California] Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Digital ID:

The National College of Education (NCE) Visual Literacy Initiative was formed by faculty from various programs who have an interest in visual literacy. Visual literacy has a rich history at NCE, dating back over 15 years. Many faculty are involved in the International Visual Literacy Association. They have written books, chapters and articles. Some have conducted research studies. Many have presented at international, national, state, and local professional association conferences, and schools.

What is visual literacy?
A common definition for visual literacy does not currently exist. Combining the ideas of several scholars, we define visual literacy as the ability to read and analyze visually represented information as well as communicate meaning through visuals.

In education, visual literacy is an interdisciplinary field with potential applications in multiple content areas and for students of varying grade levels and needs. Currently, visual literacy is a core practice in the NCE School of Teacher Preparation. Faculty have received several internal Faculty Research Residency grants that study aspects of visual literacy in teacher education.