Power of the image - 10 ways to use photographs

Paul Grainger

A picture is worth a thousand words. If we believe in the implications of this idiom, then image and language are inevitably intertwined. Babies learn language by associating images with sound and, later on, associating the images of words with these sounds. As adults, images and photographs play an important part in all our lives. According to Bezemer and Kress (Written Communication, 2008), “writing is being displaced by image as the central mode for representation”. Visual literacy is an increasingly important skill, which is necessary for quick understanding of information as it is presented today – in magazine articles, in books and, particularly, on the internet. In the classroom, images are used frequently throughout the primary years, but are seldom used from secondary school onwards, with some teachers even arguing that images are a “distraction” to learning. This workshop will challenge that notion with the argument that images form a crucial part of the learning process, so much so that Aristotle was once quoted as saying “without images, thinking is impossible.” In addition to recommending greater use of images in lessons for learners of all ages, the presenter will also use stunning photography from National Geographic to share 10 practical ideas for using images in the classroom - to motivate, stimulate learning and aid memory.