Slow looking

Tuesday 1 August 2017

Slow looking is an approach to give students time to explore the details.  There is no right or wrong, just for once. Follow the four steps outlined next to this image of phagocytosis.

  • Just look at the diagram shown. What do you see?

  • Think about the perspectives of the different parts of the cells.
    What are several perspectives or roles of the organelles shown?

  •  Suppost you could enter the picture yourself, where would you go?  Why?

  • What questions have we generated while thinking about this image?

This activity should help students to identify the roles of the plasma membrane of a phagocyte in the processes of phagoctyosis.  It will remind students of the different organelles in a cell, and it will introduce the problems of two dimentional drawings to illustrate three dimentional processes and lots more.  This would be a great activity to do with students at the end of the cells topic, or during the humans topic, where the focus will be on immunity.

The concept of slow looking has presented itself to me on several occasions this term. The first time I saw it, Jim Noble of the Inthinking Maths Studies site was illustrating a way of encouraging students to think and talk about maths by comparing differences between different mathematical images. I was also lucky enough to participate a workshop on "The mantle of the Expert" by Tim Taylor which also showed how students could be given time to look carefully at something and then to walk into the object, or act out part of it. The third time I saw this idea was, online, in the Project Zero summer conference where Shari Tishman was giving a talk.

This is where my Biology idea came from. Try it with students yourself. Please do let me know how it went.

Find out more

Information about Shari Tishman here: or

Slow looking:

Project Zero (and the Out of Eden Walk) here

Mantle of the Expert

Inthinking Maths studies and Jim Noble


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