Teaching in the Margins

What is Teaching in the Margins?

Teaching in the margins refers to educators who promote diversity and curiosity within their classrooms. They encourage their students to wonder about the world around them and allow them the freedom to explore questions and ideas they may have about the concepts being taught. These educators go against teaching norms and are not afraid of the unknown. Teaching in the margins directly connects to exemplary teaching.

Characteristics of Margins

  • Enrichment
  • Polycultural
  • Nuanced
  • Dismissed
  • Unpredictable
  • Relational

Margins vs. Teachable Moment

Teaching in margins may happen when a student asks a question during class, and the class as a whole takes that question and turns it into a student-led discussion full of curiosity, wonder, and critical thinking (students dictate what happens next)

A Teachable moment may happen when a student asks a question during class, the teacher shares their thoughts and regular class continues (the teacher dictates what happens next)

This video provides an example of a student-led discussion

How will I Adopt this in my Future Classroom?

In my future classroom, I plan on providing an environment for my students where they can explore a larger range of knowledge, ideas, and skills that may not be typical for a more traditional classroom. I will still value the curriculum and standards but I will use those as the foundation for learning rather than for learning as a whole. Some specific examples include:

  • Asking open-ended questions
  • Fostering creative and critical thinking
  • Promoting new ideas
  • Allowing for class discussions
  • Encouraging conversations and debates

More information


  1. Hello, I enjoyed reading your post. Great blog. I found your blog super interesting to read. I liked how you tied the puzzle piece image in with your text. It was nicely done. I liked the characteristic of margins that you said. Can you think of anymore characteristics? The tweet that you included was also a very nice visual! Nice Blog!

  2. Maya,
    I like how concise your post was, I feel I learned a lot from your outside resources and writing but was given the information in a very effective manner. I love the visual you use at the beginning of the post as well. I think the puzzle piece representation really hits the nail on the head of what margins do for students. One question that I did have for you is what are some more specific classroom goals you might have for yourself? Do you have any assignments or activites you know already you may want to include in your classroom?

  3. I really enjoyed reading through your post. I actually haven’t learned much in-depth information about the Socratic method, so I was very intrigued to read about the Twitter post. Do you see the Socratic method as a tool to help reach the margins, or do you see the method as being in the margins by nature?

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