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First impression on VTS Visualize

Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) was the main topic of the VISUALIZE trainer workshop in May 2017 in Germany.

Experts from different countries, nationalities, religions, mother languages and professional backgrounds practiced this new facilitation method in the Museum Ludwig and the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne, Germany, using word famous art works to become aware of the wealth of possibilities that working with visuals holds. The activities were truly interesting experiences: stimulating and energizing for the entire group.

Incorporating the theoretical knowledge of VTS into practice led to interesting discussions and different viewpoints. As facilitators, sustaining attention and encouraging participants to listen and express themselves, we learned a unique way to “use” art to teach visual literacy, critical thinking, social and communication skills.

By engaging in facilitated open-ended discussions and practicing the skill of mindful listening, we linked various ideas about the art and garnered new cross-cultural perspectives. We soon recognized VTS has the capacity to help clients and students clarify their thoughts and emotions. They learn to express what they think, feel and want others to know. Consequently they will build on each other’s ideas and become more tolerant and self-confident over time.

The challenge for us trainers will be to remain neutral, acknowledging each comment as equal in value to others. VTS is a powerful approach to open-mindedness and tolerance and while it is challenging to master, the results can be life changing.

The project Visualize: An innovative training concept for strengthening the tolerance and soft skills of young people, addresses especially these skills by equipping the youngsters with tolerance and overall soft skills by looking at art and responding to each others comments.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Our Partners

  • Christliches Jugenddorfwerk Deutschlands gemeinnütziger e.V.
  • Institut für Visuelle Bildung
  • Center for Development and Education
  • Best Cybernetics
  • Fundacion Intras