I read an article on the weekend by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, called Teaching that Sticks, it parallels the book they wrote Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. The article focuses on 6 traits that make ideas stickier, a sticky idea is simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, and depicted in a story. The authors give an overview of how these traits apply to education.
As I think about it, this is what I am always trying to do, convey ideas to students that stick, whether in the classroom or with colleagues through professional development, I want them to remember and relate to something. Here is a brief description of the concepts in the article.
Simple – Prioritize, find the core of what you want others to remember.
Unexpected – The use of mystery to pique curiosity. J.J. Abrams, one of the creators of Lost, did a presentation at TED last year on using mystery boxes to keep others interested in story plot, we can do the same in our classrooms. I wrote about this in an earlier post here.
Concrete – Creating something that allows us to etch ideas into our memory.
Credible – When we see or experience something yourself will help you to believe it is true.
Emotion – When we connect with something that evokes emotion in us.
Story – People will pay more attention to a story.
Do these concepts make sense to you? What do you do to make learning in your classroom, or professional development stick?
Flickr image source Laughing Squid