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Clear, Lucid, Intuitive Teaching: BetterExplained


Posted August 8, 2012 by Dr. Henri Montandon


he Internet is an extraordinary medium for learning – and for teaching. As the saying goes, one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it. We reckon that many people who find WhyCon appealing are teachers, and therefore they pay attention not only to what is said but to how subjects are presented. Clear, lucid, transparent, intuitive – words describing the way in which some gifted humans are able to organize information so that it becomes knowledge.

Khalid Azad is one of those gifted people. He notes, “Back at Princeton I started a site to explain concepts as I would have liked to learn them. BetterExplained is a continuation of that idea.” It’s also in the tradition of “questions you always wanted to ask your math professor but were too scared to ask.” Clarifications and insights abound in a wide range of topics: Bayes Theorem, combinations and permutations, natural logs, complex numbers, vector calculus. All of these maths and many others discussed on the site are of interest to neuroscience researchers including those who are sojourning in the wilds of consciousness science.

An old parable depicts truth as an elephant and the seekers after truth as blind people. One feels the elephant’s trunk and guesses an elephant is like a snake. One feels a leg and states an elephant is like a tree. And so on and so forth. In the realm of conceptual learning, the Internet can help us to avoid the trap of false generalizations based on limited data by presenting any concept from many, many different points of view. The outstanding truth is that there are many people like Khalid Azad who create sites to share the excitement of their own learning. Some may not be as gifted as he is, but most have significant Aha! moments and appreciable clarifications on offer.


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Dr. Henri Montandon



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