User Generated Education

Education as it should be – passion-based.

Educators Teaching Learners; Educators Teaching Educators; Learners Teaching Learners; Learners Teaching Educators

with 4 comments

Google has an initiative entitled Googlers Teaching Googlers:

Googler to Googler places employees from across departments into teaching roles. Classes taught Googler to Googler—everything from kickboxing to parenting— are initiated and designed by employees. Telling your employees that you want them to learn is different than asking them to promote that culture themselves. Giving employees teaching roles makes learning part of the way employees work together. It’s a remarkable thing to put someone in teaching mode. In a way, you get to see the best of them. (Here’s A Google Perk Any Company Can Imitate: Employee-To-Employee Learning)

In other words, Google has embraced the idea that their employees have valuable skills and expertise to share with other members of their community. Within many media outlets, there’s a lot of positive acknowledgement and discussion of the power of learning communities where all members of the learning community are both teachers and learners. Current thinking about communities of practice, teachers as lead learners, and networked learning support the idea of learning communities. I advocate for and practice identifying the expertise in any given learning environment and setting up the conditions for having those experts teach the rest of us that skill. The benefits are limitless. Expertise, especially in this age of information abundance, is often not determined by age. If learning communities, both formal ones such as school and informal ones such as community center classes, want to take advantage of and leverage all available resources, then they would embrace a culture where educators teach learners, educators teach other educators, learners teach learners, and learners teach educators.

Educators need to explore with people in communities how all may participate to the full. One of the implications for schools is that they must prioritize instruction that builds on children’s interests in a collaborative way. Such schools need also to be places where ‘learning activities are planned by children as well as adults, and where parents and teachers not only foster children’s learning but also learn from their own involvement with children. (Jean Lave, Etienne Wenger and communities of practice)


Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

May 8, 2015 at 10:52 pm

4 Responses

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  1. This is an interesting idea. It got me thinking about the possibility of having teachers teach best practices to each other, but also what the implications of having teachers teach each other skills would be. Like the kickboxing idea. I am wondering what a PLC cycle of discovery might look like. Teachers teaching each other a range of skills, like the kickboxing example above.

    Mathew Edvik

    May 9, 2015 at 10:58 am

    • Good thinking! This post was inspired by a person working at Google. The implication was not just learning that specific skill but observing an “expert” teach that skill.

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      May 9, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    • And how would it look to allow children to choose to teach a skill to other children, or better yet, children teaching a favorite skill to teachers?

      Denise Krebs

      May 16, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      • I think that would be a great idea!

        Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

        May 16, 2015 at 1:56 pm

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