Feel like your learning efforts are sometimes wasted? You might need to change the way you see your understanding of your chosen topic. The Feynman Technique can help.
The technique is named after Nobel Prize-winning scientist Richard Feynman. Feynman was known as the great explainer. This was because of his incredible ability to explain complex ideas to his students and audiences.
The Idea Behind the Feynman Technique
The core idea behind the Feynman Technique is that to understand something in full, you must be able to explain it in simple language. If you cannot explain it in simple language, then you do not understand it well enough.
The goal of the Feynman technique is to study to the point that you can explain your chosen topic or idea simply. The method is for those people who are already studying an idea or concept. Once you’ve attempted to understand your chosen area, you can begin applying the technique.
The Four Steps
Once you understand the Feynman Technique, you can apply to your learning quickly to yourself in your head or out aloud. However, if you want to formalize your learning process you can follow these steps exactly.
The Feynman Technique
- Choose your topic or idea
Write the name of concept or idea you’re trying to learn at the top of a blank piece of paper.
- Explain it
Imagine you are teaching a child or someone completely ignorant of the subject matter. Explain the concept or idea using simple language. You can include examples to help explain your point.
- Review your explanation
Read over your explanation aloud. Ask yourself, does this make sense? Would this be clear to a beginner or child? Are there any areas of my explanation that could be improved? If all or part of your explanation is unclear, then return to your notes in order to gain a better understanding.
- Rewrite it
Once you have better understood the areas which you could not explain simply, return to them and clarify any shaky areas. You can repeat steps 2 – 4 until you can fully explain and therefore understand your topic.
Want to improve your learning even more, then why not check out our Memory Palace Guide!