We live in a period of visual culture, which has a major impact on our perception of ourselves and the surroundings. The amount of image material in textbooks is growing and so is their general use in schools. Growing is also the need for digital-visual literacy of children, with programmes of which we can begin even before the traditional literacy programmes.
The main research question in the present study is, whether learning by photographing is suitable for achieving the learning objectives of the lessons in the 1st grade. We studied how students achieve learning goals through learning by photographing the subjects on the characteristics of the landscape, traffic and emotions. We analysed what knowledge, in addition to content related, students can acquire through independent use of the camera and what opinion they have about learning by photographing. Throughout the study we observed the advantages, limitations and disadvantages of such a method of teaching.
The study was action-oriented and is divided into three special steps. We carried out nineteen hours of instructions and all the observations were recorded in a research journal. Before and after each topic, we carried out an exam, with which we checked the achievement of learning objectives. After each round, the students evaluated their positions and participated in group interviews.
Throughout the study, students were building their knowledge with independent activities, both in substance and in connection with photographing. In students, we were able to observe greater focus, more precise observation, easier and better verbal expression and improved other cognitive processes. The students expressed a high level of motivation to learn how to take pictures. As a result, they were more involved in the learning subjects, which have been associated with their own experience.
The research findings may provide a basis for developing and designing learning strategies by photographing on various topics about the environment and also at other subjects. The approach can give a better insight into the students' perception of the environment and allows for the differentiation and individualization of lessons.