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3 live classes with Claire Bown + 3 video lessons + resources + private community
Your next step after VTMO Beginners

About VTMO Intermediate

VTMO Intermediate is the second course in the VTM continuum and your journey to becoming a confident facilitator of discussions around art, objects and ideas.

VTMO Intermediate is a combination of self-paced study and live classes designed and led by Claire Bown (Founder of Thinking Museum and creator of the Visible Thinking in the Museum (VTM) approach).

For new course dates, watch this space! Or get in touch for more information.

You can enrol for VTMO Intermediate if you have completed the VTMO Beginners Course or a similar course with me, Claire Bown*

The final course to complete the VTM facilitator journey is VTMO Advanced. 

*If you haven’t completed my VTMO Beginners course, please get in touch. For more info see the FAQs below. 


VTMO Intermediate Dates

For new course dates, watch this space! Or get in touch for more information.

Upon completion of VTMO Intermediate, you can progress directly to VTMO Advanced


Emy Miranda

VTMO Intermediate surpassed my expectations; I expected to mostly be learning more routines and practicing them. I had not anticipated actually learning about the selection of routines and how to choose them and connect them to artworks, etc. This was a great discovery that I immediately put into practice, with great results.

Things that seemed hard during the first course, were made entirely possible with what I learned this time.”

Danielle Battaglia

“VTMO Intermediate surpassed expectations, discovering new routines like Beauty & Truth and working with objects which will give me opportunity to mix up what I have been doing. The Intermediate (course) really kicked it up a notch. Can’t wait for the Advanced!”

Sandrine Lesage

“Avant, je pensais que mes visites étaient interactives ; puis j’ai découvert la méthode de Claire ! Par le biais de stratégies simples (questions, facilitation d’une discussion, croquis, observation approfondie…), les visiteurs deviennent vraiment acteurs de leur expérience. En tant que médiatrice culturelle indépendante, la formation Thinking Museum m’a permis d’aborder ma discipline avec un regard neuf et de structurer mes process de travail (recherche de stratégies de médiation, conception d’une visite, d’une conférence ou d’un atelier, facilitation et transmission face au public).

The VTMO Courses

There are 3 VTMO courses (Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced).

Each VTMO course is a combination of self-paced study and live classes designed and led by Claire Bown, founder of Thinking Museum. In each course, there are 3 live classes (2 hours), 3 recorded classes, resources and a private Slack community. 

For a detailed look at what each module will cover and the thinking routines we’ll explore, go to the relevant course page.


What does the VTMO Intermediate course include?

The course includes 3 modules through which you will continue to learn how to confidently the Visible Thinking in the Museum approach. All course materials are in English and are available to stream online.

You’ll also receive downloadable PDFs and worksheets. The VTMO course book is Slow Looking at Art: The Visible Thinking in the Museum Approach. You will need to purchase a copy of the book for the VTMO courses.

Plus there’s access to a supportive online community for course students in which you’ll be able to ask any questions you have about the course and how to use the VTM method

Will I need any previous experience?

Yes. The standard route is to first take my VTMO Beginners Course.

In VTMO Beginners I teach the foundations of the method – which will stand you in good stead for the rest of the courses. We also work on building skills – our questioning skills, facilitation techniques and more. The work that we do in the first course paves the way for the work we do in the later Intermediate and Advanced courses. 

If you haven’t taken VTMO Beginners but have some experience with learning VTM with Claire Bown, please get in touch to see if you have the relevant experience to take the VTMO Intermediate course. A similar path would be to have first taken my one day VTM in-person course at a museum as part of a team, for example, but do get in touch to chat first.

Do I need to start with VTMO Beginners? Can I join the VTMO course at the Intermediate or even Advanced level instead?

If you’ve never done a full VTM training* with me before, then you will need to start with the VTMO Beginners course – regardless of whether you’re a seasoned educator or just starting out. Even as an experienced educator, you’ll learn a lot!

