Workshop - Visual Thinking Strategy Approaches to Teaching Astronomy
11:30 - 12:30
Co-author: Nancy L. Regens (University of Arizona)
Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is an approach to teaching art that has gained resonance in its applicability to the teaching science. An art-based approaches to teaching astronomy has an appeal to youth who may identify with art more than with science or who view science as a static rather than dynamic process. Since students with strong visual-spatial thinking skills can be successful in either art or science careers we feel that stronger efforts need to be made to add some of the pedagogical techniques that work in the art education field to science education. In this workshop we introduce and practice the basics of the Visual Thinking Strategy approach used in art museums and in art instruction to create a more interactive learning environment for astronomy. This approach not only promotes a deep appreciation of astronomical imagery but also stimulates and encourages questioning and inquiry. The VTS approach allows students to see the mystery and questions at the heart of science and to appreciate the science investigatory process, thus countering a common misperception that science is memorization of factoids. We believe that the VTS approach, and other art-related approaches, can be very effective in promoting inclusion, diversity, equity, and empathy in communicating astronomy.