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International Conference on Theory and Application of Diagrams

Diagrams 2014: Diagrammatic Representation and Inference pp 64-70 | Cite as

Towards a General Diagrammatic Literacy: An Approach to Thinking Critically about Diagrams

  • Brad Jackel
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8578)

Abstract

Despite our increasing reliance on diagrams as a form of communication there is little guidance for educators on how to teach students to think critically about diagrams in general. Consequently, while we teach students to read specific kinds of diagrams within specific contexts, we lack a coherent approach to thinking critically about diagramsper se. This paper presents a theoretical framework for a general diagrammatic literacy, based on conceptualizing diagrams in terms of function rather than form. Approaching diagrams functionally generates a framework for thinking critically about diagrams (in general) that is simple, robust and exhaustive. In addition to this functional approach, the role of context and language to the internal definition of any given diagram is emphasized.

Keywords

diagrammatic literacy understanding diagrams teaching diagrams visual literacy visual critical thinking teaching critical thinking teaching visual literacy visual representation 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brad Jackel
    • 1
  1. 1.Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)CamberwellAustralia

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