Friday, November 30, 2007

November 8, 2007 presentation: Susan Kilgore


Using Images to Promote Critical Thinking Raised as they have been on a steady diet of computer games, the internet, cell phones, videos, dvds, cds, and other forms of electronic technology, contemporary college students have spent less time reading books than any college generation before them. In fact, even as college graduates, they will have spent approximately half as much time with books as they have playing video games, and about 1/4 as much time reading as watching tv.

All this exposure to images has created learners whose preferred learning style is image-based, a preference so extreme that it is increasingly difficult to use more traditionally based texts. Yet, if these students are reputed to be "much more visual" than students in the past, their "visuality" and preference for learning from images over books does not translate into higher degrees of visual literacy nor into greater critical thinking abilities about other types of text. Evidence and experience seem to indicate greater exposure to images has not yet fostered greater visual sophistication.

Susan Kilgore proposes a discussion of how to use images in college classrooms to 1) promote critical thinking through critical viewing of images, and 2) to explore the academic uses of images to consider traditionally difficult abstract ideas of cultural theory. Please come.

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