Richard P. Feynman (1918 - 1988) was a New York City born, Nobel Prize winner in Physics in 1965. He was an American theoretical physicist known for his work in quantum mechanics, as well as in particle physics for which he proposed the parton model
Feynman developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions governing the behavior of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams
His passion for science and education later lead him to develop a universal learning model, now called the Feynman Technique
, that could help you learn practically anything no matter how difficult or complicated. As long you or the educator uses simple terminology (no complicated words or terms), you could understand the topic and reach to the same conclusions as the person teaching you.
The technique can be broken down into four easy steps:Step 1
Write the name of the concept at the top of a blank piece of paper.Step 2
Write down an explanation of the concept on the page. Use plain English. Pretend you are teaching it to someone else (e.g a new student). This should highlight what you understand, but more importantly pinpoint what you don't quite know.Step 3
Review what you have pinpointed you don't know. Go back to the source material, re-read, and re-learn it. Repeat Step 2.Step 4
If you are using overly wordy or confusing language (or simply paraphrasing the source material) try again so you filter the content. Simplify your language, and where possible use simple analogy.
The technique words because learning is not about remembering something difficult, but it is about making things easier. The Feynman technique can be used for anything, from understanding a simple problem to grasping quantum physics.
By forcing yourself to make something easier, you will remember it better.
Here's a bit of wisdom from Feynman himself:"You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something."