Who is VTM for?
Practitioners working within museum/heritage learning and engagement teams and responsible for designing or facilitating tours and programmes for visitors. Visible Thinking in the Museum can be used by museum educators, museum, heritage and tour guides, volunteers or museum docents, learning practitioners and teachers.
- Thinking routines are memorable, simple and flexible.
- The questions of the routine are carefully worded to allow for multiple interpretations and to open up discussions. The wording of the questions in the routines also helps guides or educators format their own open-ended questions.
- Factual or supplemental information can be added as and when required. Thinking routines allow information to be offered to the group in small amounts and at appropriate times, rather than as a lecture by the guide.
- Thinking routines can also be adapted or modified to suit the needs of the group or educators can even create their own routines based on the Visible Thinking ones.
- Thinking routines are intended for repeated use, which enables participants to remember them and use them independently in no time at all
- A selection of different thinking routines can be used throughout a programme to target different areas of thinking and keep the programme lively.
- The thinking routines provide a loose, flexible structure around which to base the discussion of an artwork or object. This flexible structure organises thoughts and serves as the backbone for the discussion and helps educators (and visitors) to know what to expect. It helps the discussion become a rounded whole rather than a loose muddle of open-ended questions.The key point is that any strategy should be memorable enough for you to easily recall where you are in the discussion.
- The diversity and flexibility of Visible Thinking Routines makes them ideal for exploring ideas, sparking curiosity and provoking debates in a huge variety of contexts and environments – e.g. in all types of museums (art, history, ethnographic, science, etc), historic houses, nature and conversation, zoos, theatre and dance and so on.
Using ‘Visible Thinking in the Museum’ is more than just a strategy; it provides a structure for making meaning and gives participants – young or old – a chance to participate and discuss ideas with each other.