International meeting: “Visual Thinking Strategies”

Image: Anna Tereshkina, Untitled (from the police station series)

This week, our big international team gathered to reconnect and spend some quality time together learning about Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) and their facilitation method. VTS is an educational non-profit that trains educators in schools, museums, and institutions of higher education to use a student-centered facilitation method to create inclusive discussions. 


VTS facilitation method activates the process of looking by asking three simple questions:


🔸 What’s going on in this picture?


🔸 What did you see that made you think that?


🔸 What more can you find?


VTS method stimulates critical thinking and evidential reasoning. It provides room for different ideas and observations, highlighting that it is okay to have different opinions about things and that all opinions matter. 


At our meeting, we had a chance to try the VTS method in practice by mediating various artworks in small groups of 3 to 6 people. After this, we gathered together to discuss the experience. Most of the participants noticed that even though the questions are simple, they appeal to all ages and levels of expertise, acting as an invitation and an opener for a dialogue. Applying the VTS facilitation method allowed the participants to see many different layers of the artworks and have deep discussions around them.