(A Review of Timothy Gangwer’s Visual Literacy: Strategies for teaching Gifted English Language Learners)

Timothy Gangwer brings ten years of teaching experience in the Houston inner city schools. He co-founded Visual Teaching Alliance in 2000 to reach more teachers and show the benefits of visual teaching. While teaching special education, Mr. Gangwer observed a common learning thread in his students…

…visual learning.

Mr. Gangwer begins the course by discussing the evolution of literacy before jumping into his findings on visual learning.

Have you ever thought about the evolution of literacy over time? How it involves communities on a local and even global level?

Literacy in the 20th century is more complex than we would have ever thought 50 or even 100 years ago. Understanding the various types of literacy is essential to applying them in our classrooms. Mr. Gangwer covers the following types:

  1. Environmental: Demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the environment and the circumstances and conditions affecting it.
  2. Informational: The ability to identify what information is needed, understand how it is organized, identify the best sources of information for a given need, locate those sources, evaluate the sources critically and then share that information.
  3. Emotional: The ability to understand one’s emotions, to listen to others and empathize – any ability to express emotions productively. Improves relationships, and makes cooperative work possible and facilitates the feeling of community.
  4. Global: Understanding the interdependence among people in nations and having the ability to interact and collaborate across cultures. Situate issues and perspectives within political, economical, historical and environmental context.
  5. Digital: The capability to use digital technology, communication tools or networks to locate, evaluate, use and create information. Being able to read and write interpretive media, produce data and images, and apply new knowledge gained from digital environments.
  6. Media: The skill of understanding the nature of communications particularly in regard to telecommunications and mass media. Entails knowledge of the structural features of the media and how this might tend to influence the content of the media.

Visual literacy encompasses all of these different mediums. Thus, technology, which is ever changing, is paramount to applying them in your classroom.

Identifying your gifted students learning style

Because there are different types of literacy, it’s vital to know the learning style of each student.  For instance, you wouldn’t want to place an auditory learner in a digital project. However, that same student may excel in a project that involves emotional or media literacy.

  1. Visual learners: recall what they see
  2. Auditory learners: recall what they hear
  3. Tactile learners: learn by touching
  4. Kinesthetic learners: learn by touching or manipulating objects
  5. Global learners: are spontaneous and intuitive
  6. Analytic learners: plan and organize their work

How to use visual aids and other strategies in your classroom

Once you’ve identified each of your students learning abilities, Mr. Gangwer offers a plethora of strategies to utilize in the classroom. Here are some of them in a nutshell:

  • Watch films to teach geography and social science
  • Provide a wide variety of visual, auditory and tactile learning
  • Design materials that meet the student’s learning styles
  • Listen to instrumental music that is 60 bpm
  • Empower students to take control of their learning
  • Read and write content that reflects the students cultural experience
  • Show and tell, go into their world

These strategies are very effective. I remember, from my days in the classroom, that allowing each student to design and build their own learning materials  empowered them to take control of their learning. Who doesn’t like working in their own self-personalized learning station?

What else can you expect?

In this course Mr. Gangwer power packs six-hours worth of content into one hour of informative and useful content. After taking the course, not only will you receive a more in-depth explanation of everything covered here, but you will also learn:

  • The history of giftedness
  • How to identify gifted ELL students
  • Strategies on how to engage gifted students
  • Plus 57 ways for you and your students to increase brain function

How to get this course

If you would like to purchase this entire course, click here, or call GT Ignite at 915.213.4610.
You can also try it FREE by taking the free trial for teachers!