UW-River Falls workshop for Montessori educators examines visual literacy

January 5, 2017 -- Educators in public or private Montessori schools can gain professional knowledge and skills in a new workshop offered by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The workshop, "Visual Literacy: Creating Context for Students to Express What They See," will be offered Friday, Feb. 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the lower level of the River Falls Public Library. Cindy Goldade, a Montessori early childhood credentialed educator and licensed Brain Gym Instructor, will present the workshop.

"In this participatory workshop, learn how to develop visual observation skills in your students and how to encourage respectful expression of what is seen," said Linda Jacobson, program manager, UWRF Outreach and Continuing Education. "Participants will discover how to cultivate a willingness to present ideas, ask questions, rephrase, and think critically in their classroom community."

According to Goldade, Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), upon which this workshop is based, were originally developed as an art appreciation tool, but have been shown to have a cascading positive effect on both teachers and students. Applying these strategies in the classroom helps students develop critical thinking skills that transfer to many subject areas from group discussion to individual writing, she said.

Advance registration is required and is available online at Fees for this workshop range from $39 to $79 with discounts available for early registrations and group registrations of five or more participants. The fee includes instruction, lunch, materials and five professional development hours. Parking is free. Participants who are interested in earning graduate credits with additional tuition and coursework outside of the workshop should contact Jacobson at 715-425-3190 or email

UW-River Falls provides lifelong learners with academic, professional development and enrichment programs that are practical, flexible, convenient and affordable. A complete list of courses, course descriptions and online registration information is available at may be obtained by calling 715-425-3256, 1-800-228-5607 or sending an email to

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