Art - Teaching Thinking - The Genesis of Literacy

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Art - Teaching Thinking - The Genesis of Literacy


Proposed Title: Teaching Thinking: The Genesis of Literacy Beginning in preschool, Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) introduces discussions of art to jumpstart the kinds of thinking and literacies required to prepare students for the challenges of the 21stCentury. VTS begins with art to allow students a chance to use their visual acuity to address problems of ambiguity and complexity. In the course of this, they develop skillssuch as the habit of providing evidence to back up ideasthat easily transfer to other lessons. The method of facilitation (a set of questions and various response mechanisms) can be reapplied by teachers and used to provoke searching examinations of other images and texts helping students deepen understanding in subjects across the curriculum. Meanwhile, art is deeply embedded in childrens learning experience. The first day of this workshop will present some background information and theoretical underpinnings of VTS, immediately followed by an interactive demonstration and analysis of the method. Participants will then have opportunity to practice the method with coaching. If possible, this practice will take place in at the Museu Picasso Barcelona. If not, we shall used projected images to the same end. In conclusion, we will discuss video clips of VTS in use in classrooms. The second half-day will take place at the conference center and begin with discussions of non-art images and text. Finally, the presentation will focus on data regarding VTS impact on thinking and writing, and a chance for participants to think through why such learning might occur. Questions will be entertained throughout. The key learning activitiesParticipation in image and text discussionsThe opportunity for at least six teachers to practice VTS discussions followed by coaching, also a group exchange.Discussions that interrogate the method and the data regarding learning nurtured by VTS. The Learning outcomes / essential questions / enduring understandingsInsights into the practice of VTS, some as the result of trying it A sense of the usefulness of art in teaching Awareness of the relationships between seeing, thinking and talkingThe notion of the essential place of discussion in learningConsideration of what is involved in implementing VTS in a classroomI will need an excellent projector that is connected to a computer ideally with internet access, tho the latter is not essential. If we go to the museum, its is possible that it will involve some charges tho Ive not investigated them at this time. Participants might be encouraged to acquire the book, Visual Thinking Strategies: Using Art to Deepen Learning Across School Disciplines. I will also ask participants to download some information to which Ill send links.In my communications with Liz, she also mentioned an address during the conference itself. If that is still planned, here is also my description of what it could be:Title: What Is Art For? Frustrated when data revealed visitors learned little from the many educational interventions offered by his talented staff at NYs Museum of Modern Art, Philip Yenawine asked Abigail Housen to help create a new and effective means of teaching. The result, after much research, was Visual Thinking Strategies, a teaching method used in many museums and schools in the US and abroad as a means to teach visual literacy, thinking, related language skills, and the social skills involved in collaboration. This presentation will branch from philosophical (what is art for?) to practical (how to create empowered viewers and effective thinkers.) A VTS discussion will help illuminate both topics. Questions will be welcomed.