the Feynman Technique

In my study of education and what can be done to improve our current system, I’ve identified a foundational error.

Our current education system instructs students on what to think not how to think. This is not an original observation. I was first made aware of this distinction through the philosophy of leadership education.

Even prior to leadership education, this is not an original observation but rather one that has been repeated multiple times throughout time.

The saying holds true that history repeats itself, often because the message simply needs to be heard again.

Nobel winning physicist Richard Feynman understood the difference between understanding something, in this case how to think, and knowing the name of something, knowing what to think.

This distinction was one of the most important reasons for his success. In fact, it was such an influential part of his life that he created a formula to ensured he could apply this scalable.

It’s called the Feynman Technique and it will help you learn anything faster and with greater understanding. Best of all, it’s incredibly easy to implement.

  1. Choose a Concept
  2. Teach it to a Toddler
  3. Identify Gaps and Go Back to The Source Material
  4. Review and Simplify (optional)

Critical thinking is an important step to empower others to know how to think not what to think. I’m interested to see what benefit could be seen by integrating this philosophy and thought process into our schools.

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