Did you encounter people in life using more complex words and methods to explain things in a fancy manner? Or your teacher who did the same? And you end up boggling and baffling about the concept they taught. Well, nobody remained untouched to such things in life.
To this Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain concepts clearly, you didn’t understand it enough”. It is an insightful observation that people fail to notice. And the reverse too yields a powerful study tip “If you want to understand it well, explain it clearly.”
By attempting to make learning simple, you’ll be able to understand your process of thinking, pinpoint the areas of your problems, and convey complex ideas in simpler terms. And the idea behind this is known as Feynman Learning Technique.
If you resonate with learning things faster and understanding the problems conveyed above, then Feynman’s Learning Technique is one of the most effective methods to know your thinking and understanding process and to learn anything faster most effectively.
Find out what you need to know about Feynman’s Technique and the methodical steps to use this technique.
What is Richard Feynman’s Learning Technique?
Named after the Nobel prize-winning scientist- Richard Feynman, the technique is a method of learning, pinpointing, and reviewing a problem, understanding the concept by explaining it in a much simpler language.
The technique gives you a quick, efficient way to shore up those areas using targeted learning. It’s a simple method to help you study much more efficiently once you put it into action.
But, how to use this learning technique?
Using Feynman’s Learning Technique
There are four steps to use Feynman’s Learning Technique, originally used by Richard Feynman.
1. Choose a concept you want to learn
What is that one topic that surfaces your mind? What is that one thing you always wanted to learn but were scared to learn?
Find out the topic/ concept you always wanted to learn and take out a blank sheet of paper. Write down everything you know about that topic. As you progress into more knowledge about that concept, add it to your sheet.
And once you think you have known it enough then move to the next step.
2. Pretend to explain it to a child
If you think that you know all the things about the concept you studied, try explaining it to a 6 or 12-year-old child. The majority percentage of our brain works like this only. It assimilates which is easy to grasp and hold onto those ideas profoundly for a longer period.
Use sheets for reference and pretend to explain it to a child. Use words that would make it simple to understand. Because jargon adds boredom to learning. But when you try to use simple words and explanations you’ll get to know the areas that make you think more…. Where you struggle….. and most importantly how you comprehend things in your mind.
Identify those knowledge gaps and move ahead to the next step.
3. Reflect, Refine, and Simplify
Simplicity is beautiful. The more you keep things simple the better you’ll understand. If you know it well only then you can make others understand clearly.
Review your notes and read them aloud as if to a child. If something sounds confusing then it’s time to review. Find out the ways you can make it simple. Go back to the main material, review, reflect to check what needs to be done.
Build consistency in doing so and then move on to the next step.
4. Organize and Review
To test your understanding in the real world, find out a person who would be interested in learning or listening to the same concept. Help them understand it well. Observe the kind of questions they ask. Ask for the reviews about your explanations. Find out what you missed and if you made them confused.
When you are happy with your understanding, organize your notes accordingly. It will come in handy to help others out in making them learn and would help you review concepts year after year.
Knowledge is not about skimming the book a day before an exam, meeting, or anything. Learning is an ever-evolving process. The way you understand, the way you make other people understand makes the whole difference. Once you know your thought process, your way of understanding it becomes easy to have a grasp on any concept you wish to learn. Because the most successful people don’t convey ideas weaved in some fancy words but simple and smaller fragments of words to the audience.
Understanding this technique can help you grow more in your life. It will help you avoid getting fooled by others. So, the next time when someone explains you something ask as many questions as you can. Request them to help you understand the jargon they used. If they get frustrated, it simply means they didn’t understand it well, if they did they’ll help you understand this better.
Use this technique every time you want to learn something new. It will help you find the best possible version of your thoughts during the process.
UNS Edutech: The Science CentreUNS EduTech is a startup from the IIT Madras campus focusing on concept building by applying principles of active learning. Currently, UNS EduTech is offering live interactive sessions for the student from class 9th to 12th grade, JEE, NEET, KVPY, etc