The Feynman Technique: How to Learn Anything in 4 Easy Steps
What is the Feynman Technique?
The Feynman technique, created by Richard Feynman, is known as one of the best tools for learning a new concept. Instead of relying on brute-force memorization, he devised his own method that allowed him to concentrate on developing his own understanding of a subject. For this method, an individual is able to master a topic using four steps: learn it, teach it, refine it, and revise it.
Step One: Learn It
For the first step of the Feynman Technique, you’ll need to learn a topic. Maybe you want to master factoring in algebra. Maybe you’ve decided it’s finally time to figure out how to code using Python. Whatever your case may be, make sure that your topic is specific. Pick a particular point you would like to focus on and learn it to the best of your ability.
Step Two: Teach It
Once you’ve learned your topic of choice, it’s now time to teach the topic. This can be done in an array of different ways. You can write a paragraph summarizing the concept and post it online. You can try teaching the concept to yourself. If you’re up for the challenge, try teaching the concept to someone else! The purpose of this step is to test yourself. Being able to explain a topic clearly and effectively is a sure way to know your mastery level.
Step Three: Refine It
In this step, you will need to evaluate what you know. Was your explanation or summary easy to understand? Were you able to cover EVERYTHING vital to the lesson? Did you cover all the steps of a certain process? Once you’ve identified the gaps in your knowledge, fill them! Go back and refresh yourself on the information you need more clarification on.
Step Four: Revise It (Simplify It)
Now that you have filled in your knowledge gaps, you can revise your ideas and make your explanation much clearer. You now have a more holistic view of the topic and are able to identify what is important and what isn’t. This step is key to contextualizing the information with other ideas you are learning about in class so that the material is integrated with the whole subject.
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