Importance of the Big Picture

2011 April 8
by roma

I'm really glad I'm not the only one who's confused by electricity. Turns out, even people with electrical engineering degrees wake up one day and notice the contradictions in electricity concepts as they are commonly taught.

I'm so glad I stumbled upon this site. In fact, it provides a great illustration of the idea that society needs to hold its educational institutions accountable for what's being taught. The teaching of electricity in a confusing manner results in students feeling like they are not smart enough to understand the concept. I felt that way in trying to make sense of electricity. As students, we should always be questioning textbooks and teachers.

In institutions of higher learning, the approach of using math to explain extremely confusing subjects does not alleviate this problem. In the link provided above, the author describes how he tried to understand electricity as an engineering student:
dive into mathematics, understand electricity in the form of interconnected equations, but without having any real, visual, gut-level "feel" for the concepts.

I usually prefer to understand something intuitively before using equations to describe the concept. Can it be that we're taught equations because it diverts our attention from the contradictions inherent in a particular explanation?

When I find a site like this, I wonder whether educational institutions have a plan to compete with the power of the internet. The ability to use a search engine and be a little bit persistent gets rid of the need to pay lots of money and sit in stuffy classrooms.

I appreciate the author of this site because the information has given me a much deeper understanding of electricity.

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