"sam is typing..."

(A Blog by Sam Marshall)


2018 05 01

if you want to be able to explain your ideas to anyone, it's important to write them down. Not to show them off, or to publish them or anything. Just to get them out of your head, and to put them into your own words. Writing them down makes them flexible, means you can see them and compare them and change them. It also helps you to understand them better - which is a huge part of being able to explain them. If you've ever drawn anything and realised you never really looked at the thing before, it's the same idea. If you've never had that experience, try drawing a bicycle right now, without looking up a picture of one. I'll wait.

Writing an idea down is part of a process called Synthesis. Synthsis here is basically putting thoughts, ideas, theories, stuff into your own words. This grows your idea, and gets you to look at it in a deeper way. Like drawing a bike off a photo.

This bit I'm still learning about - so go easy on me. This is part of a theory of learning called Constructivism - which is something that is interesting me at the moment. Constructivism says that we learn by building knowledge up in our own personal context, rather than by memorising it or being explained it in a certain way. Raw material can be found everywhere, but we can turn that into knowledge by examining it, manipulating it, connecting it to the things we already know.

Writing ideas down is step one in this process, and it's a pretty good start. It also has the advantage of storing that idea for when you're ready to connect it to other things, attempt a re-write as your understanding evolves (it happens), or just to skim through your old ideas. And then, once you've done this for a little, you'll probably find it much easier to explain to anyone else.