The phenomenological tradition developed sophisticated techniques to draw attention to pre-theoretic or pre-reflective experience. This article examines how one of the most famous, Heidegger’s ‘broken tool’, might work in a pedagogical context. I contend that it can be highly effective there, fleshing out his vision of teaching as ‘letting learn’ with a distinctive educational method. At the same time, that context suggests fundamental changes to the standard reading of the ‘broken tool’, shifting the focus towards what I call ‘information tools’. My conclusions link to recent research stressing disruption in the learning process, and I close by contrasting my position with ‘bricolage’ theories and work by Applebaum and others.