May 2021

6 Essential Thinking Routines you Need in your Repertoire

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In this episode, I’m discussing 6 essential thinking routines you should have in your educator repertoire. These are thinking routines that you can use to create engaging discussions with art or artefacts or routines that will help you develop and grow in your work as an educator. I’ve found it really hard to select just 6 thinking routine out of the 100+ routines out there, but I’ve come up with a list that every educator should have in their repertoire to draw upon in different situations or for different purposes. I've chosen: An all-rounder thinking routine A thinking routine

The Art of Facilitation

The Art of Facilitation Facilitation is a key part of creating engaging and interactive discussions around art and museum objects. But developing the skills of a good facilitator is an art form in itself – it requires practice, patience and the best facilitators MAKE IT LOOK SO EASY. Sometimes people wonder why I chose the word 'facilitator' - rather than guide, educator, teacher, docent, or interpreter - to describe people who lead participative, discussion-based experiences around art and objects. It’s certainly not the easiest word to say, but it does sum up what we do. As a facilitator, you are guiding

The 5 Golden Rules for Asking Brilliant Questions

In this week's episode, I’m sharing my 5 golden rules for asking brilliant questions.  But what is a brilliant question? Asking more questions is one way to get more interaction and engagement in your programmes. But asking the wrong types of questions can actually shut down the discussion and stop people participating at all. So, in this episode, I'm sharing 5 rules that will help you to ask questions that create interaction and engagement, open up discussions and encourage everyone to participate fully! Links Masterclass: How to Ask Brilliant Questions That Get Results -

The magic of thinking routines: what are they and how can you use them?

Thinking routines are an essential part of the Visible Thinking in the Museum method. They have been a magical ingredient in helping me to confidently create engaging discussions around objects and artworks over the past 10 years. They’ve also been a great way to engage audiences to get them really interested in art and objects, making them curious and asking questions and, of course, getting them thinking. But what are thinking routines and how can you use them? And where does the magic happen? That’s what we’re discovering in episode 3! Links The Ultimate Thinking Routine List Making

April 2021

The moment when I first heard the words ‘Visible Thinking’

In this first episode, I’m going to be talking about the main method I use to engage audiences with art and ideas - that’s my Visible Thinking in the Museum method which I started developing 10 years ago this year. The Visible Thinking in the Museum method is an easy-to-follow framework that allows educators to confidently lead engaging discussion-based sessions with art, objects and ideas with any audience. It takes elements of a framework called Visible Thinking (from Harvard's Project Zero) and combines them with museum education practices, facilitation techniques and questioning strategies. I didn’t know it at the time,

What is Slow Looking and How Can I Get Started?

I believe engagement starts with slow looking. I’ve been practising the art of slow looking for the last 10 years as a personal practice and with groups of all ages with a variety of objects, artworks, situations and places. Slow looking has played a pivotal role in the most engaging discussions I've led over the last 10 years. Recently, slow looking has become more popular with Tate ‘recommending’ slow looking for their Bonnard exhibition and the National Gallery offering slow looking art sessions for lockdown. In this podcast I’m going to take you right back to the basics and

Introducing The Art Engager Podcast

The Art Engager Podcast Trailer Welcome to The Art Engager podcast! This podcast here to help educators, guides and creatives engage their audiences with art, objects and ideas. Each week I’ll be sharing a variety of strategies, ideas and inspiration to help you to engage and connect with your audiences and confidently lead lively art and artefact discussions. Trailer Highlights What The Art Engager podcast is all about How and why creating real engagement with art and museum objects can be tricky What is Visible Thinking in the Museum? What we're going to be talking about on this podcast

Writing through art: 9 ways art can make you a better writer

Writing through Art: 9 Ways Art can Make you a Better Writer Throughout the ages, looking at art has been a unique way of finding inspiration and creativity. If you go as far back as the Greeks, you can find examples of writing inspired by art, called ekphrasis, which means “a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art” Art is a frequent source of inspiration for many writers and poets over the centuries. John Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is a famous example and William Blake said that poetry and art are 'ways to converse

What is Slow Art Day?

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Slow Art Day is an international event celebrating looking at art in a different way. This year Slow Art Day is taking place on Saturday 10 April 2021 in nearly 100 venues around the world (and counting...). So, what is Slow Art Day all about? Here's what you need to know. How did Slow Art Day start? In 2008 Phil Terry visited The Jewish Museum in New York and instead of trying to see everything, he found a select few pieces to focus on: just 2 paintings: Hans Hoffman’s Fantasia and Jackson Pollock's Convergence. He wanted to find out what would

March 2021

What are the 8 Key Differences Between Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) and Visible Thinking in the Museum (VTM)?

The idea for today's post came out of a Facebook post and an ensuing discussion in the Visible Thinking Membership. I asked members for thoughts and ideas on the differences and similarities between Visible Thinking and Visual Thinking strategies, VT and VTS. My ‘Visual Thinking Strategies and Visible Thinking’ post, that I wrote in 2013, is still one of my top blog posts ever and this is intended as a follow-up post. Educators often use questioning strategies, routines or procedures to guide participants through the exploration of artworks and objects. These strategies work well if they are easy to remember