Blog entry - 2/13/10 updated 3/1/10
February 9th, 2010 by Dan Meyer
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.
In one of Amazon's user reviews of Seth Godin's latest book "Linchpin: Are you Indispensible?" the reviewer writes:
Linchpin is a most unusual, well-organized, concise book about what it takes to become indispensable in the workplace - whether you work for someone else (at any level) or are self-employed. It's about how business has rapidly changed and how treating employees like factory workers (or doing your job like one) doesn't work any longer. We must make choices and take action to "chart our own paths" and add value that others do not. We cannot wait for a boss or a job description to tell us what to do, rather we must just take the initiative ourselves. Only then can we become indispensable "linchpins," rather than replaceable "cogs."
(This is a key to educators becoming "life long learners".)