If you can’t explain something simply to someone else, then you don’t understand it well enough. This learning technique reverses that idea and states that if you want to learn something we’ll, try to explain it simply.
Learn By Teaching
Studies have shown that the best way to learn something is by trying to teach it to someone else and that is basically what the Feynman Technique is doing.
Once you try to explain a concept in simple terms, You will be able to know what parts of the subject you know well but more importantly you will easily be able to learn where your knowledge gaps are. These will be areas that you will get stuck on while trying to explain something simply or you will start using complex terms that you know are correct but you can’t explain those complex words in simpler terms.
This technique is named after the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman – In addition to being a world renowned scientist, was also known as “The Great Explainer” because of his ability to explain complex ideas in simple ways. The Feynman Technique is a great way for learning and reviewing a concept quickly by explaining it in detail in plain english.
How to Use the Feynman Technique
- First you can start off by getting out a notebook or a blank piece of paper and write the name of the concept you are trying to learn at the top of the page.
- Next you try to explain the concept in your own words as if you were teaching it to someone else. Try not to use language that is too complex or else the imaginary person you are pretending to teach this too might get confused.
- Review your explanation and identify areas where you didn’t know something or where you feel you didn’t explain the concept well enough
- If you realize you used lots of technical terms try to rewrite them using simpler terms.
- Make sure what you wrote could help someone learn the concept from scratch.
- (optional) – if you are able to, you should try to actually teach or tutor someone that is trying to learn the same information you are. If you can teach them well that that means you have a good understanding of the subject.
Bonus Tip – If you are in a class with some of your friends try to learn things a day or two before they do and then tell them you will teach them how to do it. This is a great way to remember everything you need to.