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The Power of Moments

Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact

By Chip Heath and Dan Heath
15-minute read
Audio available
The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

The Power of Moments (2017) is about moment-making. It explains how brief encounters can change us forever, especially when they’re unexpected, and how you can create life-changing moments yourself. Through a wealth of useful examples, you’ll see how people have harnessed the power of the moment to take control and change the lives of others for the better.

  • Teachers who want to create memorable lesson plans
  • Business owners who want to generate repeat customers
  • Managers eager to improve their motivation techniques

Chip Heath is a teacher at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is also a consultant who specializes in providing support and business strategies for start-ups, helping them to grow into strong organizations.

Dan Heath is a teacher at Duke University’s CASE Center. He specializes in supporting entrepreneurs and NGO’s who are committed to making positive changes in the world.

Dan and Chip are the authors of the best-selling books, Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard and Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work.

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The Power of Moments

Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact

By Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Synopsis

The Power of Moments (2017) is about moment-making. It explains how brief encounters can change us forever, especially when they’re unexpected, and how you can create life-changing moments yourself. Through a wealth of useful examples, you’ll see how people have harnessed the power of the moment to take control and change the lives of others for the better.

Key idea 1 of 9

To make learning memorable and engage students, teachers need to elevate the classroom experience.

If you think back to the most memorable moments of your childhood, what comes to mind? For many of us, our most powerful memories are the result of unexpected moments. And for the most part, they don’t involve us sitting in a classroom, listening to a teacher.

This is a problem that every conscientious teacher faces: How to present information in a way that will be both meaningful and memorable?

It’s certainly a problem that English teacher Susan Bedford and social studies teacher Greg Jouriles struggled with while working at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, California.

Back in 1989, the duo felt stuck in the familiar and boring pattern of reading from a book, discussing it with students and then giving them a writing assignment. They knew that sports, prom and school plays were about the only things students were genuinely excited about. And they figured this was because these extracurricular activities provided them with lasting memories. So Bedford and Jouriles began to work together to find a way to make classroom learning something students would remember as well.

The two teachers found that all it took to create classroom experiences that were both memorable and educational was a bit of creativity.

One of the best examples is how Bedford and Jouriles joined forces to make the teaching of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies an experience that students would never forget. After reading the book, students received a legal form accusing William Golding of libel due to the way he portrayed human nature in his book.

Students were then divided into prosecution and defense teams, and over the following months they researched and debated the case. It all led up to a public trial, with students playing the roles of lawyers and witnesses, in front of an audience made up of parents, teachers and school staff.

Not only did this teach students a great deal about the legal process; it also transformed the study of literature into an exciting event. In short, it elevated the classroom experience to the level of the unforgettable.

In the end, the whole process was such a success that the public trial was turned into an annual school event. Bedford and Jouriles successfully showed that memorable learning should be interactive and fun. Such an approach both helps students retain information and creates lasting bonds between everyone involved.

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