Working with children taught me that whenever I need to understand (or explain) something, it’s best to start at zero. There’s no need to bring former knowledge, opinions or experience. For adults this is more difficult than children, so it may help to pretend not knowing anything.

This wiping of the slate can help to generate a more natural approach to understanding through simplicity.

Recently, I became aware again of how powerful this is.

Last Friday, my friend and colleague Sylvia Guinan started a new online course for English learners in which she discusses books and movies with her students.

I was glad to see that the first book she picked was my recent children’s book “Brian The Book”.

Unpacking Analogies

While watching the recording, I was amazed how she unpacked layer after layer of this very simple story. I won’t give any spoilers of the story, you can download it here, but it was interesting to see how Sylvia unfolded a whole galaxy of paradigms from this super-simple story, some of which I didn’t even consciously embed into the narrative.

Maybe simplicity is a bit like a vessel which ferries unconscious materials back and forth across the streams of consciousness…

Sometimes, a simple analogy in an image can express more than 4,000 pages of academic prose.

If you want to watch a recording of Sylvia’s conversation class on Friday, click here (the recording is free, but you need a WizIQ account to access it)

here’s a small snippet:

[audio:] download

and here’s the accompanying slideshow:

Have a nice day!

And remember to keep it simple!

img: CC by Alexander Steinhof