photo from flickr


Confucius once said, “I hear and I forget.  I see and I remember.  I do and I understand.”  

It’s a terrific saying and one that I have heard on many occasions, but there is another stage again that can take your learning to a whole new level and my five year old son reminded me of this recently.  


Hayden started school this year and he has started the process of learning how to read.  After a slow start, he has really started to make progress over the past couple of weeks which is really exciting for us.   

The other day my wife was doing the grocery shopping and I was minding the kids.  I was enjoying the rare peace and quiet, but it was a bit too quiet which can often mean that they are getting up to mischief.  I went to Hayden’s bedroom to investigate and discovered him on the floor with his 2 year old brother, Logan.  He was showing him flashcards with letters on them and “teaching” him.   

I was reminded again that the most effective way to learn something is not to hear, see or do, but to teach.  

Why is this the case?  

  • Teaching something demands that you learn something back to front and research your subject thoroughly.
  • It increases your confidence regarding a subject, putting you in a more resourceful state when discussing it.
  • It demands that you interact with the subject matter, increasing the rate of memory retention.
  • It is a more intentional method of learning than merely doing.  Saying that you only learn through doing can be a cop-out from reading and studying.
  • Being prepared to answer questions increased your awareness of a topic.

If you want to learn more about a particular subject, that’s terrific.  Find someone to teach and go to the next level in your learning.  

Who are you going to teach this week? 

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