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Tipping Point

Posted By: Patricia Brownlee on November 25, 2003
First, allow me say how happy I am to see someone finds the ideas in Gladwell's book useful in education besides me.
As a health educator, I am in the business of identifying the precursors to risk behaviors, determining the process of decision making around habitual choices and the impetus to continue an identified risk behavior . Each of these, in addition to other factors that influence behavior such as "mavens, connectors, and salesmen", could give us some insight as to the best time to intervene in the educational process for students to prevent the onset of risk taking and to develop a message is going to "stick."
I have attempted in both professional development sessions with teachers and in workshops with students to out together verbiage that is "sticky." First, I provide a risk scenario. I then begin a dialogue/brainstoming session which includes a mind map and other techniques to come up with strategies/sayings/phrases to address the risk scenario. The products of the brainstoriming are then recorded and used in subsequent risk scenarios until one or two begin to stand out.
On each written correspondance/e-mail that follows the professional development session and student workshop, the most popular verbiage is used, over and over again. This has had, at the very least, a positive effect on the awareness level of adolescents to the possible consequences of the risk behavior.
In additiiion, During these sessions, connectors, mavens and salesmen are easily identified. I try to keep a record of whom it is who plays each part in the workshops.
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 The tipping Point by Bruce Rosenbloom on October 1, 2003
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