Visual Thinking Strategies

A workshop in VTS art teaching strategies

9.30am- 4pm Sat 16 & Sun 17 September, Artspace Mackay, Gordon St
Two day introductory workshop, only $150 per person

Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a powerful student-centred teaching methodology that has been proven to strengthen students’ oral communications, literacy and creative and analytical skills among students of all ages. VTS uses facilitated discussion to practice respectful, democratic, collaborative problem-solving among students, which transfers to other classroom interactions and beyond. In this two day workshop participants will look carefully at selected artworks, talk about what they observe and be encouraged to support their interpretation with visual evidence. Through open-ended inquiry and engagement with visual art, listening to others and hands-on practical experiences, participants will learn how to facilitate VTS in their own classrooms and communities.


VTS does not replace other art classroom teaching strategies or curriculum but enhances them. You will leave this day ready to facilitate VTS lessons with your students in your next class.
Notepad, pen, pencil for galleries. Everything else provided.


Christine Healey is an experienced Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) trainer, coach and facilitator. Christine initially trained in VTS in New York (2012), followed up with fellowships at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (2013) and as a guest of Independent Schools Victoria (September 2016). Christine values divergent thinking and is passionate about creating high impact art experiences for people who visit museums especially from communities that do not usually visit. Christine is currently with Incinerator Gallery, Moonee Ponds (Melbourne). Previously she was Education and Volunteer Coordinator at the Shrine of Remembrance; and Education Manager at Heide Museum of Modern Art. Christine’s formal qualifications include an M.A. (Arts Management) RMIT University and a B.F.A. (Photography) from the Victorian College of the Arts. She is a VIT registered teacher. Christine is a current Ph.D candidate at RMIT University. She has an executive role on both Museums Australia Education(MAE) and Education Network Victoria (ENVI). Christine is also a 2013 Melbourne Boston Sister Cities fellow.


Learn to use art as a valuable teaching tool

ARTSPACE is offering an excellent professional development opportunity in our region in a two-day workshop format.

If you’re a primary or secondary school teacher, university student, health worker, or volunteer in the art or museums sector, you will benefit from this Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) workshop.

The workshop will run at Artspace Mackay on September 16 and 17.

Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a fascinating, simple and practical technique that has become extremely popular in the United States and is now taught in galleries, museums and schools throughout Australia.

“VTS sounds complicated, but it’s a surprisingly simple technique that uses artwork as a trigger for discussion,” said Community Engagement Committee deputy chair Cr Justin Englert.

“It’s a tool that practising teachers have found so helpful, they integrate it into their teaching every single day, and health workers in the aged care sector will find this a valuable tool for drawing interesting observation and discussion – its applications are diverse,” he said.

The goal of VTS is not to teach the history of a work of art but rather to encourage students to observe independently and to back up their comments with evidence and further discussion.

“The discussions that are triggered in this way take the students into all areas including geography, history, culture, politics, science and more,” Cr Englert said.

For teachers, VTS connects directly to the curriculum, developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, viewing, speaking and writing, as well as capabilities for critical and creative thinking, personal and social capability, and ethical and intercultural understandings.

Students who participate in VTS employ collaborative problem-solving skills, talking about what they observe and supporting their interpretation with visual evidence.

“Art is the perfect tool for this kind of observation and discussion because there is no right nor wrong,” Cr Englert said.

“Everyone interprets art in different ways based on many things, including their upbringing, knowledge and life experience.”

Places are limited and they’re filling fast, so visit for further information or call 4961 9722 to book your seat.

Contact: Artspace Mackay

Phone: 4961 9772