Today, We’re going to discuss a famous learning model which is known as the “Feynman Technique”.Feynman technique is for those who struggle to learn any new concept or skill. This model has helped many students and business owners to solve and understand complicated problems in a simplified manner. It was first introduced by Richard Feynman, an American theoretical scientist who contributed a lot to physics.
If you’re a school or college student, you may encounter professors, whose lectures are extremely difficult to understand. He uses the same language, terminology given in the textbook to explain things, which made it hard to grasp their lecture easily.
Feynman was also a college professor but, his teaching skill was outstanding, he explains any complicated concept in such a way that a middle school student(who doesn’t have knowledge regarding the topic) can understand it.
This separates him from other scientists and professors. Let’s talk a little bit about Richard Feynman’s journey and his achievement.
Who was Richard Feynman?
Richard Feynman was an American theoretical scientist who made a lot of contributions to physics especially in the field of light and quantum electrodynamics. In 1948, he explained the interaction of subatomic charged particles with the help of a visual diagram. In physics, this diagram is known as the “Feynman diagram” and for this great contribution, he was honored by Nobel prize in 2004 (After his death in 1988 ).
Here is the Feynman diagram
Feynman had worked at many big institutions like Princeton University, NASA. In 1945, during the second world war, he was recruited as an Assistant in the atomic bomb project for the USA government. In the survey of the physics world magazine, Feynman ranked number 7th out of 130 leading scientists from all over the world.
Despite all these achievements, Feynman considers himself a normal human being, he said,
” Anyone with passion and hard work can achieve anything in life “.
And, I’m one of them. Feynman was a very hardworking person who was passionate to learn or innovate new concepts and further teach them to the other in simple terminology.
He used to explain or learn concepts with the help of the same technique which is known as the Feynman Technique. This technique was first mentioned in the biography of Richard Feynman “ Genius: Life and science of Richard Feynman “ by James Gleick. So, let’s dive into this technique and see how you can use it to learn any concept
Feynman learning model
If you’re a student, then you might come across some concepts in day-to-day life that seem hard to understand. You try to memorize the concept, learn the definition and formula, and think you know everything about the topic but in the exam hall, you forget everything. You couldn’t apply memorized principles to solve numerical or concept-based questions.
The reason behind this, you have only memorized the concept as written in your textbook. But didn’t understand them in-depth you didn’t find WHY? and HOW? of the concept that’s why you struggle to solve numerical problems, especially in physics. In physics, you need a strong concept to crack problems.
If you struggle with these types of problems, there is nothing wrong with you(Most does). But, if you want to improve this, you need to replace your learning model. You try to grasp definitions, formulas without understanding them in depth. That’s the wrong way to study any concept, especially in physics or math. Let’s try a new learning model “Feynman technique”
What is Feynman’s technique?
Feynman technique is a type of learning model that helps to understand complicated concepts in a simplified way. Currently, If you’re struggling with any complicated concept, then it’s time to use Feynman’s technique.
Here are 4 simple steps of the Feynman technique
Take a complicated topic or chapter
Choose any concept or topic which seems hard to you. It can be any formula, theorem, or any complicated concept of physics. Select the topic and try to learn the basics concepts as much as possible. You can read the blogpost, watch videos of experts on youtube. Suppose you want to learn the” Second law of motion “, read the definition, formula, and examples of the Law through different sources
You can take help from textbooks, watch animated videos on youtube like this one “Newton’s Second Law explanation”.
Once you have completed the learning process, you feel confident. Then, it’s time to follow the next step
Now you have read the concept of Newton’s Second Law. It’s time to teach it to others. As Richard Feynman said,
“If you can explain anything to others in a simple way, that means you have understood it clearly ”.
So, explaining to others is the only way to measure the understanding of knowledge regarding the topic.
If you have a friend who can listen to you then it’s great, approach him, teach the law. But, if nobody is willing to listen to you, don’t worry. Use the notebook, take a blank sheet of paper and explain the concept like you are teaching it to somebody else (maybe a six-year-old child ) who doesn’t know the terminology like Mass, the momentum of Newton’s second law. Think “how can you teach him ? “ so that he could understand it without using hard terminology. Try to make things simple as possible
While explaining, if you get stuck anywhere. Don’t hesitate, go through the concept once again, read that topic with more focus. Remember this, nobody becomes a master on the first try. So, Don’t doubt yourself, if you failed on the first attempt, No problem!
Instead of hesitating, go through the concept once again, revise everything and do the same process “Explain again on paper “. If you again face the same problem while explaining, no problem, go through the concept again and follow the same steps. In this way, you can master any topic deeply.
One thing which makes this technique so successful is “its explaining process”. When you are stuck on any point, that means you don’t have abundant knowledge about the point. You need to go through the concept once again so that you can easily explain it to others.