About Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS)
Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is an organization, a facilitation method, and a professional development program based on more than 20 years of collaboration between cognitive psychologist Abigail Housen, veteran museum educator Philip Yenawine, and their colleagues. The Visual Thinking Strategies organization (which is a Trademarked name and program of Commonweal) is responsible for carrying out and evolving this important work into the future.
As an organization, VTS is comprised of arts and education professionals who specialize in deep listening and responsive teaching practices. As a network, VTS is a robust international community of practice that gathers in-person and online.
Through its work, the VTS organization seeks to make education more engaging, inclusive, and equitable by:
- Supporting educators in building collaborative, reflective learning communities that respect and celebrate diverse viewpoints, individual experience, and learning styles
- Shifting education practice and transforming classrooms to be learner centered, inclusive, and relevant
- Increasing critical thinking, visual literacy, communication & collaboration skills for all learners
- Continually evolving VTS practice and training to be more representative, inclusive, and accessible
- Connecting VTS practitioners and fostering a larger community of collaboration and reflective practice.
About the VTS Trainer Fellowship
The VTS Trainer Fellowship was established in 2022 as a VTS Trainer development program that provides paid, on-the-job mentorship, certification, and supportive opportunities to build skills and confidence to train others in the VTS method.
The 2024 VTS Trainer Fellowship program is seeking VTS practitioners who have completed the VTS Beginner Practicum, Advanced Practicum, and Coaching Workshop I (in-person and/or online), and who maintain active, up-to-date VTS facilitation and coaching practices. We are specifically seeking applicants with cultural backgrounds and life experiences that have traditionally been underrepresented in the education, arts, and cultural sectors, and within the VTS Staff.
The 2024 VTS Trainer Fellowship Program aims to hire a diverse roster of 6-8 practitioners who will assemble a complementary learning cohort, supported by the current VTS Staff of Trainers and Coaches.
Fellowship Compensation & Benefits
- Fellows will be hired by Commonweal as temporary part-time employees of Visual Thinking Strategies.
- Fellows will learn and practice with a cohort of peers and VTS Trainers & Coaches. All part-time hourly VTS Staff members and Fellows receive the same rate of pay (for all aspects of teaching, planning, debriefing): $40.56/hour (2023-24).
- Upon successful completion of Fellowship Components (below), Fellows will be awarded VTS Facilitator, Coach, & Trainer Certifications, affirming the quality, fidelity, and responsiveness of their VTS practice.
- Upon successful completion of the Fellowship, newly Certified Trainers will have the opportunity to continue working as part of the VTS Staff, as well as independent contractors outside of the VTS organization.
- Completion of VTS Beginner Practicum (online or in-person)
- Completion of VTS Advanced Practicum (online or in-person)
- Completion of VTS Coaching Workshop I (online or in-person)
- Demonstrated active, up-to-date VTS facilitation and coaching practices
- Active participation in the VTS Community; understanding of VTS ethos
- Comfort working with learners of all ages, all backgrounds
- Comfort working on Zoom and remotely
- Access to personal computer
- Excellent interpersonal skills, curiosity and a desire for deepening VTS practice, and desire to support others on their learning journeys.
- Proficiency in Spanish a plus
- Each Fellow and cohort works towards completion of program components within two years. Availability to commit to a flexible work schedule for this time period is desired. This program follows a biannual application schedule.
During the Fellowship, each Fellow will work/learn in a minimum of 180 hours over 24 months:
- (6) VTS Beginner Practicums (Public Programs and/or Consulting Programs), spending time in each of the roles of Coach, Co-Lead, and finally Lead within the training team, to scaffold collaborative skill development and leadership over time.
- (12) VTS Look Club Online programs, spending time in each of the roles of Breakout Room Facilitator, Tech Host, and *Look Club Host, to scaffold collaborative skill development and leadership over time.
- *One Look Club Host role will also include a short presentation (paid) about yourself and your work as part of the VTS Look Club Online Fellowship Residency (January/February 2025), at the beginning of the second year of the Fellowship.
- Significant computer work, which may require repetitive motion, prolonged periods of sitting, and sustained visual and mental applications. At this time, VTS part-time employees are required to supply their own computer and internet connectivity.
- VTS is a fully remote and distributed team. All VTS positions require self-management of time, energy, and care. The VTS team works collaboratively to schedule program dates and staff all programs with a variety of time zones and workflows in mind.
- All VTS Staff select their own schedules and work in various time zones to complete teaching and administrative tasks, and it is expected that all Staff and Fellows maintain an updated VTS Google Calendar, visible to the administrative team, for scheduling purposes.
- In-person teaching or events may occasionally occur in/around New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, or other locations as contracted by clients. If offered in-person work, travel and accommodations will be provided.
- As an artist-educator-led organization, value is placed on holding space for creative practice and continued learning among staff members. This is an ideal position for a practicing artist and/or freelance creator/educator based anywhere who is interested in growing as a Visual Thinking Strategies Practitioner.
Equal Opportunity Employment
VTS/Commonweal is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment. People with a variety of identities inclusive of race, gender expression, gender identity, sexual identity, ability, religion, age, education, national origin, citizenship status, and ethnicity are invited to apply. Applicants from populations underrepresented, especially in the fields of education, arts, and culture, are strongly encouraged to apply.
If you meet the eligibility requirements and see your experience within the list of preferred qualifications for this program, please complete the VTS Trainer Fellowship 2024 application linked below.
Applications open on October 1, 2023 and will be accepted until 9:00am (Pacific Time) on Monday, December 4, 2023. At this time, applications have closed for the 2024 Cohort.
- Applicants selected for the VTS Trainer Fellowship program will be notified via email by December 14, 2023.
- The 2024 Fellowship cohort will begin in January 2024.
- Applicants not selected for the 2024 VTS Trainer Fellowship will be notified via email by December 20, 2023.
For more information about the VTS Trainer Fellowship program, please contact Amy Chase Gulden, VTS Training Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org.