Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Ten Biggest Misconceptions We Learn In School


I do some teaching, and my kids are constantly turning in essays with tragically inaccurate examples, like "When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb..." or "Even Einstein got bad grades in school..." which society has for some reason decided to convince them are true. Actually, my kids are turning in examples more like "When Edison invented the atomic bomb..." or "When Ben Franklin signed the Magna Carta..."

1. Einstein got bad grades in school

Um... have you heard about this guy Einstein? Famous physicist? Relativity and all that? A genius, even? I'm pretty sure little Albert could handle his business in 4th grade arithmetic. Yes, contrary to popular belief, Einstein was a top student in elementary school, getting mostly top grades on the German grading scale of 1-6, which silly Americans later assumed, backwardly, were "D"s. The idea stuck because everybody loves the idea that their poor student can go on to great things. Sorry, parents, Einstein was teaching himself calculus at age 12.

Here’s the other nine misconceptions

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