Ensayos Collective, "Bog is Good, jVivan las Tuberas!, Hol-Hol Tol", 2022. Installation view, "Oceanic Thinking", The University of Queensland Art Museum, 2022. Photo: Louis Lim.

Visual Thinking Strategies – also known as "VTS" – is an educational tool that uses art to teach thinking, communication skills and visual literacy to people from a range of backgrounds and disciplines. VTS was developed 30 years ago by cognitive psychologist Abigail Housen and museum educator Phillip Yenawine.

VTS questioning teaches learners to carefully observe, evaluate, synthesise, justify and speculate – all essential aspects for critical thinking. It has been measured as an effective tool to build visual thinking skills, which directly benefits graduate performance, including exam results.

UQ Art Museum supports teaching and learning at UQ by delivering VTS sessions to staff and students. It has been delivered to disciplines such as Biomedical Sciences, Veterinary Sciences, Medicine, Engineering, Nursing, Midwifery, Art History, Education, and Business, with more to come.

When conducting VTS, the facilitator draws from the UQ Art Collection inventory of over 4,400 artworks, containing holdings of artists who address and challenge pressing global issues. VTS teaches participants to carefully observe, evaluate, synthesise, justify and speculate – all essential aspects for critical thinking.

For more information about the VTS Program please contact Visual Thinking Strategies Facilitator and Curatorial Assistant Isabella Baker Isabella.baker@uq.edu.au