Seven Myths About Education is an essential book for anyone teaching in today's standard classrooms. Written by Daisy Christodoulou, the book draws examples and instances of the author’s experiences of teaching in challenging schools. The book is thought provoking and details ‘how classroom practices contradict basic scientific principles’.
What if we as educators, want to achieve the goal of modelling and shaping students into well-educated citizens, but realise that it is not reached at all with the progressive methods of project-based, student-led general inquiry and discussion? What if we believe students should develop independent thinking skills, but we realise that letting them try everything by themselves while we take up the role of non-interfering facilitators, lead children to take up extremely repetitive tasks? What if the methods we use don't work to achieve the goals we share with the progressive school of education? What if we realise that teaching students the basics first gives them the necessary tools to actually later becoming independent learners?
In Seven Myths about Education, Daisy examines the seven beliefs which she thinks are withholding teachers and students. The even beliefs/myths Daisy talks about are –
Facts prevent understanding.
Teacher-led instruction is passive.
The 21st century fundamentally changes everything.
You can always just look it up.
We should teach transferable skills.
Projects and activities are the best way to learn.
Teaching knowledge is indoctrination.
After detailing the seven beliefs/myths, Daisy also puts forth her point on why these are myths with references to modern cognitive science.
Daisy builds an influential circumstance explaining how the governments and educational organisations around the world have let down teachers and students by promoting and even mandating evidence-less theory and bad practice.
With examples, theories and relatable scenarios, this book is an interesting read for schools and educators alike.
This article originally appeared in the TeacherTribe Magazine October 2020 edition.