Are students harmed when their teachers believe in ‘neuromyths’?

teacher

Educational neuromyths include the idea that we learn more effectively when taught via our preferred “learning style”, such as auditory or visual or kinesthetic (hear more about this in our recent podcast); the claim that we use only 10 per cent of our brains; and the idea we can be categorised into left-brain and right-brain learners. Belief in such myths is rife among teachers around the world, according to several surveys published over the last ten years. But does this matter? Are the myths actually harmful to teaching?

[Research has shown] that this is merely an assumption: “Put simply,” they write in their new paper in Frontiers in Psychology, “there is no evidence to suggest neuromyths have any impact whatsoever on teacher efficacy or practice”.

Related article:  Turning brain signals into speech using artificial intelligence moves closer to reality

The University of Melbourne researchers used the same neuromyths questionnaire as used in the earlier surveys, which comprises 32 statements about the brain, 15 of which are myths. Participants must indicate whether each one is correct, incorrect, or say if they don’t know.

For 13 of the 15 neuromyths, including learning styles, the 10 per cent myth and left-brain/right-brain learners, belief was just as high among the award-winning teachers as among the trainees and non-award-winning teachers. “This suggests there is not a clear or obvious relationship between neuromyth acceptance rates and teacher effectiveness,” the researchers said.

Read full, original post: Are educational neuromyths actually harmful? Award-winning teachers believe in nearly as many of them as trainees

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