“A significantly greater number of students fail science, engineering and math courses that are taught lecture-style than fail in classes incorporating so-called active learning that expects them to participate in discussions and problem-solving beyond what they've memorized.”
— Enough with the lecturing, National Science Foundation
The greatest challenges to education are disinterest and apathy.
Research validates what our common sense tells us—that lectures are an ineffective way to learn something new.
Moving from ignorance to understanding is an intellectual contact sport. Watching a video is not enough.
Use it or lose it—to learn effectively, reduce the time between being exposed to a new idea and applying it.
People who want to learn will naturally seek out the concepts and intuition that form the foundation of true learning, rather than cramming facts and formulas.
It is a critical part of education to exchange ideas and be inspired by a community that challenges you.
Standards are seductive, but the reality is that people are developmentally different.
The difference between a good student and a great student is that great students allow themselves to fail. Failure is a necessary part of the process of challenging yourself to think at your limit.
Eventually, the contrived problems end and we must solve problems in the world. Critical thinking is the skill we grow when confronting unfamiliar problems, and is the most valuable part of an education.
The culmination of a great education is not having all the answers, but knowing what to ask.
Learn more about our philosophy and stories of real users in the New York Times, where we regularly contribute to the NumberPlay column, and in our other press mentions in the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Bloomberg, NPR, and more.
The capacity to think critically—not raw IQ or knowledge—is the power that separates successful from mediocre participants in many fields. We can grow this power by trying, and often failing, to solve diverse, concrete problems. This is the Brilliant.org method:
Millions of people around the world have been growing their abilities together on Brilliant, and we've been studying what works and what doesn't. Their study and practice is our laboratory, and we put our learnings back into our product, content, and community development for your benefit.
A resource like Brilliant takes focused time and effort to build. A global team of experienced staff, contractors, and enthusiasts have guided the development of the material and philosophy that you see today. The core staff leaders today are:
Calvin represented Singapore in the IMO. He has spent years teaching the joy of mathematics through understanding the patterns and linkage of ideas, rather than the memorization of formulas.
Zandra has taught aspiring young students in math enrichment programs such as the Berkeley, Stanford, and San Francisco Math Circles. She loves opening people's eyes to the beautiful relationships that exist in mathematics.
Eli directed the Harvard-MIT Math Tournament, and later applied math and computer science to research ranging from derivatives markets to quantitative linguistics to voting theory. He enjoys connecting mathematical abstraction to the world around us.
Josh has researched problems at the intersection of physics and biology, focusing on the economics of resource allocation in growing cells. He likes to shine light on ideas that cross the borders between disciplines.