μεταcole

Making Ideas Stick

Posted in all posts, books, stories, teaching by coleman yee on December 25, 2006

Imagine this scenario:

You spend the larger part of your one-hour lecture slowly and painstakingly explaining partial differentiation (or some other important but abstract concept you have to teach), and your students seem to get it.

Come the following week, only the 2 nerds in the front row seem to recall anything. The concept was as sticky as Teflon for everyone else.

Familiar? I’m sure most teachers have experienced this, and many of them have cracked their heads trying to concoct with stories or analogies or illustrations just to make a concept more sticky – I’ve spent countless hours doing it myself.

Well, looks like help is on the way, with the book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

As of now, this book isn’t out yet, but you can (and should) read the introduction, which is really compelling.Made to Stick

The introduction talks about the 6 principles of sticky ideas (which I won’t elaborate on):

Simplicity
Unexpectedness
Concreteness
Credibility
Emotions
Stories

It helps that the 6 principles spell out ‘SUCCES’ – corny, but helpful – and these principals are a good gauge on how sticky the concept will be.

I like the part on the Curse of Knowledge as well:

This is the Curse of Knowledge. Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what it was like not to know it. Our knowledge has “cursed” us. And it becomes difficult for us to share our knowledge with others, because we can’t readily re-create our listeners’ state of mind.

Teachers are definitely “cursed” cursed by their knowledge!

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this book.

Advertisements

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Lam Chun See said, on January 20, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    And I look forward to your review.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: