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Myth-conceptions about human brain

Myths about this organ as little known as the brain, unfortunately, keep being popular. Without going any further, who hasn’t heard about that typical myth that we only use the 10% of the brain? Obviously this is not true, but myths and ignorance on the subject are still stuck in society, and also in our teachers, which consequently leads to a poor education in some areas, turning it into an ineffective learning, according to a recent investigation of Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

Our brain can do it!

Our brain can do it!

In the study, where teachers from the UK, Turkey, Greece, China and the Netherlands were test subjects, seven myths about the brain were analyzed and these teachers were asked if they believed if such legends were true or not.

Apparently, up to half of teachers in the UK, the Netherlands and China believe that children pay less attention after consuming sugary drinks or snacks, and more than a quarter of UK teachers and Turkey assume that the brain can be reduced if students drink less than six or eight water glasses daily.

Kid trying to pay attention

Kid trying to pay attention

Also, the not so small figure of 90% of the participants in the study believed that their students would learn better by being taught under their preferred style (aural, visual, kinesthetic), although nowadays there’s no solid evidence in this matter.

Dr. Paul Howard-Jones, author of the article from Bristol University’s Graduate School of Education, commented, “These ideas are often sold to teachers as based on neuroscience – but modern neuroscience cannot be used to support them. These ideas have no educational value and are often associated with poor practice in the classroom. Although the increased dialogue between neuroscience and education is encouraging, we see new neuromyths on the horizon and old ones returning in new forms and sometimes, transmitting ‘boiled-down’ messages about the brain to educators can just lead to misunderstanding, and confusions about concepts such as brain plasticity are common in discussions about education policy.”

Dr. Paul Howard-Jones

Dr. Paul Howard-Jones

In conclusion, this research also suggests that these erroneous ideas could hinder neuroscience’s efforts to communicate actual neuroscientific results to teachers. In fact, Dr. Howard-Jones warns that many old neuromyths have returned, and new myths are also appearing, causing misunderstanding and confusion.

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