Secondary Teachers & Students – Vanessa Persaud

Vanessa Persaud, Secondary School Teacher


“I think it is my job as a teacher to prepare them [secondary school students] for life as citizens of the community that they are in and I try to make sure that whatever I do, whether it be computers or careers or communications technology, it shows them how best to participate in society.” Vanessa Persaud

Short Interview

In her communications technology course, Vanessa collaborates with a colleague to create an interdisciplinary assignment that helps students in both classes to plan, communicate, and create a logo for a business. Vanessa’s class expands traditional notions of literacy to include visual literacy by allowing students to communicate meaning through logo design.

Serafini (2014), in the process of rethinking literacy and expanding the term beyond traditional modes of reading and writing, defines visual literacy as follows: “Visual literacy is about the process of generating interpretations from the meaning potentials available when transacting with visual images and multimodal ensembles” (2014, p. 23). Vanessa’s communication technology students conceptualize and design logos to understand their power within the real world, and develop their understanding of how to read and communicate through logos. Serafini (2014) writes, “The meanings constructed by audiences of digital and print-based media are shaped by particular worldviews, positions, values, ideologies, and experiences” (p. 25). Vanessa’s students have to negotiate with the students in the business class why and how to design the logos in particular ways to serve their need of bringing these products with the logos into real markets. Thus, the communications technology students have to interpret the underlying worldviews and ideological stances that the business students wish to convey to their potential buyers.