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10 Common Learning Myths That Might Be Holding You Back | InformED

Re-reading and highlighting

Both of these study strategies are relatively ineffective. Passively reading the same text over and over again won’t do much for recall unless it’s spaced out over time. 

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Styles of learning

The concept of learning styles--such as visual versus verbal or active versus reflective--is commonplace, but it turns out that there is little evidence to ...

Right-brained or left-brained

Research doesn’t strongly support this concept of the lateral brain--or that people have a dominant side of the brain that dictates how we learn.  

Even in simple actions, both hemispheres of the brain are engaged. 

"Exercises" that will make you smarter

"One minute playing Mozart will make your baby a genius, the next crosswords will fend off your mental decline"... The research behind these claims is weak. 

Learning methods are not so much based upon how the brain is structured, but based upon our experiences. Our experiences do affect brain development. The wiring of the brain depends upon the experiences we have.

Using 10% of our brains
Using 10% of our brains

The source of this figure isn't entirely clear.

People's capacity to develop any skill is a combination of practice and talent. A person can get quite good at almost any skill if th...

Left-brained or right-brained

People used to speak of being left or right-brain dominant (where the left brain is more logical and algorithmic, and the right brain more artistic and intuitive).

However, both hemispheres of your brain are involved in all of the complex work you do. The most effective thinkers are the ones who learn to rely on both their intuitive judgments as well as their reasoning.

Emotions and rational thinking

The theory goes that emotions reflect a more primitive form of thinking and that good thinking is only logical.

However, when faced with risky decisions, it is possible to talk yourself into almost anything. But, even a little anxiety in that situation can provide information too valuable to ignore.

Set Learning Styles

There’s no research to support learning styles. 

How to really learn: Match your content to the process - students should learn music by listening to music, while students should ...

Rereading Material

How to really learn: Instead of rereading, highlighting, or underlining important information, ask yourself:

  • ‘What is the author trying to say?’ 
  • 'How is this different than other things I’ve read?’ 
  • 'How does this relate to other material I know?’ 
Focusing On One Subject At A Time

When it comes to learning a difficult subject, people often believe you should practice one thing at a time.

How to really learn: Mixing it up, however, is a better approach. In mixed learning, you get a chance to see the core idea below it.