© 2005

Critical Graphicacy

Understanding Visual Representation Practices in School Science


  • Leading text in the field, there are no other books of this kind

  • Relevant to researchers, educators, and teachers

  • Suitable for use in classes concerned with visual representation practices and textbooks in science


Part of the Science & Technology Education Library book series (CTISE, volume 26)

Table of contents

About this book


School science is dominated by textbook-oriented approaches to teaching and learning. Some surveys reveal that students have to read, depending on academic level, between ten and thirty-six pages per week from their textbook. One therefore has to ask, To what degree do textbooks introduce students to the literary practices of their domain? Few studies have addressed the quality of science curriculum materials, particularly textbooks, from a critical perspective. In this light, we are concerned in this book with better understanding the reading and interpretation practices related to visual materials—here referred to as inscriptions—that accompany texts. Our overarching questions included: ‘What practices are required for reading inscriptions?’ and ‘Do textbooks allow students to develop levels of graphicacy required to critically read scientific texts?’ Some of the more specific questions included: ‘What are the practices of relating inscriptions, captions, and main text?,’ and ‘What practices are required to read inscriptions in school textbooks?’ That is, we are interested not only in understanding what it takes to interpret, read, and understand visual materials (i.e., inscriptions), but also in understanding what it takes to engage inscriptions in a critical way. It is only when citizens can critically engage with language (texts, speech) and inscriptions that they become knowledgeable users of television, newspapers, and magazines, who can choose or leave aside particular expressions as part of the particular politics that they participate in.


material quality science

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of VictoriaCanada
  2. 2.Seoul National UniversityKorea

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Critical Graphicacy
  • Book Subtitle Understanding Visual Representation Practices in School Science
  • Authors Wolff-Michael Roth
    Lilian Pozzer-Ardenghi
    Jae Young Han
  • Series Title Science & Technology Education Library
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer 2005
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4020-3375-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4020-5711-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4020-3376-6
  • Series ISSN 1572-5987
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXVIII, 288
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Science Education
  • Buy this book on publisher's site