During my stint as a Pre K-12 student, I was fortunate to be taught by incredible teachers who were zealous about the process of teaching and learning. To date, I employ several learning strategies they taught me a long time ago. However, after I became a teacher, I discovered that some were myths, which harmed my intellectual growth a lot more than they benefitted it.
Ultimately, I can’t hold my teachers responsible for this because several of these myths were publicized by education researchers who failed to see their shortcomings. I believe that you perform better when you know better. To ensure you don’t use flawed learning strategies and end up wasting your precious time, I will discuss below five learning myths that could limit your intellectual growth.
1. Stick to Your First Answer
Some of my teachers always said that it was best to stick to my first answer. This indicated their conviction that students taking a multiple-choice test should avoid changing their first answer as it may decrease their scores. Perhaps this was because most of these tests, which were timed, didn’t allow students to spend a significant amount of time on a single question. Those doing it could potentially be prevented from finishing their entire examination, thus bringing down their scores. But studies later showed that students who alter their answers score better than their counterparts who don’t. I would advise you to pace yourself suitably when taking such tests, but never feel afraid of considering an answer change.
2. You Are Born With a Fixed Aptitude and Intelligence
Though we are inclined to believe that we are born with aptitude and intelligence, it’s a myth. In reality, your aptitude and IQ can change and increase over a period. Additionally, people’s faith in their capability to positively influence their aptitude and IQ can have a significant impact on their performance.
3. We Just Utilize 10% of Our Brains
This is totally false because no research studies support this myth. This statement can be called similar to an urban legend. The reality is that we can use our brains more efficiently, which will let us optimize our potential to learn.
4. Left-Brained Vs. Right-Brained
I was trained to believe that individuals are either left-brained or right-brained. While left-brained people are allegedly more analytical, their right-brained counterparts are more innovative and artistic. But recent studies confirm such conclusions to be false. In reality, the brain has two hemispheres, and multiple brain functions are undertaken by one as opposed to the other, which is called lateralization. We put to use our whole brain evenly, and because both of our brain hemispheres are linked, we can think logically and creatively.
5. Underlining and Re-Reading
As a college student, during my preparation for examinations, I used to underline vital information and re-read them to memorize them well. Later, I learned that re-reading the same text passively a number of times will not help you to understand or recollect it more successfully unless you space it out over a suitable period.
Are there any other learning myths that you believe should be busted?