Week 8 – Can you teach more than you know?

The question for this week is very thought provoking.  Can we teach more than we know?  Obviously, we can’t give something we don’t have, but then many coaches have taken players further than the coach has ever gone, so it seem possible.  I do think teachers can inspire, direct and challenge students to do more and learn more than they ever did.

I know I helped direct and prod my daughter to excel in math far beyond my capabilities.  When she asked questions I didn’t know the answer to, I would check the internet, suggest strategies to try, or ask questions to help–all while having no idea how to do the actual math.  It did help her and she is now a National Merit Scholar and she earned a perfect Math SAT score (I am not taking all the credit!) So I guess that means I am answering yes to this week’s essential question.

It seems our reading this week agrees with me.  In Hannah Hudson’s article, “Do Students Know More About Technology Than You Do?” she states, “The new digital divide is not between the haves and have-nots. It’s between kids and grown-ups.”  Her article basically talks about using kids as a resource and letting them be the experts in this area.  Because students are technological natives they want to and expect to use technology wherever and whenever they possibility can.

Tina Barseghian, in her article, “Three Trends that Define the Future of Education and Learning,” lists what it means when students have more ownership in their learning and that they know more than their teachers in some areas. Here is a summary of that list:

  • Both teachers and students can learn from each other
  • Teachers are becoming facilitators and guides for students
  • Teachers are changing the way they teach to meet students’ needs
  • Quiet and non-participatory students are now becoming engaged
  • Teachers are personalizing learning for all students

Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager in their book, “Invent to Learn,” further support the premise that students can learn more than teachers know.  They state, “How can my students be agents of change rather than of objects of change?” They believe empowered and engaged students can learn and are capable of much more than we give them credit for.  If teachers help them find their passions and support them, the sky is the limit.


Barseghian, T.  (2011). Three trends that define the future of teaching and learning. Mind/Shift.  Retrieved on 7-6-17 at http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2011/02/05/three-trends-that-define-the-future-of-teaching-and-learning/.

Hudson, H. (2017). Do your students know more about technology than you do? Scholastic. Retrieved on 7-6-17 at https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/do-your-students-know-more-about-technology-you-do/.

Martinez, S. L. Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Constructing Modern Knowledge Press. Kindle Edition.


By waclawskid

3 comments on “Week 8 – Can you teach more than you know?

  1. I realize more and more that a teacher is not a person who gives information but rather who provides opportunities for students to learn and grow. I agree that students can do more than we have ever thought and that support is all they need.

  2. Good blog. I agree that a teacher can teach beyond their understanding. If not, will students go beyond? So much has changed in teaching over the past couple of generations.

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