Expert Blindness | The Problem With Expertise

Jared Cooney Horvath is a globally recognized Science of Learning expert committed to helping teachers, students and parents achieve better outcomes through applied brain and behavioral science.

The Blind Leading The Blind ...

Teaching is seemingly the only degreed profession that lay-people think they naturally understand and can perform well without any formal training.


“He who can does; He who cannot teaches”.


This well-worn quote -- which characterizes teaching as an innate skill that everyone possesses, but only the most incapable ever need rely upon -- is misleading and demeaning.


By no means does domain expertise equate to effective teaching.


Termed ‘expert blindness’, individuals who attain fluency within a particular field typically struggle to remember what it was like to be a novice ...


Accordingly, as their knowledge grows, their ability to communicate their understanding and/or teach others often gets worse and worse.


In my latest 'From Theory to Practice' video, I take a look at a new piece of research that digs deeper into this topic:


Expert Blind Spot Among Preservice Teachers (Nathan and Petrosino | Dec 2003)


Here are some of the questions I tackle in this installment:

  • What is ‘Expert Blind Spot’, and why are experts often inefficient teachers?

  • How do domain experts traditionally approach teaching, and how does this approach conflict with normal learning and performance patterns?

  • Why might educational policymakers want to revisit the common practice of streamlining the licensure process for new teachers who possess subject-matter expertise?

  • Why is the popular axiom “He who can does; He who cannot teaches” so definitively false and misleading?

Give it a watch, and let me know what you think in the YT comments section.


And, as always, if you find this video valuable, interesting and/or entertaining, you can support us by liking, sharing and subscribing to our YouTube channel ;)



Video Transcript

Hello everybody, and welcome to this week's From Theory to Practice, where I take a look at the research so you don't have to.


Now as you may know, I have a new book out called 10 Things Schools Get Wrong (And How We Can Get Them Right).


So, for the next 10 videos, I've selected research papers that align with the different chapters of that book.


For this video I want to start with chapter one which is called Expertise: The Problem with Experience, and the article I've selected this week that aligns with this chapter is called Expert Blind Spot Among Preservice Teachers (Nathan and Petrosino | Dec 2003)


To understand this paper, we first have to wrap our head around the idea of expertise. Now there are two defining characteristics that make an expert …

Click to view remainder of the transcript ...

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