Function of the “Know-it-ALL”

October 8, 2008 at 9:19 pm (Uncategorized)

What is the function of the “know-it-all” in the class?  Do they have a role in the classroom?  Purpose in the overall scheme of things?  I think there’s a “know-it-all” in every class.  I think their main purpose is to make everyone else in the class feel dumb (at least that’s my reasoning).  Just kidding…There’s nothing like listening to a “know-it-all” in the class explaining and basically completing the teacher’s job.  Yes, a “know-it-all” can help at times because their thought process is similar to the average John Doe.  They might be able to explain concepts in terms we may be able to relate to.  I am not meaning this in a negative sense.    However, sometimes they’re only more confusing and make life much more complicated.  The only purpose I see for a “know-it-all” in the classroom is to spike up the routine and make conversations more interesting (or confusing at times).  They may also be able to assist those who are struggling with concepts (i.e. peer tutor, etc).


As it was brought to my attention after posting that I should take into consideration the home enviroment of students…sometimes considered “know-it-alls.”  In the case that some students are truly neglected at home and feel they must know everything at school in order to gain approval would make me look at the situation in a differnt light.  When writing my original post, I was not thinking in terms of student home life.  I was only thinking of my experience with a “know-it-all” and how she was far from being neglected.  She thought she knew everything and at times she did.  She never neglected to tell me that I was stupid because I didn’t know what I was doing.  I guess those are students I’m looking at.  To be quite honest…at the age of nine-twelve, her home life was the last thing on my mind.  She was a know-it-all and I thought she made the other students and I feel ignorant.  Now as an edcator, one must take into account the factors that play a huge role in the “know-it-all.”  I totally agree that it makes a difference.  That was a very good point and had not looked at this concept from that perspective.  In my own classroom, I should be more conscious of their home life (which is so hard to do sometimes because you have so many and not enough time). 

1 Comment

  1. Diana Jackson said,

    Thank you Carla for the insight. If I think back to my psychology classes, I can remember discussing students with low self esteem or other issues that may cause them to act out. That would seem more behavioral to me. I would love to see more information on this issue to better serve my students. When I think of a “know-it-all” I do not get the visual picture of someone with a rotten home life. I have numerous students like that in my classroom and they have other signs such as timid and shy behavior. The only experience that came to mind when I thought of “know-it-all” was that one certain friend in high school who knew everything…it didn’t matter what it was. Believe me…she did not have a hard life…great to be exact. She knew everything…and if she didn’t..she made it up. That was my thoughts for the evening…but thank you for the insight. I will definitely take that into consideration in the future.

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