My colleague teaches Anatomy and Physiology. She does an amazing job at being able to present the material in a succinct and extremely clear manner. I wish I had had her for my bout with this subject! Is it easy for the students because of her clarifications? Heck, no! Easy has no place in A and P. She has spent and continues to spend countless hours in planning and dissecting the text to create simple (notice I didn’t use the word easy here) ways of explaining the material and stressing to students that you must learn the basics before you can understand the complexity of future information. Nothing must or should be assumed here!
Let’s imagine, for example, a hospital where infection rates are high. There are five basic procedures which all doctors (should) know that will inhibit an infection. You could say that they are basically “no brainers”. However, most doctors fail to use one of these procedures because they are caught up in the hoopla of new, cutting edge practices, treatments or procedures. Did they forget the tried and true, or did they think that the new and improved mouse trap would outperform the simple method? Remember we are talking about simplicity here. Could the doctors be in the same situation as the football coaches I described in a previous post, failing to realize that simple, well-known procedures are directly linked to results?
Switching gears, I owned a flower shoppe at one point in my life. Around April girls would come in and be in a panic about getting the right bouquet in the right color – la ta da ta da. For those who don’t know the significance of this time of year for high school girls, it’s PROM SEASON!!!! These are two dreaded words no florist ever wants to have to deal with. The prom girls wanted the biggest, the most unusual, the most expensive, and the newest technique – and so on and so on. You get the picture. It was virtually impossible to convince these flower fashion divas that the prettiest and most sophisticated bouquet was always the simplest. Heavens, no! When I would say “less is more,” they would just look at me as though I had no clue. I laugh now remembering one who one had “no clue”! You know, looking back on those days, the prettiest bouquet I ever made was a softball-sized bunch of purple violets in a little silver holder. I still get compliments on that one.
Think again about the phrase “less is more”. Why don’t we use this philosophy more in our classrooms? Presentation of a gift in a plain brown wrapper doesn’t devalue the importance of its contents. Hope your bouquet is a pretty little bunch of violets.