Debunking Learning Myths: What is Our Responsibility?

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Ah, learning myths. Will they ever go away?


Probably not. As long as there are people, myths will persist.


    • George Washington had wooden teeth.
    • You need to drink eight glasses of water a day.
    • You’ll get cramps if you swim after eating.
    • It takes seven years to digest gum.
    • Napoleon Bonaparte was short.
    • The Loch Ness Monster.


As humans, we believe many things that simply aren’t true or have been taken out of context. It’s the nature of who we are.

However, learning myths are different. They’re different because they impact how we function and behave as an industry. They impact the work we produce and the people we produce it for. So while we may smile about Napoleon, we shouldn’t be smiling about myths such as using only 10% of our brains.

Riddle me this – as good stewards of the industry, what is our responsibility to those who hang on to learning myths? Do we have any responsibility?

How do we help well-meaning L&D/HR professionals who believe that more studying = better studying?

Or that learning gets harder as we get older. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” syndrome.

Or the Ebbinghous Forgetting Curve (not necessarily a myth, but widely taken out of context).

Or Dale’s Cone of Learning.

Or the granddaddy of all myths that never seems to die, learning styles.


So many myths, so little time.


However, we can’t run around like Don Quixote beating back windmills at every turn (there’s not enough time in the day). Nor should we attack, belittle, patronize, or condescend to others who may simply not know. Tribal knowledge is a powerful thing to overcome. How can we be helpful and supportive while sharing important knowledge that will make us all better at what we do?

This is the big question on the table. The last Coffee Chat had us discussing what it means to be an instructional designer. This is a biggie. Not just for being an instructional designer but for being a Learning Professional. It starts with knowing our stuff, doing our own research, and guiding others down a path to strengthening skills.


It all starts on February 17th, and I hope you join us!

#LetsDoThis ~ Shannon


Can’t make it in person? No worries. Register for this chat and receive the following:

✅ Follow-up email with resources and extra goodies

✅ Copy of the video recording

✅ Copy of the chatbox transcription

✅ Copy of the full session transcript


Feb 17 2023

11:00 am CST - 12:00 pm CST

Debunking Learning Myths: What is Our Responsibility?

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