Everyone has their own particular way of acing an exam. Whether it’s re-writing a textbook over and over, or making short and snappy note cards for you to memorize, everyone’s brains tend to work in different ways.
There’s been plenty of research over the years investigating what may or may not be the best form of learning, and there’s actually one method that stands out above the rest in being the most effective…Teaching.
Here’s why explaining something to someone else may well be the best form of learning.
Learning is a two-way street
A Roman Philosopher named Seneca once wisely said: “While we teach, we learn.” And now in the 21st century, this remains as true and enlightening as ever. The idea that the more we teach something, the more we learn about it ourselves does actually make more sense than you first think.
When we teach something to others, we will also gain another perspective on the idea. An informed discussion on the matter with others will create new neurological pathways in your brain, only reinforcing your own knowledge further. The more you talk about it, the more likely you are to understand and comprehend what it truly means. They say learning is a memory game, but it’s also about advancing and excelling.
Research says so
Previous research has investigated the success of learning when students are told to tutors others. This research has found that these students have to work harder, meaning they understand the material better, they can apply their knowledge more effectively, and they can also recall it more accurately.
There have also been theories put forward suggesting first-born children are the most intelligent. Studies have found that the eldest child has the highest IQ because they spend the most amount of time teaching their younger siblings the ways of the world.
How can we put this into practice?
If you want to master something, you should teach it! It’s pretty obvious that if you are tasked in having to teach something to someone else, then you will have to put in the extra effort to make sure you fully and entirely understand it yourself. There will be no cutting corners. You will have to really dig deep to make sure you can grasp the concept fully – enough to explain it to someone else.
Not only can teaching progress your understanding and knowledge on something, but it’s also been proven that it’ll improve your mental wellbeing too. You will get a great sense of pride and achievement when you can explain something to someone else. No longer will your personal knowledge reside in your own head, but if you teach it, your knowledge will then be out in the reality of the world.
Due to lots of research pointing towards teaching being the most effective way of learning, educational organisations all across the world are looking at ways it can be implemented into how students learn academically. Here are some important methods:
If you understand something, turn to your classmates and explain your own understanding to them;Actively spend your time tutoring a younger person. Also, join a social extracurricular club on the subject you know you can excel in. This will allow you to broaden your academic horizons by teaching others about the things you love the most.
Put these ideas into practice and you could end up becoming both an amazing teacher and learner!