4 Slow Looking Exercises for Summer 2022

 In an age where the average person checks their phone at least 85 times a day, our inundated brains are slowing down. ⁠ ⁠We need to retrain ourselves to get better at sustained attention. And to learn to appreciate the benefits of it too.⁠ ⁠Spending time slow looking offers refuge from the rush and time to slow down and see the details. It’s the opposite of scanning and scrolling.“Always-on” behaviour is about being in a constant state of alertness without giving our full focus to anything. Slow looking is a wonderful alternative to life in the fast lane.The 4 activities I'll

Bitesize: 7 Ways to Be Creative with Thinking Routines

When you get started with thinking routines, it’s worth getting to know a small handful of routines and using them repeatedly until you feel comfortable and confident using them.  But once you have that confidence, something magical starts to happen. And this is where we can be more creative with thinking routines. Thinking routines are not rigid, inflexible structures. Unlike some protocols, you don’t always have to use them exactly as they are written, without any room for creativity. Think of thinking routines as flexible and malleable structures to guide thinking and conversations around art and objects. Be playful with them and experiment!In

How mindfulness and drawing can help us to connect with art

Today I’m so happy to be talking to Karly Allen about her work. We’re talking about how mindfulness can help us to connect with and engage with art, how we can bring mindfulness practices to the experience of drawing. Karly Allen is a UK-based gallery educator, drawing tutor and mindfulness teacher. She has worked for the National Gallery, London, over the past 20 years and has taught widely for UK art collections including the National Portrait Gallery, Wallace Collection and Royal Collection. In 2018, Karly co-founded Limina Collective to bring mindfulness and reflection practices to museum and online spaces.  We explore how mindfulness

Bitesize: Learn, Unlearn, Relearn

There is a famous quote by Alvin Toffler that goes:‘“The illiterate of the future are not those who can’t read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”As educators, you’re probably already quite enthusiastic about the learning part. Being a lifelong learner is something that is a part of us. We’re constantly learning new things and updating our knowledge. But learning is not just about acquiring new things to learn, it’s important to learn, unlearn and relearn. In today's episode I'm talking about why it's necessary to consistently ‘unlearn’ our habits, unconscious beliefs, assumptions, and our practices so that we

9 Thinking Routines to Improve your Powers of Observation

In today’s solo episode, I’m talking about observation skills - why they are important and I’m sharing 9 thinking routines that you can use to boost your observation and description skills.As you’ll know from previous episodes, I’m really fascinated by observation and really interested in developing my skills in this area (I have LOADS of  books on this subject!)Most of the time we are observing passively - missing out on a wide range of life that we simply don’t notice. The act of looking requires some work to improve it - but like a muscle we can train it to work better. So,

How to Create Wow Moments with Mitch Bach

Today I’m so happy to be talking to Mitch Bach about what makes a great guided experience and how you can create wow moments in your programmes. Mitch is one of those people you meet and instantly get on with. He’s warm, witty and whip-smart. We met in New York a few years ago and have been friends ever since. We share the same passions about making guided experiences interactive, participative, memorable and even, transformative. Mitch is the co-founder of TripSchool, a community of 6,000+ tour guides, tour leaders and entrepreneurs committed to lifelong learning. He's also the leader of Tourpreneur, a

How to End Well – Creating a Strong Conclusion for your Programmes

It’s time for another bitesize episode - a short and snappy episode that will give you a quick win or something to think about in less than 10 mins. Today I’m talking about why endings are important and sharing with you a 3 part framework for planning your strong conclusion. If the introduction is setting the scene for what’s to come, then the conclusion is most definitely when you wrap everything up, tie up any loose ends and leave your participants wanting more. The way you end your programme or guided tour is super-important. Great guides, educators and facilitators know that how

Learning to Love ‘Boring’ Objects through Slow Looking

In today’s solo episode, I’m talking about how we can use slow looking to learn to love objects that you might find 'boring' or uninspiring.We can’t possibly love everything in a museum’s collection. There are always going to be some objects or artworks that we are drawn to for some reason. Equally there will also be objects or artworks that leave us cold.Equally, every museum or art gallery has its superstar or highlight objects. These are the objects or artworks that get far more attention than others. They are usually well positioned, even spotlighted and quite often have a space all to

Cultivating the Conditions for Inquiry with Jess Vance

Today I’m delighted to be talking to educator, facilitator and newly published author Jess Vance about her work. We’re talking about how questions are her superpower and how we can cultivate the conditions for inquiry to thrive.Jess and I met on Instagram a while back when we were discussing the importance of the question ‘what makes you say that’. Since then we’ve chatted regularly and I’ve watched her journey to becoming a published author with interest. I was honoured to be involved with reading some of the early chapters and thrilled to be asked to write a recommendation for the book too.

Pictures of Practice with Elisa Mosele

Today I’m sharing a 'picture of practice' from art facilitator and English teacher Elisa Mosele.We’re talking all how she uses thinking routines to overcome the fear of speaking a language and encourage all her students to participate. We also explore how she combines slow looking, church art and spirituality in her work as an art facilitator.Elisa Mosele is a English language teacher and an art facilitator.  She currently collaborates with the Verona Minor Hierusalem Foundation. She introduced the concepts of VTM and thinking routines to the foundation and in 2020 initiated their first virtual sessions looking slowly and carefully at artworks from local