Join VTS Trainers and Community Members from around the globe for FREE weekly VTS image discussions on Wednesdays at VTS Look Club Online! Register through the Events tab below. To find out more about Remote Learning with VTS and to peek at one of the images we will discuss at Look Club, check out the Image of the Week.



Virtual Event


Jan 22 - 31 2024


7:00 am - 9:00 am





VTS / Listening for Milestones in Aesthetic Development (January 2024)

Have you ever wondered what lies behind the questions VTS facilitators ask? And those viewer comments?

This VTS workshop: “Listening for Milestones in Aesthetic Development” is a closer look at VTS practices, viewer comments, and the connection to foundational research.

Do you wonder what learning looks like with VTS? When we don’t teach content, how do we know that participants are learning -or what they are learning? How do we as educators set goals with open-ended discussions?  How do you engage people who are not interested in art? 

VTS was created out of pioneering research done by Dr. Abigail Housen in the 1970s-1990s. She recorded thousands of interviews, from viewers’ who rarely looked at art through those who had spent a lifetime doing so. Comment by comment, Housen mapped out, what she called, aesthetic development, from its beginning. The work is a kind of field guide to visual cognition as it blurts out of our mouths. 

In this workshop, we introduce Housen’s research, and important, initial milestones. When VTS discussions are well-facilitated, viewers broaden the ways in which they engage with art. What that broadening, or learning, looks like comes into focus as we discuss different types of comments -even the surprising ones. The research offers us ways to appreciate the extraordinary array of responses to art.

This 8-hour workshop is led by veteran VTS Trainer, and Teachers College Instructor, Tara Geer and VTS Training Manager, Amy Chase Gulden. Geer is also Dr. Housen’s daughter, and is engaged in current, ongoing research in the Boston Public Schools around the significance of aesthetic development in early learning. 

As a collective, we’ll do exercises to unravel the complex thought processes behind specific comments and explore aesthetic development. This knowledge can enhance your facilitation skills, help you track learning in your VTS discussions, witness the remarkable shifts in aesthetic thinking, and learn to more fully appreciate the needs of your groups.

This workshop is only offered twice per year, so don’t miss this chance to join us!

Workshop Expectations

  • This workshop is designed for practitioners who have completed VTS Beginner Practicum or beyond.
  • This workshop will not focus on facilitation practice and coaching.
  • This is an online workshop. We will be utilizing digital platforms such as Zoom and Google.
  • Information for accessing the course materials will be emailed to participants before the start of the course. Participants must be able to attend all meetings to complete this workshop. In addition to class meetings, participants should plan to complete brief assignments/reflections between each class.
  • Closed Captioning available.
  • This workshop will be conducted in English.
  • This course is scheduled in Pacific time zone. Please check your personal time zone alignment before registering.  *Course must have a minimum of 10 enrolled in order to run.*

VTS Program Notes

Class time: 7:00am – 9:00am Pacific Time

  • Monday, January 22
  • Wednesday, January 24
  • Monday, January 29
  • Wednesday, January 31


In Summer 2021, VTS explored the use of a sliding scale as an experiment in equitable pricing. Starting in July 2022, all VTS programs began utilizing a sliding scale for registration. We are confident that those who join us are committed to being part of a thoughtful community that is diverse, committed to collective learning, and interested in finding new ways of supporting each other. We have been inspired to use this pricing strategy by Embracing an Equity Sliding Scale.

Please use the guide below to self-select your registration fee for this program.


Consider investing in the TIER 1 price if you:

  • are supporting children or have other dependents
  • have significant debt
  • have medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • are eligible for public assistance
  • have immigration-related expenses
  • are an elder with limited financial support
  • are an unpaid community organizer
  • are a returning citizen who has been denied work due to incarceration history
  • experience discrimination in hiring or pay level
  • are descended from enslaved people or Native American Indians


Consider investing in the TIER 2 price if you:

  • are single and/or without dependents
  • are able to repay your student loans, are in repayment or have paid off your student loans
  • have daily reliable transportation
  • are able to miss work either for sickness or leisure, and are still able to pay next month’s bills
  • travel when needed for an unexpected occasion like a family funeral or emergency


Consider investing in the TIER 3 price, if you:

  • own the home you live in
  • have investments, retirement accounts or inherited money
  • travel for recreation
  • have access to family money and resources in times of need
  • work part-time or are unemployed by choice, including unemployment due to full-time school in a degree-earning program
  • have a relatively high degree of earning power due to level of education (or gender and racial privilege, class background, etc.)
  • are registering with funds from your work at/with an institution (museum, school, university, etc.)

Questions? Please contact Amy Chase Gulden, VTS Training Manager at