Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsWe often hear that we live in a visual world – a world of images, composed to shock us or please us, influence us or appease us. Composed just as carefully as verbal texts can be, we sometimes think that we process those images naturally. But that’s not true. It’s a skill, and we hone it through regular exposure – to things like pictures in picturebooks, pictures in cartoons on TV, adverts in the street. Even small children know that many images around them make sense – they tell stories. And they get pretty good, pretty fast, at deciphering those stories. We tend to call such children pre-literate. The truth is, they are literate already – they have some visual literacy.
Skip to 0 minutes and 50 secondsAdults are often surprised at how good children are at noticing details in pictures. Well, of course! pictures are a crucial form of communication for them to understand the world. And that communication is far from simple. It has its grammar, its conventions, its clichés, its trendsetters and its transgressors. Including when it’s targeted at children. Especially when it’s targeted at children. This course is in part about celebrating the sophistication of that visual language, and the achievement of children who manage to interpret that language. In this four-week course, you’ll learn about different kinds of visual culture for children – picturebooks, comics, film and television. We’ll explore those media, learn to decode them and understand them better, while preserving, hopefully, a sense of wonder.
Skip to 1 minute and 40 secondsJoin us, eyes wide open, for our course on visual culture for children at the University of York.