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Rethinking educational theory and practice in times of visual media: Learning as image-concept integration

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/04/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Educational Philosophy and Theory
Issue number6
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)597-612
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date9/08/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We propose a new relational direction in higher education that acknowledges external and internal images as integrated in thinking and learning. We expand educational theory and practice that commonly rely on discrete conceptual developments that exclude images. Our argument epistemologically relies on certain semiotic views that consider the role of iconic signs and iconicity (meaning making by the virtue of similarity) as significant in relation to knowledge and learning. The analogical and imaginative work required to discover similarity between external pictures and any educational concept is a form of iconic mind work that opens a space for transformational thinking and creative solutions. The novelty of our argument lies in the schematic philosophy of mind by C.S. Peirce, and specifically, an adaptation of Peirce’s triadic sign diagram for learning, exemplified via an ‘inquiry graphic’ sign and reflective method. This outlook seeks connections in diversity, arguing for an education that acknowledges and teaches intrinsic human relatedness to other humans, beings and things in the environment, thus challenging any notions of anthropocentrism and superiority. It calls for a reaction in international higher education to acknowledge the iconicity of concepts and thinking and embrace integrated image-concept signs for deep and critical teaching-learning, towards a modest educational contribution to counteracting social and environmental crises.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Educational Philosophy and Theory on 09/08/2020, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00131857.2020.1799783