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20 classroom 'facts' we learned that weren't actually true at all

Who remembers tongue taste maps?

classooms, school, students
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Look, teachers aren't perfect.

Education has certainly changed over the years, and is continuously evolving. That goes for teaching methods—utilizing more technology, providing more resources to students with special needs, and incorporating more personalized approaches—as well as what information is actually being taught in classrooms.

Surely, if you think back to your childhood, you'll remember certain "facts" being drilled by your teacher that nowadays seem like straight up nonsense. And if not, you can copy off of the Reddit community's homework.

Redditor u/authorized_join31 recently asked "What’s a fact that was taught in school that’s been disproven in your lifetime?" and people did not disappoint with their answers.


Of course, while many of these are harmless fun, it's easy to see how very problematic others are. Particularly when it comes to health and history—diet fads, medical myths, falsely idolizing historical figures to perpetuate a skewed narrative…you get the picture.

If anything, these anecdotes just go to show that we should never stop trying to learn, even after school if over.

And with that, class is now in session.

1."That strangers will give me free drugs on street corners and on Halloween candy."

—u/Slight-Mess-6615

2. "All fat was bad for you. Thus, fat-free foods became a thing for a while."

—u/SpewPewPew

3. "I learned about tongue taste maps at school. Turns out it’s complete nonsense."

—u/TimmyMTX

false facts

If this were true, I'd only be using the "sweet taste" portion of my tongue.

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4. "In pharmacy school around the turn of the century, we were taught that people in legitimate pain don't get addicted to opiates and opioids."

—u/PayEmmy

5. "Your permanent record will follow you into adulthood."

—u/Darth-Byzantious

6. "The whole 'A meteorite killed the dinosaurs' thing wasn't yet the accepted theory when I was a kid."

—u/senefen

7. “No one is going to wait for you to look up information in the real world, you have to know it.”

—u/cheezturds

8. "That George Washington’s teeth were made of wood."

—u/alloverbeautiful

A brilliant example of an inaccurate piece of history that was completely injected onto our consciousness during school, that perhaps covered up a more difficult truth to swallow. In truth, Washington's dentures were made of materials from lead-tin, copper and silver alloy, as well as cow, horse and human teeth. The latter of which were bought from slaves, or at least a portion of them. That might have been more pertinent to know.

But what's even more baffling is why this false fact was so important to teach in the first place. And is we must talk about a dead president's teeth, why not tell the more exciting (and true) story of how Washington's dental trouble helped mislead the British Army in 1781? But I digress.

9. "The Food Pyramid."

—u/CharlesNotManson69

10. "Once you get to high school, nobody will accept papers not written in cursive."

—u/FridgesArePeopleToo

11. "You won't always have a calculator on you."

—u/Deuteronomy93

school. learning

Algebra was a complete waste of time for some of us.

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12. "I once asked one of my elementary school teachers what a rainbow was, and she told me scientists hadn't figured it out. I walked around until my early 20s thinking that. Also, I think it was this same teacher who told me Columbus thought the Earth was flat. They were training teachers a different kind of way in the '70s and '80s. It's honestly one of the reasons I'm thankful for the internet, because depending on your teacher or an outdated encyclopedia for answers could be a real roll of the dice."

—u/UhOhFeministOnReddit

13. "So many professions that we were taught were ‘lesser-than’ or just looked down upon. Being a plumber was always a joke… wish I woulda took the 70k, Union job with excellent benefits and a pension joke at 20 years old lol."

—u/Ok_Reporter1407

14. "You only use 10% of your brain each day."

—u/E8inches2Short

15. "My primary school teacher told me our bodies can't make new blood and we're born with all the blood we'll ever have. As someone who got nosebleeds, I knew it was bollocks. When I questioned that adults are obviously bigger so have more blood, she said it's watered down."

—u/Appropriate-Divide64

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16. "Carrots are good for night vision.This was a lie the British used to explain how they could spot German bombers during WWII. The truth, that they had broken the German Enigma machine and were decoding secret messages, was kept a secret for decades. The full story was not told until the 1990s."

—u/dylans-alias

17. "That we would all but run out of oil by the year 2000."

—u/fatbongo

18. "That lemmings commit suicide."

—u/study-sug-gests

19. "That Canada didn’t ever have slaves. What's worse is, to my knowledge, they still don’t teach this. I had to look it up myself."

—u/Blue_Moon_Rabbit

And last but not least....

20. "If you study well and have excellent grades, you will end up with a nice job and lots of money."

—u/MyKinkyCountess

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