Perception of the visual image
Many scholars tacitly or overtly support the position that the image is becoming the primary means of communication. It is therefore necessary to become visually 'literate' which propensity, it seems, is (unlike 'numeracy' and 'articulacy/literacy') partially innate. During early maturation a complicated set of interactions occur between the physical and psychological aspects of the observer, forming the visually perceptive individual. It is proposed in this thesis that an image comes about as the result of technological, historical, geographic and social forces, an understanding of which, it is suggested, can contextualise the image and aid an understanding of its meaning. Problems seem to occur when fostering visual/spatial understanding through a linguistic medium. Visual/spatial memory is, it seems, capable of being trained, and through that training enhanced. A range of visual image forms can be listed which is shown to be growing while media continue to be developed which can record that range with increasing fidelity. These media appear to be moving towards a standard. This simultaneous growth and containment suggests that a taxonomy of visual images is both possible and educationally desirable. A syllabus is here put forward which consists of an interwoven structure, made up of a database comprising a chronological grouping of image categories, a set of skills and a teaching strategy. The outcomes are evaluated. It was found that the response of the pupils involved could be evaluated in terms of (a) a largely quantitative interpretation of meaning; and (b) a qualitative or critical, idiosyncratic understanding of meaning. It was observed that continuity and sequence were important factors in teaching the syllabus. Test results showed marked positive learning curves when the experimental group was tested against a control group. The a priori claim that si gnificant growth could be shown to occur in a group 's visual understanding of images if the y were sublected to a period of sustained teachin g was substantiated, with the caveat that continuity and sequence needed more attention. A framework for diagnostic evalu- - ation was proposed which recognised the need for evaluating the pupil as critic as well as interpreter.