Unlearning Inaccuracies

Ethically Speaking | Unlearning Inaccuracies
13 May

Unlearning Inaccuracies

Unlearning Inaccuracies Will Set All of Us Free

Learning is an act that requires cognitive proficiency and congruency.

It is a meaningful act that we all engage in. Everyone learns.

This is a fact of life. We absorb information even when we are unaware of the process of learning.

Teachers are the most conscious of learners, because we are responsible for educating other people who do not possess the knowledge we have. As a recent Education Week article argues, the act of unlearning is often more difficult than learning (“What’s Harder Than Learning? Unlearning,” May 14, 2019). Why is this so? Novice learners are trusting of the information they acquire. They assume that what is taught is rooted in truth, logic, and reason. Unfortunately, the information that we teach is often based on past data that is incorrect. We learn from inaccurate sources only to perpetuate these inaccuracies every day. The cycle continues until a new accepted logic is promoted, which may or may not be based in true knowledge.

The reason it is so difficult to unlearn what we have learned as fact is because we have already set our foundation of life in previous principles that, if unlearned, now must be built back up again. Our fundamental sense of self is questioned when we discover the truth, which can be both shocking and refreshing. Professional development is one important step in unlearning because it brings learners together in order to rigorously debate and decipher what now needs to be taught. It challenges and brings people to task for previously held beliefs that were once decided as fact. The best way to unlearn false information is to teach the truth as we know it. And in teaching truth, all of us will truly be set free!

Do you agree or disagree?

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