Learning Myths That Mislead

Sometimes Acting on Something That is Not True Doesn’t Do Any Harm

Sometimes it does. It’s a matter of degrees.

How much time have you spent in the past practicing myths, attempting to adhere to myths, responding to others who believed in the myth?

From a Good Steward perspective, any time spent chasing something irrelevant is a waste of time, a waste of shareholder equity. And that’s not good stewardship.

Perhaps one would be concerned if that was all one’s own equity. Your very own resources.

Sometimes we are fooled, just like at the carnival, by believing what we think we see.

Sometimes Our Thought Leaders, People and/or Organizations Lead Us Astray

People and institutions that we thought were thought leaders.

Those who promote (sell) something – when there is evidence to the contrary.

They don’t even warn you of the controversy.

They don’t share the conflicting data.

They just push (sell) what it is that they push.

I Have a List of Foo Foo in Instructional Design and Performance Improvement

It’s been in development since I was first warned about some of this Foo Foo, prevailing myths, beginning in 1979. I have been sharing this with clients and staff for a long time. I almost always seem to get a “load of resistance.”

Yet I continue. For I believe it the right thing to do.

I recall a few years back having an extended discussion with a well known vendor whose “expert” really pushed back when I asked about their best example elearning module and the audio track that read aloud the words on the screen.

They first responded with statements about how that enhanced learning, by engaging multiple senses. When I responded with some “cognitive load” stuff – they pushed back with more voodoo rationale – and then finally they noted that one could simply turn the audio off.

But that wasn’t the point.

The point was that they didn’t know the science – yet they pretended to know the science. And when confronted with evidence to the contrary – they pushed back even harder. No, “tell me more Guy.” Just push back. Of course, they were selling that module and many more.

Me – I Got Lucky

Somehow I got lucky. I fell into the right crowd right out of college back in the day. back in 1979.

I started off on the right foot working with folks who were “hip” to the myths of the time. And they shard those, informally, with me.

I didn’t climb some learning curve – and then have to unlearn all of ‘that” before I could learn what was real, versus what was a myth.

They taught me to focus on performance – and avoid the hocus pocus. To understand that “the hand is quicker than the eye, so to speak.

I became somewhat ever vigilant.

I began to see how pervasive Foo Foo (but any number of names/labels) was in the Training Biz, in the Learning Biz.

My List of Foo Foo

My list is here – Foo Foo – in Instructional Design and Performance Improvement – where I am attempting to compile some of the evidence against these myths.

Luckily I am not alone. In future posts I will attempt to highlight others who are on this same quest.

In the meantime – please check out my mid-November article in eLearn Magazine:

Why Is the Research on Learning Styles Still Being Dismissed by Some Learning Leaders and Practitioners?

And start thinking about what’s on your list of myths. What have you discovered one way or another that there were things you learned – and needed to unlearn?

Happy holidays!

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