Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

October 27, 2010

What are the myths of education that are clouding the focus?

#Edchat 10-19-2010 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

We are very grateful to have this wonderful guest summary from Larry Fliegelman (@fliegs) for what was one of the most exciting edchats we have experienced! Larry is a regular at #edchat and always provides great insight as well as lots of very useful links. I think you will all agree that he has done a fantastic job capturing the mood of the edchat discussion as well as its content. See Larry’s bio at the end of the post.

  With so much attention in the national media on education issues, it has become increasingly clear that many myths swirl about in the public conscience. If one believes these myths, then one believes that, except for those few great teachers somewhere, teachers know nothing, teachers can do nothing, teachers care nothing for children, and teachers will be motivated by nothing but merit pay. The EdChat community has, for the last several weeks, been talking about how we can counter the popular “conventional wisdom” about teachers in reaction to Waiting for SupermanOprah Winfrey, and NBC’s Education Nation. At some point, we realized that to stop the swirl, we needed to know the myths first.

We devoted a noon edchat session to listing and debating the myths that we’ve heard about.

 Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • There are SO many myths out there about education.
  • For a complete list of the myths mentioned during the chat, see the transcript (link below) or this page that lists only the myth.
  • Some ideas came up repeatedly
    • Homework is good/bad
    • Myth: Anyone can teach
    • Myth: Students are tech literate already
    • Myth: Teachers don’t need to teach tech
    • Merit pay is bad
    • Myth: Teachers don’t work hard
    • Myth: More money will solve the problems
    • Myth: standardized testing = learning

Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye.

rkiker @rliberni To move myths aside, one option is to involve community – invite them to see our efforts and dedication #edchat

Lauren_Learning I think we have myths like these because they are more convenient than the truth. #edchat

Mamacita Myth: Barbie was right; math is too hard. Some students don’t need ANY math b/c it makes them work too unfairly hard. #edchat

tomwhitby MYTH: Our teachers are all Media literate and are preparing our kids with the latest tech they need for the 21st Century. #Edchat

CrudBasher Seems to me that many of these myths aren’t 100% true or false. Like kids, there are variations. #edchat

L_Hilt Myth: Peer collaboration is scary because my colleagues will be judging me and stealing my ideas! #edchat

domi75P Myths are a way to present one side only of what really happens

fliegs @rliberni I mean letters to newspaper editors (the print kind). Also we need to write to our congressfolks. Invite them to school. #edchat

domi75P We can change the myths by showing that school has changed

fliegs @rliberni Begin at school by engaging in conversation with the teacher next door. Change the conversation in the staff lounge. #edchat

Akevy613 MYTH: Teachers don’t need D.I. when it comes2 their readiness 4 a new skill or 4 P. D. – A one size fits all model is ok 4 teachers #edchat

MikeGwaltney Myth: Teaching Creativity / Alternative Assessments in core academic courses dumbs down education, and should be reserved for arts. #edchat

azjd Myth Busting: we need to keep pushing true educational leaders / ideas to the forefront of the reform discussion. #edchat

DrSmartEd @domi75P Remember, loudest voices against us are the “Experts” who went to sch &”know.” Showing that it has changed is not enough. #edchat

thenewtag Have to truly understand the root cause/ perspective of believers in order to change “mythical” thinking re” ed or anything else #edchat

elanaleoni @ToddAHoffman Good question. We need to infuse teacher’s voices as much as possible when media covers education 2 change the opinion #edchat

MikeGwaltney Myth held by Ed Reformers in D.C. (can they really believe this?!?!): Life is just like a multiple choice test. #edchat

DanielAyres BUT MANY Teachers BELIEVE THEY are solely responsible for the success of the students = truth? #edchat @MeganLearner 😉

thenewtag     Myth: Pro-teacher accountability is the same as anti-teacher. Studies show MANY tchers support more accountable eval./ hr policies #edchat

ShellTerrell What if we all tried to get our best practices in news like @NMHS_Principal @bhsprincipal @SNewco #vanmeter have managed to do? #Edchat

ToddAHoffman #Myth- Feds determine direction of ed- Fact- Probably less than 5% of your school budget comes from Feds #edchat

Lauren_Learning Love this idea! Highlight what’s working rather than what’s not working 2 create a momentum 2 replicate best practices (@elanaleoni) #edchat

TeachPaperless If preconceptions were people, they’d surely be the critics who didn’t read the book. #edchat

GaryBrannigan Teachers need to become more active in the community and the community needs to become more active in children’s education #edchat

fliegs What are YOU going to do about these myths? #edchat

ShellTerrell Do we need a Myth Busters for Education show? #Edchat

azjd Myth Busting: Education is messy. Reform won’t fit into a neat box – one size doesn’t fit all. #edchat

davidwees Join the “Tell Our Story” project if you want to see some of these myths about education dispelled. http://is.gd/fZ7Ka #edchat

rkiker @ShellTerrell I wish society believed that teachers work incredibly hard – and that it is on of the most difficult professions. #Edchat

davidwees The best public education systems are in countries which have done a much better job of addressing poverty than has the US. #edchat

I would ask that the following question is added to the poll next week:

How can we implement what we believe to be real education transformation?


