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Explanation Effect: Why You Should Always Teach What You Learn

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Explanation Effect: Why You Should Always Teach What You Learn

Explanation Effect: Why You Should Always Teach What You Learn

https://medium.com/accelerated-intelligence/explanation-effect-why-you-should-always-teach-what-you-learn-9800983a0ea1

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Benefits of teaching what you learn

  • When you learn with the intention to teach, you learn more deeply.
  • While you teach, you will realize where you have gaps in your knowledge.
  • Teaching will give you valuable feedback.
  • You will have to apply what you learn.
  • You will help others succeed.
  • You will build deeper relationships with others.
  • You will build a reputation as a giver.
  • The more you teach, the better you become.
  • You can get paid as a teacher, coach, consultant, or writer.

The Explanation Effect

Learning is not passive: you can't learn just by taking in information. Without some form of active processing, like teaching, almost everything we read is lost in a short time.

Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker

“No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it.”

Start A Daily Learning Journal

Spending 15 minutes a day reflecting on what you've learned can have a 20% learning gain.

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Have a reason to study

Have an end goal in mind when you're learning.

  • What do you want to do with this information?
  • How is it going to improve your life?

Even if ...

Find the right instructor

Set some time aside to see what courses are available.
Take advantage of any free lessons, watch the introductions to their classes and see if the instructor will be a good fit for your skill level and speed.

Don’t binge

Watching online tutorial videos can become addictive. Keep in mind that you are trying to learn something, not get distracted.

How long you would be able to study depends on the density of the subject and the level of your knowledge about the subject.

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Practice makes perfect

Whether you’re learning to play the saxophone or studying a foreign language, practice, or repetition, makes perfect.

Repetition increases the myelin, or fatty coating, around the axioms tha...

Spaced repetition

Spacing out the repetition, rather than cramming it into one session, is more effective. To use this learning technique:

  • Start by establishing a manageable study schedule. 
  • Choose a method for storing and organizing information. 
  • Don’t forget to test yourself periodically. Tracking your progress will boost your motivation to continue.

Take time for reflection

In addition to solidifying what we’ve already learned, reflection also helps spark new ideas. And it usually happens when you're not working.

Our most creative ideas don't come when we're consciously focused on the problem. but when we're interacting with people, gaining experiences and letting our minds make connections.

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2 kinds of prior knowledge

... you need two kinds of prior knowledge:

  • Knowledge about the subject at hand (math, history, or programming).
  • Knowledge about how learning actually works.

Force yourself to recall

When learning is difficult, you're doing your best learning, in the same way that lifting a weight at the limit of your capacity makes you stronger. 

When you keep trying to remember a piece of information, you interrupt the forgetting process and help cement the memory of that information into your brain. 

Interleaving

It's a strategy of mixing up the type of problems you solve when you're testing yourself.

That way, the testing conditions are more similar to real life, where you first have to figure out what kind of problem you have on your hands and then solve it. 

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