Application of the visual culture concept in visual art courses in the 4th classes of primary schools


Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Gazi Üniversitesi, Eğitim Bilimleri Enstitüsü, Turkey

Approval Date: 2013

Student: RUKİYE DİLLİ

Consultant: ŞENİZ AKSOY

Abstract:

In this study, the visual culture concept covers the understanding of images and objects which are seen by the students as the most favourite or popular in their communication with each other, in the social interaction at school, and in their daily lives. The study tries to determine how these (the most favourite or popular image, object, etc.) appear in their visual representations. Within this frame, the study aims to determine to what extent these popular culture elements are used in the visual representations and written expressions based on the visual representations of the 4th class students, to what extent the popular culture elements affect their cognitive and artistic expressions, and to provide them a critical view in media literacy. The research design is of a descriptive design which is a mixed method utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methods. Mixed research design is defined as a research where the researchers combine the qualitative and quantitative research methods in one study. In this study, the qualitative and quantitative data were collected seperately, analized and findings were combined. In the quantitative dimension of the study, semi-trial model was chosen while in the qualitative part the action research was used in line with the data obtained through quantitative research. The population of the study comprises a total of 54 students at 4th grade taking Visual Art course at a private school attached to the Ministry of National Education (MEB) in 2012-2013 educational year. The population of the study was grouped into two on of which was the study group and the other control group. The visual cultur activities prepared by the researcher were conducted in a five-week period. The activities used were related to the visual culture theory and included the approaches of advertisement and cartoon examination, thinking how to think, popular culture awareness, and critical thinking. Qualitative data were obtained through interviews with 30 students and focus group interviews with 10 students. Quantitative data were obtained through semi-structured questionnaire prepared based on the literature and field specialists. Quantitative dimension of the research revealed the following results: (1) Regarding the students? readiness for the visual culture activities, popular culture objects in visual media directs their tastes and demands of the students. (2) Regarding the critical thinking skills gained through the visual culture based education method, students become more sensitive towards the nature and their environment and develop a critical point of view towards the visuals surrounding them. (3) Regarding the visual literacy gained through the visual culture based education method, the students are influenced by the colours, images, and dominant characters they come accross on television, in internet, and magazines in their daily lives. (4) Regarding the application skills and the skills for creating a meaningful product gained through the visual culture based education method, students use artistic principles and elements, and different materials less in their activities which require understanding of the theme and using critical view. The results obtained by the quantitative dimension of the research can be summarized as: (1) Regarding the sub dimension of readiness level related to the visual culture activities, objects and representations of visual culture male and female students are influenced by are different. (2) Regarding the sub dimension of acquirements related to the visual culture, indirect acquirements related to visual culture theory are present but not sufficient in the MEB primary school Visual Art curriculum. (3) Regarding the sub dimension of gaining critical thinking skills related to the visual culture based educational method, students are affected significantly by programs and games containing violence. (4) Regarding the visual literacy gained through the visual culture based education method, the students can not differenciate whether an event or situation presented in visual media is real or a product of imagination. (5) Regarding the application skills and the skills for creating a meaningful product gained through the visual culture based education method, students are influenced significantly by the visual culture activities, and can produce meaningful products. Visual culture research on any kinds of daily objects as well as on films, advertisements, etc. should be included in the visual arts curriculum. Research anticipating more importance to be attached to social and cultural content in contemporary education have necessitated a different points of view towards visual arts education. Within this context, visual culture theory is one of the points of views and it could be evaluated.