The scientist was able to capitalize on his genius at the age of 20 as a participant in the Manhattan project to develop the atomic bomb.
Theoretical physicist Richard Feynman (considered by many to be the most influential mind of the 20th century, but especially of the post-World War II period) believed that the key to learning was simplicity.
He was able to capitalize on his genius at the age of 20 as a participant in a Manhattan project to develop an atomic bomb. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1965 with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga for his work on quantum electrodynamics.
Feynman believed that the truth lies in simplicity and that things are easier to learn and retain if they are simpler. According to him, if your knowledge of something is full of complicated explanations and phrases taken from textbooks, you are less likely to understand it.
According to his famous saying, “You must not deceive yourself, but you may be most easily deceived.” The goal of learning is to better understand the world. But most of the time, the way we learn doesn’t help to achieve that.
If we end up memorizing something exactly as it is described in a book, or as the teacher explained (i.e., embedding it), it doesn’t take long for that knowledge to disappear. This is where Feynman technology comes into play. The point is to make things simple enough for anyone to understand. This will give you a deep understanding of the topic you are learning.
The Feynman technique consists of four steps:
- Choose a topic and start studying!
Feynman’s technique is not limited to mathematics or physics. You can apply it to anything.
- Explain the topic to a child
This step will allow you to determine if you have learned what you have learned or just thought you have learned it. Explain the concept in your own words, as if you were trying to teach a child. When you try to break things down into simpler thoughts using simpler vocabulary, you realize if you have enough knowledge on the subject. This will make it easier to identify gaps in your knowledge.
- 3. Return to the curriculum if you get stuck.
You will only understand the topic if you can explain it in simple terms. This means that the knowledge stays in you and does not disappear, as it can happen if you try to embed something. Review your notes and curriculum if you still don’t understand something. Try to explain it to yourself in a simple way. If it’s too hard, or if you have to use terms from a textbook, you still don’t understand.
- Organize and repeat.
Don’t stop until you can give a simple, natural explanation. Return to the second and third steps as many times as necessary. It probably won’t last as long as you think.