Media competence and visual literacy - towards considerations beyond literacies


  • Theo Hug


Debates on media competency and media literacy are going on now for a few decades. Many concepts have been developed in various disciplines. Along with that, discourses on visual literacy have been intensified, too, although visuals have been used in educational contexts throughout history. But only recently, after almost three thousand years of historiography, turns like iconic turn, pictorial turn, and mediatic turn have been claimed. Visual competencies as well as competencies of visuals and their epistemological relevance are intensively discussed in arts, architecture, philosophy as well as in educational, communication, and media studies. In this situation, we are facing new conceptual challenges for media education and media literacy discourses. On the one hand, there is a long tradition of ``visual education´´ and ``aesthetic education´´, on the other hand, visual literacy, visual competency, media literacy, new literacies are being requested. The paper starts (1) with an outline of selected aspects o f the debates on media competency and media literacy, followed (2) by a discussion of more recent concepts of ´visual competence´ and ´visual literacy´ and their relevance for media education. Finally (3), the contribution aims at sounding out conceptual alternatives to the literacification of everything and their relevance for media pedagogy and educational theory.


media competence, media literacy, visual competence, visual literacy, literacification

How to Cite

Hug, T. (2012) “Media competence and visual literacy - towards considerations beyond literacies”, Periodica Polytechnica Social and Management Sciences, 20(2), pp. 115–125.