This work was supported by grants from the National Research Foundation (GUN number 2053218) and by a postdoctoral fellowship from the University of KwaZulu-Natal Research Fund.
The importance of visual literacy in the education of biochemists*
Article first published online: 3 NOV 2006
Copyright © 2006 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Volume 34, Issue 2, pages 94–102, March 2006
How to Cite
Schönborn, K. J. and Anderson, T. R. (2006), The importance of visual literacy in the education of biochemists. Biochem. Mol. Biol. Educ., 34: 94–102. doi: 10.1002/bmb.2006.49403402094
- Issue published online: 3 NOV 2006
- Article first published online: 3 NOV 2006
- Manuscript Revised: 7 DEC 2005
- Manuscript Received: 14 MAR 2005
- External representation;
- visual literacy;
Visualization is an essential skill for all students and biochemists studying and researching the molecular and cellular biosciences. In this study, we discuss the nature and importance of visualization in biochemistry education and argue that students should be explicitly taught visual literacy and the skills for using visualization tools as essential components of all biochemistry curricula. We suggest that, at present, very little pedagogical attention has been given to this vital component of biochemistry education, although a large diversity of static, dynamic, and multimedia visual displays continues to flood modern educational resources at an exponential rate. Based on selected research findings from other science education domains and our own research experience in biochemistry education, 10 fundamental guidelines are proposed for the promotion of visualization and visual literacy among students studying in the molecular and cellular biosciences.