Growing Good Men – The Feynman Technique

Every Tuesday at Berwick Grammar School we have our Growing Good Men Sessions. These pastoral lessons are designed to develop life skills and are delivered by various teachers in year groups. Last week I worked with the Year 12 boys. It was great to follow on from their session with Glenn Manton which focused on developing relationships through conversation. We were then able to link the idea of trust and building of the team as they complete their final year at school. We then focused on learning the Feynman Technique.

One way to develop understanding, team culture and encouragement is to create study groups in their classes. This will ensure that the boys reinforce their understanding of the concepts they are covering in their classes. It is best if these groups have a minimum of three boys and have a specific focus for the meeting. We recommend that the boys take advantage of school being open until 4:30 pm and arranging with their teachers for additional support.

The Feynman Technique was developed by Richard Feynman a Nobel Prize Winning American Physicist. Essentially the idea is this, to find out if you really understand something explain it to someone who doesn’t have the background knowledge. If you can’t then you need to revisit the literature on the subject and boost your understanding. How we envisage the boys using this is in their study groups discussing a concept, seeing if everyone can come to a consensus in the explanation and if they can’t, review it until they all can. Being able to explain concepts concisely in their final exams will distinguish them from other students. It is all about communication, so let’s practice.