It’s called ‘Beginners’ as it’s the first of 3 courses that take you through the elements of the VTM method. Therefore in VTMO Beginners you’ll explore 10 thinking routines which can form the basis of your repertoire, dive into your questioning skills and learn how to facilitate discussions. It’s aimed at museum educators, guides, teachers, art educators and creatives who want to learn new methods to engage audiences with art and objects.

Just FYI, VTMO was originally designed as one course, but individual educators were asking me for shorter courses which cost less, which is why I split it up into 3 parts for individuals – Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. Teams can still book the entire programme as one course.

*To register for my VTMO Intermediate and Advanced courses, you need to have first completed either the VTMO Beginners Course or a similar VTM course with me, Claire Bown e.g a full day in-person course with me. 

Who is the course suitable for?

  • individuals who would like to continue to learn how to lead interactive tours & programmes about art and museum objects. (e.g. museum guides & educators, teachers, creatives & learning practitioners). If you’re an organisation, please get in touch to enquire about VTMO for Teams

How long will it take to complete the course?

The course is 3 modules long. In total, the course takes 3 weeks with a commitment of 1-3 hours per week. There is a different module every week and a live class. The video lessons are 20-30 mins long and the live class is 120 mins. Every live class is also recorded if you can’t attend live.

How much does VTMO cost?

The course costs €495,- including VAT.

What are the dates for 2023?

The next VTMO Intermediate course will start on Tuesday 03 October and end on 23 October 2023

For the next course dates, watch this space.

When do the live classes take place?

The live classes take place at 17.00 hrs CET (Amsterdam) on Tuesdays You’ll get the most out of the classes by attending live (and learning collaboratively with the other course members) but if you miss them, you can catch up with the recording too. The recording is available within 24 hours of the live class.

Is the course ‘live’?

There is a live class scheduled for 120 mins per week for all 3 modules of the course. If you are unable to attend live, then you can watch the recording (although we do recommend you attend live to get the most benefit from asking questions). The video modules and all resources will be available for you to work through at your own pace and when it is most suitable for you.

How long do the video lessons last?

They are usually 20-30 minutes in length. You receive one video lesson per week.

How long will I have access to the course?

You will have access to the course resources for a maximum of 3 months (subject to our terms and conditions), allowing you to work through it at your own pace and return to it as required. You may not modify, publish, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale of, create derivative works from, distribute, display, reproduce or perform, or in any way exploit in any format whatsoever any of the Site or Service Content or intellectual property, in whole or in part, without our prior written consent. 

What if I have questions whilst working through the course?

You will have access to an online community for all online course students where you can ask questions and get support and help.

How do I enrol on the course?

You can sign up on this page as soon as registration goes live. Get in touch to chat about any remaining questions you have.

What are the Terms and Conditions?

You can find all the Terms and Conditions here

VTMO beyond my expectations. Did not think that an online course could create such a feeling of being part of a community! It opened up a wide range of new ways to engage with art objects and images both physically and online. Now I know that it is possible to facilitate meaningful experiences with art ONLINE too.

Loved the time you offered to us in the unfolding of discussions in our live sessions. So good to not be rushed in the thinking and meaning making process. My biggest takeaway is that VTM really DOES BEAT VTS hands down!

Debra Dalla Santa, Art Educator


Over the past 12 years I’ve developed an easy-to-follow approach that allows museum and heritage educators, guides and teachers to confidently design, lead & manage inquiry-led sessions with art, objects and ideas for any audience. 

Visible Thinking in the Museum (VTM) is a flexible structure around which to explore museum and heritage collections and their stories.

My book Slow Looking at Art: The Visible Thinking in the Museum Approach covers the 3 foundational elements of the method, plus the 8 practices.

Full of practical steps & helpful advice, this book provides you with everything you need to create engaging discussions with art and objects.

Slow Looking at Art: The Visible Thinking in the Museum Approach