Catherine, who we all know as Katie, was born and raised on the East Coast of Canada. She has a Bachelor of Arts from St. Mary University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. She then completed her Graduate Diploma in Education (Major in English, Minor in Humanities) from Edith Cowan University in Australia, and she spent the subsequent 15 years in the country garnering valuable experience as an English teacher, a Head of Department and other school leader roles.
Upon relocating with her family to Singapore, Katie was drawn to OWIS' values of kindness and being "One with the World". She believes every child is unique and should be given a chance to be understood - once they feel understood, children will bloom and display their talents in various ways.
Katie loves trying different cuisines from around the world and enjoys traveling.
Visual literacy is defined as the ability to evaluate an image and interpret it with a critical eye. For nearly a century, photography was deemed as the ultimate truth — a visual representation of what actually took place at a given moment in time. Today, however, images can easily be manipulated in order to distort the truth. In an age where social media reigns supreme and misinformation can be spread much more easily than fact, visual literacy has become a critical skill for Secondary students who will be entering an interconnected, digital world.
Visual literacy should be an important priority in any Secondary school classroom. Regardless of the subject matter being taught, students need to be able to interpret and analyse images as they think critically about a topic.
These are just a few reasons why we believe that visual literacy is essential for our Secondary students at OWIS:
At OWIS, we believe that visual literacy is a critical 21st-century skill that our Secondary students will need throughout their lives. We build visual literacy at OWIS by first introducing various strategies that students can use. The strategies require them to answer specific questions, such as:
At OWIS, we incorporate visual literacy strategies and lessons into many of our courses. For example, in our IB DP Language and Literature classes, we recently asked students to work together in groups to go through a collection of influential photographs, select one and present their reasoning for their choice, and then contribute to the curated series using the same line of thinking as the source publication.
Another visual literacy lesson at OWIS focuses on advertisements. In Grade 8, students are asked to critique advertisements and analyse the language, images and messaging used to market specific products and services. At OWIS, we believe that using media that students enjoy and encounter is a powerful way to introduce the concept of visual literacy.
Similarly, in Grades 6, students interpret Manga comic books from a cultural context, discuss what can be inferred from the images and analyse how the text and plot are presented throughout the comic book. While studying something that they love, the students realise that authors can use various media in order to make specific points and promote various ideas to their target audience.
Visual literacy is an interesting aspect of our courses, as it is engaging and relevant to students in Secondary school. It also uniquely prepares them for life in higher education. They will need well-developed visual literacy skills to navigate through their coursework and study materials so they can become aware and engaged global citizens.
Schedule your virtual tour today for more information about how visual literacy is taught at OWIS.