Myths about the brain ‘hamper effective teaching’

Research published today suggests that widely believed myths about neuroscience are being used to justify classroom practice that has “no educational value”

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90 per cent of teachers in the UK believe students are either left brained or right brained Photo: Alamy

The study, published today in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, began by presenting teachers in the UK, Turkey, Greece, China and the Netherlands, with seven myths about the brain and asked them whether they believed the myths to be true.

According to the figures, over half of teachers in the UK, the Netherlands and China believe that children are less attentive after sugary drinks and snacks and over a quarter of teachers in the UK and Turkey believe that a pupil’s brain will shrink if they drink fewer than six to eight glasses of water a day.

Furthermore, over 90 per cent of teachers in all countries believe that a student will learn better if they receive information in their preferred learning style – auditory, visual, kinaesthetic. This is despite the fact that there is “no convincing evidence to support this theory”.

Dr Paul Howard-Jones, author of the article from Bristol University’s Graduate School of Education, said that many teaching practices are “sold to teachers as based on Today’s research has suggested that erroneous ideas about neuroscience could be “hampering” efforts by neuroscientists to communicate the actual findings of their work to teachers. neuroscience”.

Today’s research has suggested that erroneous ideas about neuroscience could be “hampering” efforts by neuroscientists to communicate the actual findings of their work to teachers.

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