Teaching and Learning Science as a Visual Experience

Teaching and Learning Science as a Visual Experience

Anna Ursyn (University of Northern Colorado, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0480-1.ch001
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This chapter brings about concepts about implementing a framework for teaching and learning across the disciplines by introducing topics and activities pertaining to science, computing, and graphic arts as a unified cognitive and visual learning experience. First, theoretical framework is presented, to support designing integrative projects for cognitive learning. This part provides basic information about brain and mind, feelings and emotions, cognitive thinking, intelligence and cognitive styles, along with some basics about technologies used for studying cognitive activity. Then follows short introduction to ways to communicate knowledge, visual thinking, visual literacy, and knowledge visualization concepts and methods. Next, concerns about science education draw attention to a need of including into curriculum new developments in science and information about currently emerging disciplines. The goal is to enhance technological literacy of students, activate their interest, motivation, abstract thinking, and elicit a wish to achieve their aims.
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The ways of cognitive thinking and learning are changing along with the advancements in instructional technologies, but the notions of creativity, talent, problem solving, aesthetics, and beauty retain their value. Education is often perceived less valued now, when ready solutions are available online, countless students are learning using YouTube, and we may observe the lowering interest in studying at the universities. However, due to the access to information people untrained for example in musicology, computer science, or mechanical engineering may work and produce collectively. Materials and learning projects encourage the use of senses and enhance a feeling of trust in one’s own abilities while creating visual solutions.

Advances in technologies provide science education with tools for applying knowledge visualization and enhancing visual literacy. The developments in new materials, the resulting developments in ubiquitous computing, wearable apps, and the use of new materials in architecture and design, all offer captivating educational implications and possibilities. Projects combining science, technology, and art offer a response to the economical and social demands for the arts-based development training, which became used in corporations. The art theorist and perceptual psychologist Rudolf Arnheim posed that some of the objectives attributed to art are means of making visual thinking possible (Arnheim, 1969/2004, p. 254). Visual approach to learning facilitates the comprehending of the core concepts in programming for art, web, and everyday applications. There is a trend to include the arts in business supporting teambuilding, communication, and leadership. Tools for enhancing visual literacy and thus supporting learning about science may comprise toys, games, puzzle, apps, models (often involving 3D printing), animations, simulations (automatic pilot, control tower), and augmented reality environments, among other solutions.

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