Terry Heick knows a thing or two about good teaching; it’s not what figuring out what kids know, but what they don’t know. He discusses that knowing something is ‘low-level knowledge’ and can easily be stated and distributed while understanding cannot.
“Understanding cannot. Wisdom cannot. These are acquired under a self-imposed cognitive duress. The moment a student can no longer tolerate not knowing, they can pursue an idea. If they do so with curiosity, and in terms and forms they can be playful and confident with, that curiosity can evolve itself to something aggressive.”
“Wisdom, understanding, knowledge, skills–and the pathways between each–are the very core of learning. There is nuance within each of these ideas–critical distinctions that matter. If our fall-back phrasing concerns whether or not they “get it,” we shouldn’t be surprised when they don’t.”
When we think about our teaching, are we focusing on what they know or what they don’t know? And, are we surprised if our students don’t get it?