Reaching the Margins

What is it?

Teaching In the margins to me is a place where deep critical learning takes place, it isn’t an ordinary environment, instead it is enrich with biodiversity spread out throughout. Teachers play an essential role in the classroom, to take a lesson even further to spark the students interests, and breaking the normality of your average classroom we grew up in.

A Center is known as a place with no diversity, somewhere where everything is identical and the same, the margin are those areas beyond the center, where there is great diversity, and exploration can occur, there are risks and stakes. Both Center and Margins are dependent on each other, one cannot exist without the other.


  • Biodiversity
  • Exploring Nature/A park
  • Meeting new people of diverse background
  • Allowing student led exploration of topics

Teachable moment vs Margins

We already defined what margins are, a teachable moment is an event which a good opportunity for learning about something occurs. So… what is the difference? A Margin is something we reach for, it can be expected and we know where and how to find it. but a teachable moment is more random and sporadic, we don’t know really when it will occur or where, we just know that it will eventually occur.


This video discusses why creativity is an essential tool for today’s students, and how US teachers can foster this in our everyday use in and outside of the classroom. Creativity is a necessary aspect when we are talking about Margins, it’s different and unique. We talked about in class… think of the center as a field of crops, the same crop, everywhere you see is the same, no uniqueness in sight. If there were to be a disease that came about in that area what would happen to your crops? Now lets think about margins, a place filled with (bio)diversity, if there was a disease what would happen? This is all metaphorical but it unique, which makes it creative!

Implementing this is my future class

Like we said earlier in order to have our margins we need to first have the center, we need to establish the baseline from there we can move to our margins, One way I plan to engage my students in going to the margins is asking why? the question of “Why?” is very important in education, it establishes meaning and want the want to explore/dig deeper. This is the foundation in which I plan to build my class upon.

Extra Links

Here are some other links to articles that discuss teaching in the margins

Teaching in the margins


  1. Hi Quinten. This was a really great post that provided a lot of thoughtful ideas on this topic. I enjoyed that you not only explained what the margins are but also what the center is. Because you mention that one can’t happen without the other, how do you plan on balancing the two in your future classroom?

    • Hi thank you for your comment, I plan on balancing the two in the future, by using foundational lines. sometime the foundations may be center-like, and the advanced stuff is more marginal, taking those necessary trips to the margins help drive home the foundations.

  2. Hello, I really enjoyed reading your post. Great post! I liked how you organized your blog. It was very easy to read. I liked how you included examples. They tied in with your picture well. I liked how you said margins is something we can reach for and a teachable moment is something that is random. This was a nice way of putting the two! Great job. Can you think of anymore examples of going to the margins?

    • Hi thank you for your comment, some other examples of going to the margins could be like risk-taking, bringing in outside environment such as class pets, asking open-ended questions.

  3. Hey Quinten, I liked how you differentiated teachable moments from margins in terms of planning against randomness. Since you mentioned that going to the margins takes thought versus teachable moments being sporadic in nature, I was wondering if there are ways to turn teachable moments into a journey to the margins on the spot? Do you think it would be a good time commitment to go further than just the teachable moment?

    • Hi thank you for your comment! I would think yes there are ways to turn teachable moments into journeys on the spot, a teachable moment could arise and it requires you to go to the margins and many times it’ll be necessary for that moment, and yes it is usually always a good commitment to go further than just the teachable moment. although you want to stay relevant to the students interests, and make sure the information being provided is beneficial for them.

  4. Hey quinten!
    Nice post. I really liked how you mentioned the different ways you are going to get your students to explore the margins in your own class one day. Like you said, even asking a simple, “why” question to get their ideas and thoughts moving can really inspire students to think critically and wonder about the world around them. I also had the chance to watch the Youtube video you posted involving creativity in the classroom. Not only is it important to inspire your students, but to also facilitate their creativity. I was wondering if you had any other ideas about helping students be creative in your classroom one day?

    • Hi Maddie!
      Thank you for your comment. Some more way about promoting creativity are things like, allowing student-led activities/projects, using visual aids to help paint images in students, building brainstorming sessions etc…

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