A collection of preliminary thoughts and notes on teaching methods. A rather humble und incomplete attempt to learn for masters of the art.

Notes on Feynman's Lectures

Richard Feynman Nobel laurate photo, from Wikipedia, The Nobel FoundationRichard Feynman is often called the "Great Explainer", because he excelled at explaining complex physical problems to students and laymen. I find it very interisting to watch Richard Feynman's legendary BBC lectures on the laws of physics (Presented on Project TUVA) and jot down some notes. In a nutshell:

  • Feynman pursues a single coherent theme per lecture.
  • He builds up the theme in coherent phases of less than 10 min length.
  • He uses examples and drawings (concrete and picture superiority).
  • He works with mutliple input channels and reaches sensory integration.
  • He builds up arguments point by point, often leading to surprises.
  • He always concludes his lecture in a strong finish.
  • He summarizes the most important insights.
Read more: Notes on Feynman's Lectures

Notes on Made to Stick

The book Made to Stick and its SUCCESs paradigm are important for teaching.

It states that coherent stories will be recalled best, in particular if shaped according to the following principles:

  • Simple - Focus on the core message and its clarity.
  • Unexpected - Surprise!
  • Concrete - Perceptible language, multiple senses.
  • Credible - Richness in details and vivid description.
  • Emotional - Emotions are markers "Remember me!" - Show your fascination!
  • Stories - Coherent stories are best to remember.
Read more: Notes on Made to Stick

Notes on Medina's Brain Rules

Some notes on John Medina's Brain Rules and how his insights could improve teaching.

In short:

  • Rules #1 and #7: Get exercise and sleep! They are pure brain candy.
  • Rule #4: Attention is a privilege, given to interesting things, and it only lasts for 10 minutes.
  • Rule #5: Repeat to remember: Short-term memory needs repetition (badly). Summarize!
  • Rule #6: Remember to repeat: Revisit the content after a day, after a week, after a month, after half a year (to make it truly persistent)
  • Rule #8: Relaxed learning is better learning.
  • Rule #9: Sensory integration means multiple senses learn better than one.
  • Rule #10: Vision trumps all other senses. A picture says more than a thousand words. If in doubt draw it!
Read more: Notes on Medina's Brain Rules