Blog of Sara Jakša

Learning Tactics - Simplify

There is a quote from Einstein that I really like. "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

Things that are simpler, are always easier to understand. That is why, we use models to explain the workings of nature and society.

For example, using supply and demand model to explain the price of products.

Or Darwins theory to explain evolution of living things (like why we are not monkeys anymore).

So, in order to understand something better, we have to make it simpler. I usually tried to explained, as if I would explain it to 7 year old person (because I know their level), but I know that sometimes idea is hard to explain in these terms.

It is a goal, not a requirement. Just thinking how to explain idea to a primary schooler usually crystallizes an idea.

For example, to explain the supply and demand to them, I would say:

Somebody have to clean the blackboard in school. How many people would have done it for free? Probably a part. But how many of them would have done for 1 of their favorite sweats? For two? The bigger the price, the more people want to do it. But the teacher doesn't want to give sweets to make people clean the blackboard. Most teacher want to give 0 sweets. But some of them are willing to offer one. Even less of them, are willing to offer more. But the teacher only needs one student to do it. If one student is willing to do it for free, than it will be done for free. If not, and the teacher is willing to give sweets, than the child doing it will get sweets."

Now try and explain the idea to yourself, as if you would explained to child.

Or, alternately, you could go talk with a child. It really helps to clarify the concepts.

You could also try to mix it with self-explaning, to achieve even better result.