Monday, February 11, 2008

Week 6 Day 1

Kress, Wysocki, Yancey, and George

The four articles analyzed for this assignment have a unifying theme. Understanding the value of imagery in relation to written language and vice versa. In terms of curricula the articles push forward into a conception that challenges institutional forms of literacy in light of the positions that students that will be attending composition classrooms have occupied in relation to imagery as a primary form of communication.

Kress' article stresses curricula as a plan for tomorrow. He also goes on to state that the goals of education are in flux as the privatization issues become more pressing. He uses these ideas to forward ideas of visual literacy. Though the end goal of increased literacy in a non-traditional sense is attractive, a critique here is necessary. Curricula that is dialed into the future, has the potential to forget the past and the multitude of lessons learned therein.

Wysocki's article is focused in a synergystic way with Kress'. Her examination of visual rhetorics couples well with the idea of a curriculum that is more tailored to multi-literacies. As an example, the positioning of students in relation to products and advertisements as a form of visual rhetoric as described by Wysocki could easily be plugged into a curriculum (192-193). This critical assessment of the inundation of the American populace with images has the possibility of drawing attention to the underlying power structures involved with the political economy of visual rhetoric...ideally.

Yancey's article is quite broad, and is best represented in this space by linking it to curriculum as well. On page 311 of the article assigned is a short list of things that students aren't asked to do in the current system. Perhaps the best link is the second bullet point, which asks students to select the best medium in which to communicate a point. This sort of selection of rhetoric to a corresponding audience speaks to a literacy beyond a privileging of the written word regardless of the future or privatization of education.

George's contribution to this analysis is a specific assignment. By assigning the class the creation of a visual argument it is possible to see that it is possible to construct a curriculum that questions the position of the written word as "high culture", over image as "low culture". He describes some of the issues with the assignment in terms of definition and the institution of education.

The four articles taken in aggregate provide a philosphy, a framework, a concept and an assignment. Although the pieces are not in complete harmony, it is possible to place them together in a way that propones the issue of broadening the curriculum of literacy to include visual rhetorics and their analysis.


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