Blog post

ELS educational myths (2)

Published on
November 28, 2018

The book "Boys are smarter than girls, 35 myths about learning and education (Pedro de Bruyckere, November 2016) is still lying in my desk. The first myth we discussed was one about the relation between learning methods and the effectiveness of learning.

The myth I would like to deal with in this post is the following:

Knowledge transfer in education is unimportant, you can find everything on the web nowadays.[1]

In my educational training sessions, where I often meet teachers who focus a lot on transfer of knowledge by showing lengthy PowerPoints and giving presentations of one hour and more, I often confront them with this statement. In order to stimulate them to be more participatory and use more active learning methods, I often tell them that the simple transfer of knowledge nowadays is rather useless as everything can be found in the Web!  

At the same time I often say to them, that whatever situation they are in as a teacher, they always have choice (in methods, approaches etc.).

These two statements however seem now to be contradicting.

Assume you are a cook, could you decide which herbs and spices to add if you do not know of their existence?

If you want to diversify your teaching methods, can you do this without knowing what different methods exist?

You could argue, that you can still go to the web and google, however

Click here for the conclusion!

We just need more knowledge for the skills we need in this knowledge society.

Skills such as critical comparison and creativity are strongly linked to a knowledge base.

Or, to quote a famous Dutch football player (Cruijff): you only see it when you understand (know?) it. (Je gaat het pas zien als je het door hebt)

Next time another myth: we are very good in multi-tasking.

[1] (Jongens zijn slimmer dan meisjes, Pedro de Bruyckere en Casper Hulshof, 2013).