Debunking ‘Neuromyths,’ or Misinformation About Learning

Professors, instructional designers, and professional developers who support teaching are all susceptible to “neuromyths,” or false beliefs about learning that stem from misunderstandings about the brain, according to a recent report released by the Online Learning Consortium cited in a Chronicle of Higher Education newsletter.  One of the most widely accepted neuromyths is that students learn best when they’re taught in their preferred learning style. In fact, the contrary is true. “(T)eaching to learning styles may actually hinder learning or affect a student’s self-perception,” because it may influence students to process information only when it’s presented a certain way, the authors of the report said.

Instructors can debunk neuromyths by assessing the false information, learning general information about the brain, and staying abreast of evidence-based strategies. Colleges and universities (including teaching centers) can bolster this effort by ensuring that professional development materials for instructors are up-to-date and scientifically accurate, the authors of the report said.