Teach to Learn

Founder of enYouVen, Scott Larsen tries to use his background and experience to help make the world a significantly better place.

There are many ways to learn new things, and each of them resonates differently for each of us.  Here’s one method that has worked for me possibly better than any other – and it’s one that most of us rarely think about: teaching.

Who's Learning?

Who’s Learning Here? (Image via Wikipedia cc)

 

In grad school, my math professor said “I don’t feel like I really understand something until I can teach it to an 8 year old.”  Does he routinely teach to 8 year olds?  Nope.  And am I regularly in a classic teaching environment? No.  But that’s not what he was saying.  What do you think he was saying instead?  I wanna hear your ideas here….

 

I’ve found that one of the most powerful and effective ways for me to learn something is to prepare to teach the material to someone I know.  Most of the time this is just done as a thought experiment: I don’t really teach them.  But as I work through the material — how I would present it to them, how I would connect it to things they already know, what questions I could draw from them, what questions and answers they might ask (and how I would respond), etc. — that’s how I really get to know the material well.  And that’s one of the best ways I’ve found to learn such material.

 

Think of the next thing you’re likely to learn about, or the next thing you’d like to learn about.  As you go about learning it, ask yourself if there’s someone you’d like to teach it to (even if just in your head)?  How would you teach them?  Try this experiment, and let us know how it goes for you.  Teach to learn.

 

I’m offering you your money back guarantee that it you’ll learn better if you try that.  Take me up on it!

Founder of enYouVen, Scott Larsen tries to use his background and experience to help make the world a significantly better place.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Teach to Learn

  1. I have been called upon to teach (or conduct a training seminar) on a variety of subjects. Occasionally the subject manner was something I was not familiar with prior to the lesson. The act of training myself not only helped me teach the class better but also increased my knowledge of the subject manner because I knew I would have to fully understand in order to better teach.