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News & Views - Aug, 1991 Issue 

Education Myths I Have Known And Loved
Baird W. Whitlock
New York: Schocken Books, 1986

This is a delightful collection of essays by a college professor who loves teaching and loves his students. He disposes of 26 common thoughts on education with down-to-earth observations from his personal experience.

Myth #1 is: "We should go back to basics." He says teachers left the basics because they didn't work very well. He suggests we move on to fundamentals such as, "the best way to learn is to teach," and "...the only way to learn to write is to write."

Other myths he discusses are, "That you can teach how to teach" (good teaching come from love of the students and knowledge of the subject matter; technique is secondary), "That teachers can motivate students" (If educators had a clue how to motivate, why are education courses in such disrepute), "That grades are important" (They are an educator's crutch and students put an unnatural and unhealthy emphasis on high grades), "That Education should proceed from simple to complex ideas" (Young children learning languages easier than adults indicates their minds are more complex than we give them credit for), and "That guilt is wrong" (Guilt in response to wrong action is appropriate and necessary to start positive change).

Agree with the author or not, his questions and observations will at least make you smile, and maybe you can pick out a kernel or two of a better understanding of education.

Copyright 1991, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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