More Learning, Less Teaching

Here’s a really great clip of Richard Feynman explaining how his father used to translate abstract concepts as he explained the world to his son.


The way Feynman’s father shared concepts with his son reminds me of a brilliant thought my colleague Roshi Givechi shared with me once. We were discussing how to design a working session for something; I don’t really remember. As we discussed how to structure the time, she commented that most people love to learn, but hate being taught.

This conversation must have been 3 years ago, but that thought has stayed with me. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t love to learn. To be engaged and excited when you learn something is such powerful and optimistic place. But we can only find that place when things are made relatable and interesting to us.

We’re seeing huge bets being places in online learning, both causal and degree-based formats. In these new explorations, we often lose the human teachers but there’s still a lot of “teaching” going on. This space holds a lot of promise, especially since online learning hopes to cater to the many ways each of us learn. But this movement online is very much in its infancy, and this clip is a great reminder of the interactions that create a joyous learning experience.

1 comment

  1. What a marvelous video. As an undergrad studying physics, I often felt a dissatisfaction similar to Feyman’s father’s; yes, I know the name for XYZ concept, but if I don’t understand it viscerally and intuitively, have I really learned anything at all? That feeling was the reason I pursued an engineering/business career instead of going to physics grad school. But I still end up teaching coworkers and friends physical concepts, and this was a great reminder that focusing on relatable explanations is the best way to spread the joy of understanding how the world works. Thanks for sharing.

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