Visual Thinking Strategies offers training in facilitation, coaching and aesthetic development. Whether you’re new to facilitation or a seasoned practitioner, VTS offers professional development to support growth in all aspects of VTS methodology.

Since 1995, VTS has welcomed over 12,000 educators and practitioners into classrooms, museums, and galleries in the United States and around the world. The VTS professional-development experience and student-centered methodology applies to work in all settings and contexts. VTS trainings and workshops provide the time and space for practice, questions and reflection.

“I emphatically recommend this wonderful program, whose efforts in providing Professional Development services have not only improved the level of teaching at our school, but have also enriched our understanding and appreciation of art and critical thinking.” – Workshop Participant

“The entire experience was wonderful, thought-provoking, and incredibly stimulating. I have been to quite a few professional-development seminars for museum people, art educators, and managers, but this one has done the most to inform my thinking and re-shape my teaching strategies. I was so energized by the experience and immediately began to see the wealth of possibilities that could come from using VTS not only in a classroom, but also in a museum gallery setting.” – Practicum Participant

  • VTS Beginner Practicum

    Beginner Practicum

    The two-day Beginner Practicum focuses on developing VTS facilitation skills through presentation of the basic theoretical tenets of VTS and opportunities to practice with group coaching. As it is the first workshop in our training series, those new to VTS or with minimal experience are welcome.

  • VTS Advanced Practicum

    Advanced Practicum

    The three-day Advanced Practicum is for those who have facilitated a minimum of ten VTS sessions following a Beginner Practicum led by a VTS trainer. While some time is allotted to more deeply examining the theoretical underpinnings of VTS, the focus of the Advanced Practicum is helping participants refine and extend their VTS practice with a focus on advanced paraphrasing.

  • VTS Aesthetic Thinking workshop

    Aesthetic Thinking Workshop

    The Aesthetic Thinking Workshop provides an overview of the research that led to cognitive psychologist and VTS co-founder Abigail Housen's stage model of aesthetic development and to the creation of VTS. Workshop participants examine aesthetic thinking and how the understanding of its development can inform education practice. Studies and assessments of the impact of VTS are discussed, as well as the tools used to capture this impact. There is no prerequisite for attending the Aesthetic Thinking Workshop. However, this three-day event is most appropriate for those with an understanding of VTS, as well as an ongoing VTS practice.

  • VTS coaching workshop

    Coaching Workshop

    The three-day Coaching Workshop is for experienced VTS practitioners who have completed the Beginner and Advanced Practicums and want to support others in learning VTS. The Coaching Workshop focuses on strengthening facilitation skills necessary in feedback processes in group coaching and one-on-one coaching sessions.

  • Online Summer Series

    The VTS Online Summer Series is a virtual gathering of the VTS community. During the live online sessions, presenters share stories, research, and experimental applications of the VTS method, ask questions, and learn from one another while also answering questions from viewers. The Google Hangouts on Air platform enables the Online Summer Series to be recorded and accessible to panelists and audience from all over the world. Longtime supporters and those curious about VTS are encouraged to register.

  • Summer Institute

    The Summer Institute is an event that brings the VTS community together for a week of intensive classroom and gallery sessions focused on VTS facilitation and training methods. Time and space are devoted to presentations and discussions on a range of VTS-related topics and practices, and all experience levels are encouraged to attend.

    Past Summer Institutes have been hosted by the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City and the Museum of Fine Arts and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Photos by Da Ping Luo, except Aesthetic-Thinking Workshop photo, by Paola de Bruijn