Creating “Sticky” Teaching

12 Dec

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!

To review Dan and Chip Health’s short overview of “Teaching that Sticks” see either the Center’s slideshare site or the Heath’s web site.

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/.

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6 Responses to “Creating “Sticky” Teaching”

  1. Tony Gurr 13 December 2011 at 1:05 am #

    Nice read – well done :-)

    T..

  2. Ilene Dawn Alexander (@IleneDawn) 13 December 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Thanks, Tony – good to have the editor role and be able to recommend the sticky learning piece from allthingslearning.wordpress.com!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Creating “Sticky” Teaching | Globicate - Global Education for a New Generation | Scoop.it - 12 December 2011

    […] Creating “Sticky” Teaching 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… Source: uminntilt.wordpress.com […]

  2. Creating “Sticky” Teaching | Learning Today | Scoop.it - 19 December 2011

    […] Creating “Sticky” Teaching 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… Source: uminntilt.wordpress.com […]

  3. The Marshmallow Challenge Meets Class Session Design Challenges | Techniques in Learning & Teaching - 25 March 2013

    […] The core outcome is inspired by the core idea in compact form:  a simple message from the book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath.  Synthesizing principles from the marshmallow challenge, iterative […]

  4. Letting SUCCESS Prompt Reflection | Techniques in Learning & Teaching - 6 May 2013

    […] we’ve often focused on the ways we’re adapted the SUCCESS acronym associated with Dan and Chip Heath to the active learning and teaching practices as well as aligned course design principles we enact […]

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