The Feynman Technique
November 18, 2022
A few days back, I wrote about the idea of Teach To Learn to fast-track your understanding of any new subject or concept.
The idea of teaching to learn is inspired by the popular Feynman technique postulated by the Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman.
The Feynman Technique makes sure you understand what you learn, and it involves four simple steps:
- Choose a concept that interests you and you feel like learning more about.
- Pretend you are teaching it to a sixth-grader and try to simplify your message so the sixth-grader can understand the idea.
- As you try to simplify the concept, you will figure out that you need more clarity about some aspects. Identify the gaps in your understanding and refer back to the source material to clarify.
- Repeat the message in as simple a language as possible, as if you were explaining to a child.
This process works brilliantly because when you try to simplify the idea to a point where a child would get it, you force yourself to understand the concept at a fundamental level.
It is common for many of us to conceal what we do not understand using jargon and complicated language. In contrast, when you truly understand some concept, you can explain it to others in the simplest of language.
Feynman’s Technique can help you understand concepts better. How easily you can explain something to someone will tell you how much you truly know and understand.