What is Simplicity: Simplicity is a state of being simple (Uncomplicated or Uncompounded) *.
How is Simplicity of things Identified: In essence, anything that is plain, natural and easy to understand is simple. Like everything in life, Simplicity is relative and depends on the recipient's views or perceptions of the recipient(s).
The following six key attributes help in generalising criteria to identify Simplicity in any creation.
1. Reduction (Should not contain any non-essential clutter)
2. Organization (Should be very well organized, in appropriate sequence)
3. Affordances (Should meet expectations of target audience)
4. Tangibility (Should be useful/helpful)
5. Intuitiveness (Should be self-explanatory, easy to navigate or understand)
6. Familiarity (Should be familiar/relatable)
Why is Simplicity Important: Simplicity focuses on what is essential and eliminates clutter. That gives time and energy back to focus on other vital things in life. In today's world, simple living has become a social responsibility. Less consumption helps eliminate waste, improves the sustainability of our planet and helps divert resources toward those who need them most.
"Live simply so that others may simply live" - Mahatma Gandhi.
Why is it challenging to create Simplicity:
"I did not have time to write a short letter, so I ended up writing a long one ☺" – Mark Twain.
All natural beings are made simple at the core. Our experiences, perceptions and environmental factors create a clutter of mind that obscures Simplicity.
Striving for Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus; focus on what is essential to the subject (a process being established, a topic being taught in the classroom, a product being manufactured, a software program being developed) and clearing clutter.
Eliminating any type of clutter (Physical or Mental) requires focus and practice. Simplification involves a lot of hard work, patience and thinking. In general, the following steps help in simplifying any problem or situation:
1. Write down the problem in a language that is easy to understand
2. Break the problem into smaller parts
3. Engage with experts to understand complexities and eliminate them
4. Re-Imagine the situation / Rearrange / Reorganize
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo da Vinci.
Things I will carry out in a class.
1. Understand children's definition and perspective of Simplicity
2. Carry out an exercise to pick a topic (e.g. How a computer works?).
a. Explain it simplistically. Have children come up with their explanation of the topic
b. Conduct feedback sessions.
c. Summarize learning from the exercise
What is Trust: Trust is the willingness of one party (the trustor) to become vulnerable to another party (the trustee) on the presumption that the trustee will act in ways that benefit the trustor.
"Trust is the new currency of our interdependent, collaborative world." - Stephen Covey.
Why do we need Trust: Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships. We have survived and progressed as species because we can trust and reciprocate.
By nature, every human is born trusting. As we mature, we learn to build and identify trustworthiness through our experiences and instincts.
In all our relationships, integrity plays an essential part in trust building. Operating with integrity fosters mutual goodwill and support, which leads to an improved sense of spirit, mutual loyalty, cooperativeness, shared responsibility and resilience. All these qualities lead to more mutually satisfying and enduring relationships.
"Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not" – Oprah Winfrey.
How to build Student-Teacher Trust: Trust and mutual respect are crucial elements in creating a positive classroom environment. Students trusting in the ability and intent of teachers can outperform their ability and progress well in studies and life in general. At the same time, teachers who believe in students' sincerity feel rewarded and are inspired to go out of their way to provide better education.
Trust is earned by honesty, positive intent, strong competencies, and a track record of results.
Building trust is a process which requires consistency and practice. Some of the tips to build this mutual trust and respect are
1. Honor each other's time, be open in giving / receiving feedback
2. Engage students at their levels, respect their talents and interests
3. Always accept student differences, and listen to them actively
4. Remember to complete your commitments consistently
"Trust is built on telling the truth, not telling people what they want to hear" – Simon Sinek.
Classroom Trust Building Exercise:
1. Build class bonding – Talk about each person's family, areas of interest and hopes for the future.
2. Make a calendar of important dates for class (including students and teachers). Celebrate important milestones/dates. Appreciate each other's company and accomplishments as a group.
3. Conduct periodic meetings with students to review progress and provide & receive feedback 4. Conduct one or more team-building exercises with the class. **
Vandana Sahay, Monika Gupta & Neelima Parmar