Avoiding Bad Learning
It is obviously better to avoid learning bad things.
Learning can develop habits, which for some people can be difficult to break. Given that technology is changing faster than ever; it is important to not become too set in your ways when learning t o use technology. Many people learnt to use a computer with a plug in mouse in the 80's and 90's, but then found it difficult to adapt to mouse pads and touch screens as the technology changed after that. It is a dilemma for anyone to learn one thing well then have to discard it later; but we should all be aware that maintaining a high level of adaptability is critical to functioning in today's rapidly changing world.
Most people would agree, but most people do learn bad things. (E.g. Aggression, cruelty, swearing, prejudice, addictions/obsessions –drugs, computer games; hedonistic eating, all of these might be considered bad things). Bad things may sometimes be learnt in a “formal” teaching environment (e.g. Extremist schools, Prejudiced teachers); but more commonly, bad things are learnt informally from friends and acquaintances). Bad things can be more than just the obvious though -they can also be "redundant" things.
Avoid learning bad things, by being aware and avoiding such situations. Choose where you study; not only making sure courses are up to date; but also that teaching is not dogmatic or opinionated in any way shape or form.
This can be easier said than done, so when we are on the receiving end of “bad knowledge” or “bad” education, we may have to use our own knowledge, previous experience and common sense to judge whether than information and knowledge is “bad” or not.
The internet can also lead to “bad” learning. Anyone can create a website or blog and post information online. Then people come along, read that information and may use that knowledge. If the knowledge is not correct in the first place, then the knowledge you have gained is not effective and useful.
A simple example, John Smith sets up a website about famous historical dates and puts on there that the Battle of Hastings was fought in 1966 instead of 1066.
So when gaining knowledge from the internet, it is important to ensure that the website is reliable and valid and that the information is correct. You can often check this by looking at another website or textbook.
To avoid bad learning; it is important to have a clear understanding of the difference between good and bad. This understanding is often developed throughout childhood, largely from the influence of parents; sometimes religion, sometimes other acquaintances, friends, family and teachers. Formal studies in Ethics can be helpful to distill and clarify one’s perception of good and bad. With a greater ability to distinguish good from bad; an individual has a higher capacity to make decisions about what learning they should pursue and what should be avoided.
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