Teaching to Learn


Create a lesson for a learner who is substantively different from yourself.

Instructional Purpose

To acquire a deeper understanding of a body of knowledge by having to teach it to someone else.




    This design is particularly applicable when you can propose a plausible set of target learners who are different from the student-as-teacher in some interesting way. They might have a limited vocabulary, be less developmentally ready, or lack relevant experience. The learning takes place in the act of deciding on what to include in the lesson, how to sequence it and how to bridge the gaps in language and experience.


    This shouldn't be used as a way to do the standard read-this-and-teach-the-rest-the-class type of lesson. The differences within a given class aren't large enough to create a sufficient challenge.


    Instead of a face-to-face lesson, learners can design a workbook, video segment, or web site. If this approach is taken, be sure to provide a way for learners to give feedback to the lesson authors.

    This Design Pattern was authored by Bernie Dodge