We often do not understand things the way we think. how often have you “learned” something You can’t remember completely afterwards, or that you can’t explain to someone else? while we have first suggested Whether you write or discuss an expanded version of your understanding, there is a related and simpler way to fill in the gaps in your own knowledge: the Feynman technique.
It comes from physicist Richard Feynman Observation That if you can’t explain a complex concept at a simple level, you probably don’t understand it well enough yourself. Or to put it another way :TEach may be the best way to learn the other.
How to learn things with the Feynman method
there is four step method Which is named after Feynman. it goes like this:
- Teach the concept to an imaginary child.
- Identify gaps in your knowledge and go back to your source material to find out what you’re missing.
- Organize your notes into a narrative.
- now go really teach it to someone
Teachers there would recognize it as roughly the same process as preparing a lecture. You may think you know your topic, but as you think about what you’re going to say, you’ll realize there’s one detail you need to look out for. Or you identify a place where a student will ask a question, and you are not quite sure about the best way to answer the question.
When Richard Feynman made his observation that if you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it, he was trying to design a lecture for college freshmen. People have since extended this idea to be able to explain something to a “five-year-old” or “a smart middle schooler”.
There is no specific age of the person you have to aim for. I know a lot of science writers who say they explain a complicated topic by imagining they’re talking about it to their grandmother, or their husband, or their best friend. And it’s worth remembering that the smaller the audience, the simpler you have to make it.
This can backfire if you end up simplifying so much that you leave out all the important details. you want to understand “The doctor will give you some medicine so You won’t get sick” is an explanation of vaccines that a two-year-old can understand. But if you’re talking to a ten-year-old instead, you’ve got to say something about How medicine doesn’t make you sick, You may also want to include a discussion of effectiveness; Vaccines are not a guarantee against disease,
You can repeat steps 1 and 2 of the Feynman method over and over again if you want. Explain the topic out loud or in a note on your phone, then brush up on the parts that didn’t come easily, and repeat. The third and fourth steps are only necessary if you want to be able to explain the topic to someone else.
Organizing your notes is important because you need to know where to start. The way we think about a topic is often in a series of nested thoughts (where addressing one thought reminds us to go deeper like this) But in order to have a clear explanation, you have to sort out all those pieces and put them in a path that can be followed.
Finally, you can give your explanation on that Real Child, or grandmother, or partner. And if they ask questions you can’t answer, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Just answer honestly “I don’t know, but I’ll find out,” and go through the steps one more time.