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Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a research-based teaching method that improves critical thinking and language skills through

discussions of visual images. VTS encourages participation and self-confidence, especially among students who struggle. VTS is easy to learn and offers a proven strategy for educators to meet current learning objectives. The skills required for success in higher education and 21st-century jobs require different approaches to teaching. Our professional development programs provide educators with the teaching and learning strategies they need to increase academic achievement. Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), is a school curriculum and teaching method that

Uses art to develop critical thinking, communication and visual literacy skills Asks educators to facilitate learner-centered discussions of visual art Engages learners in a rigorous process of examination and meaning-making through visual art Measurably increases observation skills, evidential reasoning, and speculative abilities Engenders the willingness and ability to find multiple solutions to complex problems Uses facilitated discussion to enable students to practice respectful, democratic, collaborative problem solving skills that over time transfer to other classroom interactions, and beyond Uses eager, thoughtful participation to nurture verbal language skills, and writing assignments to assist transfer from oral to written ability Produces growth in all students, from challenged and non-English language learners to high achievers Underscore connections to art and strengthens the role of museums as a valuable resource in students' lives

VTS Facilitation: Visual Thinking Strategies uses art to foster students' capacities to observe, think, listen and communicate. In VTS discussions teachers support student growth by facilitating discussions of carefully selected works of visual art. Teachers are asked to use three open-ended questions:

What's going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that? What more can we find?

3 Facilitation Techniques:

Paraphrase comments neutrally. Point at the area being discussed. Link contrasting and complementary comments.

Students are asked to:

Look carefully at works of art. Talk about what they observe. Back up their ideas with evidence. Listen to and consider the views of others. Discuss many possible interpretations.

Every child is born with the innate ability to make meaning, to 'think' through what their eyes see. Kids like to understand what they are looking at. VTS harnesses this instict in every child ---- the critical thinking sklills; to understand what they do not. THINKING SKILLS: Observation Drawing conclusions Inferences Arguing in evidence Elaboration Revision VTS is a curriculum and teaching method; helps students think outside the box while grounding their ideas in evidence and experience. To get lot of different ideas from the discussion = a mind which is open to many possibilities. Make students sharper observes and helps them with their language; they put words to what their eyes see. VTS help students success regardless race, class, language or culture.

What is VTS Guiding Principles


"To build a society that is innovative, prosperous, and truly democratic we need to teach next generations not just facts and skills, but how to learn, how to communicate, and how to think creatively, critically, independently." Philip Yenawine, VTS Co-Founder Develop a Global Society: Educators, community leaders, and business people agree that schools need to strengthen a fundamentally different set of skills. VTS encourages these skills: Critical Thinking: Tomorrow's leaders must thrive in any environment. VTS strengthens students' ability to navigate new situations through observation, reasoning and respectful interaction. Effective Teaching: No Child Left Behind fails students because it mistakes test results for learning.

VTS helps improve test scores while stimulating students' desire to think and learn. Innovative Curriculum: Investing in teacher training and innovative curricula generates high returns for our society. VTS helps otherwise failing students succeed. Motivated Learners: Great art embodies elements of all of us. Because of this, it motivates students and engenders learning.