What’s Going On in this Tour? An Evaluation of VTS-Based School Tours

January 1st, 2011 | EVALUATION

This report describes the findings of an evaluation of the K-5 school tour program at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington. These school tours observed in this study are based in the methods of the educational model of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), but take place during hour-long tours in the galleries, rather than repeatedly over longer periods of time, and are integrated with other questions, information, and activities developed specifically at the Frye. The findings reveal positive correlations between the use of VTS questions by gallery guides and desired student participation outcomes as well as positive correlations between those specifically developed non-VTS activities and the same desired outcomes. They also point to window of optimal group size for discussion and participation and suggest that certain types of discussion may be supported by certain content or media of artworks visited on a tour. List of Key Findings: VTS use had a significant positive relationship with desired student outcomes. Groups size was a major determinant of outcomes Use of additional activities had a measurable impact on entire group participation rates and on student deep participation. Student outcomes were more frequent in the first group in the galleries. Some art works result in desired outcomes more frequently. The observation and interview instrument used in the study is included in the appendix of this report.



Team Members

Valerie Grabski, Evaluator, University of Washington
Lauren LeClaire, Evaluator, University of Washington
Amanda Mae Bomar, Evaluator, University of Washington
Frye Art Museum, Contributor


Funding Source: IMLS


Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | Evaluators | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Art | music | theater | Education and learning science
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Interview Protocol | Observation Protocol | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Summative
Environment Type: Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs