Learning through Teaching
January 1, 2013
Most people are familiar with learning through books or in classes or from teachers and peers, but many overlook perhaps the most thorough learning experience—teaching. The best test of whether or not you really understand a concept is trying to teach it to someone else. Teaching calls for
- How do you know that?
- When would you use that?
- How could you come up with that in the first place?
If you can’t answer these questions for something you ‘know,’ then you can’t teach it. You can’t teach it because you don’t really ‘know’ it after all. When learning, we can fool ourselves into believing we have a complete grasp of an idea before we really understand it. If we can do a
Teaching also forces you to communicate your thoughts clearly and precisely. As our society becomes ever more interlocked and interdependent, cooperation becomes more and more important. This cooperation requires communication; however, being heard is not enough. You must also be understood. Your ideas will never be more effective than your ability to make others comprehend them. Teaching helps you develop the extremely important skill of describing your ideas well enough for others to use them.
Teach. It’s not just good for those you help; it’s good for you, too.