Here’s what basically has to happen to make a successful WCYDWT lesson:
- Lighting strikes (you observe something).
- You recognize that lightning has struck (you say “holy *&^%”).
- You investigate by building layers of abstraction on your observation.
- You realize that that particular abstraction fits in your curriculum.
- You strip away all those layers to a core question interesting to a 15 year old, who (I’m sorry and draw whatever conclusions you will about me or my school system) are the least interested people on the planet.
- You rebuild the abstraction in a way that will support the questions you successfully predict they will ask.
- You make attractive keynote slides out of it.
- You extend your original abstraction to questions that they will want to pursue to enhance their understanding.
there seem to be two corners of necessary student experience here. first, engaging with the instructor in “recreating mathematical reasoning”…using cooperative examples to learn how to ask useful questions, and making visible the math already there to find solutions. but those presented scenarios, in turn giving birth to the useful questions, are still coming from the heart/experience of the teacher, even if covertly. the most valuable part of WCYDWT to me is giving students the confidence and skills to recognize within their own spherespassionsinterestsloves specific places where those useful questions can be posed.