NeuroMyths In The Classroom: When What You Think You Know About Learning Is Wrong

All of us hold some beliefs about something that are wrong, or partly true. It's the nature of being human, and also living in a complex world where we can't be experts in everything, so we pick up bits and pieces of "knowledge", sometimes from common wisdom that is wrong, and believe that something is true, when it's not.

What Are Neuromyths?

Neuromyths are beliefs, often held by teachers and educators about how the brain works, and how to make learning happen. In an article published by the OECD, Ulrike Rimmele explains where they come from:

A neuromyth usually starts out with a misunderstanding, a misreading and, in some cases, a deliberate warping of the scientifically established facts to make a relevant case for education or for other purposes. Due to the expectations of the applicability of brain research to educational practice, myths have rapidly developed around, for instance, the benefit of enriched environments, right- and left-brained dominance, critical periods of learning – to name the most popular ones. When these concepts are debated in journals and the popular press, educators and policy-makers alike are lost as how to discern fact from fiction. This ignorance results in certain dangers.

Potential Harm Of Neuromyths

Obviously some neuromyths may not affect instruction, but it's also possible that teachers, curriculum developers, policy makers and other decision makers may interpret myths about learning and translate them into effective wasteful techniques used in schools. At best, the effects will be neutral, but if the base for practice is false, then the practices will also be less than optimal.

Teachers, Educators, Trainers: Be Prepared For A Shock

We've gathered together a number of articles and references debunking many of these neuromyths, in the specific, but be warned, because these myths about how brains work are so commonly accepted among lay people -- or even professionals, that you'll be shocked at the common acceptance and belief in things that are just plain wrong.


Top : Neuromyths - When What You Believe About The Brain Is Wrong :

How much of what you think you know about how the brain works is incorrect? Or partly correct? A lot, say researchers, and that means you may be doing the wrong things in the classroom. Come along with us as we explore the many myths about learning and teaching.

Neutomyths: Research, Evidence About False Things You Believe About The Brain, Learning, and Teaching

Neuromyths - When What You Believe About The Brain Is Wrong

Brain Only "Plastic" For First Three Years Of Life - False - by OECD
OECD takes on the myth that brain plasticity applies only in infants until three years of age. People believe that those first three years are critical for development, but this article questions that conclusion because brain plasticity lasts throughout life. (Views So Far 402 )

Enriched environments enhance the brain’s capacity for learning - False - by OECD
Interesting take on the OECD site about the idea that enriched environments, particularly for children are required for development. However, this may be one area where 'we don't really know' yet. (Views So Far 423 )

Four neuromyths that are still prevalent in schools debunked - by Bradley Busch
Here are four things about the brain that you probably believe, and actually use to modify your teaching behavior. Unfortunately, they are incorrect. (Views So Far 234 )

It's time for teachers to wake up to neuromyths - by NA
Over recent years a new industry has exploded that sells educational interventions purportedly based on neuroscience to schools. In 2006 a paper published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience reported that teachers were receiving 70 emails per year marketing these tools and it seems the problem has only got worse. Unfortunately, neuroscience research simply doesn't even remotely back up a great many of the claims that are now being made. (Views So Far 303 )

Neuro Myths: Separating Fact and Fiction in Brain-Based Learning - by Sara Bernard
A good read that contains a number of the common false beliefs people have about brains and learning, but a little simplistic, because we don't really know a lot about how brains work. For teachers. (Views So Far 684 )

Neuromyths and why they persist in the classroom - by Prateek Buch
Ouch. On the list of neuromyths teachers believe are: importance of learning styles, right brain/left brain, multiple intelligences, and more. How many to YOU believe in? (Views So Far 420 )