Blog of Sara Jakša

Learning Tactics - Self-Explanation

Self-explanation, as a learning techniques is exactly that. The learner explains to himself the process of achieving results.

The techniques can be used for the variety of things. From studying mathematical processes to music theory to any information written in text.

The biggest danger with self-explaining is paraphrasing. If the learner had seen the whole process, there is a danger, that he is only going to paraphrase. The strength in this method is for the learner to make the explanations himself.

So for example, I am going to use the proof of a mathematical formula. The formula is: if a-b=even number and b-c=even number then a-c=even number.

I start by writing all three equations in order.

a-b=2x

b-c=2y

a-c=z

Now to prove, that z is an even number. To do that, I first combien the first two equations to get rid of the variable b.

a-2x=2y+c

Then I put the third equation in, to get rid of variable a as well.

z+c-2x=2y+c

I can subtract c from the both sides.

z-2x=2y

Now I have to see, what variable z means.

z=2y+2x

Since both of the variables on the right sides have to, I can put them together.

z=2(x+y)

Since the variable z is 2 multiplies with something and 2 multiplies with something is always even, that means that variable z is always even.

So no you can try it. Pick a process or a method, that you want to learn. Explain all the steps in the process.

It doesn’t matter, if the process goes in the wrong direction. Simply thinking out loud can have an impact to the brain’s ability to remember information.

Just try it once, to see if it suits your learning style. Have a lot of fun with explaining, like I had.