Visual Thinking Strategies: Using Art to Deepen Learning Across School Disciplines
By Philip Yenawine
“What’s going on in this picture?” With this one question and a carefully chosen work of art, teachers can start their students down a path toward deeper learning and other skills now encouraged by the Common Core State Standards. The Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) teaching method has been successfully implemented in schools, districts, and cultural institutions nationwide, including bilingual schools in California, West Orange Public Schools in New Jersey, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Philip Yenawine, former education director of New York’s Museum of Modern Art and co-creator of the VTS curriculum, writes engagingly about his years of experience with elementary school students in the classroom. He reveals how VTS was developed and demonstrates how teachers are using art—as well as poems, primary documents, and other visual artifacts—to increase a variety of skills, including writing, listening, and speaking, across a range of subjects.