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Empowering Images: Using Photography as a Medium to Develop Visual Literacy

by Alexandra Cruickshank
September/October 2010
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/empowering-images-using-photography-as-a-medium-to-develop-visual-literacy/5019553/

Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation, and execution.
â€" Ansel Adams

It was with great pleasure that I realized the power of well-constructed images as tools to convey meaning and emotion and to deepen understanding. Working as a professional photographer, I had the privilege to watch people’s first reactions to photo essays created for and about their lives. It was deeply moving to see how images could alter their frames of mind.

I also knew that professional photography was not the life for me. My heart lay in working with young children and facilitating their growth. Thus, it was with great excitement that I found Boulder Journey School in Colorado, a school that is inspired by the philosophy of the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. The schools of Reggio Emilia, and likewise Boulder Journey School, use photography to document children’s learning and development. The photographs that teachers take are not meant to capture cute images of children at play, nor to simply chronicle the activities of the day, but rather to aid in the understanding of the meaningfulness of each action and thus facilitate the meta-cognitive development of children and adults alike. Further, ...

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