01 – Visual Thinking Strategies – Gabriel Diaz Maggioli


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Now, us teachers use a lot of visual media in our classes, but have you ever thought about how you’re phrasing the questions? A pretty standard question is “tell me about the picture [on page XX]”. In this episode, I speak to Gabriel Diaz Maggioli from The New School, NYC, about Visual Thinking Strategy (VTS) and how to get the best answers from students.

Gabriel was very nice and very generous with his time. If you want to imagine him while you listen, he looks a bit like early-Apple pioneer Steve Wozniak! I caught him outside the KoTESOL conference in Seoul after he’d given a workshop about VTS. He agreed to the interview so long as he could smoke while we talked.

This is a fascinating subject precisely because using visual media in class is so common, and yet we often skirt over it quite quickly, treating it simply as a schema activating tool. However, as Gabriel explains, it can be – and is – so much more than just a way of easing into a new unit in the textbook. The way in which we handle the 3 VTS questions has benefits that extend beyond just getting a better answer in the moment.

Find more on Gabriel at


Music: Les Juanitos “Soul Walking”

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