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Learning Unchained: 7 Myths Holding Your School Back (and How to Break Free!)

Learning Unchained: 7 Myths Holding Your School Back (and How to Break Free!)


In a TED Talk, Sugata Mitra, an educational researcher, talks about his “Hole in the Wall” experiment. He installed computers with internet access in public areas of underprivileged communities.  To everyone’s surprise, children with no prior computer experience began teaching themselves basic literacy, coding, and problem-solving skills. This story highlights people’s natural desire to learn when presented with interesting and accessible resources.

Why, then, when schools renovate, do they still seem to be stuck with the same classrooms with fancy new additions but no real value? 

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” – Socrates.

This quote emphasizes the importance of learning as a lifelong journey. Traditional classrooms often treat learning as a finite process. 

There are often misconceptions that hinder progress and innovation in classrooms. Addressing the listed myths is crucial for creating dynamic and effective learning environments that cater to the diverse needs of schools. Let’s today, debunk common myths surrounding education and provide insights on how to embrace progressive learning approaches.

#Myth 1: Learning only happens in classrooms

In today’s connected world, learning transcends the boundaries of traditional classrooms. Whether it’s exploring nature, engaging in real-world experiences, or utilizing digital resources, opportunities for learning are everywhere. One educator’s journey into outdoor education exemplifies this truth. By taking students outside the classroom, they discover a wealth of educational opportunities, from studying ecosystems to conducting scientific experiments under the open sky or even their own kitchens.

#Myth 2: Learning only happens at fixed times

Gone are the days of rigid schedules dictating when and where learning can take place. With the rise of online platforms and personalized learning approaches, students have the flexibility to engage with course materials at their own pace and on their own terms. A parent’s experience with online learning highlights the transformative power of flexibility in education, allowing students to balance academics with extracurricular activities and personal interests.

#Myth 3: Hard surfaces are for discipline 

Contrary to popular belief, learning environments need not be austere to promote discipline. Teachers can achieve creativity and collaboration among students by adopting flexible seating arrangements and interactive learning environments. Projects like Legacy School, Bangalore is testimony to 21st-century classroom spaces that showcase the transformative impact of a more dynamic environment on student engagement and motivation.

#Myth 4: Learning demands privacy and the removal of distractions

Multiple streams of information can actually benefit learning. Our brains learn by making connections between different ideas, and a dynamic, interactive environment – often perceived as chaotic – can spark these connections. This is why collaborative settings can be so powerful for knowledge retention. By acknowledging the diversity of learning environments that address different learning styles, teachers can promote inclusion and connection to meet the individual needs of each student. Students’ experiences of collaborative learning highlight the importance of embracing diversity in educational settings.

#Myth 5: Libraries are meant to be silent spaces 

Libraries serve as more than just repositories of knowledge; they can also be living spaces for exploration, innovation, and collaboration. By transforming libraries into dynamic learning commons with maker spaces and multimedia resources, educators can inspire creativity and inquiry among students. At IIM-A, CIVOM rethought these ideas and changed its library space from old and uninspiring to the coolest place on campus.

#Myth 6: Teachers must be controllers of learning environments

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William Arthur Ward

In today’s learner-centered classrooms, educators play the role of facilitators rather than sources of knowledge,  the sources of content are everywhere. By empowering students to take ownership of their learning and facilitating inquiry-based activities, teachers cultivate critical thinking skills and foster a culture of lifelong learning. An educator’s experience with student-led inquiry highlights the transformative power of shifting from a teacher-centered to a student-centered approach to education.

# Myth 7: Exam boards control how learning is delivered.

Exam boards don’t dictate every step of teaching, learning, and studying. They provide curriculum guidelines, recommended resources, and handle exams. Ultimately, it’s up to each institution to decide how they map the curriculum to their unique teaching style and lesson planning, incorporating the science of learning for optimal outcomes. Schools like Vega ( and Keystone ( exemplify this approach perfectly, demonstrating how to translate board directives into inspiring learning experiences.

These debunked myths open up interesting possibilities. By creating flexible, technology-driven learning environments that meet individual needs and learning styles, we can spark a lifelong passion for learning. Take a step towards the future of education:

The purpose of a program must establish what it wants learners to become.

Conduct a needs assessment:

Identify learning needs and strategies specific to your student population and program.

Invest in flexible learning spaces: 

Consider flexible layouts,  incorporating focus, sharing, team, & social modes in the same layout – Use soft seating areas, writing walls, and break-out rooms for group work. This multi-functional approach allows students to adapt the environment to their specific learning needs throughout the day.

Utilize online platforms for connected learning, collaboration tools, and access to virtual resources. Do not guide instructional learning for digital pathways, instead offer use cases like real-life learning.  

Provide professional development opportunities that equip teachers with the skills to facilitate student-centered learning.

Integrate project-based learning and real-world applications to make learning engaging and relevant.

By shedding these outdated assumptions and embracing innovative approaches, we can create learning environments that are not only effective but also inspiring.  Imagine a school where students are excited to learn, where knowledge is not a destination but a journey, and where the walls of the classroom no longer limit the potential for exploration and discovery. 

Let’s unlock the learning potential within each student and build a future where education is a lifelong adventure. CIVOM’S research backed approach focuses on fostering a love of learning that extends well beyond the confines of school walls.

Are you ready to transform your learning environment? We can help! Contact CIVOM today to learn more about creating a future-proof learning space for your students.

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