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Our 6 Most Popular Blogs of 2019

What did you enjoy reading the most in 2019? It's always good to reflect at the end of the year before starting a new one - and it was really interesting to see which of our blog posts were the most popular! Did you catch all of these? Scroll through this list, and catch up on our top blogs

Slow-Looking: In-Depth Experiences with Art and Museum Objects

Much has been written about the power of art works, objects, artefacts to inspire, provoke curiosity and interest. It is generally accepted that looking at objects stimulates critical thinking through comparing and contrasting, identifying and classifying, describing and summarising and so on. Indeed, museums are increasingly using objects and art to help individuals learn what is variously called slow-looking,

A Quick Guide to Facilitation Skills

On my Visible Thinking in the Museum trainings we teach participants facilitation skills for use on guided tours or educational programmes with art and museum objects. I use this image (above) of an angry teacher (!) to get the discussion started with the question 'What is facilitation?' What is facilitation? What is a facilitator?  The word facilitate actually comes from

How to Use Visible Thinking Routines on Guided Tours

As routines are part of the classroom, so they are also an important part of the guided tour experience. As you welcome guests or visitors at the start of a tour, you will take a few minutes to remind visitors of any guidelines to keep visitors and any historic sites or collections safe. You will also introduce them to

Visual Thinking Strategies and Visible Thinking

Visual Thinking Strategies and Visible Thinking When I am talking about Visible Thinking people often assume that I mean Visual Thinking, otherwise know as Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). I thought here might be a good place to explain the differences and similarities between the two methods. So, deep breath, here we go... Visual Thinking Strategies Visual Thinking

For the Joy of Learning: Adults, Museums and Thinking Routines

When we talk about engagement in the museum, we are often referring to engaging young people, teenagers, non-traditional museum-goers and school groups. However, museums are missing a trick if they are not creating meaningful programming for their adult audiences too. In Adult Museum Programs: Designing Meaningful Experiences, a survey is provided for why adults attend learning programmes - the

More than a Strategy: Building a Culture of Thinking

I was recently talking to a fellow museum docent about how they were given a 10 minute training on how to use thinking routines (from Visible Thinking) in another museum. A few routines were enthusiastically explained to them and they were told that these routines could be inserted 'ad-hoc' into tours to inject a little more participation and conversation.

Reflections on ‘Visible Thinking in the Mauritshuis’

By Lorna Cruickshanks I was recently lucky to have the opportunity to join the special edition two-day ‘Visible Thinking in the Museum' training led by Claire Bown of Thinking Museum with co-host Gundy van Dijk in the Mauritshuis. Having worked in audience participation for a number of UK museums over the years, the practice of facilitating and encouraging interactive and

Thinking Outside of the Box with Play in the Museum

  When we think of play in the museum setting, we often think of science museums where children can experiment with scientific concepts through play, or museums that are made specifically for children. With this perception, it seems that play has no role in the traditional art museum; how can we make play attractive for our younger visitors? How can

Visible Thinking in Archives

by Aniko Kovecsi A recent encounter with the concept of Visible Thinking (VT) inspired this brief piece about its applicability in an archival setting. I recently participated in a 2-day training organised by the Amsterdam based Thinking Museum (held at the Jewish Museum in London, April, 2017). The participants were mainly museum and education professionals, so I complemented