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THE EYES HAVE IT: FIGHTING BULLYING WITH VISUAL THINKING STRATEGIES

The Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is the result of more than 20 years of collaborations between cognitive psychologists, educators and researcher, exploring how viewers think when looking at art objects. According to Visual Understanding in Education, “VTS has influenced the landscape of education in schools and museums around the world, reaching over 1 million students in 33 states and 18 countries through more than 5,000 educators in more than 300 schools and 100 museums”.

VTS transforms the way students think and learn, in the perspective of a culture capable of listening and building a community of open-minded and thoughtful citizens, promoting an attitude of tolerance towards diversity and problems that affect young people.

Some feelings and perceptions are best expressed through art, and VTS encourage the exploration of the young people’s everyday life using creative approaches.

One of the major issues that needs to be addressed more is certainly bullying.

According to the National Centre Against Bullying, “the definition of bullying is when an individual or a group of people with more power, repeatedly and intentionally cause hurt or harm to another person or group of people who feel helpless to respond”.

VTS is a fantastic tool for use in the classroom to raise awareness that bullying happens all around us. It will help teachers and educators to encourage young people to talk, using discussion as a key tool for learning to think, trough communication, connection and cooperation. Moreover, VTS promote perspective taking skills and empathy, developing strategies together, increasing self-knowledge and esteem.

But, why an arts-based approach?

Young people have a very active emotional center. As the University of Iowa reported in its Arts-Based Bullying Prevention Activities, “arts-based programs can appeal more to the emotional reactions to bullying, and focusing on the emotional response to bullying will help reduce bullying behavior”. It is important that all teachers, at every scholastic level, open their horizons to strategies such as the one proposed by the VTS.

VTS is able to lift the spirit of the school as only arts can do. VTS builds confidence and community. It enhances language, communication, and inquiry skills.

With VTS, everyone is a winner.

It is a breath of fresh air. Are you ready for it?

El proyecto Visualize desarrolla la tolerancia de los jóvenes, al mismo tiempo que fomenta sus competencias sociales y cívicas a través del debate entorno a piezas del arte: escuchando, analizando, opinando y respondiendo a los comentarios de los demás.

Este proyecto se ha fundado con el apoyo de la Comisión Europea. Esta publicación solo refleja las opiniones del autor. La Comisión no se hace responsable de un uso inadecuado de la información aquí descrita.

Nuestros socios

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

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