Urban Myths about Learning and Education

Urban Myths about Learning and Education

1st Edition - March 4, 2015

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  • Authors: Pedro De Bruyckere, Paul A. Kirschner, Casper D. Hulshof
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128017319
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128015377

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Many things people commonly believe to be true about education are not supported by scientific evidence.  Urban Myths about Learning and Education examines commonly held incorrect beliefs and then provides the truth of what research has shown.  Each chapter examines a different myth, with sections on learning, the brain, technology, and educational policy.  A final section discusses why these myths are so persistent.  Written in an engaging style, the book separates fact from fiction regarding learning and education. Recognize any of these myths? People have different styles of learning Boys are naturally better at mathematics than girls We only use 10% of our brains The left half of the brain is analytical, the right half is creative Men have a different kind of brain from women We can learn while we are asleep Babies become smarter if they listen to classical music These myths and more are systematically debunked, with useful correct information about the topic in question.  

Key Features

  • Debunks common myths about learning and education
  • Provides empirical research on the facts relating to the myths
  • Utilizes light-hearted, approachable language for easy reading


Researchers in educational and cognitive psychology, and teacher education programs

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • Epigraph
    • Acknowledgments
    • Chapter 1. The Big Clear-Out
      • Sometimes We are Lazy
      • Thinking in Boxes
      • Our Vision of Education?
      • Brass Farthing
      • Cream Cakes
      • Dear Experts…
      • A Who’s Who of the World of Education Research
      • References
    • Chapter 2. Myths about Learning
      • Introduction
      • Myth 1 People Have Different Styles of Learning
      • Myth 2 The Effectiveness of Learning Can Be Shown in a Pyramid
      • Myth 3 You Learn 70% Informally, 20% from Others and Just 10% through Formal Education
      • Myth 4 If You Can Look Everything Up, Is Knowledge so Important?
      • Myth 5 Knowledge Is as Perishable as Fresh Fish
      • Myth 6 You Learn Better if You Discover Things for Yourself rather than Having Them Explained to You by Others
      • Myth 7 You Can Learn Effectively through Problem-Based Education
      • Myth 8 Boys Are Naturally Better at Mathematics than Girls
      • Myth 9 In Education, You Need to Take Account of Different Types of Intelligence
      • Myth 10 Our Memory Records Exactly What We Experience
      • Myth 11 School Kills Creativity
      • Myth 12 Ninety-Three Percent of Our Communication Is Non-Verbal
      • So, What Exactly Do We Know about Learning?
    • Chapter 3. Neuromyths
      • Introduction
      • Myth 1 We Are Good Multitaskers
      • Myth 2 We Only Use 10% of Our Brains
      • Myth 3 The Left Half of the Brain Is Analytical, the Right Half Is Creative
      • Myth 4 You Can Train Your Brain with Brain Gym and Brain Games
      • Myth 5 Men Have a Different Kind of Brain than Women
      • Myth 6 We Can Learn While We Are Asleep
      • Myth 7 Babies Become Cleverer if They Listen to Classical Music
      • Myth 8 We Think Most Clearly When We Are Under Pressure
      • Does It Help to Have a Correct Knowledge of How the Brain Works?
    • Chapter 4. Myths about Technology in Education
      • Myth 1 New Technology Is Causing a Revolution in Education
      • Myth 2 The Internet Belongs in the Classroom Because It Is Part of the Personal World Experienced by Children
      • Myth 3 Today’s Digital Natives Are a New Generation Who Want a New Style of Education
      • Myth 4 The Internet Makes Us Dumber
      • Myth 5 Young People Don’t Read Any More
      • Myth 6 You Learn Nothing from Games Other than Violence
      • Myth 7 You Can Help Poor Children to Learn Just by Giving Them Access to Computers
      • Learning and Technology: A Few Tips
    • Chapter 5. Myths in Educational Policy
      • Myth 1 You Can Justifiably Compare the School Results of Different Countries
      • Myth 2 Class Size Doesn’t Matter
      • Myth 3 Larger Schools Are Better than Small Ones
      • Myth 4 Separate Education for Boys and Girls Is More Effective than Mixed Education
      • Myth 5 Boys Benefit if They Have Lessons from Men More Regularly
      • Myth 6 Grade Retention – Being Left Back – Has a Positive Effect on Learning
      • Myth 7 More Money Means Better Education
      • Myth 8 Education Never Changes
    • Chapter 6. Myth Persistence and Myth Busting
      • Why are these Myths so Persistent?
      • Moral Panic and Educational Myths
      • What Can We do about this?
      • How Can I Avoid Believing Myths or Passing them on to Others?
      • Into the Future: What About the Myths to Come?
      • References
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 226
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2015
  • Published: March 4, 2015
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128017319
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128015377

About the Authors

Pedro De Bruyckere

Pedro De Bruyckere
Pedro De Bruyckere (1974) is an educational scientist at Arteveldehogeschool University College, Ghent, Belgium (www.arteveldehs.be) since 2001. He co-wrote several popular books in Dutch debunk popular myths on GenY and GenZ, education and pop culture. Pedro is an often asked public speaker, one of his strongest points is that he is funny in explaining serious stuff. Pedro is often asked in media in both Belgium and The Netherlands on topics of both education and Youth and was mentioned by Dutch Magazine Vrij Nederland as one of the most influential voices in educational debates.

Affiliations and Expertise

Antwerp University, Antwerpen, Belgium

Paul A. Kirschner

Paul A. Kirschner
Paul A. Kirschner (1951) is professor of Educational Psychology and Director of the Fostering Effective, Efficient and Enjoyable Learning environments (FEEEL) program at the Welten Institute, Research Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology at the Open University of the Netherlands as well as Visiting Professor of Education with a special emphasis on Learning and Interaction in Teacher Education at the University of Oulu, Finland. He is an internationally recognized expert in his field. A few notable examples of this is that he was President of the International Society for the Learning Sciences (ISLS) in 2010-2011, his election to both the ISLS CSCL Board and the Executive Committee of the Society and the fact that he is an AERA Research Fellow (the first European to receive this honor). He is currently a member of the Scientific Technical Council of the Foundation for University Computing Facilities (SURF WTR) in the Netherlands and was a member of the Dutch Educational Council and, as such, was advisor to the Minister of Education (2000-2004). He is chief editor of the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, associate editor of Computers in Human Behavior, and has published a very successful book Ten Steps to Complex Learning (now in its second revised edition and translated/published in Korea and China). He also co-edited two other books (Visualizing Argumentation and What we know about CSCL).

Affiliations and Expertise

Welten Institute, Open University of The Netherlands

Casper D. Hulshof

Casper Hulshof (1973) has a PhD in educational sciences, and works as a teacher at the faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands (www.uu.nl). He specializes in courses on educational psychology, research methodology, and philosophy of science. To him, the most important points about effective teaching are humor and making the connection between classic theory and contemporary research. He is an active user of social media where he likes to discuss science and pseudoscience, and tries to bridge the gap between educational research and educational practice.

Affiliations and Expertise

Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

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  • Sandra O. Sun Sep 11 2022

    Urban Myths

    Well explanation book

  • Rolf S. Mon Jun 18 2018

    Urban Myths

    Authors have the expertise to deconstruct popular, but unfounded assumptions about media use in teaching and learning. Today a critical analysis of the use of digital media, especially smartphones, is needed, since many teachers, lecturers, and professors, do not throw a sceptical eye onto the enthusiastic trends of digitalization. The book selects some aspects, called Urban Myths, which are widely spread and shared by many, but nevertheless wrong, and the authors confront them with scientific empirical research and psychological theory.