02 Oct Demystifying 8 Popular Learning Myths: Part 1
This is How Myths Persist
There’s no underestimating the progress that’s been made in the world of Learning and Development. The onset of innovations like artificial intelligence, virtual reality and learning analytics have created a landscape that brings learning to life in a whole new way. And yet, after decades of revolutionary findings in the field, a number of learning myths have stood the test of time. And they have no grounding in scientific research.
Prominent researchers like William Thalemeir continuously strive to uncover and debunk these liable learning myths, stating:
“When we cater to learning myths & misconceptions, we don’t help learners as much as we could, and we hurt our learning results! Respectfully debunking myths and misconceptions. Energetically learning from research and practice. Sharing proven evidenced-based information. Listening, observing, being open yet skeptical.”– William Thalemeir, The Debunker Club.
At TCP, we have our own list of learning myths. Some might be too popular to not persist…. But that won’t stop us from trying to disprove them.
Here are 4 of the 8 Popular Learning Myths that are ready to be demystified in Part 1 of our two part bust:
Myth 1: Everyone Has a Different Style of Learning
Do you consider yourself a visual learner? When you see something, do you commit it to memory? Or do you learn faster by hearing new information? The theory of “learning styles” has been around since the fifties, and the general public and even some top educators believe it to be true. Still, there’s little to no evidence to support learning styles as effective frameworks for processing information. Even the U.S. Department of Education is encouraging educators to “make [their] own call on how to utilize learning styles in the classroom.”
Myth 2: Learning is the Same as Researching
Google. Wikipedia. Snopes. You pick. There are countless ways to uncover complicated information on the internet. Unfortunately, this streamlined process of research has caused many new age learners to assume that looking something up is the same thing as learning it. But, with unlimited sources and no real system for source verification, how do learners know which information is valid? Which takeaways will facilitate effective learning? And which ones are simply the best ranked articles on Google?
Myth 3: Younger Brains Have a Greater Capacity for Learning
Neuroscientists confirm that the brain forms new neural pathways even into late adulthood through a process called brain plasticity. Older brains are actually more adept at engaging in complex-problem solving and synthesizing information than younger ones. That “young brain” might be a sponge, but the older brain has a profound capacity for learning.
Myth 4: Rereading and Highlighting Helps You Retain Information
Rereading is an outdated, passive, ineffective form of learning. Many prominent researchers have argued that selectively highlighting text might be detrimental to learning. In order to retain, the learner must apply. Give the takeaway a real-life use case, make sense of it on their own terms, use their own words, add their own context and let it relate to their previous learning experiences. Learners are better to quiz themselves than to reread and highlight important information.
Stay Tuned: We Have Four More Myths to Demystify
From how many hours it takes to become an “expert,” to the merits of minimally-guided learning, keep your eyes on the blog for Demystifying 8 Popular Learning Myths: Part 2.