Second Year in Engineering, our Applied Mechanics lecture in preparation for the test told us we would be required to give ten definitions.
These definitions would make up 20% of the paper so just like any engineering student who prefers to focus on the numbers, I studied and memorized as many definitions as I can the morning of the test.
When the paper came, I rushed to get my 20% quick and out of the way only to my shock to find the statement: Explain the following concepts as if you were explaining them to a primary school learner.
Getting to Moment of Inertia, I realized I had no idea what it was even though I knew the technical definition and how to calculate and find it in any given object.
After that, I realized how University had conditioned me to learn, and afterward years later when I started learning coding and other concepts I made sure to learn to understand.
How To Learn Anything
The statement from our lecture was something made famous by a great physicist and teacher Richard Feynman.
And the secret to learning anything quickly and precisely can be achieved through what is known as the Feynman Technique.
Basically, this teaches how to fully understand a concept quickly to have it fully embedded in your brain.
This is how the Feynman Technique goes:
- Choose a particular concept.
- Explain the concept in simple language (to yourself or teaching it to someone else).
- Identify any problems areas you have/had within your explaination.
- Find areas where you still used technical wording and try break those down as well.
Basically, this is the concept I followed when I was learning how to program.
I would explain and break down stuff in my head and try to picture how it all works.
Sometimes I would explain it out loud to myself while walking, people would either think that I was singing, greeting them, or just straight-up crazy.
This same way of thinking helped me get into electric cars, understanding how they work, from the motors, battery packs, cell chemistry, and so forth.
I can now have a conversation with an engineer about them and explain how they work to a radio show host with little knowledge.
Consider This When You Learn Something
Learning is never beneficial to anyone when it’s all about marks and tests.
Learning should be about you actually knowing and understanding something.
And breaking something into its most simple and basic form is the way to do it.