info@thinkingmuseum.com

What is Visible Thinking in the Museum?

WHAT IS VISIBLE THINKING IN THE MUSEUM (AND HOW CAN IT HELP ME TO ENGAGE MY AUDIENCE?) Way back in 2011, I discovered the magic of thinking routines and Visible Thinking whilst working at a museum in Amsterdam. It was at this point that I started developing a new approach for educators, what became Visible Thinking in the Museum or VTM for short. Visible Thinking in the Museum is an easy-to-follow method that allows educators like you to confidently design and lead engaging inquiry-led sessions with art, objects and ideas for any

What is Slow Art Day?

WHAT IS SLOW ART DAY? 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 2 April 2022 in nearly 150 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 Phyl 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

3 Key Ways to Foster Curiosity in your Programmes

3 KEY WAYS TO FOSTER CURIOSITY IN YOUR PROGRAMMES So in today’s episode is the first of 2 episodes devoted to a subject close to my heart: curiosity. This week I'll be exploring what curiosity is and sharing 3 key ways you can provoke curiosity and wonder with your audiences on your tours and programmes. Next week, I'll be discussing how we can stay curious ourselves as educators, guides and teachers. Curiosity is notoriously difficult to define and it’s even harder to work out how to harness and foster it. It could be defined as an eagerness to

5 Ways to Use Language for Positive Effect in Art Discussions

As an educator, do you pay attention to the language you use when you are leading a discussion about art or objects? Do you notice how certain words, phrases and tenses can have a positive or negative effect on a group? Here are 5 ways you can use language for positive effect in your discussions. 1. Use neutral language Staying as neutral as possible as a facilitator encourages feedback from every participant and allows for multiple interpretations. Neutrality is a tricky concept (here's a good read on it) and this subject is always quite a thorny one in my classes

What is mindful looking and how can I get started?

There are many ways to look at and think about an artwork. Mindful looking is the process of slowing down and looking at an artwork or object from the perspective of mindfulness.  But what exactly is mindful looking and how can I get started?  What is mindfulness? Let's start by talking about what mindfulness is. As Jon Kabat Zinn states, ‘mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.' It is about a way of being, or a way of responding to the world. Mindfulness allows us to become fully present in

Best Practices for Sharing Information on Guided Tours

By Claire Bown How & when should we share information on guided tours? How can we do this productively and strategically? In this week's post I share best practices for sharing your information and content on tour. Plus I share some extra tips on how to think about handling information in a different way.  Many of us are experts in our field and want to share that incredible knowledge with the groups we lead. However, as I said last week, we need to think about how we can use the information and knowledge we have in a more productive and strategic

Information Overload: How Much is too Much on a Guided Tour?

by Claire BownHow much information is too much on a guided tour? When does information become a burden and how much do we actually remember afterwards?Traditional lecture-style 'walk and talk ' guided tours with an expert guide are still all-to-common and a standard way of 'presenting' an historic site, a city or a museum to the public.However, participants on these style of tours will remember very little of the information they are told, less than 5% in fact. They will become exhausted (and sometimes irritated) by the non-stop flow of information. They will leave their tour none the richer or wiser

A Brief Guide to Thinking Routines

Interested in thinking routines but not sure where to start? Focusing on thinking routines is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to start working with Visible Thinking. Here is my brief guide: In 2011, I spent a year developing a new programme at the Tropenmuseum using thinking routines from Visible Thinking as a method of engaging and interacting with museum objects. The resulting programme ‘Stories Around the World‘ uses these routines  as the structure around which students can explore objects in the museum in a slow, careful and detailed way. What is a routine? A routine is simply defined as a sequence of actions or

How to Ask Brilliant Questions that Get Results

How can you easily make your guided tours, educational programmes and online sessions more engaging and more interactive? By asking brilliant questions that get results. When you ask insightful, well-worded questions AND make your participants feel comfortable enough to answer them (employ those facilitation skills), people will respond and you won't be faced with the terrifying sound of silence. But how do you ask brilliant questions? This is a subject that has followed me around over the last 9 years as I've spoken to guides all over the world grappling to get to grips with phrasing questions in the best

Stuck in a Tour Rut? 6 Tips to Refresh your Guided Tour

Are you looking forward to leading your tours again in 2020? Are you getting excited by the thought of the new season starting?   If you're not sure about your answers to those questions, maybe you need to shake things up a little. We have a responsibility to do so much more than just ‘inform’ on our tours - people want to be surprised, moved, connected, and even transformed when they book a guided tour in 2020. So, if you're feeling jaded and uninspired, it's time to make some changes. First, get out of your comfort

Title