Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tip 32 -- Making AP Economics Stick

Summary: Made to Stick. Product differentiation.

In the marketing world, there's a saying that goes, "Facts tell. Stories sell." Buyers who are told a story are motivated to buy the product. If you want your students to "buy" your instruction, try telling a story around the concept.

In the best selling book, Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath, they outline 6 steps for making an idea stick. Those 6 steps are: 1. Simplicity 2. Unexpectedness 3. Concreteness 4. Credibility 5. Emotions 6. Stories.

These six steps will show you, not tell you, how to teach for effective instruction. After reading this book, I challenge you to pick up any best selling novel and see if these concepts have been applied. You can simply elevate your instruction to the top floor by using these techniques. The best thing I have learned is that students never get bored of the technique.

I believe that the world is becoming competitive at the speed of sound. Thomas Friedman explained this concept in The World is Flat. In this flat world, technology allows global-price factor equalization as more and more content is digitized and resources become mobile. How much substitution do you face for your teaching? At Muscatine High School, students can take Microeconomics or Macroeconomics at the community college and receive college credit. They can also take the same classes online. If I want to compete for students against technology and substitution, I must differentiate myself.

I differentiate my instruction by how I deliver my content. Made to Stick is an excellent source for teacher of AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics to differentiate their instruction.

About the Author: Mike Fladlien is an AP Economics teacher from Muscatine High School in Muscatine, IA. He is an author and blogs at Mikeroeconomics.


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