Myths can start and spread quickly, growing as they get passed along. In fact, over time, people can start to think they are true. There are countless myths about education that people assume — mostly because so many other people believe them — are facts. This article is going to point out six common myths about education and just how off the mark they really are.
- Less money for a school means a poor quality education. Schools with only a little bit of money can be just as successful as schools with a ton of it. W. Norton Grubb is a professor and faculty coordinator at the University of California, Berkley. He conducted extensive research into the relationship between money and educational outcomes, publishing his finding in The Money Myth. Contrary to common belief about money and education, Grubb’s research shows that money has very little affect on a school’s quality of education. While money can provide higher salaries for teachers and improve a school’s facilities, Grubb points out that factors such as leadership and instruction have the greatest impact on a school’s educational quality, not money.
- Socioeconomic conditions determine students’ success. If this generalization were true, there would be no variation in the educational success among students who share the same socioeconomic characteristics. Dr. David R. Johnson is a professor of economics at Wilfrid Laurier University and a C. D. Howe Institute education policy scholar. He performed a study that determined the educational outcomes of schools based on the socioeconomic characteristics of their students. By using students’ postal codes and census data, he was able to determine several variables, such as average income and housing status of these students. His study showed that only a small percentage of the students’ test scores were linked to their socioeconomic conditions. The schools themselves are the main determining factor for student success. The study showed that some schools performed better than other schools with the same mix of students. Therefore, socioeconomic conditions don’t determine student success.
- College is more difficult than high school. The classes you take in college may be challenging, but so were the ones you took in high school. What makes college seem harder is that you are away from home and surrounded by exponentially more distractions than when you were in high school. Your parents aren’t there to make sure you get to school on time and that you finish your homework. It’s all up to you. When students are struggling in college, the usual fix is shifting their focus from having fun to doing their school work. This doesn’t mean that in order to succeed you can’t have any fun, you just have to manage your time and priorities right, and make sure school comes first.
- Online education is not as good as traditional education. Some people may learn better in a traditional classroom, just like some people may learn better online. But in terms quality, the two are equal. Accrediting agencies, which are are private organizations that have to meet the requirements established by the U.S. Department of Education in order to be recognized, set a standard for educational quality offered by institutions. The standards for online colleges are the exact same as the standards for traditional colleges. Therefore, all accredited schools offer high quality education. So, which type of education is best doesn’t depend on the type of college, but rather on the individual and how they learn. In addition, the Department of Education has also released a study showing that online students perform just as well — if not better — than classroom-based students.
- You need to decide on a career before enrolling in college. Selecting a career isn’t a prerequisite for going to college, but it can be beneficial to know what you want to be when you "grow up" before going off to college. This is just so you can select a school based on the program they offer for your career choice. But if you haven’t decided on a career path, don’t wait to figure it out before going to college. In your first year or two at college, you will be taking your "basics," which are the general core classes everyone has to take. This means you have until your sophomore year to decide which major you want to pursue, which is what many students do.
- College doesn’t prepare you for the real world. Life is going to be different after you graduate and enter the "real world", but college does prepare you for it. Coursework is designed to teach you everything you need to know to enter into your desired career field. After all, this is why you go to college. But the "college experience" teaches you so much more, such as how to deal with a diverse group of people, how to effectively manage your time, how to stick to a budget — even if that means surviving on Ramen noodles and tap water — and how to be responsible for yourself. Even though life will change drastically after college, all of the knowledge and experience you gain from college will help you to transition from being a student to being a professional.
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