by David Langley
Observation and likely fact:
many students quickly forget large amounts of content and often have difficulty transferring ideas from the classroom to novel contexts. How can we create “sticky” teaching messages that will be memorable, understandable, and useful to students?
Chip Heath and Dan Heath, authors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die (2008), provide six principles that can help teachers create those messages. The principles are:
Simple: focus on a core idea in compact form.
Unexpected: gain and keep student attention
Concrete: use real-life examples and language that evokes images
Credible: provide believable evidence for your assertions
Emotional: help students care and be emotionally invested in the content
Stories: use narratives of real occurrences to inspire students
As you see, the bold letters are capitalized for a reason…
The feedback I have received in numerous workshops this year convinces me that optimizing these principles is a sound approach to improve presentation skills. Most importantly, the principles are inextricably tied to deeper student learning—perhaps the best reason we should use them in the first place!
During the Spring 2012 Semester, the Techniques in Learning and Teaching blog will expand upon each principle in future posts. This deceptively simple framework is teacher-friendly and easily adaptable to any discipline. And it is easy to remember, too!
Editor’s Suggested Additional Resources
“Teaching that Sticks! A New Look at Teaching Impact” – slides and notes from the Center’s interactive seminar are available for viewing our Slideshare account.
“Learning that Sticks!” – because whether it’s a duct tape or velcro analogy that holds this together, both the learning and the teaching will need to be sticky for the thing to work
Image from Katie Is a Teacher blog at http://katieisateacher.com/2011/12/06/the-case-of-several-unrelated-items/.