A gentle reminder ...

The goal of this blog initially was for Mr. Mc to show his students and friends what he doing while in Pennsylvania and DC in 2011. Now it's being used as a place for him, travelling colleagues and former students to discuss edumacation and history related "stuff" as well as ... well, anything which pops into his head. Mr. Mc would never knowingly embarrass either the school he loves or the family he is devoted to. By joining in the discussion, he expects the same of you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

"What's going on in the picture?"

This afternoon we played with Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). It is a series of three questions designed to help with observation and articulation of thoughts about a painting, sculture, document, ... VTS is designed to be a starting off point for discussin visual mediums. It is a great way to wrestle with primary sources so I was intrigued. It centers around three questions:
  1. What is going on in the picture?
  2. What do you see to say that?
  3. What more can we find?
Those are the only questions a facilitator may ask. They are encouraged to listen carefully in order to paraphrase each speaker's thought to make sure everyone is looking at the same in the part of the picture; remain neutral to any response and link comments which relate.We were then taken into the gallery and practiced the process on four different pieces. It is alot harder than it sounds. If it is an image you are really familiar with-you have to facilitate without giving away too much. If you aren't familiar with the piece-there is a whole different challenges. The goal is a directed dialogue focused on the piece of art. don't worry about who painted it, or when or even the title. Those aren't important - as a matter of fact, they may get in the way of the exploration.

Let's try it, okay? Look at the image belows and ask yourself the three questions. Remember, you have to prove your point with something specific to the image. Figure out why you have that gut feeling. Be specific. Think in terms of narrative and story? Think in terms of perceptions, prior knowledge even personal biases. Just be ready to name it a perception or bias.

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