2017 Student Research Conference:
30th Annual Student Research Conference

Visual Literacy in the High School English Classroom


Janae E. Fritze♦
Dr. Summer Pennell, Rebecca Dierking, and Dr. Joseph Benevento, Faculty Mentors

Because our culture is becoming saturated with visual images, it is important that educators change the definition of literacy to include the visual and teach students how to be critical consumers of the images that they see on a daily basis. This study examines the effect that incorporating visual media in the classroom has on students’ traditional literacy skills. It examines whether the study of visual media paired with a traditional print text affects student engagement, comprehension, and interpretation of traditional print texts. In a class of 23 sophomores at a large suburban Midwest public high school, students examined a variety of visual media during a unit on Hamlet. Types of data included class discussion, pre-viewing and post-viewing journal responses, informal conferences, and a final student-generated visual literacy project. J. Amos Hatch’s interpretive analysis was used to analyze the data. The data demonstrates that incorporating visual literacy into the classroom aids in student comprehension of traditional print texts, though the effect on student engagement and interpretation is inconclusive. 

Keywords: visual literacy, critical consumers, engagement, comprehension, interpretation, Hamlet, interpretive analysis, J. Amos Hatch

Topic(s):English MAE Intern

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 102-5
Location: MG 1090
Time: 9:00

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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