Introduction to Visual Thinking Strategies


John Nicholas Brown Center 357 Benefit Street

Art Museum educators and classroom teachers have been using the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) methodology for over twenty years to engage visitors and students of all ages in discussing works of art. Open-ended group discussions can provide amazing opportunities for students to share their voices, listen to their peers, and sharpen their critical thinking and communication skills. This workshop will provide a brief overview of how VTS was developed as well as an introduction to the VTS methodology, including opportunities for participants to practice facilitation at the Museum of Art, RISD. 

A Public Humanities Professional Workshop. 

About the Facliitators:
Michelle Grohe is the Director of School and Teacher Programs at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, where she oversees the School Partnership Program. She received her Masters in Art Education + Design from the Rhode Island School of Design, and has worked at the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey, and the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts. Michelle has also co-instructed the art museum discussions for Harvard Medical School’s course, Training the Eye: Improving the Art of Physical Diagnosis since 2009, and was named the Museum Art Educator of the Year in 2010 by the Massachusetts Art Education Association .

Ray Williams has worked as an art museum educator for more than twenty years, having led education departments at the Harvard Art Museums, Peabody Essex Museum, the Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler Galleries, and UNC-Chapel Hill's Ackland Art Museum. He has developed innovative projects in museums that support interfaith dialogue, preparation for citizenship, and professional reflection among health care professionals and business leaders. A graduate of Western Carolina University, Williams holds an MA in art history from the University of North Carolina and an EdM for the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is currently teaching a course for the public humanities program at Brown University and designing museum workshops on teamwork and communication for Harvard affiliated hospitals.