Critical visual discourse analysis

Authored by: Peggy Albers , Vivian Maria Vasquez , Jerome C. Harste

The Routledge International Handbook of Learning with Technology in Early Childhood

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138308169
eBook ISBN: 9781315143040
Adobe ISBN:


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The world’s changing populations, demographics, globalization, and classrooms with students from diverse backgrounds and a range of linguistic repertoires, have resulted in new definitions of what it means to be literate and how to teach and research literacy. The three of us have worked for nearly 15 years to study how images, the arts, and digital technologies mean as well as how they work for and on us as consumers, learners, teachers, and researchers. Specifically, and central to this chapter, we demonstrate how we have used critical literacy and visual discourse analysis to study images in print-based and in digital spaces (e.g., image [still/moving], digital, remixed) (Albers et al., 2017), a methodology we call critical visual discourse analysis (CVDA), with particular attention given to early childhood and teacher education work with images. Our research investigates how images work, how they are constructed, interpreted, internalized, and reproduced. We also attempt to understand the extent to which visual information contributes to identities that viewers/readers 1 may or may not wish to take on. We argue that this work brings to the fore the significance of creating opportunities for teachers and children to be critically and consciously literate in the digital era of the 21st Century.

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