Visual Knowledge in Education and Science

Jutta Krautter's picture
Call for Papers
April 15, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Communication, Composition & Rhetoric, Educational Technology, Teaching and Learning

Call for Papers

Visual Knowledge
in Education and Science:
Youth presents Congress 2018

October 25-27, 2018
Berlin, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities


The education initiative Youth presents (Jugend präsentiert) is organizing a congress to explore the topic of “Visual Knowledge in Education and Science”. Set to take place in Berlin in October 2018 and realized in cooperation with the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the congress aims to thoroughly examine and discuss the influence of visuality on teaching and knowledge communication. We strive to bring together state of the art research in the field of visual knowledge and insights from the practical experience of communication and teaching experts. Following this goal, we are inviting scientists, researchers and teachers as well as practitioners in adjacent fields to contribute and collaborate.

The sharing of knowledge was, for a long time, tightly bound to language: Knowledge was preserved in books or magazines and conveyed through speeches or lectures. Digitalization, however, has led to a strong and widespread surge in the communicative usage of pictures and visualizations, and thus created a new situation: Nowadays, texts are not only illustrated, complemented, or extended by visual elements; knowledge is also increasingly designed visually. As a result, visuality has become an important and, in many ways, guiding aspect of public as well as private communication – which, in turn, also changed our habits of perception.

The consequences of the ‘visual turn’ have only just begun to become palpable – and educational systems as well as businesses and organizations have to adapt to these developments. Being wary of oversimplifying content, academic teaching and educational didactics have traditionally tended to stick to text-based concepts of information sharing; but the increasing significance and momentum of visual communication is beginning to filter through: Schools, for instance, have recently begun to actively turn to visuality. This development is taking place in close connection with an overall switch towards competence-based lessons and an increased appreciation of the communicative value of face-to-face presentations. At the same time, research in the areas of teaching methodology and didactics has started to develop (and continuously refine) new tools and innovative methods of visual knowledge communication. Last but not least, the field of science popularization – using new formats such as explainer videos or Science Slams – has become a driving force for the development of visual information sharing.

Organized by the German education initiative Youth presents (Jugend präsentiert), the congress “Visual Knowledge in Education and Science” aims to be at the intersection of science, education and the public. Starting from a focus on face-to-face presentations as an efficient form of contemporary knowledge communication, we want to unfold a discussion on visual knowledge that brings together various perspectives.

Thus, we invite scientists, teachers and experts in communication as well as representatives of public, educational or societal institutions to contribute and convene in order to tackle the challenges that the development of visual communication poses to education. International perspectives are more than welcome, and we are looking forward to experts from all over the world to share their insights and experiences.



Possible topics include:

  • the transformations of knowledge through competence-oriented teaching
  • perception, cognition, and knowledge in the visual era
  • dual coding: the relationship of textual and visual knowledge
  • evidence amplification through presentation media, performance, and visuality
  • knowledge design: graphic design in science communication
  • All bark and no bite? The limits and risks of visual knowledge
  • the rhetorics of visual knowledge
  • visual deixis: pointing, showing and understanding in written and visual communication
  • Popular and scientific? How TED talks and other formats change knowledge dissemination.
  • data, facts, pictures: visualizing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)
  • validating and evaluating visual methods of knowledge dissemination
  • the challenges of digitalization in education
  • explainer videos, graphic recording, and other trends in teaching


Possible fields of scientific interest or practical experience (among others)

University and Research:

  • computer sciences
  • cultural studies
  • empirical education research
  • didactics / pedagogical psychology
  • film & literature studies
  • linguistics
  • media & communication studies
  • psychology
  • rhetoric
  • sociology
  • STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)

Application and Practical Experience:

  • editing & publishing
  • education
  • film & video (TV, YouTube, etc.)
  • graphic design
  • (science) journalism
  • radio & podcasts
  • software development


Contributions and possible formats:

It is our goal to show the multitude of teaching methods in universities and schools. As a result, we aim at actively broadening the usual academic congress format – and welcome varied and creative types of contributions. We are looking forward to interesting and diverse forms of presentations and discussions, be it individual talks, open discussions, fishbowls or world cafés, group presentations, or workshops for researchers and teachers - right up to artistic installations and performances.

Please submit your proposal (300 words max.) until April 15th 2018 via e-mail to:

The final program will be selected by a committee in May 2018. German and English contributions are welcome.

Contributions can have the following forms:

  • talk (20/30 min)
  • workshop (30/60 min)
  • field report (20/30 min)
  • discussion (30/60 min)
  • other (please elaborate on the format)

Timeframes and presentation forms can be altered by the program committee.


Organization & Further Information

Youth presents – and science comes to life!

The ability to communicate knowledge in a clear, confident, and convincing way is a central skill in daily school life, university studies, and everyday work. The project Youth presents (Jugend präsentiert) was initiated by the Klaus Tschira Foundation (Klaus Tschira Stiftung) in cooperation with Science in Dialogue (Wissenschaft im Dialog) to enhance and foster the presentation skills of pupils, with a special focus on the natural scientific subjects. Since 2011, a team of researchers at the Department of Rhetoric at Tübingen University develops and refines concepts, materials and trainings for teachers and pupils. The project provides the theoretical background and practical guidelines for good presentations as well as didactic support for the training of presentation skills in school. Furthermore, Youth presents is a national German school competition, with over 1.200 participants in the last year.

Cooperation partners

Youth presents is funded by the Klaus Tschira Foundation (Klaus Tschira Stiftung, KTS). The KTS is among Europe’s largest non-profit foundations funded from private means. It is located in Heidelberg, with its head office in the Villa Bosch. The KTS promotes the advancement of the natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science, with the purpose of raising awareness and appreciation for these fields among the general public. The foundation’s commitment begins as early as the preschool level and is pursued in schools, universities, and research facilities. The KTS champions new methods of scientific knowledge transfer, supporting both the development of scientific research and the intelligible presentation of research findings.

Science in Dialogue (Wissenschaft im Dialog, WiD) acts as a project partner for Youth presents. Founded in 1999, WiD is a joint initiative of the major German science organizations. It is actively engaged in the exchange between society and scientific research in Germany, develops new formats of science communication, and organizes exhibitions, competitions and dialogue sessions on controversial topics of research. WiD has been acting as project bureau for Youth presents since 2012.

The Department of Rhetoric at Tübingen University is the only distinct scientific institute for rhetoric at a German university. Founded in 1967 by German public intellectual Walter Jens, it is home to the Presentation Research Center since 2012. The Presentation Research Center is responsible for developing educational material and trainings, as well as evaluation and research with respect to the Youth presents project.

The congress will be realized in cooperation with the 2017|18 annual theme ‘language’ of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, BBAW). The BBAW established the ‘Annual Theme’ program in 2007. It is committed to promoting the dialogue between the sciences and society. Its first goal is to inform the public about the Academy's research projects and encourage discussion. Secondly, it strives to bundle the activities of scientific and cultural institutions in Berlin and Brandenburg into one thematic complex. With its annual theme of 2017|18, the BBAW wants to open up diverse approaches on the subject of ‘language’ and provide insight into current research questions which discuss the linguistic constitution of our environment.

Contact Info: 

Prof. Dr. Olaf Kramer

Tübingen University - Department of Rhetoric

Wilhelmstraße 50

72074 Tübingen (Germany)