‘Letting the story out’: Visual encounters with Anthony Browne’s The Tunnel

Arizpe, E. (2001) ‘Letting the story out’: Visual encounters with Anthony Browne’s The Tunnel. Reading, 35(3), pp. 115-119. (doi: 10.1111/1467-9345.00173)

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Abstract

Since the introduction of the term ‘visual literacy’ at the end of the 1960s, the debate about its meaning and uses has paralleled that of the term ‘literacy’. These debates have resulted in a theoretical move from a consideration of literacy as a mechanical act in which the subject is a passive decoder of the most superficial meaning of a text, to the idea of literacies as meaning-making practices in which the social subject actively involves previous knowledge of self and of the world. In practice however, this move has usually not been taken into account in the world of education where literacy is usually seen as the functional basis of the curriculum and visual literacy skills are virtually neglected – despite the fact that never before have children been surrounded by so much visual information. This article describes part of a study of children’s responses to picturebooks which aimed to learn how visual literacy can expand children’s cognitive abilities and enhance their wonder and enjoyment of such complex texts. The work here focuses on responses to The Tunnel by Anthony Browne by children of different ages and from different schools. All of them showed deep intellectual and emotional engagement with the visual narrative.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Arizpe, Professor Evelyn
Authors: Arizpe, E.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Reading
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN:0034-0472
ISSN (Online):1741-4369
Published Online:17 December 2002

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