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How to Use ‘See Think Me We’ Thinking Routine with Artworks

HOW TO USE 'SEE THINK ME WE' THINKING ROUTINE WITH ARTWORKS SUMMARY Today I’m discussing how to use the ‘See Think Me We’ thinking routine to create personal and community connections with artworks. This is part of a new series of episodes on the podcast where I share a thinking routine with you and all the insights for how you might be able to use it with an artwork or object with groups - either in-person or online. 'See Think Me W'e was our ‘thinking routine of the month’ recently in the Visible Thinking Membership. Every month we

6 Essential Thinking Routines you Need in your Repertoire

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

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 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

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

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

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 you may have missed throughout the year. 1. Visual Thinking Strategies and Visible Thinking No surprise this one - this blog has been a perennial favourite since it was first published way back in 2013. Update and refreshed for 2019, it

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 the Latin which means to ‘make easy’. A facilitator is basically a person whose role is to guide people through a process to an effective result. On a guided tour or educational programme, facilitation is centred around guiding processes and creating participation. How

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 the theme and structure of the tour. If done well, these guidelines help participants to understand what to expect and what to do. Imagine the benefits then of a routine that would help visitors to make sense of objects/artworks/buildings in a

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 Strategies has been developed over the past 30 years by psychologist Abigail Housen and museum educator Philip Yenawine. It focuses on looking and discussing works of art mediated by a discussion facilitator. This method is based around one thinking routine of

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 answers reflect an overwhelming desire to attend for the joy of learning (79%).  The same book also provides a useful summary of the important aspects of adult learning: Adults tend to learn best when new information builds on past knowledge and