What is the Feynman Technique?

Feynman technique is one of the best and effective methods practiced for learning a particular topic by explaining it in simple terms to another person.

It is said that if a person can really explain knowledge in simple words, then he/she is excellent in that particular area or topic.

This is a mental model named after the famous Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman, a physicist.  This provides the learners the best and pretty much simpler method of learning things. It really helps in understanding the most difficult topics with the least effort. Moreover, Feynman’s techniques include many different methods of learning.

Well, according to Richard Feynman, this technique simply deals with the ways of understanding a topic that is really a hard nut to crack for the learner.

The most important tip to master this technique is to imagine you as a kid of 5 or 6 years of age or the one who knows nothing about the topic.

How to use the Feynman Technique as a solution to learning difficulties?

Since this Feynman mode of learning is all about learning by simplifying, this involves certain steps. So, let’s delve into those steps:

  1. Step 1: Get a Clear Idea about the Concept you want to learn:

This is the first step to learn using the method of Feynman, where you should clarify the topic you want to learn. And note it down on the top of a paper or a book so as to make further notes.

  1. Step 2: Self-assess your Current Knowledge

In this step, simply analyze how good you are in the concept by assuming that you are explaining it to a kid of 5 or 6 years of age.

So, you will have to teach from the basic ideas.

You can either give a general summary or then make it specific or you can explain the concept using different examples or daily life instances.

This will help you to assess yourself about your depth of knowledge in the concept.

Also Read: General Knowledge For Kids (105 Questions and Answers)

  1. Spot out the Gaps in your Explanation:

This is where you have to identify the gaps in your knowledge. After figuring out the gap, learn new knowledge so as to bridge the gap. New knowledge is to attain more about the topic.

This involves more of learning in specific rather than learning it in general.

  1. Write down your New Knowledge:

Once you have gained new knowledge, document it on the paper or book, for further reference.

You can make it more understanding and simpler by making use of analogies, visual images or maps, sketch pens (for marking important headings) and many more.

In fact, this is a kind of learning concepts with accuracy and precision.

Once you are done with rechecking and all, pretend teaching a kid without using the paper in which you have written the notes. This will make you more confident about the concept.

This is how you learn a concept using Feynman technique.

Now, let us check some Tips to make the Feynman Technique more effective

  • Instead of simply explaining the concept, you can summarize it. And if you find it tough to summarize, you can divide the concept into different ideas and make a summary out of it. Later on, connect all these ideas together to find the summary of the whole.
  • You can make use of pictures and analogies to summarize your concept. You can also try paraphrasing it in your own words.
  • When you get tough with some specific topic, it would be better if you just make it as a specific question and try to answer it. This would rather avoid beating about the bush and will give you very specific clarification about the concept.
  • Understand the difference between knowing a concept and just knowing the name of the concept. It may make little or no difference to you, but this is something really important to learn a concept. The former on simply knowing the name of something whereas the latter discusses more about “what” actually the concept is.

So, try to understand what is to be learned as whole and what is just to be known by name.

Feynman Technique is not about learning but it can take you to a different way of thinking where you can reconstruct your ideas and learn things more effectively and easily.

You can make use of the Feynman Technique in your daily life too. For instance, if you are talking to someone and you are completely out of knowledge of what the person is talking about, then you can just ask him to break the thought and explain it in small topics.

Apart from helping you to understand, this will also help the speaker to get a deeper idea of what he or she was about.

Thus, to conclude the topic, the Feynman Technique is a self-directed learning process based on distilling what you have learned.