VISUAL THINKING STUDIOS

Growth & Transfer

VTS has been field tested since 1991 in longitudinal studies employing experimental and control groups in multiple sites in the United States and other countries. Multiple studies conducted by VUE have produced corroborating and complementary findings on the effectiveness of VTS. These findings have been corroborated by third-party researchers . The studies have found that VTS builds aesthetic and critical-thinking skills that students transfer to non-art objects and other subjects, including writing, math, and social studies. A key finding states that exposure to VTS significantly increases critical thinking and academic growth in all students – in students with varying ethnicities, income levels and school achievement, including those with limited English skills, poor prior standardized test performance, and at-risk students from underserved schools . Research has also shown that VTS can significantly raise scores if used for a minimum of 3 years consecutively.

VTS has been proven to support skills such as:

  • making complex observations
  • drawing conclusions based on observations
  • supporting statements, evidential reasoning
  • speculative thinking
  • considering a range of possibilities
  • generating new ideas
  • revision
  • elaboration
  • expressing and articulating these ideas in discussions and in writing
  • the ability to accept multiple viewpoints
  • transfer and application of these skills to other subjects without prompting.

Coming Soon!

  • Video of Philip Yenawine talking about how VTS affects writing.

Click to see highlights of studies:

VTS and Critical Thinking
In 2003, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (ISGM), in partnership with the Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI), received a 3-year grant from the Department of Education to research students' learning in and from an art museum multiple-visit program. The study concluded that students in the SPP program generated significantly more instances of critical thinking skills, had more to say, and were more likely to provide evidence for their thinking.

VTS and Test Scores
The Artful Citizenship Project is a pilot educational program funded by the US DOE and developed in partnership with The Wolfsonian-FIU and the Miami-Dade County Public School system. The study concluded that curriculum enhancements like VTS, may be the best test preparation the schools can provide.

VTS and ESL/ELL Students
San Antonio Independent School District students in grades three through five who completed VTS lessons significantly outperformed students who did not have VTS lessons in both aesthetic and critical thinking growth. The data from this study convinced the San Antonio Independent School District to implement VTS across their entire system.

VTS and Transfer & Critical Thinking
In 1993, VUE found evidence that VTS causes the growth of critical thinking. Moreover, VTS enables transfer of critical thinking to other contexts and content. The results from the study support the hypothesis that VTS accelerates aesthetic growth.

VTS and At-Risk Students
Being 'at risk' and coming to school speaking a language other than English did not interfere with San Antonio VTS students' development of critical thinking strategies. They clearly demonstrated steps in the process of learning to learn.