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Myths and "Lies" About Training And Learning

It's really amazing that there are so many misconceptions about how people learn, and how to help people learn (i.e. training). One would expect people outside the industry to have odd ideas now and again, but a lot of trainers have a very poor grasp of both learning and training.

That's one reason why a lot of training looks alike -- trainers will get caught in using the same "tried and true methods", often inefficient for learning.

Some Training and Learning Myths

Here's one. The oft quoted notion that communication is 80% non-verbal, purported to be based on research by Meharabian. False. Since trainers often don't actually read the source research, but go on multi-hand interpretations, they end up mislead.

Another: Never use lecture: Actually lecture can be a powerful technique to help people learn, but the problem is people look at really really bad lectures, and assume the technique is terrible. Good lecture, interspersed with interaction, does work.

Yet another: That human attention spans are limited to "x minutes". False. Attention spans are not fixed, but depend on the stimulation existing, the degree of novelty, and of course, degree of interest in the topic. Note the kid playing the same video game for hours in rapt attention.

Finally, that learning styles are important. False. The research shows various conflicting things about learning styles, matching teaching to learning, etc. Since it's not usually possible to tailor to each learning style in a classroom, the idea is fairly useless anyway.

Are You A Trainer? Read the Source Research

Stop relying on the myths passed on via generations of trainers who never actually read the research. You'll learn you can make your training much more efficient by going and reading source research, and/or reading as much as you can about learning.

Top : Lies Myths and Misconceptions About Learning and Instruction :


Memory and Learning: Myths and Truths By Dr Piotr Wozniak
Coverage of apparent myths and truths about learning, memory, sleep, in particular related to accelerated learning. Use as one source of multiple sources. Hits: 487 )

Research Review: Multitasking, social media and distraction By John Wihbey
It's really not accurate to talk about multitasking since we actually switch from task to single task, but here's a review of research that looks at the effects of trying to multi-task on learning. Hits: 495 )

Will at Work Learning: People remember 10%, 20%...Oh Really? By Will Thalheimer
People do NOT remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they see, 30% of what they hear, etc. That information, and similar pronouncements are fraudulent. Moreover, general statements on the effectiveness of learning methods are not credible---learning results depend on too many variables to enable such precision. Hits: 855 )

Misrepresentation, myths and misleading ideas By JS Atherton
The world of teaching and learning is rife with received wisdom, including the potency of learning styles (which deserves a page to itself), and plenty of other unproven but fashionable ideas.See "What works..." on the teaching site It is not so much that they are "wrong", but: * the evidence base and/or research methodology may be flaky, and/or * they may have been misinterpreted and generalised beyond their legitimate use, and/or * they originate from such tightly controlled laboratory settings as not to make sense in the real world. Hits: 894 )

Learning Styles Not A Good Tool For Trainers To Use To Increase Learning In Training - Training Myth By Robert Bacal
Are learning styles a good tool for use in instructional design, or instructional delivery. No. Another training myth. Hits: 486 )

Neuroscience Myths and Worse By Will Thalheimer
Recaps in brief a presentation by John Medina, author of Brain Rules, on the current limits and applicability of neuroscience research to learning and instruction. Hits: 479 )

Will at Work Learning: Biased Myers-Briggs (MBTI) Research Wanted By Will Thalheimer
Slightly different issue that has to do with research that ends up being funded by companies that have a vested interest in research that supports their products. As with everything, read critically and make your own decisions. Hits: 603 )

ANDRAGOGY'S DETECTIVES: A Critique of the Present and A Proposal For the Future By John Rachal
Adult Education and Andragogy replete with misconceptions? Yes. The empirical literature examining the efficacy of andragogy remains... both inconclusive and beset by considerable variability... This empirical record, residing largely in unread dissertations, is critiqued with a view toward establishing criteria for an operational,researchable, consensus-based definition of Knowles' famous formulation. Seven such criteria are offered... Unless that discussion reaches some approximate consensus, adult education's most familiar and most debated theory will remain a fragmented article of faith at best, a fond illusion at worst. Hits: 648 )

The Illusory Theory of Multiple Intelligences By Scott A. McGreal
Have you bought into multiple intelligences? This critique hits the nail on the head, and explains why it's all wrong. Hits: 480 )

People Only Use 20% Of Their Brains: Malarkey By Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Another widely held misconception is that people use only 20 percent of their brains—with different percentage figures in different incarnations—and should be able to use more of it. This belief appears to have arisen from the early neuroscience finding that much of the cerebral cortex consists of “silent areas” that are not activated by sensory or motor activity. However, it is now known that these silent areas mediate higher cognitive functions that are not directly coupled to sensory or motor activity. Hits: 501 )

Everything You've Ever Been Told About How You Learn Is A Lie By Shaunacy Ferro
MUST read for all trainers and learners. Busts THREE myths about how people learn, and how to teach and train people. Hits: 552 )

Retention Rates - Hearing, Doing, Seeing - A Training and Learning Myth By Robert Bacal
More on the myth regarding differing retention rates depending on hearing, doing, seeing, etc. Hits: 509 )

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Pages Updated On: 19-Sep-2017 - 11:33:37

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