What is the Feynman Method of Problem Solving in Education

Let’s see what the Feynman method comprises a very effective study, learning, and teaching technique that helps students learn faster and better. The Feynman Method is a simple approach to self-directed learning. It is a memorization technique that is carried out in five steps. Each step makes the brain go, little by little, assimilating the information that is being memorized.

The technique is named after Richard Feynman, an American theoretical physicist who took part in the Manhattan Project. He has experience in doing exactly what one would expect: to teach himself complicated ideas.

What is the feynman method?

Feynman at age 15 had already learned advanced algebra, trigonometry, differential and integral calculus, etc. He had not entered university when he was already doing mathematical experiments with a derivative medium using his notation.

He was a great theoretical physicist. He received the Nobel Prize in 1965 for his theory of Quantum Thermodynamics. He was also a professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology.

As a teacher, he became popular among students because he could make them understand the most complex physical theories with a simple and very close language. The students managed to understand everything very well. This is how the Feynman Method emerged, a study technique that can be applied to learn and to teach. Chico was improving his knowledge and learning with the Feynman Method.

There is a difference between knowing something and knowing the name of something, and this is where understanding is crucial. To understand something, we need to be able to explain it briefly and accurately.

The 5 steps of the Feynman Method

According to the Feynman method and its approach to learning, if you can’t explain something to a child, you probably don’t understand it well. You will only have a full understanding of something when you are able to explain it briefly and precisely.

Choose the concept to learn

Start by clarifying and deciding the exact concept that should be understood or taught and write it on the top of a blank sheet of paper.

Develop the theme in a role in the Feynman Method

In the simplest possible language, write an explanation of the idea as if you were teaching it to someone who is not able to understand it. It’s okay to start with a comprehensive summary and be more specific every time.

To say it only in general terms is not enough to fully demonstrate ‘understanding.’ It is only the ‘foothold’ from which work can begin, as the beginning of that understanding is demonstrated.

Search for new knowledge

If you can’t explain it completely, go back to the paper and reread; investigate and check back the base material until the explanation is more or less certain.

You can use any type of information you have, for example, use curious data or images. Use your notes, books, and even search for things on the internet. Everything that helps you improve your understanding of the subject and obtain new awareness is appropriate.

It is important that this step is developed well, and that the topic to be treated is completed well. The success of the Feynman Method depends on this point being done correctly and completely.

Document new knowledge and clarify them

As you acquire new knowledge, reflect and document new knowledge, especially focus on how your understanding has changed. Girl in a cafeteria improving her knowledge with the Feynman Method.

The creation of images, concept maps, or anything that serves to clarify your thinking will be useful. In short, you are trying to demonstrate – with accuracy and precision – a more or less complete understanding of the subject you are trying to learn or teach with the Feynman Technique.

Rewrite the topic as if you would teach a child in the Feynman Method

With this step, you will know if you have already learned what you wanted to memorize. In this step, take the information you have already developed and retyped it. Write it differently, with the simplest possible language, the one you use in your day today.

Finally, try to say it all out loud, just as you would explain it to a small child. Any example that may be useful for a child to understand is appropriate.

Following these simple steps of the Feynman Method, you will be able to increase your knowledge of any subject from the first day.

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