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Visual Thinking Strategies

60 minutes

This workshop will present and introduce participants to the use of visual thinking strategies. VTS is a way to facilitate discussions of works of art that develops a set of thinking skills and behaviors that transfer to oral, written, and cognitive skills in other fields. It builds on evidence-based reasoning to examine aesthetic work and can employ that same reasoning structure in anatomy, urban design, or human interaction. In contrast, while critical thinking is revered in education, it often does not well address the visual fields. The visual thinking strategy was developed as a way to broaden the experience and understanding of art. Integrating a process of visual thinking into education can help more people comprehend art and develop a thinking structure, while at the same time provide a structure for thinking. Central to the practice of VTS is the use of evidence-based reasoning to develop subjective observations and ideas. Beginning with a structured and interactive examination of works of art, participants build an understanding of the work that is constructivist and personal.

Topic Area(s): Adaptive & Personalized Learning; Assessment & Analytics; Content Authoring Tools; Effective Teaching Practices; Learner Engagement Strategies; Social & Collaborative Learning


Brad Hokanson is a professor in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. He has a diverse academic record, including degrees in art, architecture, and urban design. He received his PhD in Instructional Technology. He teaches classes on visual and critical thinking and received an Imagine Grant to develop his work in the area of Visual Thinking Strategies.