Feynman’s 4-Step Learning Process

Richard_feynman

From the man who showed up rocket scientists, a simple checklist:

  • pick a topic you want to understand and start studying it
  • pretend to teach your topic to a classroom*
  • go back to the books when you get stuck**
  • simplify and use analogies

Exactly the technique I use to “get smart” on lots of stuff I should know, but don’t.

Tip from Old Remus at the Woodpile Report (report #553).

*Pretend, hell!  Wiggle that topic into your course syllabus, and commit yourself to teaching it.  Nothing sharpens your studies like trying to create a coherent lecture.  Or two.  With a supporting homework assignment.  And quiz or exam questions.

**There are gurus out there, go talk to them.  I’m lucky to work at a university, where many are right down the hall.  I have yet to meet an expert unwilling to speak about his area of expertise.  Often at great, nay overwhelming, length.

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