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A Pedagogy of Slow: Integrating Experiences of Physical and Virtual Gallery Spaces to Foster Critical Engagement in SoTL

By Briony Supple and James G.R. Cronin

Carl Honoré coined the term “the slow movement” back in 2005; the antithesis, he argued, of all that is modern: fast-food, fast-information, fast-fashion, and so on. Honore’s argument is that this fast way of living is not only eroding our planet, but also our personal wellbeing. We extended the concept of “slow,”  arguing for the necessity of pushing against the neoliberal agenda of universities increasing the proliferation of fast information through publishing, teaching, research, and administrative pressures. 

As SoTL scholars, we have been inspired by slower approaches to teaching and learning which foster open dialogue, by providing space and time for students to process information. Through conversations and collaborative practice, we started to recognise the parallels with the slow movement. This article looks, in particular, at the use of artworks as entry points to slow scholarship in a professional development context for faculty and staff developing their SoTL practice, as a means of slowing down both learning and teaching, and allowing both space and time for conversation about the proliferation of fast-information in academia. The implications are enabling openly transdisciplinary dialogues by the use of artworks (both real and virtual) as stimuli to foster attentive interactions that foster presence. 

Ultimately, we learned the value of providing time and space for educators to experience a world outside of their disciplinary comfort zones, and how this enabled them to reflect more deeply upon their own and their students’ learning. 

Read the full TLI article here.

Honoré, Carl. 2005. In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed. San Francisco: HarperOne. 

Berg, Maggie, and Barbara K. Seeber2013. “The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in Academy.” Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal 6 (3): 1–7. 

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