The Visual Education Movement: The Emergence of Visual Technology in Education

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The Visual Education Movement (VEM) that was progressing in Britain, the United States and Australia during the 1920s to 1950s saw the emergence of visual technology in education. This movement was largely underpinned by funding from Eastman/Kodak and was advocated by teachers, researchers, film producers, government officials, and clergy representatives as the new and improved pedagogical approach. The VEM reached into debates about public morals, military training, tensions between educational & cognitive psychology, and the effects of visual technology on teaching – bringing to the foreground the defence for and distrust of visual as concept and practice in education. This paper reports on the advocacy for visual technology through a discourse analysis of the Visual Education Movement (VEM) as an example of discourse emergence in education practice. The power/knowledge configurations that impact on education through emerging visual technologies are not new or exclusive to current times. This paper will do three things: 1) sketch an outline 'history' of the VEM in Australia, The United States and Britain; 2) address some of the ongoing tensions regarding the pedagogical authenticity of visual technology in education; 3) and critically examine the current discursive practices of visual as knowledge and practice in digital technological environments that impact pedagogical practices.


Keywords: Visual Technology, Visual Education Movement, Discourse Analysis, Power/Knowledge, Disciplinarity
Stream: Technology in Learning; Maths, Science and Technology Learning
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , , , , The Visual Education Movement


Dr. Joanna Barbousas

Lecturer, School of Education, Australian Catholic University
Sydney, NSW, Australia

I am a Lecturer in Professional and Educational studies in the School of Education at ACU National. I develop and implement teacher education units within graduate and post-graduate primary and secondary programs. My research interests are formulated around the discourse structures that assemble the conditions of knowledge and practice in education.

Ref: L09P0337