Visual thinking Strategies and the peril of ‘see one, do one, teach one’

Heather J. Kagan, Philip Yenawine, Linda Duke, Mark B. Stephens, Margaret S. Chisolm

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Visual Thinking Strategies is an arts and humanities pedagogical intervention increasingly incorporated into medical education. As a straightforward method that appears easy to use, its nuances are often overlooked or–less frequently–improperly implemented entirely. Such haphazard use can lead to lessened impact for learners, and result in inconsistent and non-generalizable findings in studies in the nascent field of arts and humanities medical education. Critical and often glossed-over components of Visual Thinking Strategies include choosing the appropriate artwork, adhering to the specific 3-question language of the method, facilitating dialogue with effective paraphrasing, framing and linking of participant comments, intentionally utilizing non-verbal communication, and carefully setting up the environment. These components can be systematically taught by strengthening Visual Thinking Strategies training for faculty and adopting faculty development techniques from the K-12 education realm, namely peer and video feedback, where VTS has been used and fine-tuned for decades. It is an opportune time to begin rigorous faculty coaching for Visual Thinking Strategies facilitation and set the standard for art and humanities interventions in medical education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-667
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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