Home > R20 > “Made To Stick” Chapter 2 – Unexpected

“Made To Stick” Chapter 2 – Unexpected

Have you heard of Karen Wood? The flight attendant who made her safety announcement humorous. She received applause for the unexpectedness of it all. Wood told jokes to keep their attention. “Our brain is designed to be keenly aware of changes.” So to get anyone’s attention you should use two things: surprise and interest. “Surprise makes us want to find an answer. . .”  So here is the Heaths’ idea: “a good process for making your ideas sticker is”: (1) Identify the central message you need to communicate – find the core; (2) Figure out what is the counterintuitive about the message – i.e. What are the unexpected implications of your core meesage? WHy isn’t it already happening naturally? (3) Communicate your message in a way that breaks your audience’s guessing machines along the critical counterintuitive dimension. Then once their guessing machines have failed, help them refine their machines.”

The Heath brothers use Nordstroms idea of “customer service”. It means more than just helping people. It means making the customer feel like they are the only customer. It is over the top. They are called “nordies” and they use many examples in the book. I want to do that for my students. I also loved the idea of the journalism teacher who leads his students down the wrong path so that they will remember to not just summarize.

I am trying to learn more about Inquiry Based Learning and the books idea about creating a mystery, a gap and making the students want to fill the gap is such an intriguing idea. How can I make a gap so students want to learn about the library?  Or about a topic? This is one idea that I will be trying out. I am one of those people who don’t like putting down a book even when it is awful. I don’t like stopping a movie because I need to know how it ends. Can I get students to feel that way about topics in the library?

One way I am already doing this, is Mystery Skype. Mystery Skype allows to classes to communicate through Skype and play a little 20 questions about the other school to guess where they are at. I will be looking at other ways to create this type of “Gap Theory” of Curiosity.

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