Education Myths…#1

Myth #1: Education and Learning are two sides of the same coin.

For decades I used to believe that education (not educators) and learning were so interconnected that I assumed they were two sides of the same coin. However, over the past 10 years I have come to realize (through Masters research and working in a number of different countries) that learning and education need to be as conceptually separate as the church and state discussion.

Consider the following statements:

  • Education is solely concerned with content it deems important, whereas learning is focused on individual interests.
  • Education is delivered in a linear fashion, whereas learning is non-linear and constantly evolving
  • Education is measured by static standards – unless sanctioned change, whereas learning in measured by internal motivation
  • Education is top > down, and from external > internal (sometimes), whereas learning is bottom > sideways and from Internal > external (sometimes)
  • Education is a noun, whereas learning is a verb
  • With education you must know ‘x’ to get to ‘y’, whereas learning is only limited by the person, based on their drive.
  • Education is for the masses, whereas learning is highly personal.

Learning and education are two fundamentally different animals and need to be treated as such. “…teachers may [have to] cover content, but if it doesn’t promote learning, does it really matter that its been covered? (Weimer, 2015). I find it interesting how many different experienced teachers and instructors in so many different countries are verbalizing how frustrated they are because their respective systems are to restrictive. As Kitchen (2013) states it, “formal education is merely an institutionalized and standardized method for the imposition of what is perceived as important to learn and how it is to be learnt.”

Just because someone passes a drivers test, it does not mean they have really learnt how to drive. Just because someone can rent a car in many different countries, it does not mean they know how to drive in those countries.

Final Thought: “While assessing knowledge is essential, it is not the end of learning. (Monahan 2015).


Education Myths….#1   Education Myths….#2   Education Myths….#3

Education Myths….#4   Education Myths….#5   Education Myths….#6

Education Myths….#7   Education Myths….#8   Education Myths….#9

Education Myths….#10  Education Myths….#11  Education Myths….#12


15 thoughts on “Education Myths…#1

  1. Pingback: Education Myth…#4 |

  2. Pingback: Education Myths…#5 |

  3. Hi Jeff, much truth in what you say – the balance we seek is very difficult with set curriculum and the constant need of management/politicians to measure results…


  4. As an established teacher of 20+ years, I truly believe in knowledge comes from experience; I have met learners as young as 12 who are blessed with experiences and insitu knowledge of things that I could not reach to learners at 18. I believe my role is simply to guide and hopefully expand the experiences of students who come to my lessons.


  5. Pingback: Education Myths…#12 |

  6. Pingback: Education Myths…#11 |

  7. Pingback: Education Myths…#10 |

  8. Pingback: Education Myths…#2 |

  9. Pingback: A Philosophy of Learning (& Education) |

  10. Thanks, Jeff. A lot of the points you made are valid but it really depends on which notion of education you’re working with. Your points, in my view, apply mostly to formal/western education. However, if we consider a wider notion of education, which encapsulates informal, non-formal, traditional and other forms, then education, learning (and knowledge) are not so mutually exclusive. All are interconnected and have implications for one another. Indeed, it is this sophistication that must be the essence of formal education. It is this complexity that should be captured in the structure and delivery of formal education but unfortunately, has not been the case!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Myth #5 (of 12): Context doesn’t matter – Carter Education

  12. Pingback: Myth #4 (of 12): Formal, non-formal and informal learning – Carter Education

  13. Spot on points! Your final thoughts wrapped everything up, so nicely. Teachers need to ensure that understanding to be put to action, has taken place. From my perspective, this involves more tactile learning all the way up through college. This is a little too idealistic, I know. The pedulum will continue to swing.


Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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