30 “Now-False Facts” That Were Really Taught In Schools, But Did Not Stand The Test Of Time
When I was in elementary school, teachers told me that Columbus discovered America. When I was in high school - that there are nine planets in the Solar system, including Pluto. After algebra lessons in high school, I knew for sure that Fermat's Last Theorem had no proof...
Do you know what those all have in common? Yes, that's right - some time passed, literally several years, and everything that the teacher said turned out to be untrue. More precisely, not even a lie - just science convincingly refuted everything that was considered an indisputable truth earlier. And I'm not alone here - in this thread in the AskReddit community, many netizens share similar stories from their own school years.
More info: Reddit
“You’ll never get a job looking out the window!”
I’m an airline pilot.
That Christopher Columbus was a great guy and all the natives rose up in celebration when he came.
Yea, I don't teach history that way.
And after all, I also listed examples from the exact sciences, astronomy and mathematics. And relatively exact - like geography. What can we say about history, which, as you know, is written by the winners? There is no doubt that if, for example, Napoleon Bonaparte had won a victory at Waterloo, not only would world history have changed its direction, but, much more significantly, its textbooks would have changed as well. In general, the process of education has always been quite dynamic, and the knowledge that was given at school to one generation sometimes becomes completely outdated when their children go to school.
Plate tectonics. When I was in the 1st grade I saw a map of the world and I told my teacher that it looks like all the continents used to fit together, but they moved apart.
My teacher laughed at me and loudly proclaimed I was an idiot with a wild imagination.
School kids laughed.
Jokes on them.
That standardized tests help kids learn better. No, no they did not.
But in the last few decades, the process has been moving so rapidly that no one, including the education system, can keep up with it. School teachers who received university education sometimes twenty years ago may also lag behind trends, or simply be out of touch with the latest changes and discoveries in science. And if we talk, for example, about the '90s, when the internet was not yet as comprehensive as it is today? Okay, Sir Andrew Wiles and his colleagues proved Fermat's Last Theorem in 1994, but when could the average math teacher somewhere in the outback know about it? If you missed the corresponding news release on TV or an article in the newspaper - that's it, the most important discovery for world mathematics was late for students for years and years...
Playing with computers is a waste of time and won’t lead to a career. Said to me by a very old, and bitter teacher. 25 years in IT and counting.
I had a teacher in 4^th grade that would force left handed kids to write with their right hand.
she said that it was the normal way to write and would benefit them later in life.
Late 90’s computer class, “we’ll never have terabyte hard drives in our lifetime, or a need for that much data.”
Heh, now you can get terabyte Micro SD cards, wild.
"That's exactly the problem with printed textbooks in today's world," says Olga Kopylova, Ph.D., associate professor of economics at Odessa National Maritime University, whom Bored Panda asked for a comment here. "For example, if you are holding a paper school or university textbook released in 2023, this most likely means that it was written several years ago. The writing process itself takes a lot of time, and then coordination, approval, the process of submitting to printing, distribution - some scientific books today have time to become obsolete, even before being printed. And this is not a drawback, it's just the reality of our time."
"As for searching for information online, on your own or under the guidance of any mentor, another problem arises here. The colossal amount of available information makes it difficult, firstly, to select reliable sources, and secondly, to analyze it. Artificial intelligence was designed to help a person understand all this - but today it often even gets in the way. At least in the scientific world, there are now numerous cases when unscrupulous researchers abuse the capabilities of AI to create a large number of fake articles. Someday, of course, this will stabilize, but so far the educational process lives in an era of great change," Olga sums up.
I was always taught Mississippi's secession from the union in the civil war was to preserve state's right to be independent and nothing at all to do with slavery. That Confederate heritage was about family and not racism.
[Slavery is mentioned in the very first sentence of the first paragraph of the letter of secession as the primary reason.](https://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_missec.asp) They decided if they couldn't own humans anymore it would crash the economy.
That people only use 10% of their brains. I mean some do, but that’s not normal
Are you intentionally trying to get my generation riled up about Pluto again? Lol
Damn it, but how upset I was for Pluto when in 2006 it was denied the right to be a full-fledged planet by those heartless astronomers! Ever since my school years, I felt for it, so small, cute, distant and lonely, some kind of tender sympathy - and then such a disappointment! Although, thanks to the internet, I found out about it almost instantly... I'm sure each of us has our own similar story under the belt. So now please feel free to scroll this selection of ours to its very end, and share your tales about some outdated pieces of school knowledge in the comments below this post.
When I was a kid, the Giant Squid had never been captured or photographed, and some people talked about it like it was el chupacabra. My little brother always said he'd be the first person to get footage of one. Sadly, it has since become an ordinary animal that we know exists. RIP the Kraken
That Columbus was the first European to step foot in the new world. Once found an old textbook that stated this. This was prior to the discovery of the Viking settlement in Nfld.
So many things. The lifetime of facts is shorter than you'd think. Among them:
* You use 10% of your brain (was in a textbook)
* Model of the atom
* What composes a healthy diet
* Various histories from how dinosaurs looked to what life was like in the Middle Ages
* Causes of ulcers, poor vision, acne..
That you’re gonna end up working a minimum wage job if you don’t go to college.
Pompeii was buried slowly by falling ash. They pointed out that remnants of people were found, right in the middle of doing things, but didn't realise this contradicted the burying being slow. It's now thought that it was buried very quickly by pyroclastic flows - superheated gas travelling over 200mph.
My f*****g history teacher taught us how great of a president Woodrow Wilson was.
I later learned he was a literal white supremacist who admired the KKK and an overall giant racist even for his time.
From an educational filmstrip: "Saturn has four beautiful rings..." The Voyager photos of the thousands of rings had come in like a week before we watched this.
If you throw ANYTHING at ANY speed in ANY direction it will go directly in some kids eye. ALWAYS.... Always .. edit: no just SOMETIMES ... always... I'm talking about you can't even casually toss your fork in the sink without it defying physics and going in the eye of someone who isn't even in the room
Bohrs Atomic Model
We only have 5 senses
Brain cells, once lost, are gone.
Dogs and cats see in black and white.
Wolf packs have alphas. Turns out wolves are a lot like humans and the 'alphas' are simply the sire and b***h of the wolf pack (their parents) and they follow them and respect them because they're the ones who taught them how to hunt and survive.
When my mom graduated high school in 1944, the nuns were teaching that the atom could not be split. I think the Manhattan Project was already extant at the time. Correct me if I'm wrong, I did see Oppenheimer twice.
So many but I’ll start with cold blooded dinosaurs. I was in college when opinions about them changed.
Germany would never reunite. The French would never allow it.