(Written by Abhishek Singh)

I am Abhishek Singh, a mentor, a teacher and a friend for the kids of Barefoot Skateboarder Organization.

In November, Ulrike prepared a test for Anil. It was a completely different test than what I had been making for Anil for the past three months in my Data Entry sessions. This test was more personal to him as this included his daily life tasks in the Barefoot Skateboarder Organization like accounting, this test also connected his learnings from Economics to Data Entry as he had to do categorize all the expenses using concepts from economics and make a chart of them using Data Entry to make the data presentable. Anil found the test pretty easy but to his amazement the answers were all wrong. He knew how to make a chart and the categories of the values like fixed or variable but he didn’t knew when to make a pie chart and when a bar graph. As a result, his chart were without any values and didn’t represent anything. It only showed bar charts with no connections / relations.

After that Ulrike and I had a call in which she pointed out that it was my teaching style that was the problem. I was focusing on the how! How to make a chart? How to make the chart better and presentable? In this race to teach the ‘how’, I forgot the very important ‘why’. Ulrike explained that it is much more important to teach why do we make pie chart and why do we make a bar graph. The ‘how’ is easy and can be learned later but it is the ‘why’ that is important. Even when we search on YouTube or Google, the ‘how’ is everywhere (How to make a bar graph? How to make a pie chart?) But we rarely see the ‘why’.

Here is the correction of Anil’s pie chart. Now the relations are clear and we see clearly the various shares of costs and the “WHY” is now obvious: We see easily the various shares of costs; relations become visible. In his earlier charts Anil only made a charpie with no relation to the actual costs or cost category.

P.S. Writing this experience was not easy for me. As we always write the good things that happen to us leaving out the tensions and failures, but it is these mistakes and failures we learn most from. Thanks @AshaGond for showing to me how it is done through your text for the presentation.

So especially in this age of Information we need to focus on the ‘why’ as we can easily learn the ‘how’ later.

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