This formula will help you grasp whatever you learn with ease.

“Always remember what you have learned. Your education is your life—guard it well. ” (Proverbs 4:13, Good News Translation).

Education is among the basic tools to a good life. With education, one develops skills that can be utilized for life improvement. Money and possessions can be stolen, but skills cannot. Thus, effective education becomes an important factor in life’s development. There exist different forms of education, namely, school-taught and self-education. As of now, I am sure most of you have heard that in life, you are either class smart or street smart. With this line of thought, class smart is the school-taught education, while street smart entails self-education. Learning is a life-long process.

We go to school to acquire education and skills that are vital in helping us navigate through life. Some subjects are easy to grasp, while others are complex. From time to time, we seek remedies to enable us to remember what we have been taught. The common method for learning the basics of a subject is the SQ3R. Fundamentally, the method entails surveying (S), questioning (Q), reading, reciting, and reviewing (3Rs). However, today, I would like to introduce another effective method for grasping whatever one learns with ease. The method is based on the medical training principle that is particularly used in surgery. In essence, the surgical medical trainees apply the ‘see one, do one, teach one’ methodology whereby after observing a certain surgical procedure, they are expected to perform it. Afterward, they need to teach another trainee how to do the same procedure. In this regard, the method I want to introduce today follows the ‘see one, do one, teach one’ sequence. The method is summarized as WDT-formula. Primarily, WDT stands for Watch (W), Do (D), Teach (T). In the learning context, the method is applied as below.

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More often than not, the teacher comes to class, tells the students what they will learn that day, and then proceeds to teach. In this instance, as a learner, you ought to be keen to understand the learning objectives and outcomes expected of you. You also need to watch carefully as the teacher breaks down the broad topics into simpler concepts based on the learning objectives. The basic skill that would enable you to gain a lot of knowledge from watching as the teacher teaches is concentration. Therefore, ensure that your concentration levels are always high during lessons. Also, always be ready to ask questions regarding areas where you failed to understand. Most subjects have learn as you do questions or exercises that test the student’s understanding on the go. In essence, these questions form the basis of the initial stage of applying the ‘Do’ step of the WDT formula.

Students watching carefully as the teacher breaks down the broad topics into simpler concepts. (Image Credits: Bored Teachers at


Despite answering the prompt exercise questions on the go, there is the need for further action to the ‘Do’ step of the formula. It entails the learner going the extra mile in attempting further exercises on the topic learned. In this way, the learner reinforces the lessons learned and commits the knowledge from temporary memory to permanent memory. In this step, the basic skill to enable the learner to be effective in doing whatever they learned would be their ability to recall the moments in the classroom session as the teacher was delivering the lesson. Besides recalling, the student should revisit the classroom exercises to lay a foundation for additional individual exercises. Essentially, the revisitation is vital in reinforcing the understanding of the topic.

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A student engaged in private study and additional individual exercises. (Image credits: Youth Village at:


The third and final step of the formula entails interacting with peers to reinforce understanding of the concepts. By now, you ought to understand that the first two steps of the formula – watch and do – involve a lot of individual effort. The ‘teach’ step of the formula entails the learner being involved with others. In this step, discussion groups become important in ensuring that they gain a deeper understanding of the lessons and concepts learned in class. Fundamentally, an effective discussion group would entail turn-taking whereby the learners teach each other the various concepts within a topic. There are principles to abide by in conducting fruitful discussions, even though that is a topic for another day.

Students engaged in a science discussion. (Image credits: University of St. Thomas at

More often than not, the complete application of the WDT formula would require that students be willing to teach even when not asked. This would mean that they consciously involve themselves in following each of the steps of the formula as:

Watch – being keen during each lesson.

Do – going the extra mile to reinforce the concepts through individual exercises.

Teach – being approachable for discussions as well as teaching others

Introspectively, the WDT-formula helps raise effective learners whose focus is not on learning to cram and pass exams but those who take time to internalize the basic and advanced concepts of the subjects learned. Eventually, through the formula, schools will raise understanding learners and help eliminate the challenge of breeding individuals who aim to pass exams but are poor in executing concepts. In so doing, the education system would help bridge the skills gap in the marketplace.

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Do have a fruitful study, won’t you?

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