Maybe not (whatever “smarter” means), but the practice of teaching certainly helps a person understand their subject much better.
Which is essentially the conclusion of a new study summarized on a recent episode of the 60-Second Science podcast.
Now a study finds that grad students who also teach show significant improvement in written research proposals, compared with grad students with no teaching requirement.
Differences in overall written quality among the students could not account for the results, because only specific skills among those analyzed showed improvement as a function of the teaching experience. So teaching may make STEM grad students better scientists. Not to mention better teachers.
I wonder if asking kids in grades below graduate school (like high school) to do more teaching and less being taught at, might make them smarter.
Or at least give them a better understanding of the math and science we want them to learn.