“Those who can, do. Those who understand, teach.” (Weekly Reading Reflection Week 3)

Lee S. Shulman, author of, “Those Who Understand: Knowledge Growth in Teaching” opens up his article with the age-old quote, “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” As a teacher, especially when I was in college, nothing aggravated me more than to hear someone say those words. I agree with Shulman in that many people do not understand how much goes into being an educator. To take one’s own knowledge and transform it in a way that is teachable is not an easy task, and it is not something that everyone can do. To understand how to transform our teacher knowledge into concepts to be understood, it is important to look at what we know as teachers in our field. Included in that is understanding elements that we are missing, as well as things we still need to learn. I believe that knowing what you still need to learn is the most important element of all. It allows you to become a better educator. I have both my general childhood education certification and my childhood special education certification. I chose to represent my teacher knowledge as follows (click to enlarge): week-3-teacher-knowledge-web

I chose to represent my teacher knowledge in a form of a tree chart because it lays out my thinking in an aesthetically pleasing way. To do this I used Google Drawing. I decided to list all of my current experience within special education under my “what I have” section. As for my “what is missing” section, there are elements that I know I want to receive eventually in my field. The elements in my “what I need to learn” section are things I find myself wanting to know more about while working in special education classrooms. I think that overtime, every section will continue to grow and I will continue to learn more and more about the world of special education.


2 thoughts on ““Those who can, do. Those who understand, teach.” (Weekly Reading Reflection Week 3)

  1. Jean,

    It sounds like we have very similar experiences in the education world! It’s nice to have someone in class that is on the same path so we can help each other and better relate to our experiences.

    If you ever need help with some challenging behaviors come to me! I have a student who has behavioral struggles and I’ve tried countless behavior management strategies, modifications, and other strategies to work with him!


  2. Jean,
    First off, love the title!
    I totally agree that most people don’t fully understand the immense amount of work put into by a teacher. Every time a guest comes into the classroom and sees the lesson planning, the prepping, and the teaching, they are truly amazed by how it all looks so smooth. Not only do we have to transform our knowledge into knowledge of our grade level but we have to make sure it works for every student’s needs. As someone who is an “add-on” class (music) I also have to prove that I am a good teacher by making sure it is interesting and exciting, while getting the information across. It’s so much harder than simply knowing the subject!


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