14 Mar 2012

What does teaching look like?

I love this Pinterest page "What does learning look like?" as I think it encapsulates how authentic and meaningful learning takes place, and the important role that context plays in acquiring skills and contructing new knowledge. The most valuable learning often takes place informally or when people don't realise they are 'learning' as such - just like most of the examples on Pinterest. Recently I have been wondering what a "What does teaching look like?" Pinterest page might illustrate. To me*, teaching looks like:

instructional scaffolding
a process which is meaningful to each individual learner
context and relevance
integrated and embedded delivery
content and information which is logically sequenced to support connections and linkages
learning needs, objectives, outcomes and assessments which are constructively aligned
structure and clarity
interaction and engagement
group learning so participants can learn from each other
instructional design which is evaluated and revised based on feedback and assessment outcomes
recognition of differences in learning styles
reflective practice



*Disclaimer: I sleep with a copy of John Biggs' Teaching for Quality Learning at University under my pillow


  1. There's a piece in today's Irish Times (Business & Technology, p.5) on Pinterest. "Nielson reported that Pinterest had 16.1 million unique visitors in January in the US alone, double the number it had in November"..."Analysts say Pinterest's popularity has caused such a shake-up around the web because there is a large overlap between the people who gravitate toward the site - largely women - and those who visit mass merchandise and e-commerce sites".

    The piece goes on to say that Pinterest is considered to fill a gap that Facebook has not been able to deliver on (yet). "Facebook used to be about connecting with your friends, but now it's so focused on the individual, with curating your timeline and how you present yourself to the world ... the site never had great group tools, and bringing both a community of interest and people together has always been a blind spot at Facebook"

  2. Thanks for that Alex. Yes, Pinterest seems to have captured the heart of the hipsters alright!
    But there are also some really interesting examples of libraries using Pinterest such as

    As you point out Alex, it is far more collaborative than many other tools. It really does remind me of the 'canteen noticeboard' in work - an informal and flexible centre of information sharing around a common interest.