Improving Children’s Visual Literacy by Fostering Visual Design Thinking through Arts-Based Methods

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review


The field of visual literacy (VL) has rapidly grown, partially because of its potential to stimulate the conceptual process of visual thinking (VT). Humans have always enjoyed visual stimuli, but the new generation of children have access to a more powerful visual experience than previous generations. This paper presents the results from a summer workshop for children aged between 10 and 12 that was conducted at the University of Lapland, Finland, in 2021 Acting on the Margins: Arts as Social Sculpture (AMASS); the project was a European-wide testbed and part of a Horizon 2020-funded research project.
In this paper, the significance of VL is investigated by integrating arts-based methods (ABMs). The objective is to explore learning as a function of design thinking (DT) that can tap into the voices and expressions of children to enhance their creative mindsets. The findings can help in raising children’s awareness of their surroundings, making them stakeholders in formal and nonformal learning. A four-topic analysis is presented, here aiming to engage children in visual design thinking (VDT) processes; this can lead to enabling the children to express their emotions and cognitive experiences while giving them the ability to enhance their reflections in a way that can impact their creative mindsets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)806-817
Number of pages12
JournalDMI: Academic Design Management Conference proceedings;DMI: ADMC;
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoEC publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventThe 23rd dmi: Academic Design Management Conference : dmi: ADMC 2022 Design as a Strategic Asset - OCAD UNIVERSITY, Toronto, Canada
Duration: 3 Aug 20224 Aug 2022
Conference number: 23


  • arts-based methods
  • children
  • co-creation
  • creative mindsets
  • visual design thinking
  • visual literacy

Field of science

  • Visual arts and design

Citation for this output