It is one of my convictions that teaching something to others is the best way of learning it. This relates to all kind of subjects, be it data science or discofox.

I have been a fan of Learning by teaching ever since I came across this concept. It perfectly described my early experiences as a leader of study groups. If you can explain it to your fellows, you are ready for the examination. Ever since I got the opportunity to teach classes on my own I followed this maxim. I had the need to learn more about empirical analysis and causal inference. Thus I started a series of seminars covering a mixture of data science, econometrics, statistics and reporting.

Lately, I came across an inspiring (e)book Causal Inference – The Mixtape by Scott Cunningham (Yale University Press). He brings it to the point:

„I could feel that econometrics was indispensable, and yet I was missing something. But what? It was a theory of causality […]. So, desperate, I did what I always do when I want to learn something new — I developed a course on causality to force myself to learn all the things I didn’t know.“

Scott Cunningham (2021)

But what do if you don’t have a class or study group? You can’t force people to listen to you, can you?

There are plenty of options to find communities who are interested in exchange. If you subject is suited to be taught in written form, you can start your own homepage (e.g. Bookdown), participate in Q&A discussion boards (e.g. Stack-Community) or write or improve the subject related Wikipedia article. Actually Wikipedia extends the idea of teaching your subject to the entire world (or at least many people from around the world interested in your subject).

The concept of learning by teaching also extend to physical mastery of handcraft, ballroom dance or gardening. You need to find „students“, i.e. people who are interested to learn.

Also check out my post on How to find a teacher.


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