Someone, if not Lemov, ought to film this exchange. David Cox takes a student from “I have no idea.” to “Oh that’s how you do it.” without asking a single content question, just a series of Jedi meta-cognitive mind tricks that amount, basically, to this:
- What is the question asking you to do?
- What do you know about what it’s asking you to do?
- Do you notice any patterns about what you know about what it’s asking you to do?
- How can you use that pattern about what you know about what it’s asking you to do to answer the question?
Yo Dave: record that patter to MP3; sync to every portable music device in the classroom; take the day off.
BTW: Tom Woodward pulls a clip out of his vault that illustrates, if not this exact line of questioning, its tone.
If “feign the curiosity of a novice” isn’t an element of Lemov’s Taxonomy, he needs to get started on the second edition pronto. I think it’s a very small subset of educators who attempt this kind of assessment at all (ie. “waitaminit … walk me through this … “) and an even smaller subset of those educators who can pull it off without it seeming campy or in on their own joke.