Developing Communities of Practice: A Visual Thinking Strategies Collaboration

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Proposal Abstract

This poster will illustrate the multiple communities of practice that emerged from a broad-based collaboration developing from the implementation of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). Theses communities included school teachers, 4th & 5th grade students, university faculty and museum staff. The collaboration began when the director of an art museum hosted a workshop for teachers on VTS in 2008. Several teacher participants were in the process of establishing the pedagogical philosophy for a new intermediate school, and they identified VTS as a valuable component to enhance the curriculum. Subsequently, the entire school teaching staff received training in VTS in 2009. University faculty who also attended the training were asked to support the implementation through coaching sessions and, further, to study the impact on teacher pedagogy and on student writing. During the practice of VTS, the gathering of data, and the qualitative analysis of the data, communities of practice developed that have enriched learning at all levels. The poster will explain what each group (school teachers, 4th & 5th grade students, university faculty and museum staff) has learned to date from participating in the communities of practice. Because pre-professionals will be expected to participate in communities of practices, there are implications for programs and coursework as well.

 
Mar 27th, 4:00 PM Mar 27th, 5:30 PM

Developing Communities of Practice: A Visual Thinking Strategies Collaboration

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This poster will illustrate the multiple communities of practice that emerged from a broad-based collaboration developing from the implementation of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). Theses communities included school teachers, 4th & 5th grade students, university faculty and museum staff. The collaboration began when the director of an art museum hosted a workshop for teachers on VTS in 2008. Several teacher participants were in the process of establishing the pedagogical philosophy for a new intermediate school, and they identified VTS as a valuable component to enhance the curriculum. Subsequently, the entire school teaching staff received training in VTS in 2009. University faculty who also attended the training were asked to support the implementation through coaching sessions and, further, to study the impact on teacher pedagogy and on student writing. During the practice of VTS, the gathering of data, and the qualitative analysis of the data, communities of practice developed that have enriched learning at all levels. The poster will explain what each group (school teachers, 4th & 5th grade students, university faculty and museum staff) has learned to date from participating in the communities of practice. Because pre-professionals will be expected to participate in communities of practices, there are implications for programs and coursework as well.