Master Teacher Richard Feynman: What is “The Feynman Technique” for studying?

Who was Richard Feynman?

A brilliant Nobel Prize winning physicist and a master teacher

How can the “The Feynman Technique” help us?

Help us understand ideas that we don’t really yet “get”.

Remember ideas that we can understand – but typically will forget on tests.

Be an  effective way to study before an exam. ……    Many students spend hours simply reading in the library with poor results.

Study to deeply understand an idea in 20 minutes so it will stick with you for years.

How many steps are there in this technique?

Four  …..  Concept Identification – Explanation – Sourcing – Self-Testing


Choose “Your Concept” – one that you need to fully understand.

Take a blank piece of paper and write the name of that concept at the top of the page.

What is the “EXPLANATION” step?

Write out an explanation – pretend you’re teaching the idea to a new student –  as if you were teaching it to someone who didn’t understand the subject.

Explain the ideas in your own words – words you already understand.

Then explain in words you don’t. yet understand

Your goal is to better understand what you already know and pinpoint exactly the details of what you don’t yet understand.

What is the “SOURCING” step?

Whenever you get stuck, go back to the source materials for your lessons.

Use the book, reference materials, lectures or a teacher assistant to help you better understand.

Reread or relearn the material until you do get it — enough so that you can explain it on the paper.

And concluding – what is the final “SELF-TEST” step of the “Feynman Technique”?

Simplify your language and create analogies.

Wherever you create a wordy or confusing explanation, simplify the language age, or create an analogy to understand it better.

Then — WRITE your explanations without using ANY supporting material – thereby testingt your FULL understanding.

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