The Artful Thinking program is designed to be used by the regular classroom teacher. While it originally targeted grades K-12, the Artful Thinking approach is also currently used in post-secondary education and in museums. The program focuses on experiencing and appreciating art, rather than making art. It has two broad goals: (1) To help teachers create rich connections between works of art and curricular topics; and (2) to help teachers use art as a force for developing students’ thinking dispositions.
The program takes the image of an artist’s palette
as its central metaphor. Typically, a palette is made up of a relatively
small number of basic colors which can be used and blended in a great
variety of ways. The artful thinking palette is comprised of 6 thinking
dispositions – 6 basic colors, or forms, of intellectual behavior
– that have dual power: They are powerful ways of exploring works
of art, and powerful ways of exploring subjects across the school curriculum.
The Artful Thinking palette comes alive through the use of “thinking
routines.” Each thinking disposition has several thinking routines
connected to it. Thinking routines are short, easy-to-learn mini-strategies
that extend and deepen students’ thinking and become part of the
fabric of everyday classroom life. They are used flexibly and repeatedly
-- with art, and with a wide variety of topics in the curriculum, particularly
in language arts and social studies.