Research strategies are normally all about what you are able to do in your personal time to maximise what you be taught, however bringing another person in to your course of could be useful too. That’s what Richard Feynman, a theoretical physicist, thought, at the least in concept—based on many presumably apocryphal sources, the Nobel Prize-winner as soon as stated, “When you can not clarify one thing in easy phrases, you don’t perceive it. One of the best ways to be taught is to show.”
It’s solely potential Feynman by no means stated that in any respect—the closest documented quote I may discover, courtesy of his colleague and fellow physicist David Goodstein, said that Feynman’s lack of ability to interrupt a topic (on this case, a fancy query of particle physics) all the way down to the extent a freshman scholar may perceive it meant that science didn’t successfully perceive it.
However whether or not this research methodology really got here from Feynman or not, the essential precept—to know you really perceive a topic, it is best to have the ability to train it to another person—seems sound. Right here’s how the Feynman research methodology works, and the way you need to use it to grasp new ideas.
What’s the Feynman methodology?
The Feynman research method is so in style for studying and retaining info that it’s really useful to varsity college students and even real-world professionals. It’s a four-step method that ought to, when practiced appropriately, show you how to absolutely grasp the content material you’re finding out. Listed here are the steps concerned:
- Establish precisely what materials it’s good to be taught (to do this, strive utilizing a way like KWL or SQ3R to find out precisely which components of the subject are most important earlier than you even get began), after which research it by yourself utilizing the strategies which have confirmed only for you.
- As soon as you’re feeling comfy with the fabric, train it to another person—ideally somebody who has by no means studied it. Clarify the fabric as if you have been doing so to a complete neophyte (Feynman advises to think about speaking to a toddler), as completely and as straightforwardly as potential.
- Return to your supply materials everytime you come throughout a component you’ve gotten problem explaining intimately.
- Rewrite and streamline your notes, breaking down advanced matters into less complicated components, and additional clarifying the subject till you attain a stage of granularity that appears virtually too fundamental.
How the Feynman methodology works
A very powerful component of this system is in dissecting and simplifying the fabric till you’re feeling like you can clarify all of it to a toddler. Because the story from David Goodstein cited above reveals, Feynman believed for those who couldn’t cut back a subject to info understandable to a younger scholar, you didn’t actually perceive it. (The same quote has additionally been attributed to Albert Einstein, so think about it a pedagogical philosophy with legs—although there’s no proof Einstein really stated something of the kind both.)
It really works nice for those who select an grownup who’s unfamiliar with the subject to show it to—and even simply fake to take action, simplifying the fabric your self in an essay format. Ideally, nevertheless, you’ll train the subject to somebody who can provide you suggestions. Perhaps they’ll ask a query you may’t reply, or show you how to discover connections between ideas throughout your dialogue after the lesson. This suggestions will show you how to as you progress to the third step of reviewing your supplies, because it offers you further issues to think about as you accomplish that.
Whenever you’re carried out refining your notes additional, strive instructing the subject to another person once more, or transferring on to a different method, like distributed apply or overlearning, the place you’ll research your simplified notes periodically till you absolutely grasp the fabric.