Teaching is Learning.

Posted by QuickMeUps

If you ever want to truly learn something, teach it to somebody else. Having to formulate a clear way to explain the subject matter, and answer questions that you may have never thought of, is a great way to deeply learn something.

This applies to 1-on-1 teaching, and even more so to teaching in front of a group. We never want to look foolish or uninformed, so you’ll find that if you agree to teach somebody or a group of people, you will prepare for this. As you prepare the topic, you will realize that you’re learning the material in a different, deeper manner than before.

Teaching is Learning.

Teaching others helps us learn more deeply.

Teaching helps us learn. Photo: University of the Fraser Valleyz

Docendo Discimus is a Latin phrase which means “By teaching, we learn” –  Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)… this is not a new idea.

In order to teach others, we must first assimilate the information at a deeper level. We must understand to teach. This has been observed in students, and there have been studies conducted:

Students enlisted to tutor others, these researchers have found, work harder to understand the material, recall it more accurately and apply it more effectively. In what scientists have dubbed “the protégé effect,” student teachers score higher on tests than pupils who are learning only for their own sake. – from Time Ideas.

I have personally witnessed this in my own life as I would often-times help the students around me in my university Calculus courses. This forced me to understand the information at more profound level in order to explain the underlying principles, and not simply “follow the rules”.

I have a friend who has recently begun teaching digital design to 2nd year university students. He has told me that this is a challenge for him, but that’s exactly why he accepted the offer. By agreeing to teach one class per week, he has to prep, plan, and make sure he knows the material thoroughly. This in turn, has helped him learn his craft at a deeper level.

“Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey down the water. Through an active, reciprocal exchange, teaching can strengthen learning how to learn.” – Loris Malaguzzi

So how can we benefit from this?

A great place to apply this idea is at work. If you are working on a project, and want to improve your comprehensive understanding of the working parts, try helping a co-worker get up to speed. Try tutoring a new hire, or a teammate without the experience that you have. You may find yourself explaining things in a way that you hadn’t previously considered.

You can teach yourself while teaching others.

We can also use this principle in our hobbies – in the gym, sports, instruments, painting, writing, etc. Teaching others can help us learn, plus it has the added benefit of helping others. And helping is always awesome.

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

So let’s keep teaching, and keep learning.

Teaching is Learning.

Comments ( 2 )

  1. Replyartourway
    So lovely xo

Join the Conversation: