Education is important for all of us as it leads us to live a more fruitful and happier life.
But there are so many myths surrounding education and learning that they emerge as major obstacles to effective learning and making the most out of our education.
Here, we throw light on a few leading myths about education and learning that are most relevant to a majority of teachers, parents, and administrators.
We also try to debunk them and try to find the actual truth behind them.
Myths About Education
1. Teachers Have the Maximum Influence on a Child’s Education
We all know the importance of teachers and the role they play in any child’s education. They play a pivotal role in the achievement of any student. But they are not the all-important factor.
According to research, only thirty percent of a student’s academic success can be attributed to teachers. The maximum influencing factor is socioeconomic status.
Other important impacting factors are the neighborhood, the home environment especially its psychological quality, and lastly physical health and fitness.
It establishes the fact that the outside factors and not the teachers have more power to improve any student’s learning and achievement.
2. An Education equates to a guaranteed job
We all desire a well-paying job to lead a good life.
Most of us get educated with the aim of procuring a good job. But education is not the guarantee of a job. It gives you the basic preparation, helps you pass several screen tests of the employer, and might even land you your dream job.
Education plays a crucial role in making you eligible for a job but it is not the exclusive factor. There are plenty of other factors like your personality, attitude, experience, your mentor, connections, and even your online presence, etc.
Hence, it is evident that education does not guarantee that you can do the job well and thus no education can guarantee you any job.
3. Teachers and instructors should have several qualifications below their belt
Most often, teachers are judged by their qualifications, degrees, certificates, etc. But being highly qualified is one thing and being a terrific teacher is another.
Teaching is a skill set that does not come with a qualification. A highly qualified person can be a poor instructor while a low qualified person can turn out to be an excellent teacher.
That is why many schools do not give overdue stress on qualifications and test out the teaching ability of a person for hiring them as teachers.
4. Education will give you the required skills and knowledge to compete globally
Do you think education alone will make you eligible to compete in the global economy and be productive for society and humankind?
The entire concept is misguided and likes muddy water. Education is never gained with the aim of becoming a productive member of society.
It should always be approached with the idea of gaining appropriate knowledge and skills so that your inherent talent is enhanced and you can easily get a job that you enjoy and lead a lifestyle that you dream of.
5. Online education is neither participatory nor interactive
It is true that many online courses are individualistic in nature. Many courses involve mere reading of content and watching videos.
In such courses, you are not given any opportunity to interact with other students or get avenues to interact in several challenging ways with the course material.
But a virtual course is not defined by it. It is not mandatory for all virtual courses to toe this line.
There are plenty of online courses that are interactive and participatory in nature.
You can not only interact with the instructor and fellow students but can also interact in innumerable creative ways with the course material.
6. Homework boosts achievement
It is a very popular belief but lacks any concrete evidence.
On the contrary, students in Finland have demonstrated a higher degree of achievement with a shorter duration of school and little to no homework.
In reality, the deciding factor for any student’s achievement is what they experience during school hours. For example, project-based learning emphasizes more on what is done during the day.
Students do have the option to do more after school hours but is completely their choice.
Generally, assigning homework might fulfill several other aims but it should not be given with the belief that it will increase student achievement.
7. Compared to virtual classrooms, traditional brick and mortar classrooms facilitate better learning
No learning environment and delivery mechanism are perfect. Each has its own pros and cons. Thus, one cannot be deemed superior to the other.
What proves better is decided by the students’ aptitude and preference. Some students learn better in a traditional classroom while others learn better through the virtual classroom and being alone in the comforts of their home.
Thus, this entire debate is baseless. The focus should be on acknowledging the fact that the one-size-fits-all approach to education is becoming obsolete and modern students have the flexibility to choose the best route to getting educated.
8. You must always attend a college if you get the opportunity
It is again a false myth. In modern times, there are several alternatives to college.
While there is nothing wrong with joining a college after school; there are also no issues with you foregoing a traditional college degree and joining a job straight after school.
A college degree only adds to your academic qualifications and helps you get more appropriate jobs. None can deny the benefits of attending a college but it need not be a good fit for all.
Practical knowledge and experience too count and can pave the way to success.
9. Tests or quizzes are the best way to judge any student’s learning
Tests and quizzes constitute the grading system of many schools, colleges, and institutions.
It is the chosen indicator to gauge any student’s learning. But it is not concrete proof of any student mastering a subject.
It is just standardized testing that does not give a clear-cut indication of any student intellectually nailing the subject.
For instance, a student might gain exceptionally high marks in exams by rote learning but he/she might not have the required understanding or knowledge of the material.
Thus, they are definitely not the best way to judge any student’s learning.
10. Class Size Doesn’t Affect Education
This is entirely wrong. Most organizations who run educational institutions on a large scale claim that class size doesn’t matter if you want to learn and doubt sessions afterward make up for individual attention. But this is entirely wrong.
Imagine yourself in a class of 200. You will feel anonymous. The teachers can’t remember each student’s name and thus they can’t give individual attention.
On the other hand, in a class of 20, there will be lesser distractions, individual attention, and effective learning.
While enrolling in any class or school, do inquire about the class sizes, as it will have a great impact on your learning.
11. Money Isn’t A factor When It Comes TO Quality Education
Money is a deciding factor when it comes to better education.
A school with higher fees or higher donations or funding will higher better teachers which directly impacts the quality of education.
Schools and colleges with a small budget fail to attract good teachers, which results in bad results and directly impacts the future of students. Money is a driving factor and it will always be.
12. High School Results Guarantee A College Admission
It couldn’t be more wrong. Almost all reputed colleges conduct an admission test.
If you pass the test with flying colors, the seat is yours. Also, there are different quotas in colleges and schools like sports quotas.
If you are good at a sport, be better at it, and pass the sports test. Generally, the “great marks get a seat” theory compels students to give up on their sports talent and focus on studies, which is wrong.
If you are talented at something, except studies, you can still get admission.
13. Automated Learning Is Better Since They Know It All
Most schools are making money in the name of the automation. But it is a fact that no AI can replace a human. A teacher not only explains content but also manages a class.
The primary classes and kindergarten especially need a teacher who can manage young learners and even solve their silly problems. AI can never do that.
After all, they lack a heart. Besides the thought of a teacher when a machine is explaining things that have been identified by humans, using content that is created by humans, doesn’t hold its ground.
14. If Teacher Is Same, Performance Should Be same
This is a very wrong idea. No two kids are the same and teachers can’t be held responsible if the student isn’t ready to learn.
Some kids work harder than others and it reflects in their grades. Teachers don’t bias while explaining things and thus, if a kid is underperforming, while the other kid is performing well, it’s not the teacher’s fault.
Besides, parents are equally responsible for a kid’s studies. As a parent, it is your responsibility to assess their progress on an ongoing basis and inspire them to do better in class.
15. If Students Are Not Creative, It’s School’s Fault
First, you must understand creativity. It is the will to create some new or try something different. This quality is developed in students by continuous encouragement and by providing them opportunities.
Most often, it is blamed upon the educational system that my kids are not creative, it is the educational policy’s fault. But it is also parents’ fault who focusing on their kids’ grades.
Most people judge a person’s intelligence by this report card. It inspires the belief that creativity and talent do not matter; only a school report card does. But it is not the fault of educational policy, but society’s mindset.
16. Schools Can’t provide Knowledge And Skills Both
Parents believe that if their kid is good at something, he is not going to improve it by going to school. But this is wrong. Knowledge and skill are not entirely the same but they are not so separate.
Knowledge stimulates skill. Say, a kid is good at writing historical fiction, but to gain knowledge of the historical events in history is essential to write so the kid can relate.
A kid who loves to create small tools or machines needs knowledge of Physics. Hus, skills can’t be directly obtained at school sometimes, but knowledge is available at school which your kid uses to enhance his skills.
17. Brain Training Is the Key to Improve Your Child’s Cognitive Performance
Most schools are offering brain training these days. They claim that brain games can increase performance.
There are several games available even for adults which claim to increase their IQ. But these games don’t teach you anything new.
They only make your practice what you already know. They have no impact on cognitive functioning and thus brain training at school is not going to improve cognitive performance.
18. Introduction of Technology In Studies Has Made Students reluctant To Read
This is a common myth that is spreading very fast that e-learning has made students reluctant to read or study as everything is available at a click.
They don’t bother to learn. But instead, technology has made things easier. Earlier, when kids had a question, they sued to refer to books. And if the book was not available, teachers were the only source of knowledge.
But today, kids can access the endless pit of knowledge anytime. No matter how many questions they have, they can search for the answers or learn other than their syllabus.
Some recent research has shown that reading statistics has improved since the 1980s. People are not reluctant to study is evident.
19. Sitting in Groups Is Class Than Sitting In A Row
New and experimental learning solutions have come up with seating arrangements in schools where kids sit in a group of three or four people around a table. But is it always effective?
No, because one kid distracts all others at his table and hinder their learning. It also leads to unnecessary discussions.
These myths are not just myths; they have become the new educational policies. And there is no outer force that has created these myths, but the people themselves.
It’s high time when these must be debunked and eliminated. If you believe in any of these myths, it’s not your fault. They are so prevalent that most of us consider them true.
Understanding them and eliminating them from our mindset will lead to a richer educational experience and help all of us lead a more fulfilling and contented life.