Katherine Arbuckle

Katherine Arbuckle
Phone 033-260-5071
Email arbucklek@ukzn.ac.za
Campus Pietermaritzburg Campus
Office Address Room 14, Education Building,

Degrees Held

  • BAFA, PGCE, PG Dip Adult Education, PhD


  • Visual Arts, media and communications, health education materials
  • Community development, non-formal education, adult basic education and literacy studies
  • Materials development (Writing, editing, illustration, and design), publishing


  • Working on the Learn with Echo project, which published a weekly educational newspaper supplement for adults with limited education, in existence for 23 years. Publication ceased in 2014 due to Media24 ending its sponsorship of the printing and paper.
  • Contributing to the popularity of the bilingual picture story in the Learn with Echo supplement, through illustrations of the character Mkhize and his family. Research revealed that this was the most popular part of the paper, encouraging people to read in isiZulu and English.
  • PhD: A study of pictorial interpretation of health education illustrations by adults with low literacy levels 


  • Our publishing project Learn with Echo was voted the best adult education newspaper supplement in South Africa, and the Women’s Handbook project, on which I worked with others from the Centre for Adult Education, received the University Book prize.

Research Interests

  • Visual communication, educational illustrations, family literacy, community development, the role of visual arts in the curriculum, media in education.

Teaching Interests

  • Adult literacy, materials development, visual communication, visual arts, community and rural development


  • BEd Honours independent research projects (IRP) for the adult education discipline
  • Supervising a masters student
  • Co-supervising a PhD

Community Involvement

  • Apart from having been involved in the Learn with Echo newspaper project, I have worked on several externally funded materials development projects and projects training communities and/or officials on specific issues.
  • Examples of my illustrations used in development projects: http://www.sinamandla.org.za/comics.html
  • Part of my role in adult education has been to provide an informal information service to the public on adult basic education, where to find classes and materials, support and advice to NGOs in the field as needed.


  • Arbuckle, K. (2004). The language of pictures: Visual literacy and print materials for Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET). Language Matters, 35(2), 445-458.
  • Kaschula, S. & Arbuckle, K. (2007). Fighting AIDS with traditional foods and organic practices. LEISA magazine, 27 (3). 9-11.

Complete Research Record

  • My MEd/PhD study
  • Currently involved on a new research project Investigating efficacy among adult education centres, lead by Dr Peter Rule.