Learning to Read Begins with the Reading of Pictures: Image Literacy and Aesthetic Alphabetisation

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Long before children begin to learn to read, they begin to notice images. Some of these pictures, frequently illustrations from picture books, entice children to deepened views. They might discover many details, ask questions about unknown objects in images, invent stories. Images are substantial means of transport while learning their language, first on the basis of an extension of the vocabulary, further on for the occupation with language systems which seem to strange at the first point of view and last but not least the gradual training of (reading) literacy. Learning to write and read means a deep cut in the development of the children. Pictures suddenly step into the background. School books for first readers often don't succeed in making images their partners. There could be the possibility to support learning processes of the children together. An important question of the research project therefore is, whether educationally meaningful employment of images in school training could support childrens learning and especially the learning of children with migration background.


Keywords: Image Literacy, School Training, Reading Literacy, Picture Books, School Books
Stream: Art and Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Learning to Read Begins with the Reading of Pictures


Dr Gabriele Lieber

Researcher Student, Department of Shool and Curriculum and the Didactics of Social Sciences, University of Giessen
Giessen, Hessen, Germany

In 2004 she obtained her PhD (Dr. phil.) in art education from the University of Giessen. Since 2006 researcher at the department of Prof. Dr. Ludwig Dunker at the Institute of school and curriculum and the didactics of social sciences at the University of Giessen: project manager of the research project “*image literacy and aesthetic alphabetisation *(Bili & Älph)”, currently undertaking her habilitas learning with images – developing language (literacy). 2002-2005 researcher at the Centre for culture studies in Bonn in the Cultural education in the media age program of the German Bund Länder-Commission. 1994 Diploma in further education / art and museum education at the University of Education Ludwigsburg. 1998 second state examination in the framework of initial teacher training (art, French, and mathematics), worked as a teacher, as well as in teacher training and further training.

Ref: A07P0147