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Urban Myths about Learning and Education

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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 sectio 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. 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


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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 sectio 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. 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

30 review for Urban Myths about Learning and Education

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth Marksteiner

    This should be compulsory reading for all educators. In short bite sized no nonsense language, this debunks many of the prevalent myths asking for hard evidence fact based assessment. Utterly brilliant.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Thore Husfeldt

    An extremely accessible summary of lots of results (or rather, non-results) that everybody who works in education in any capacity ought to know. Very well structured and full of pointers to further reading.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Duncan White

    I appreciate the work the authors of Urban Myths about Learning and Education are trying to accomplish. Myths regarding education have the potential to have a long-lasting negative impact on both students and society as a whole. Some of the myths discussed, like the idea that boys are better at math than girls, have the potential to be self-fulfilling, and the authors do a good job of making the dangers of these kinds of myths clear. Overall, however, I found that the book was crippled by what I I appreciate the work the authors of Urban Myths about Learning and Education are trying to accomplish. Myths regarding education have the potential to have a long-lasting negative impact on both students and society as a whole. Some of the myths discussed, like the idea that boys are better at math than girls, have the potential to be self-fulfilling, and the authors do a good job of making the dangers of these kinds of myths clear. Overall, however, I found that the book was crippled by what I would consider to be bad craft. The authors are consistently unable to effectively argue against the myths they are attempting to debunk. The authors are often too reliant on their research to do all of the work for their arguments. The book is clearly well researched, with each myth having a dedicated source citation page accompanying the explanation. The problem is that the text debunking the arguments often becomes an extended summation of the research, and it's just not persuasive. The authors stated in their introduction that the book was intended for "everyone involved in and concerned about education," but they don't seem to know how to tailor their writing for a general audience. I would say that the writing would be fine if the authors were writing for a strictly academic audience, but Urban Myths has other issues that keep me from saying that. It is frequently unclear what the authors are trying to debunk. The myth in question is the title of each section, but the text rarely elaborates on what that myth is. The section debunking the myth "We think most clearly when we are under pressure," is particularly bad. I would interpret that myth to be about an idea that a lot of students have, that they can procrastinate on their homework because they will flourish under the last minute pressures, the pressure-makes-diamonds philosophy of being a student. Instead, the author talks about how action movie heroes are able to win under pressure and argues about the long-term negative effects of too much stress. The ideas are related, but the argument that the author is making is entirely unpersuasive, being more geared against the idea that constant stress for students is good. Who the author is arguing against and why they felt the need to make the argument is left unclear. The vagueness of the myths leads to a situation where the book seems to contradict itself. Another myth titled "The internet makes us dumber," concludes that the debate is still ongoing, though there is no evidence supporting the claim. One chapter later, the authors highlight an article that suggests that people are less willing to put in the work to read complex prose as a result of scanning and skimming the internet. These ideas are related and kind of contradict each other. Admitted, the authors specify that they have not yet evaluated the research behind the article, but it is a clearly related idea that may have been worth evaluating for the previous section. My assumption at this point is that the authors have a specific meaning in mind they use the word "dumber," but I don't know what it is, and that suggests a problem in the book's presentation of its arguments. Urban Myths is at its best when it is discussing ongoing debates in the field of learning and education, when it doesn't feel the need to take a specific stance and can pit the opposing arguments against each other. The problem is that these sections are rare and the intended purpose of the book is to persuade us against myths about education and learning, something that it simply doesn't do well.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Guyada

    Extremely useful to me, as a teacher. I confess to having fed some of the myths to people. Will be more careful...thanks. Two things... 1. it applies strictly-science approach in places where it is not conceivably possible to measure or explain the issue by science, as I believe there are such areas in the practice of education. I know that that is the whole point of the book, but sometimes I felt it is just too tight. Second: If a myth clearly works in my classroom as placebo, then why not use i Extremely useful to me, as a teacher. I confess to having fed some of the myths to people. Will be more careful...thanks. Two things... 1. it applies strictly-science approach in places where it is not conceivably possible to measure or explain the issue by science, as I believe there are such areas in the practice of education. I know that that is the whole point of the book, but sometimes I felt it is just too tight. Second: If a myth clearly works in my classroom as placebo, then why not use it. In other words> education will always be full of myths, because it is more story telling than science.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Polly Callahan

    recommended by a Lilead fellow; she uses it in her grad classes

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nicole K

    Very clearly written and does not contain any complicated jargon. Each section is concisely written and seems to be for busy teachers who want to read between teaching periods.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dena

    Informative look at educational trends and the fact that charisma less than research often influences the public.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mahadi B

    I totally enjoyed reading this book. I struggled so much during college, and beside prolonged studying and true desire to learn, my grades always weren't from the nicest. By reading this book, I gained more insights and learned a lot of useful things - all of which is based on evidence. I think everyone should read it, because you always are going to be associated with learning, whether it be yourself, your siblings, kids, etc. Easily 5/5. I totally enjoyed reading this book. I struggled so much during college, and beside prolonged studying and true desire to learn, my grades always weren't from the nicest. By reading this book, I gained more insights and learned a lot of useful things - all of which is based on evidence. I think everyone should read it, because you always are going to be associated with learning, whether it be yourself, your siblings, kids, etc. Easily 5/5.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eric Kalenze

    More like 4.5 stars, with the half-star subtracted because I was already familiar with most of the myths named in here. That said, its clever format, convenient organization, and thorough referencing (by specific myth--handy!) will henceforth see it filed in my 'always-within-reach' stack. In all, a vital book for educators and education decision-makers. More like 4.5 stars, with the half-star subtracted because I was already familiar with most of the myths named in here. That said, its clever format, convenient organization, and thorough referencing (by specific myth--handy!) will henceforth see it filed in my 'always-within-reach' stack. In all, a vital book for educators and education decision-makers.

  10. 5 out of 5

    James Carter

    Urban Myths about Learning and Education is a solid coverage of the prevailing misconceptions and myths in education. There's not much of an argument from me. The printing is quite bad as I had a hard time reading through the faded ink. Add more black, please. No reason to skim on it. All in all, Urban Myths about Learning and Education is a good read. Urban Myths about Learning and Education is a solid coverage of the prevailing misconceptions and myths in education. There's not much of an argument from me. The printing is quite bad as I had a hard time reading through the faded ink. Add more black, please. No reason to skim on it. All in all, Urban Myths about Learning and Education is a good read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Murray Brown

  12. 4 out of 5

    Victor Lee

  13. 4 out of 5

    George

  14. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  15. 5 out of 5

    Leonard Houx

  16. 4 out of 5

    Judith

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bill Brantley

  19. 4 out of 5

    Richard Venter

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

  21. 5 out of 5

    Peter Beaumont

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mateusz

  23. 4 out of 5

    Virginia

  24. 5 out of 5

    Thanh Tùng

  25. 5 out of 5

    Petra Broyl

  26. 4 out of 5

    Summer Kartchner Olsen

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bob

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sercan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Saskia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dag

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