The Teachable Moment

teachable moment, noun, US: An event or experience which presents a good opportunity for learning something about a particular aspect of life.

Each day is full of teachable moments–that is, moments that have the potential to be learning and teaching opportunities. We often experience them through reflection–something happens, and a flash of insight follows or our understanding deepens. For anyone who thinks of themselves as a student or a teacher–and parents are both!–the search for teachable moments is constant.

We are living in an age where countless stimuli assault us from every direction and scarcely a day is dull and routine. News breaks constantly and the many gadgets that surround us beep or buzz incessantly, calling us to respond or react to everything. There is an old Tamil saying, “Just be,” but it appears that the universe has withdrawn that option from us.

One way to find stillness in this madness is to imbue moments with meaning, and the best way to do that is to transform them into teachable moments–for ourselves, for our classrooms or college clubs, or for our families.

We hope to blog here regularly as various Teachable Moments come our way via the news.

Here are some initial resources on the Teachable Moment:

What is a Teachable Moment?

Teachable Moments

Alan Shapiro, Teaching on Controversial Issues: Guidelines for Teachers, teachablemoments.com. This is a really useful website to browse on this topic. Look at their Classroom Lessons section.

How to use a Teachable Moment? Some examples and ideas

Steven Carr Reuben, Making the Most of Teachable Moments, 1997.

Shawn Murphy, 10 Telltale Teachable Moments Leaders Must Recognize.

Teachable Moments (for the prevention of bullying)

Bill Murphy, Jr., A Teachable Moment, Thanks to Trump: How to Raise Boys Who Respect Women, Inc.com, October 10, 2016.

Phyllis I. Thompson, The Anatomy of a Teachable Moment: Implications for Teacher Educators, Journal of Inquiry & Action in Education, 1(2).

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