To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

tomwhitby: Don’t Forget Diane Ravitch LIVE Today at 4 PM EDT. Presentation & Discussion. http://bit.ly/duX97e Join Us!

cybraryman1: All these myths are the reason why we need Twitter Academy to show how Ed should be http://cybraryman.com/twitacad.html  #twitacad #edchat

fliegs:  Here is a place to start cataloging myths, facts, and alternatives http://bit.ly/dgjrBC

shamblesguru:  If it is a myth then won’t it be listed at http://snopes.com  all the others are 😉 #edchat #edtech

ShellTerrell:  http://bit.ly/9eSxbo  3 column site for myth, fact, alternative #edchat

cybraryman1: @Mamacita Show the nonbelievers my Poetry page: http://cybraryman.com/poetry.html

mreduhowto: top ten youtube channels for education http://t.co/5dUtiac  via @drezac #edtech #edchat

iearnusa: Myth: “Give them a laptop & pupils will teach themselves” @OLPC [The Guardian] http://j.mp/9qDBXR  @ShellTerrell #edchat

ASCD: No. 1 read for today comes from @DianeRavitch http://bit.ly/cOVgHK  #educationnation #edchat

Qwizdom: Bowie High School demonstrates revolutionized instruction! http://bit.ly/aSVXpM  #edchat #edtech

davidwees:  Fun project. Design the computers of the future. http://is.gd/g8lYz  #edchat #edchat

jonbergmann:  @billgx Individualized lrning via the flipped/mastery clssrm http://bit.ly/3PAZ1K  http://bit.ly/bAX4dN  #edchat

Fliegs: Take a minute to add info to the myth, fact, alt list http://bit.ly/dgjrBC  #edchat

rliberni: Myths in edu a definition http://www.teachersmind.com/myths1.htm

carneysandoe:  Myths about teaching: http://www.teachersmind.com/teaching.htm

ShellTerrell:  Many great myths listed here! Please add them to this Google doc created by @twoodwar http://bit.ly/d1qlGO

jonbergmann:  The best summary of what we are doing to differentiate for all is found at http://bit.ly/aAP9UL

DUMACORNELLUCIA: Internet myths #edtech20 #edchat #etchat #elearning #lrnchat #liveclass20 http://slidesha.re/cQzb2f

MZimmer557:  Here are my 8 misconceptions (myths) about tech integration. Great conversation going. http://j.mp/cfT79S

goashland:  Would like this story framed on the positive! Celebrate innovation in education & creating schools that work… http://ow.ly/19woD8

ShellTerrell: Many great myths listed here! Please add them to this Google doc created by @twoodwar http://bit.ly/d1qlGO

davidwees: Join the “Tell Our Story” project if you want to see some of these myths about education dispelled. http://is.gd/fZ7Ka

publicagenda: How A Whisper Became A Roar: teachers talking about reform http://bit.ly/cvnydl Supporting Teacher Talent http://bit.ly/8M1S5U

web20education : Teachers guide in the classroom #microsoft #edtech20 #edchat #lrnchat #educhat #safedchat… http://fb.me/A7DMxUC3

MarjieKnudsen: Teaching solution-focused skills to #kids http://ow.ly/2VG6R  @CoertVisser #edchat #parenting

olafelch: Charles Murray on Education Myths http://youtu.be/n8GN8g0Si7Q

CrudBasher: @ShellTerrell My blog post today is about how everything is up for changing: http://bit.ly/9LieRI

ShellTerrell:  @TeachPaperless Seems like something your students could produce 😉 I think you have a studio #edchat RE http://bit.ly/9GnZp4

4thGrdTeach:  Are you the reform? I am the reform http://ow.ly/2VWrV

cybraryman1:  No myth I’m in between flights. Thanks for great chat My Myths http://cybraryman.com/myths.HTML

carneysandoe:  @fliegs School Pride on Hulu http://www.hulu.com/watch/186012/school-pride-soaring-eagles

edteck: Myth: Test prep works. My post at http://bit.ly/a2mvhH

lemino: Here’s someone who’s trying to break some myths: Greg Whitby http://youtu.be/OpIYsmRkZew #edchat talking about “a new DNA for education”

Larry Fliegelman has been an elementary principal, middle school assistant principal, and middle school social studies teacher for the last 14 years. Larry tweets at @fliegs and blogs for the Connected Principals and his Principal’s Point of View. Other ways to find Larry online are: 

Shelfari, Flieg’s Views, Diigo, email

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

What do you think? Leave a comment!













  1. im from algeria ilike learning and speaking engilsh can you help me .

    Comment by oram — December 18, 2010 @ 8:46 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: