Claire Bown

Claire Bown


VisIble Thinking & Visual Thinking Strategies


I am the founder of Thinking Museum and am passionate about designing and delivering high quality, innovative learning activities, tours and training workshops for museums, private individuals and business. I have worked extensively as a museum teacher/educatorr and I specialise in cultivating 21st Century skills, including the use and application of thinking routines from Visible Thinking and Visual Thinking Skills (VTS). I aim to inspire others to re-think the museum experience to one that is engaging, fun and educational.

See-Think-Wonder: Integrating Thinking Routines into an International Primary School Programme at the Tropenmuseum

The Tropenmuseum is a leading Amsterdam museum focused on contributing to the knowledge and understanding of different cultures through its thousands of ethnographic and art objects displayed in temporary and permanent exhibitions. This thesis asks the question whether thinking routines, simple sequences that were originally designed for use in the classroom as the core of the Visible Thinking programme, can be successfully employed in a new museum programme for international primary school children. The objective was to design an appropriate and relevant programme for international schools encompassing elements of the different curricula in the international school environment and reflecting the progressive teaching methods employed in some international schools in the Netherlands. The result is a new student-centred programme focused on the careful observation and interpreting of museum objects using thinking routines to structure and guide the discussions. This thesis seeks to analyse and discuss why museums are the ideal environments for the effective and intentional teaching of thinking skills and how they can play a critical role in helping school groups build core life skills including critical thinking. In this way, museums could distinguish themselves clearly as institutions that offer diverse and innovative learning experiences that complement rather than mimic formal education school learning. This thesis charts the development, pilot and subsequent recommendations for the new programme called Stories Around the World.

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