Have you ever tried to put together a piece of furniture that has about 500 pieces to it?

It may come with instructions like this.

How many times have you looked at a picture and even though there are no words, you see the subjects, the backgrounds, and the action to create your own idea about the story or go on to tell the story you already know? Like this one for example.

Any Indian who has studied about India’s independence would look at this picture and tell at least something about it- what it is? Why it is significant? What happened after it?

Reading a photograph or any piece of visual is called visual literacy. With the changing technology and time, everything around us is visually represented. Be it graphs, advertisements, movies or any other piece of information, an individual needs to comprehend these visuals every day thus making it an important skill to acquire in future.

Research says in normal day to day life we learn

3% through taste

3% through smell

6% through touch

13% through hearing

75% through seeing

Though we use all of our senses to learn, seeing is the sense from where most of our learning comes from.

As students move to higher grades the amount of exposure to visual learning gets minimized. Long hours of lectures followed by long list of books do not really leave room for students to see the actual application of those concepts. They are learning every day and thus leading to education being a forced phenomenon rather than a natural process.

A good example of the use of the visual literacy would be a classroom I recently visited. With innovative charts like literacy trackers and content charts, the teacher has used her creativity and artistic skills to create a learning environment for her 6th graders.

Each wall in her classroom is dedicated to a subject and is filled with charts of the already taught topic. Consciously or unconsciously a student in her class is exposed to content visually presented in the form of charts, thus making learning for her student more self-driven rather than forced.

If we talk about ability to remember, it is scientifically proven that the span of 3 days we remember

10% of all we hear

35% of all we see

65% of all we see and hear at the same time

A student who is surrounded by content visually represented around them along with teacher talking about it also helps to better their retention power

In a nutshell we can say that visuals are a great tool to stimulate a natural learning environment not only in terms of helping children in recollection, but also giving them a realistic picture of whatever they read in the books in form of videos, field visits or simple charts on the wall.

So, if a picture speaks louder than words, why not use more pictures and make learning more fun!!



By Ritika Shukla – Educational Specialist



Ritika Shukla

Ritika Shukla

Ritika Shukla, an Educational Specialist in Large Scale assessments at Educational Initiatives, is a Teach For India 2014 alum who after working with low income communities of Ahmedabad by teaching 2nd and 3rd graders, mobilized change in the community strongly believes education is the only way to harness true potential of our country and by working with EI she hopes to achieve the same. She is born and brought up in Udaipur, a small city in Rajasthan and completed her engineering in Chemical from SRM University, Chennai. Apart from her work in field of education,she is a classically trained singer, a sports fan and a movie enthusiast.
Ritika Shukla

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